Seattle Sounders top Toronto, 2-0, with young kids at the helm

Seattle Sounders vs. Toronto FC MLS
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The Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC have a lot of history. Three MLS Cup battles, with the victories in favor of Seattle by two, and the first meet up happened at BMO Field. Now, even more history is embedded with this rivalry, with Bob Bradley as the Toronto manager. Who can forget during the 2019 MLS Western Conference Championship how Brian Schmetzer said he was, “feeling better than Bob?”

Schmetzer once again felt “better than Bob” after Seattle’s 2-0 victory over Toronto FC in Canada on Saturday night.

With Seattle playing their third game in eight days, the Sounders elected to give some veterans a rest. The team is still missing Raul Ruidiaz, who is out with an injury, and brought in more young players to Toronto. One of those young players was Dylan Teves, who made his MLS regular-season start against Toronto. He scored the first goal in the 39th minute, off an assist from Léo Chú.

After the match, Teves was all smiles when talking about his first league goal.

“I remember before the goal, Jimmy [Medranda] had a cross that was perfect and I thought I should have been there for that. Then with Léo, he’s a one-v-one player and he’s going to take a guy on every single time and beat him a majority of the time. I knew when he got around his player that he was going to send a cross in. Just the luck of him playing a good ball and me being in the right position, I slotted it in the back of goal. It’s a great feeling, that’s for sure.”

In the second half, Seattle saw their second goal from Fredy Montero in the 60th minute. He was linked up with fellow veteran Nicolás Lodeiro, who was credited with the assist.

“Next Man Up” Mentality for Seattle Sounders

The Sounders, with a busy schedule, are relying on both younger and older players to secure points and be fresh. Players like Stefan Frei, Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan did not make the trip to Toronto, as Schmetzer said they were given rest. After the match, Teves said that the next man up mentality has been huge for the Sounders.

“We’ve been given the opportunities and we have to take it,” Teves said. “That’s the thing that Brian really enforces in all of us. And, every single one of the players are just grateful to be out there.”

Schmetzer said that the group impressed him and was not worried about youth on the game-day roster.

“All those guys who came on, I was pleased with the entire group,” Schmetzer said. “Specifically to Dylan Teves, and I can throw Léo Chú in that group, the tactics were spot on. Preki came up with some ideas and we executed those ideas. Having Fredy drop in and having Léo and Teves be the two guys who are the prongs of our attack showed up in that goal.

“Before the game, we were joking with Dylan about how he’s the only player in NCAA history to score back-to-back hat-tricks in the NCAA tournament. So we know the kid has goals in him. It was instinctual that he gets in front of net and puts it away… Credit to all the young guys who came on today.”

In goal, Stefan Cleveland earned the nod, earning his first clean sheet of 2022.

What’s next for Seattle?

It’s time to celebrate, Seattle.

The Sounders will be raising their banner from winning the Concacaf Champions League on Saturday, July 9, against their rival, the Portland Timbers, at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT at Lumen Field. Schmetzer cracked a smile when asked about returning home to Lumen for the big game. The last time Seattle was at home, Montreal came in and upset the side, 2-1.

“The players here are in a very good mood. We saw a determined group coming back after a loss at home,” Schmetzer said. “That was a little bit of a [wake up call]. They pressed us and were they better than us on that evening? The answer is yes. The team responded… Those guys responded. After a loss at home, to come all the way across the country and play against a team with big ambitions and a great coach, and come out with a clean sheet and two goals was very impressive.

“That was the right moment for this group to lead into the Portland match.”

 

Photo: Mike Fiechtner / Sounders FC Communications.