SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

Sounders top NYCFC 3-1 in 1st leg of Champions League semis

Apr 6, 2022, 10:01 PM
Sounders NYCFC...
Jordan Morris celebrates a goal with Cristian Roldan and Nicolás Lodeiro on Wednesday night. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) — Albert Rusnák and Jordan Morris scored in the first half, Nicolás Lodeiro converted a penalty kick midway through the second half, and the Seattle Sounders beat New York City FC 3-1 on Wednesday night in the first-leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals.

Sounders 3, NYCFC 1: Summary

The two-game, aggregate-goal series saw the Sounders take a comfortable advantage, but Seattle also allowed a key road goal to NYCFC’s Thiago Andrade in the first half that could serve as a tiebreaker in next week’s second-leg played at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.

Rusnák’s goal came in the 16th minute and was his first since signing with Seattle in the offseason. Morris made it 2-1 later in the first half and Lodeiro’s penalty kick in the 68th minute came after a video review that showed Raúl Ruidíaz being fouled in the penalty area by Thiago Martins.

The matchup between Seattle and NYCFC, the reigning MLS Cup champions, is the first time two MLS teams have faced off in the semifinals of the Champions League. The winner will meet either Pumas or Cruz Azul from LigaMX in the two-game, home-and-home final. Pumas holds a 2-1 lead after the first leg played Tuesday night in Mexico City.

Four MLS teams have previously reached the Champions League final since the current format was adopted in 2008 — Real Salt Lake (2011), CF Montreal (2015), Toronto FC (2018) and LAFC (2020) — but none have come away with the title. Seattle will have the advantage at joining that foursome of MLS teams headed into next week’s second-leg.

The Sounders have vocalized for years their desire to be the first MLS team to win the Champions League and their impressive performances in the knockout stage this season have reinforced that belief. Seattle has outscored its opponents 12-2 through five CCL games this season.

Rusnák’s first goal for Seattle was set up by the combo of Cristian Roldan and Morris. Roldan also assisted on Morris’ goal in the 35th minute, drawing the pass from the end line back to the penalty spot where Morris finished into the upper corner past NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson.

Despite Seattle’s convincing victory, Andrade’s goal was important for NYCFC as a 2-0 win in the second-leg would send the MLS champs through due to the road goals tiebreaker. It was NYCFC’s first semifinal match in the Champions League having never advanced past the quarterfinals previously.

Seattle Sounders FC

Sounders Cristian Roldan...
The Associated Press

Roldan scores in Sounders’ 3-1 win over Minnesota United

Cristian Roldan’s goal proved to be pivotal as the Seattle Sounders picked up a 3-1 win over Minnesota United on Sunday.
3 days ago
Sounders...
The Associated Press

Ferreira scores in 2-0 Dallas win against Seattle Sounders

Jesus Ferreira’s goal proved to be pivotal as Dallas picked up a 2-0 win over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
11 days ago
Sounders CCL...
Brent Stecker

Sounders make history, beat Pumas for CCL championship

Raul Ruidíaz scored twice and Nicolás Lodeiro added another goal as the Sounders beat Pumas 5-2 on aggregate in the CCL final.
14 days ago
Sounders Nicolás Lodeiro...
The Associated Press

Sounders, Pumas play wild 2-2 draw 1st leg of CCL final

Nicolás Lodeiro scored on a a pair of penalty kicks late in the second half, and the Seattle Sounders rallied for a 2-2 draw with Pumas in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final Wednesday night.
21 days ago
Sounders San Jose...
The Associated Press

Espinoza hat trick rallies Earthquakes past Sounders 4-3

The San Jose Earthquakes erased a two-goal deficit to earn their first win of the season with a 4-3 victory over the Seattle Sounders.
25 days ago
Sounders Will Bruin...
The Associated Press

Robinson, Marsman help Inter Miami beat Seattle Sounders 1-0

Robbie Robinson’s goal and Nick Marsman’s four saves led Inter Miami to a 1-0 win Saturday over the Seattle Sounders.
1 month ago
Sounders top NYCFC 3-1 in 1st leg of Champions League semis