The victory briefly sent the Sounders above the Western Conference playoff line, although they finished the evening a point below but with a match in hand on the Portland Timbers above them. Saturday was as massive a win as the Sounders have needed all year, and when the urgency mounted, the team responded.
“It showed the character of our team,” said Cristian Roldan. “It displays our character and what we stand for, which is playing as a team and grinding games out…When things don’t go your way, you have to bounce back, and we saw that today from all 11 guys and especially when we were at 10 guys.”
Added Schmetzer: “What I told them was they’ve been in so many pressured-filled games already this year…They weren’t afraid. The game wasn’t too big for them.”
Saturday’s win should hopefully buoy the Sounders as they prepare for a Friday night showdown in Los Angeles against Supporters’ Shield-leading LAFC (8:15 pm PT; FS1, FOX Deportes, 93.3 KJR FM, El Rey 1360AM). The Black and Gold sport some flashy new additions in Italian legend Giorgio Chiellini and Wales captain Gareth Bale, but Seattle won’t be fazed heading into an environment where it has had some previous success in big matches.
“We have a great team,” said Jimmy Medranda, who set up Morris’ opening goal. “We have confidence in all the players. We know that if we play our game, we can get goals and results.”