It was an early wakeup call for the Seattle Sounders in Chicago on Saturday. But they’ll gladly take getting up early if they continue to play like they have to start the 2019 season.
The Sounders scored early in building a three-goal lead and then held on to beat the Chicago Fire, 4-2, at SeatGeek Stadium. The victory pushed the Sounders to their first 3-0 start since 2009.
Four different players scored the goals — Victor Rodriguez was first in the seventh minute, Jordan Morris (15th minute), Nico Lodeiro (49th) and Raul Ruidiaz (88th) — for the Sounders, who have now scored 10 goals this season.
Here are the three biggest takeaways from the Sounders first road test.
Morris scores again
Seattle is a completely different team with a healthy Morris in the lineup. In Seattle’s final game before the international break, the Sounders forward collected an assist and another goal to run his season total to three.
In the game’s 15th minute, Morris found himself on a breakaway with a Chicago defender draped on him and the Chicago goalkeeper closing in. Morris popped the ball in the air over the goalie to push the lead to 2-0.
Handling Chicago pressure
Seattle eventually built a 3-0 lead before holding off the Fire’s second-half rally. Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei gave up goals to Raheem Edwards and Fabian Herbers that cut the lead to 3-2. Frei finished with a season-high 10 saves with some of them highlight-worthy.
For the first time since the season opener vs. FC Cincinnati, the Sounders faced heavy pressure but Frei and the defense held up by turning Chicago’s many scoring opportunities away.
No rough start
Anybody wearing a Sounders uniform would’ve told you the importance of avoiding the rough starts that had slowed them in the last three seasons. Three games in, mission accomplished.
For the first time since 2009, the Seattle Sounders are 3-0. The Sounders have nine points and lead the Western Conference with an offense that has been dynamic. The Sounders have scored 10 goals already; it took Seattle 13 games to reach that mark last season.
After grabbing their first road win of the season, the team gets a break before resuming MLS play. The Sounders play at Vancouver on March 30.