Seattle Sounders FC Clinches 10th Consecutive Postseason Berth with 2-1 Win in Orlando, Equalling MLS Record
Seattle Sounders FC celebrate against Orlando
(Seattle Sounders FC, Credit: Jeremy Reper / Sounders FC)
ORLANDO, FLA. - First-half goals from VÃctor RodrÃguez and Handwalla Bwana ensured a critical road victory for their side, as Seattle Sounders FC (16-11-5, 53 points) earned a 2-1 win over Orlando City SC (7-20-4, 25 points) in a midweek contest in Central Florida. With tonight's victory, Seattle clinches its 10th straight trip to the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. Only the LA Galaxy had previously accomplished this feat in MLS history, capturing 10 straight postseason advancements from 1996 through 2005. Seattle owns the current active postseason qualification streak, with its 10 concurrent advancements since 2009 besting the New York Red Bulls' current run (nine straight postseasons, including clinching a berth already this season). Wednesday's win moves Seattle up to fourth place in the Western Conference. With two matches to play in the regular season, Seattle is now just three points behind second-place Sporting Kansas City and third-place Los Angeles FC.
Of note, all Sounders FC players wore black armbands tonight in honor of Sounders FC Owner Paul Allen, who passed away earlier this week. The club issued a statement of support on Monday following the news.
Other than the absence of NicolÃ¡s Lodeiro due to international duty, tonight's starting lineup mirrored the first XI from the club's last outing against Houston on August 8, with Bwana stepping in for the Uruguayan in attack. RodrÃguez slid over from the left wing into attacking midfield, while Bwana started on the left side opposite Cristian Roldan on the right flank. It was RodrÃguez that got Seattle off the blocks early, converting a sensational attempt off a volley in the third minute, with fullback Kelvin Leerdam providing a deft ball over the top. The strike was RodrÃguez's fourth goal in three matches, marking his eighth tally in all competitions since joining the Rave Green in the summer of 2017.
Tonight marked Bwana's sixth career start in his rookie campaign, his first nod in Brian Schmetzer's lineup since May 26. The University of Washington product and Sounders FC Homegrown Player did not waste his opportunity, firing a shot from the edge of the area in the 13th minute to beat Orlando goalkeeper Adam Grinwis at his near post. Once again, RodrÃguez was involved with the attack, providing an assist on the play, good for his fourth helper of 2018.
Dom Dwyer pulled one back for the home side in the 57th minute, converting a Scott Sutter cross from the right flank, moving the scoreline to 2-1. For Orlando, the goal was the club's first since a 2-2 draw with Philadelphia on September 13. The goal was Dwyer's 13th strike of 2018.
Next up, Seattle faces the Dynamo in Houston for the second and final time in 2018 on Sunday, October 21 at BBVA Compass Stadium. The penultimate match of the regular season, kickoff is slated for 2:00 p.m. PT in Texas, with JOEtv, Univision-Seattle and YouTube TV carrying the match throughout Western Washington. Additionally, Sports Radio 950 KJR AM and El Rey 1360 AM are set to provide local radio coverage.
With tonight's victory, Seattle clinches its 10th straight trip to the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. Only the LA Galaxy had previously accomplished this feat in MLS history, capturing 10 straight postseason advancements from 1996 through 2005. Seattle owns the current active postseason qualification streak, with its 10 advancements since the club's inaugural MLS season in 2009 besting the New York Red Bulls (nine straight postseasons, including clinching a berth in 2018).
Sounders FC is now 16-11-5 on the season, moving up to fourth place in the Western Conference courtesy of tonight's win in Orlando. Seattle is now just three points behind second-place Sporting Kansas City and third-place Los Angeles FC.
Dating back to the club's loss to Sacramento Republic FC in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on June 6, Sounders FC has accumulated a 14-4-3 record in MLS action.
With tonight's result, Seattle remains unbeaten against Orlando City SC with an overall record of 3-0-1. Tonight marked the club's first visit to Orlando City Stadium, having played just one road match previously in Central Florida, a 3-1 victory at the Citrus Bowl on August 7, 2016.
