The Seattle Sounders unveiled recently signed Designated Player Nicolas Lodeiro in their match against Western Conference rival LA Galaxy. The former Boca Juniors player started in the middle of the field with Jordan Morris and Clint Dempsey who returned from their MLS All-Star week activities. Joining Dempsey and Morris up from where Nelson Valdez.
The new and improved Sounders line up started off fresh and lively as Lodeiro’s ability to run at defenders created immediate havoc for the Galaxy and the Uruguayan playmaker showed his skills when took his first shot seven minutes into the and the sequence served notice of the things to come
Lodeiro with a bit of skill to get his first shot off for the Sounders. pic.twitter.com/1AD0uFyFD9
— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) July 31, 2016
The Sounders continued their onslaught on the LA Galaxy goal but the LA defense was vigilante and stout. LA net minder Brian Rowe made a point blank range save on Lodeiro to Morris to Dempsey shot and Center back Jelle Van Damme cleared a shot off the line to help keep the sides scoreless at the halftime break.
The sounders break through goal came just under teammates into the second half when Nelson Valdez laid off a pass to Cristian Roldan inside the box who promptly left footed into the back of the LA goal for the 1-0 lead.
The Sounders had numerous chances to put the game away, Morris’s left footed shot was saved in the55th minute, Dempsey had back to back shot blocked in the 61st and 64th minute and Lodeiro had a left footed shot saved in the 65th minute.
As always in the game of the soccer the inability to slam the door shut on the opponent will come back to bite you. For the Sounders that moment came in the 78th minute when Sebastian Lletget righted footed home the equalizer after a communication breakdown between Brad Evans and Stefan Frei.
“I was in between two guys and thought I heard leave,” Evans said after the game. “In the end I should have just booted the ball out of the area.”
As for the newly signed Lodeiro, interim head coach Brian Schmetzer was pleased with his debut,
“He was very good. We just need to fine-tune to make sure that he and Clint [Dempsey] figure out the right spacing. I thought a couple of times we could have done a better job of keeping Clint a little higher, which would be my preference.”
“Get Clint closer to goal because we will need to rely on Clint to score some goals. Other than that little glitch, you saw his ability to cover ground at a high level, connect passes, run the team – there were a lot of positive out of that. I think together, Clint leads the front line, Nicolás leads through the middle, you’ve got experienced guys in the back – I was encouraged.”
While the Sounders gave up the late equalizer and where hoping for a win, the mood in the locker room was one of opportunity lost but the beginning of something big.