The Seattle Sounders don't have much time left. With just 10 games left in the MLS regular season for the Sounders, every point counts. However, Seattle dropped points on the road at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium against Atlanta United, 2-1.
Ronaldo Cisneros scored Atlanta's opener, and then it was Seattle's reliable midfielder Cristian Roldan that scored the equalizer. However, Andrew Gutman was the star, scoring an absolute 'worldie' — as described from Roldan during the post-game press conference — with just one minute left in second half stoppage time.
Here are four takeaways from Seattle's loss on the road to Atlanta.
1. Plenty of shuffling in the midfield
During the match, it was revealed that the Seattle Sounders have had a midfield combination shuffling conundrum. This season alone, according to Taylor Twellman and Jon Champion, there have been 14 combinations in the Seattle midfield.
Of course, this comes after the blowing injury to midfield stalwart João Paulo during the CONCACAF Champions League. Since then, the Sounders have been shuffling to find the right partnerships.
Starting in the midfield against Atlanta were Nico Lodeiro — in a No. 10 position — along with Albert Rusnák and Roldan. In the 55th minute, Danny Levya joined the match for Leo Chu, who was on the left wing. That move pushed Lodeiro down, settling as a defensive midfielder, while Rusnák pushed up.
After the match, Sounders manager Brian Schmetzer said that Lodeiro was struggling in the No. 10 position, pushing the move to bring on the 19-year-old Leyva. Schmetzer said that the game was the "right match" for Leyva.
""Nico was struggling a bit in his normal, No. 10 position, and I wanted the ball on his feet from a deeper position for possession. He and Danny are a pretty good pair in there. We saw that in Toronto. I pushed Albert up in his natural No. 10 position, and he played well there. It helped Danny to have some veteran guys with him. He won some balls, connected some passes for us, so I think he did good." "- Brian Schmetzer
Roldan, who also played in the midfield, but higher on the pitch, stated that everyone has their own different style of play, but he's confident in all the players that have entered the Sounders' midfield.
"It's been difficult to get some consistency in there," Roldan said. "It's professional sports, so everyone is dealing with these problems, injuries and whatnot. So, it's whoever comes into the lineup, they have to come in and provide the energy and the job we need them to do."
As a group, the midfield accounted for eight shots, including Roldan's game-winning goal. Roldan took the most shots, with five and two on goal.