Kim Kee-hee, Stefan Frei save the day in Sounders draw against Vancouver

Seattle Sounders FC

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (March 31, 2019) — The Seattle Sounders FC began their Cascadia Cup in a thrilling fashion against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Up at B.C. Place in Vancouver, the Sounders battled through strong chances from the Whitecaps offense and extremely late second-half stoppage time.

It was Kim Kee-hee who saved the day for the Sounders, along with goalkeeper Stefan Frei. Kim was involved in league history, as he battled against his fellow South Korean countryman In-Beom Hwang.

Kim Kee-hee, Stefan Frei save the day in Sounders draw against Vancouver

Hwang entered the match in the 72nd minute, making it the first time in MLS history that two South Korean players faced off against each other. Recently, Hwang returned from international duty for South Korea. For yet another time, Kim was snubbed of a call up. Instead of sulking about not making the team, Kim decided to make a game-saving tackle against his fellow international.

In the last seconds of stoppage time, Joaquín Ardáiz looked open, almost one-on-one with Frei, to take a game-winning shot. However, Kim sprinted over and found Ardáiz, helping to slow him down.

Ardáiz got a shot off, but it was saved by Frei. The rebound fell to Hwang, but Kim found his way over to perform a tackle against his countryman. Initially, the call was ruled a penalty kick and a foul, with referee Robert Sibiga giving Kim a yellow card.

However, VAR swooped in and saved the day for the Sounders, reversing the penalty kick call. In addition, Sibiga also rescinded the yellow card he gave to Seattle’s Korean centerback. With that being the last action of the match, Seattle ended the contest with a scoreless draw on the road. While the club’s winning streak has halted to three matches, the club remains unbeaten in MLS play.

Seattle currently sits in second place in the Western Conference, only three points behind Los Angeles FC.

Three Takeaways

  1. Raúl Ruidíaz sees his streak come to an end: It was a frustrating night for Peruvian striker Raúl Ruidíaz. After eight-consecutive matches with at least one goal, Ruidíaz saw his goal-scoring streak end in Vancouver. However, he did have his chances. Ruidíaz saw his best chance of the night blocked by defender Doneil Henry in the second half. The Peruvian finished the night with five total shots.
  2. Stefan Frei proves why he’s the best: During the match, one of the announcers commented that Stefan Frei is one of the more underrated goalkeepers in the league. However, he’s not one to shine the spotlight on himself, so we’ll do it for him. Frei made stretching, fingertip saves against Fredy Montero and the Whitecaps. He finished off an impressive night with three total saves — but plenty of stops. He’ll have to give Kim Kee-hee a fruit basket for his big-time blocks toward the end.
  3. A sluggish opening 45 minutes: Seattle didn’t really get energized until the second half. The first 45 minutes of the contest proved to be slow and sluggish for the Sounders. There was too much passing and not enough attacking. However, Schmetzer must have given a heck of a halftime speech. Seattle looked much better in the second half.

What’s Next?

Seattle returns home this upcoming weekend to host Real Salt Lake. This will be the last time that Stefan Frei looks all the way down the pitch and sees Nick Rimando in goal. The Real Salt Lake goalkeeper announced this would be his last professional season.

Saturday’s match will kick off at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. EST.

Meanwhile, after earning their first MLS point of 2019, the Whitecaps will remain in Canada to host the Los Angeles Galaxy. Friday’s contest will begin at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. EST.


PHOTO: The Seattle Sounders used the same starting lineup for the fourth-straight match in a row. This time, the Sounders drew with the Vancouver Whitecaps in a scoreless tilt. Photo courtesy of Mike Fiechtner/Seattle Sounders FC.

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