VÃctor RodrÃguez recorded another goal to open tonight's scoring, and he now has four goals in his last three games. In total, the Spaniard has eight goals and seven assists in 28 appearances (including postseason play) since signing with Seattle last summer.
Tonight marked Handwalla Bwana's sixth career start in his rookie campaign, his first nod in Brian Schmetzer's lineup since May 26. The University of Washington product and Sounders FC Homegrown Player did not waste his opportunity, firing a shot from the edge of the area in the 13th minute to beat Orlando goalkeeper Adam Grinwis at his near post. The strike marked his first MLS goal since a 2-1 win at Toronto FC on May 9.
Due to two yellow cards picked up on international duty with Martinique on October 13 against Puerto Rico, Jordy Delem continued his role in central midfield alongside Ozzie Alonso. Delem's two cautions ruled him out of Martinique's second CONCACAF Nations League match vs. the British Virgin Islands on October 16, paving the way for his return to the Rave Green. Delem has started and played the full 90 in each of Sounders FC's last two matches. He last played 90 minutes in consecutive games on July 7 at New England and July 15 at Atlanta.
Both NicolÃ¡s Lodeiro and Gustav Svensson are expected to meet their teammates ahead of the club's next match in Houston. Lodeiro is currently returning to Seattle from Asia, where Uruguay faced both South Korea and Japan. Meanwhile, Svensson is doing the same after joining Sweden for UEFA Nations League matches versus Russia and Slovakia.
After starting against the United States Men's National Team last night in Connecticut for Peru, forward RaÃºl RuidÃaz was on the bench as an unused substitute this evening after meeting his teammates earlier today in Orlando. MATCH SUMMARY
Seattle Sounders FC 2 - Orlando City SC 1
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Venue: Orlando City Stadium
Referee: Mark Geiger
Assistants: Brian Poeschel, Jose Da Silva
Fourth Official: Rubiel Vazquez
VAR: Chris Penso
Weather: 82 degrees and clear
SEA - VÃctor RodrÃguez (Kelvin Leerdam) 3'
SEA - Handwalla Bwana (VÃctor RodrÃguez) 13'
ORL - Dominic Dwyer (Scott Sutter, Chris Mueller) 57'
SEA - Jordy Delem (caution) 78'
ORL - Carlos Ascues (caution) 90'+2'
SEA - Alex Roldan (caution) 90'+5'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam (Waylon Francis 76'), Kim Kee-hee, Chad Marshall, Nouhou; Jordy Delem, Osvaldo Alonso - captain, Cristian Roldan, VÃctor RodrÃguez, Handwalla Bwana (Alex Roldan 61'); Will Bruin (Jordan McCrary 90')
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Tony Alfaro, RaÃºl RuidÃaz, Henry Wingo
Total shots: 9 (RodrÃguez, 3)
Shots on goal: 3 (RodrÃguez, 2)
Fouls: 8 (Three players, 2)
Offside: 3 (C. Roldan, 2)
Corner-kicks: 3 (RodrÃguez, 3)
Saves: 2 (Frei, 2)
Orlando City SC - Adam Grinwis; Scott Sutter, Shane O'Neill, Lamine Sane, Will Johnson; Carlos Ascues, Oriol Rosell, Cristian Higuita (Josue Colman 58'), Sacha Kljestan, Chris Mueller (Richie Laryea 74'); Dominic Dwyer
Substitutes not used: Joe Bendik, Chris Schuler, Donny Toia, Tony Rocha, Cameron Lindley
Total shots: 15 (Dwyer, 5)
Shots on goal: 3 (Dwyer, 2)
Fouls: 9 (Dwyer, 3)
Offside: 2 (Mueller/Dwyer, 1)
Corner-kicks: 6 (Johnson, 6)
Saves: 1 (Grinwis, 1)
Images from this story
Seattle Sounders FC celebrate against Orlando
(Jeremy Reper / Sounders FC)
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