Seattle Sounders goes to the finals! A 1-1 draw away to New York City FC at the Red Bull Arena booked the trip after a 3-1 win at home in the first match of the Concacaf Champions League semi-final, giving Seattle an overall 4-2 victory in a row. The Sounders took the lead through another beautifully executed team goal that included a beautiful diagonal ball from Jackson Ragen to Nouhou and a nice cross into the box from Nouhou, which Raúl Ruidíaz knocked home.
NYCFC equalized the match, bringing the overall deficit back to two, early in the second half. Seattle had a great opportunity to close the door just a few minutes later when Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan came out on the counter, but when Roldan found Morris with a nice look inside the area, his shot was right at the one defender standing on target. line.
NYCFC kept pushing to get more goals to get back in the series, but as they could, they simply would not beat Stefan Frei. Frei recorded 7 saves as New York got 25 shots where more than a couple of those stops came spectacularly. When Frei made his best brick impression and the rest of the squad did their best to limit the danger of the shots New York got off, the Seattle Pigeons held back for more than an hour, securing their place in the final. Although a couple of yellows were shown, the Sounders also managed to avoid being dotted into yellows that would make the players miss the opening part of the final, where they face UNAM Pumas on the road before hosting them in second round for a chance to lift another trophy at Lumen Field. The dates for these matches have not yet been set.
1 ‘- Things start hot and controversial when Taty Castellanos hits Xavier Arreaga as Sounder wins a header to pull a yellow.
23 ‘- Castellanos misses just as much on the best look of the half for NYCFC after João Paulo retires on a pass from Jackson Ragen to let it go through, but it gets picked off.
28 ‘- Sounders goal! Raúl Ruidíaz opens the scoring with a first-time finish on an excellent pass from Nouhou after a nice diagonal from Jackson Ragen. 1-0 (4-1) Sounders
44 ‘- Nico Lodeiro wins the ball back just outside NYCFC’s area and finds Ruidíaz inside the box. Ruidíaz connects wiith the pass and nutmegs the keeper!
51 ‘- New York is pulling one back. After hitting the post twice, Alex Roldan is beaten when he enters the field, allowing a cut and an exit through the traffic. 1-1 (4-2)
60 ‘- Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan play a fantastic sequence down the field, and Roldan finds Morris for a great chance, but the shot hits a body on the goal line.
63 ‘- Another good chance for NYCFC, but Stefan Frei stands firm and blocks the shot before the ball goes out to a goal kick.
68 ‘- Talles Magno turns Nouhou over and gets a shot off, but Frei bounces and flaunts it over the goal.
73 ‘- Stefan Frei! Talles Magno with another nice look on a New York counter, but Frei loses and blocks the shot from a blank team!
88 ‘- Another close to the NYCFC, but Frei dives over the goal and paws the ball away, then Kelyn Rowe makes a mistake to stop the danger.
CCL fever: For any complaints that anyone may have about the Sounders’ slow start or poor record for starting the MLS season, they are definitely burning up the Champions League. While they have gone 2-2-1 with a goal difference of 0 in MLS games – although it is worth noting that both losses came in the two initial games – Seattle have not yet lost a game in CCL games, which has surpassed their opponents 13- 3 while going 3-0-3. They have done so while rotating players in and out of the ranks for various reasons and getting great performances from everyone on the list. This is a team built for great things, for writing history, and as they now advance to the CCL Finals, there is an opportunity for them to do just that. To make it even sweeter, if the Sounders become the first MLS team to win the CCL, they will get to do it at home in front of their own fans, in front of you and me.
Stefan Frei is still elite: Stefan Frei has been criminally underestimated and underestimated by almost everyone outside the Greater Seattle Metro area. He has been, by almost any standard you want to judge goalkeepers, one of if not the best goalie in MLS for years. He also passes the eye test, often making saves at highlights and just ruining the lives of MLS strikers. He is like the commercial with Dikembe Mutombo that just pops out of nowhere to crush the hope of big and small attackers. He rightly won the MLS Cup Final MVP in 2016, but has received some love when it comes to Goalkeeper of the Year. Having lost time to injury in 2021, there were understandably enough questions about how he would fare in his return, but if tonight’s performance was any indication, concerns about Stefan Frei’s decline were very exaggerated. This may be the year when Frei finally gets the honor he deserves.
Giving and receiving Concacaf oath: The Sounders were not necessarily the best team on the field in this one. It was still not the 80-90% control Ronny Deila claimed his team achieved in the first game, but NYCFC definitely seemed to have the better game in this one. It did not matter. NYCFC not only needed to be better, they had to overcome a two-goal deficit (and for a while a three-goal deficit), and they had to force the Sounders to make mistakes to get there. They tried to annoy and incite Seattle to make these mistakes, tried to “Concacaf” their way to the final, but they chose the wrong path. The Sounders were equal to the physical, able to bring a bit of their own, and even though they did not take any nerd from the NYCFC, they also refused to lose their heads. Instead, the Sounders responded to every attempt to kick or grab or generally calm Seattle by enjoying their throws, thoroughly exploring the possibilities for goal kicks and set pieces, and taking every opportunity to stretch a cramp or wait to be checked for injury by any serious contact . Theirs was the path of the magazine; their was the way to victory.
This goal was good to the last drop.
Brian Schmetzer: “The culture of the club is to win. Every match, every trophy, every competition, we take all the matches seriously. We do not buy the excuse, where if you have committed to a tournament, you can not continue to do so good in the other. We do not buy that. “
– Charles Boehm (@cboehm) April 14, 2022
57 – The Sounders won 57 duels for NYCFC’s 46.