A first-half stunner from Raul Ruidiaz and second-half brace from Jordan Morris powered the Seattle Sounders to a 3-1 win over LAFC on Sunday evening at CenturyLink Field, as the defending MLS Cup champions downed last year’s Supporters’ Shield winners.
Somewhat against the run of play, Seattle opened the scoring in the 11th minute via Ruidiaz. He curled home a left-footed shot from 25 yards out that caught LAFC goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer off guard. The Peruvian striker was subbed off at halftime for Will Bruin as a precaution with a heel contusion.
The Sounders stormed out to a 3-0 lead in the second half, as Morris scored twice within a 61-second span. The US men’s national team forward first beat Vermeer to a long ball after Nicolas Lodeiro’s pass in the 48th minute, then cushioned home a Joao Paulo cross in the 49th minute.
LAFC pulled one back in the 60th minute through leading scorer Diego Rossi, as he tapped home a low cross from Jose Cifuentes. The Ecuadorian midfielder was making his first MLS start, and burst in behind after a slick touch from Bradley Wright-Phillips.
This marked the second time these Western Conference powerhouses met in 2020, though the script got flipped. LAFC previously earned a 4-1 win over Seattle in the Round of 16 at the MLS is Back Tournament back on July 27.
- 11' – SEA – Raul Ruidiaz | WATCH
- 48' – SEA – Jordan Morris | WATCH
- 49' – SEA – Jordan Morris | WATCH
- 60' – LAFC – Diego Rossi | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Seattle, with largely a full-strength XI, are surging. They exacted revenge after their MLS is Back Tournament setback, replicating the 3-1 scoreline from their 2019 Western Conference Final victory over LAFC. Meanwhile, LAFC keep on leaking goals. This also marks their first back-to-back losses in over two years, with Bob Bradley’s group last suffering consecutive league setbacks during August 5-11, 2018 of their expansion season.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Raul Ruidiaz’s goal was the kind that makes you audibly gasp while watching it on TV. It was a beautiful curler from the Designated Player, who had two goals and one assist in last week’s 3-0 win over the Portland Timbers en route to MLS Player of the Week honors.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: For the second time in 2020, Jordan Morris bagged a brace for Seattle. Now at 30 regular-season goals in 90 career games, the other came during a March 1 season-opening match against Chicago Fire FC.