The Seattle Sounders picked up a 2-0 win over Toronto FC on Saturday, July 2nd. The goals came from Dylan Teves and Fredy Montero as Seattle bounced back from their midweek loss to Montreal on Wednesday.
Teves put Seattle ahead in the 39th minute as he put home an assist from Leo Chu. Chu beat his man down the left flank after a pass from Medranda. Chu put a low cross into the box which was then put in the net by Teves.
Montero then doubled Seattle’s lead in the 60th minute on an assist from Nicolas Lodeiro to put the score at the ultimately final 2-0. Montero and Loderio played a bit of give-and-go which allowed Montero to get past the Toronto backline and he was able to beat the keeper to score.
Seattle had been red-hot, but the loss to Montreal tamed the streak temporarily. However the win over Toronto will potentially help Seattle get back on a similar streak to the one they were on.
Seattle has now picked up 13 points in their last 6 matches and have 19 points in their last 9 matches. The Sounders are averaging just over 2 points per match over those two stretches. To put into perspective how good Seattle has been over the last few weeks. If those per match numbers were parlayed over the course of the entire season, Seattle would currently be right on par with LAFC for the top spot in the league and the Supporter’s Shield race.
Statistically speaking, Toronto held the advantage in most of the categories in this match. However, it seemed as if they weren’t overly threatening in their possession. It genuinely felt as if the Sounders had the most dangerous chances, even though Toronto held more possession and was more efficient.
Seattle was significantly out-possessed in the match (Toronto held a 61.7%-38.3% edge in possession), but was still able to pick up the win by multiple goals. Toronto held a slight edge in both shots (13-11) and shots on target (6-4). Toronto also was more efficient in their passing. Toronto completed a superb 88.8% of their passes, while Seattle was at 79.4%. Seattle held the advantage in Expected Goals 1.9-1.2.
Stefan Cleveland got the start at goalkeeper, and had a quality match in net as he made 6 saves and shutout Toronto even though they were credited with the 1.2 XG's. Cleveland also completed 81.5% of his passes out of the net and completed 18 long balls.
Arguably the biggest moment in net for Cleveland came in the 54th minute as Alejandro Pozeulo had broken through, but Cleveland came off his line and made the save with his left leg to keep Toronto from equalizing at the time. He also made a big save in the 83rd minute as he dove to his right to save a long strike from outside the box from Ralph Priso to keep the clean sheet.
Montero had a strong game, even outside of his goal. He completed 83.3% of his passes, drew 3 fouls, and had 2 successful tackles.
Chu also had a fantastic match, and was arguably Seattle’s best player in the match. He led the team with 3 key passes, picked up the assist, and completed 87.5% of his passes across 72 minutes.
Coming off of a midweek performance, Seattle elected to start several younger players in order to rest the likes of Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan, and to also get the young players some experience. Some of the players who started included the goal-scoring Teves (22 years old) and Daniel Leyva (19). Ethan Dobbelaere (19), Reed Baker-Whiting (17), and Joshua Atencio (20) all also saw time on the front line as subs.
Being able to pick up 3 points while resting 2 of your best players and playing a lot of youth is a big boost for Seattle. It allows for Morris and Roldan to get needed rest in a congested part of the schedule, but it also shows how much depth Seattle has in their squad. The Sounders have long had one of the best organizations in MLS, and when they do things like this where they win while giving a lot of playing time to teenagers, it shows that depth.
Seattle now sits at 26 points through 17 matches which has them tied for 5th in the West. They’re also just 3 points out of 3rd in the West. Seattle will now prepare for a match that is always huge, as they will host the Portland Timbers next Saturday in one of MLS' premier rivalry matches.