SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

Sounders keep playoff hopes alive with 1-0 win over Chicago

Sep 28, 2016, 9:48 PM | Updated: Sep 29, 2016, 9:12 am

Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer seemed to be sticking with the “if-it-ain’t-broke, don’t-fix-it” strategy with his lineup for Wednesday’s home match against the Chicago Fire, which was completely unchanged from Sunday’s 4-2 win in Los Angeles. Injuries to Brad Evans and Erik Friberg limited Schmetzer’s rotation options, considering that this one was a must-win if the Sounders hope to continue their late playoff push. Chicago, which currently sits on the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, brought all of its weapons to Seattle in an attempt to get its second road win of the 2016 season, but the home side got a goal from Chad Marshall and held on for a tight 1-0 win, getting an extremely vital three points.

Match stats

As expected, Chicago didn’t exactly come flying off the block to start the match, choosing instead to sit deep and try to ping Seattle on the counter. The Sounders tried to play their brand of possession-based soccer and work the ball into dangerous areas, but they were unable to create anything of note in the opening minutes.

Chicago had a couple of dangerous moves into the final third, but they were all sufficiently snuffed out before they came to anything. Another dangerous long ball by Chicago almost gave David Accam a golden opportunity if it weren’t for an excellent tackle by Roman Torres.

The Sounders finally found the net in the 24th minute, when Marshall headed it in from an Andreas Ivanschitz corner kick. Jordan Morris was almost through on goal immediately afterwards, but Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson snuffed out the attack well. Johnson came up big again for Chicago when he blocked Morris’ shot after the forward was through on goal.

The second half took a few minutes to get going, with Chicago nearly finding some chances early, the best of which came from Accam, who would have been through on Stefen Frei’s goal were it not for a big Marshall sliding tackle.

The Sounders came much closer with some of their chances, including a one-on-one for Morris after Ivanschitz brilliantly back-heel flicked a throw-in into space for the forward.

While it wasn’t immediately detrimental to the Sounders, Nicolas Lodeiro was given a yellow card halfway through the half for blocking a quick Chicago free kick. This means that he’ll miss Sunday’s match in Vancouver due to yellow-card accumulation.

Nelson Valdez had a few opportunities after coming on as a substitute, but he was unable to make the most of any of them.

Frei had his most notable save of the game in injury time, when he tipped away a shot after the ball bounced around in his box.

Man of the match: Marshall, who was solid on defense all night and scored the only goal of the match to preserve the win for Seattle.

One reason to worry: Being without Lodeiro in Vancouver is going to be a huge blow as he’s been the most important player in the Sounders’ revolution under Schmetzer.

One reason to relax: Thanks to the win in Los Angeles and Wednesday’s result, getting a win in Vancouver isn’t as crucial as it could have been. Getting a point or three there would be important, of course, but a loss is not the end of the world for the Sounders if they’re able to win the rest of their home matches.

Spenser Davis also covers the Sounders for Sounder at Heart.

Seattle Sounders FC

Sounders Fredy Montero...
The Associated Press

Fredy Montero helps Sounders draw with FC Cincinnati 1-1

Fredy Montero equalized for Seattle in the second half of a 1-1 draw on Tuesday night that kept the Sounders' slim playoff hopes alive.
3 days ago
Sounders Whitecaps...
SeattleSports.com Staff

Sounders’ playoff chances take a hit with 2-1 loss in Vancouver

The Vancouver Whitecaps downed the Seattle Sounders 2-1 in MLS play on Saturday night thanks to a pair of goals in the first half.
13 days ago
Sounders...
The Associated Press

Ruidiaz scores 2 goals as Seattle Sounders defeat Austin

Raul Ruidiaz scored two goals and the Seattle Sounders beat Austin 3-0 on Saturday night. Both of Ruidiaz's goals were in the first half.
20 days ago
PORTLAND, OREGON - MAY 09: Fredy Montero #12 of Seattle Sounders reacts in the second half against ...
The Associated Press

Montero, Nouhou score, Sounders beat Dynamo 2-1 to stop skid

Fredy Montero scored the deciding goal in a 2-1 win for the Sounders over Houston as Seattle ended a five-game winless streak.
26 days ago
REUNION, FLORIDA - JULY 25: Kyle Smith #24 of Orlando City carries the ball during a match against ...
The Associated Press

Smith’s goal in stoppage time lifts Orlando City over Sounders 3-2

Kyle Smith scored in the first minute of second-half stoppage time and Orlando City beat the Seattle Sounders 3-2 on Wednesday night.
30 days ago
Seattle Sounders...
The Associated Press

Portland Timbers down Seattle Sounders 2-1 to win Cascadia Cup

Sebastian Blanco scored the go-ahead goal and the Portland Timbers won the Cascadia Cup with a 2-1 win over the Seattle Sounders.
1 month ago
Sounders keep playoff hopes alive with 1-0 win over Chicago