SEATTLE, WASH. – (club release) Returning to the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field after two road matches across all competitions, Seattle Sounders FC (11-12-2, 35 points) stormed past Orlando City SC (7-11-7, 28 points) by a final score of 4-0 on Sunday afternoon in front of 40,453 Seattle fans and a nationally televised audience on ESPN’s family of networks. Today’s match was the first-ever meeting between the two sides, with Sounders FC’s victory over the MLS expansion club ending a five-match losing streak in league play. With the win, Seattle retains the sixth and final MLS Cup Playoffs position in the Western Conference, with four clubs currently separated by five points or less between third and sixth place. Sunday’s match also marked the club’s 120th consecutive MLS sellout, an active league record for soccer attendance in North America.
Making his first MLS appearance for the Rave Green since June 13 after suffering an adductor injury, Sounders FC forward Obafemi Martins wasted little time returning to his scoring ways, with the Nigerian bagging his team-leading eighth goal of 2015 in the 17th minute of play. With midfielder Erik Friberg initiating the attack, Martins spearheaded the Seattle goal by receiving Friberg’s pass and playing the ball to Lamar Neagle at the edge of the area. Neagle then slotted a through ball to the feet of Martins, who fired a shot past Orlando City netminder Tally Hall to put the home side into an early 1-0 lead.
Martins had a chance to double Sounders FC’s lead in the 30th minute on a penalty kick following a foul to Seattle defender Chad Marshall during a Rave Green corner-kick, but Hall managed to stop the spot-kick. The conclusion of the first half was punctuated by a second yellow card for Lions defender Tyler Turner in the 40th minute, leaving Orlando with a man disadvantage for the remainder of the contest.
Making his Sounders FC and MLS debut today after joining Seattle in the Summer Transfer Window, new Designated Player Nelson Valdez secured the Rave Green’s second goal of the day just after halftime. In the 51st minute of play, Friberg played a short corner-kick to Martins, with the Swede getting the ball back from Martins to play a dangerous cross into Valdez. The Paraguayan rose to meet Friberg’s cross, beating Hall at his far post to record his first Sounders FC goal since joining the club on August 7. He joins Brad Evans, Fredy Montero and Chad Barrett as one of four players in Sounders FC history to score in their Seattle debuts.
match also marked the MLS debut of new addition Román Torres, with the centerback slotting next to reigning MLS Defender of the Year Marshall. Torres – a 29-year-old central defender and captain of the Panamanian National Team – logged 90 minutes in his first match for Sounders FC after being acquired from Colombian side Millionarios on August 12.
Martins securedhis second goal of the afternoon in the 62nd minute, this time with a chip shot to beat Hall and Orlando’s backline, with the Nigerian rushing into City’s area to make the score 3-0. Second-half substitute Thomás earned the assist on Martins’ second goal, and it was the Brazilian winger that added an insurance tally in stoppage time with his first Sounders FC goal to complete the day’s scoring efforts, leaving Seattle with a comprehensive 4-0 victory.
The Rave Green have two matches on the schedule over the next week, beginning with a Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage game against Honduran side CD Olimpia on Wednesday, August 19 at CenturyLink Field (7:00 p.m. PT / FOX Sports, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM). Sigi Schmid’s side then returns to MLS action on Saturday, August 22 at Western Conference rival Real Salt Lake (7:00 p.m. PT / Q13 FOX, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM).
Seattle Sounders FC 4 – Orlando City SC 0
Sunday, August 16, 2015
Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field
Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistants: Frank Anderson, Brian Poeschel
Fourth Official: Baboucarr Jallow
Weather: Sunny and 72 degrees
SEA – Obafemi Martins (Lamar Neagle) 17′
SEA – Nelson Valdez (Erik Friberg) 51′
SEA – Obafemi Martins (Thomás) 62′
SEA – Thomàs (Román Torres) 90’+2′
ORL – Tyler Turner (caution) 23′
ORL – Tyler Turner (ejection) 40′
ORL – Darwin Cerèn (caution) 61′
ORL – Bryan Rochez (caution) 77′
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Chad Marshall, Román Torres, Oniel Fisher; Andy Rose, Brad Evans – captain (Cristian Roldan 81′), Erik Friberg, Lamar Neagle; Nelson Valdez (Thomás 56′), Obafemi Martins (Darwin Jones 66′)
Substitutes not used: Troy Perkins, Gonzalo Pineda, Dylan Remick, Zach Scott
Total shots: 21 (Neagle/Martins, 5)
Shots on goal: 12 (Martins, 4)
Fouls: 14 (5 players tied at 2)
Offside: 3 (Valdez, 2)
Corner-kicks: 8 (Friberg, 7)
Orlando City SC – Tally Hall; Tyler Turner, David Mateos, Aurelièn Collin, Luke Boden; Darwin Cerèn (Pedro Ribeiro 85′), Servando Carrasco, Cristian Higuita, Adrian Winter; Cyle Larin (Bryan Rochez 67′), Kaká – captain (Lewis Neal 70′)
Substitutes not used: Earl Edwards Jr., Corey Ashe, Tommy Redding, Carlos Rivas
Total shots: 5 (Cerèn, 2)
Shots on goal: None
Fouls: 14 (Turner, 4)
Offside: 1 (Collin, 1)
Corner-kicks: 1 (Boden, 1)
Saves: 8 (Hall, 8)
- Sounders FC is now 11-12-2 in the 2015 MLS regular season, including 8-4-1 record at home. With 35 points, the Rave Green remain in sixth place in the Western Conference, holding the final MLS Cup Playoffs position in the Western Conference.
- Today’s result leaves Sounders FC with a 3-1-2 record in first encounters against expansion sides. In May, Seattle beat New York City FC 3-1 at Yankee Stadium.
- Today’s match marked the MLS debut for Designated Player Nelson Valdez at forward and Román Torres at centerback. Valdez played 56 minutes, including a goal in the 51st minute. He joins Brad Evans, Fredy Montero and Chad Barrett as the four players in Sounders FC history to score in their team debuts. Torres played 90 minutes today on the backline.
- Obafemi Martins scored two goals in his first league appearance since June 13. Over his past 115 minutes of action, Martins has scored three goals and recorded two assists. Sounders FC is 8-3-0 when Martins starts in 2015 and 6-1-0 when he scores a goal. Since Martins joined Sounders FC in 2013, the Rave Green is 25-1-0 when the Nigerian forward nets a scoring tally.
- Thomás scored his first MLS goal and recorded his first MLS assist in 34 minutes of action today in a reserve role.
- Sounders FC is now 7-0-0 when leading at halftime this season – the best record in MLS. No other club has won each match when leading at the break.
- Sounders FC matched a team-high with a four-goal margin of victory. The feat has happened six previous times in club history, with the last occasion taking place in May of 2014 against Real Salt Lake. Seattle also recorded 12 shots on goal, which is the second-most in a single match in club history.