Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
The Seattle Sounders were done no favors with a schedule that forced them to play 3 games in 8 days, including this cross-country trip to the east coast. An exhausted Rave Green decided to park the proverbial bus and play for a tie as they kept a hot Philadelphia Union from scoring in a 0-0 draw.
The Sounders relinquished the possession for an astonishing 68% of the match and Stephan Frei had to show off his prowess with 6 saves leading many to question why he doesn’t play more into discussions of being the best player in the MLS.
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) May 19, 2019
Philly took 20 shots and none found their way past the stout defense and skill of Seattle’s goalie. The MVP of the 2016 MLS Cup, has yet to earn a goalkeeper of the year. Hopefully, those accolades could come this year as he is 2nd in the MLS in saves with 45 and 2nd in shutouts with 5.
Showing off a lineup that had many of the starters on the bench, the Sounders only put 1 shot on target and had just 6 attempts overall in the game. Raul Ruidiaz, Brad Smith, Kelvin Leerdam, Handwalla Bwana, and Jordan Morris all took the bench.
Regardless, the Sounders broke the Union’s winning streak. This was a day when the best result was to get the draw and score a point in the standings to keep them in 2nd place. The Union are tied for 1st in the MLS East and to show strength on defense against this team is a win. To get key players rested again, is a win.
Of note, Seattle’s mid fielder Christian Roldan, he of the rocket foot, has become a bit of a sensation with his recent show of power from beyond the penalty box. He got to showcase his talent in Philly this Saturday and he will again next month at Lincoln Financial Field for the US National Team. The USMNT play in the Gold Cup this summer and Roldan who has 9 caps (appearances) for the national team has a revamped team ready to make a deep run.
“I think it’s very important, first of all, that we compete and that we play the way we want to play, because it’s time to establish a philosophy [and] system, and I think [coach Gregg] Berhalter is doing that,” Roldan said at the team’s hotel Friday. “Winning with style, for sure, but also winning our fans back. … It’s time to put a little bit of that confidence, that belief, back into the system, into the men’s national team, and the Gold Cup, for what it’s worth, is extremely valuable for us this summer.”