Seattle Sounders Pick Up Gritty 3-1 Victory Over New York City FC

Seattle Sounders Pick Up Gritty 3-1 Victory

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (July 29, 2018) — Pretty is the last word that Cristian Roldan and Harry Shipp would use to describe the recent six-game unbeaten streak by the Seattle Sounders.

Instead, according to Roldan, Seattle is “grinding” games out. The team is currently also on a three-game win streak.

Seattle Sounders Pick Up Gritty 3-1 victory Over New York City FC

However, the wins are close. Sunday’s 3-1 victory over New York City FC — the second place team in the MLS Eastern Conference — was a testament to that.

“The incredible thing about this [run] is that we’re not playing well,” Roldan, said after the NYCFC win. “We’re grinding out games, we’re winning these games because we’re playing good defense and scoring that one or two goals. That’s the scary part. You think about six unbeaten — if we start playing well like we’re supposed to, we can go on a really long run.”

“The goal is to play as well as we can toward the end of the season and into the playoffs.”

Roldan’s mentioning of the playoffs would have been a laughing subject two months ago. Seattle hit rock bottom of the Western Conference table a few times. The team also lingered around 11th place.

Despite currently sitting in 10th, Seattle has a realistic shot at the playoffs. The current sixth-place team is Real Salt Lake, who own 31 points.

Meanwhile, the Sounders have 26 points.

That’s only a five-point difference.

Needless to say, the Western Conference is tight. With goals from Roldan, Shipp and Gustav Svensson yesterday, Seattle made the playoff race more interesting.

Meanwhile, New York City FC don’t have to worry too much. Despite the loss, the team sits in second place in the Eastern Conference with 43 points. Since the addition of manager Domènec Torrent, the Boys in Blue remained unbeaten until the trip to Seattle.

New York City FC didn’t put themselves into a big hole like Seattle. Those words came directly from Sounders Head Coach Brian Schmetzer.

“We’ve put ourselves in a really big hole,” Schmetzer said. “We need to collect points. I don’t care where we collect them, how we collect them, we need to collect points. This team deserves to be in the playoffs. They have put the work in. It’s just a question of, ‘Can we dig ourselves out?’”

Schmetzer said that he attributes the current form to the “individuals who are sitting in that locker room.

“They are a proud bunch of guys,” Schmetzer said. “It’s pro sports, we get it. There are a lot of things that go into winning and winning championships, going to two MLS Cups…Without a doubt, without a question in my mind, that team, that group never gives up.”

“They always compete, all of them, and that’s what makes my job so much easier when you have guys who are committed to winning. All the credit goes to them.”

Three Takeaways

  1. Numbers don’t lie: Roldan saying the match wasn’t pretty was an understatement. Even at home, Seattle didn’t control the ball for the majority of the match. Instead, New York City FC had a possession count of 58.3 percent. However, higher possession doesn’t mean victory. Seattle took 14 shots with five registering on goal.
  2. Roldan always looks solid: It doesn’t matter if he’s playing at right back, right forward or right midfield. Cristian Roldan has been moved around more than any Sounders player on the roster. He’s already forming a solid partnership with Raúl Ruidíaz — who earned his first start at home. Roldan was named the Player of the Match. But, don’t be surprised to see him on the MLS Team of the Week.
  3. Marshall returns to the lineup: Chad Marshall missed the Vancouver Whitecaps match due to a right calf contusion. However, the injury only kept him out for one match, as he returned to the starting lineup. Schmetzer is keeping with the successful duo of Marshall and Kim Kee-Hee. Despite Román Torres being back, Kim won’t be going to the bench anytime soon. Neither will Marshall.


PHOTO: Cristian Roldan celebrates scoring against New York City FC during the Seattle Sounders’ 3-1 victory at CenturyLink Field, Sunday, July 29, 2018. Photo courtesy of Mike Fiechtner / Sounders FC Communications.