Something strange and miracolous happened Saturday afternoon at CenturyLink Field when the referee blew his whistle to signal the end of the match between the Seattle Sounders (10-13-5, 35 miraculous) and Vancouver Whitecaps ( 9-7-14, 34pts). That strange and miraculous something was the Sounders dominating the Whitecaps and walking off the field with a 1-0 victory
During the Sounders last three games, a 1-1 draw in Houston, a 4-2 loss in Portland and a 1-1 draw in San Jose, the team dominated the run of play, took more shots than their opponents and had little to show for their effort. Things looked to be going the way of the previous three games on Saturday for the first 80 minutes of the game.
The Sounders dominated the run off play and had nothing to show for it as the teams were deadlocked at 0-0, bringing nervousness to the 47,111 Rave Green fans attending the game.
Nervousness gave was to pure delight in the 81 minute when Rookie sensations Jordan Morris scored his team-leading 10th goal of the season to give the Sounders the much needed victory to give their playoff hopes a boost.
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) September 18, 2016
For Sounders interim coach Brian Schmetzer, the goal by Morris was a team effort.
“I would say it’s a testament to that group of guys. We have worked all week long on trying to create chances, or enough quality chances, to get at least one [goal]. I think they did that – if you look at the stat sheet, I think we did enough to get at least one. Everybody did a good job, but it’s a testament to them. They created enough chances and got one.”
The win over their Cascadia rivals puts the Sounders in seventh place and just five points back of sixth place Sporting KC (11-7-12, 40pts) who occupies the final spot for the Western Conference playoff spot. The Sounders have played two less games than KC. The loss to the Sounders drops the Whitecaps to 8th place in the Western Conference.
The Sounders outshot the Whitecaps 18 to 8 and had two shots on goal while the Whitecaps had zero. The Sounders dominated the possession battle having the ball for 63% of the time compared to the Whitecap 37 %. Seattle had 12 corner kicks to Vancouver’s two.
Morris goal ties him for third-most among all rookies in MLS history. Morris now has five game-winning goals, which matches him with Bradley Wright-Phillips and teammate Clint Dempsey for the MLS-lead in the 2016 campaign.
SEA – Tyrone Mears (caution) 90’+1′
SEA – Nelson Valdez (caution) 90’+1′
VAN – David Edgar (caution) 90’+3′