Seattle Sounders narrowly edge out Toronto FC in rival contest

Seattle Sounders

Seattle, Washington (April 13, 2019) — Normally, fans wouldn’t expect much of a rivalry with two teams from two different conferences. However, that’s not the case for the Seattle Sounders FC and Toronto FC.

The Sounders and Toronto FC have their history. They met up twice in the MLS Cup Final in 2016 and 2017, splitting the win and trophy lifts. Both of those finals were at BMO Field in Toronto. Today, the regular-season contest between the two sides was held at CenturyLink Field.

Seattle Sounders narrowly edge out Toronto FC in rival contest 

This match had Raúl Ruidíaz’ return written all over it. Ruidíaz traveled with the team to Colorado, but Wednesday’s match against the Rapids was postponed. However, back in Seattle, the Peruvian striker was left out of the second-straight match day squad with right heel contusion problems.

In his place, Will Bruin didn’t leave any stone unturned.

Bruin had his opportunities last weekend against Real Salt Lake. However, this week, he found the back of the net twice. Brad Smith recorded the assist on both goals from the new father, Bruin — who welcomed his son Liam a couple weeks ago.

However, despite the excellent showing from Bruin, he ended up leaving the match in the 79th minute with an unknown injury. Seattle, up by one goal at this point, elected to put defender Román Torres in his place.

Seattle’s third goal of the match was scored by Cristian Roldan. It was a day of “firsts” for the Sounders, as Bruin’s goals were the first of his 2019 campaign. Meanwhile, Roldan’s strike was also his first.

For Toronto FC, Jozy Altidore found the back of the net twice. Alejandro Pozuelo assisted both of his goals, showing off his partnership with the U.S. Men’s National Team striker. However, last-ditch attempts were not successful for Toronto FC.

The win brings Seattle to extend their unbeaten streak to six games. Seattle is riding a two-game winning streak. Meanwhile, Toronto entered the match unbeaten, but now have one loss this season to Seattle.

Three Takeaways

  1. The missed handball: During the second half, Kim Kee-hee received a yellow card for accidentally coming in contact with Altidore’s face with his hand. However, what the referee failed to see was that the ball bounced off Altidore’s shoulder. Even though it wasn’t in the box, the call should have been made.
  2. Brad Smith is the assist machine: Seattle has a great luxury of two backs that aren’t afraid to get into the attack. Kelvin Leerdam and Brad Smith are both fast and eager to help with the attack. Leerdam scored the first goal for the Sounders this season and continues to send nice crosses in. Meanwhile, Smith added two assists today to his tally.
  3. Stefan Frei is just too good: When Stefan Frei makes a fantastic, superb save, it seems elementary for Sounders fans. That’s what they’re used to, after all. Last year, Frei was named the Sounders MVP because of his saves keeping them in matches. This year, he continues to impress. He finished the match with two saves.

What’s Next? 

The Sounders get an extra day of rest, facing off against Los Angeles FC next Sunday. Currently, LAFC is in first place in the Western Conference. Seattle has a real opportunity to upset the leaders.

The match will begin at 7 p.m. ET and will be held at the Banc of California Stadium.

PHOTO: Will Bruin celebrates one of his two goals against Toronto FC at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington. Photo courtesy of Mike Fiechtner/Seattle Sounders FC.