Ruidiaz Scores Worldie in Comeback Win

by Michael Martinez
Sounders Celebrate after a Ruidiaz goal

On Sunday, the Sounders started their five-game home stretch with a fantastic come-from-behind victory over league newcomers Charlotte FC. Charlotte grabbed an early lead, scoring off a set-piece, and looked to be on their way to their first-ever road win. But, thanks to a Jordan Morris goal in the 71st minute, followed by an unreal goal from Raúl Ruidiaz, the Sounders secured all three points. 

They have now moved within two points of the playoff line with two games in hand.


Seattle Sounders: 4-2-3-1

Charlotte FC: 4-1-4-1

Match Report

The Sounders started the match with an important message that was 1000% necessary and crucial for the future of this country.

The Sounders seemed destined to be left ruing missed chances for much of the night, having created plenty of opportunities but lacking the finishing touch. Ultimately it was Charlotte that opened the scoring in the 21st minute. Albert Rusnák committed a foul on the edge of Seattle’s penalty area, and Jordy Alcívar stepped up to take the free kick. His shot went around the wall and came off the post. The young Ben Bender was first to the rebound and put the visitors in front. 

Seattle continued to push but found no luck came in the first half.

In the opening stages of the second half, it even looked like Charlotte might be most likely to get the next goal. Although, everything shifted in the 71st minute.

Alex Roldán got the ball on the right-wing and cut it back to his left before sending in a beautiful weak-footed cross that found Jordan Morris unmarked in the box. Morris headed the ball in the back of the net, making it even at 1-1. From there, the search for a winner was on.

Seattle kept probing, and in the 80th minute, Raúl Ruidiaz took it into his own hands. Nico Lodeiro found Ruidíaz with a tricky free-kick from the right edge of the penalty area, and the Charlotte defense blocked Ruidiaz’s initial shot. But, after the initial block, he wheeled to the top of the box and sent an arcing blast to the top corner for the winner. 

While the Sounders had to fight back from a frustrating deficit, three points still count the same at the end of the season.

Post Match Thoughts

Ruidiaz after scoring the winning goal

Image via Seattle Sounders FC

Jordan Morris’ return to glory

It’s fair to say that so far in 2022, Morris has not quite looked like himself. Or at least he hasn’t quite looked like himself at his peak. He’s shown flashes, burning players down the wings, or putting in an instinctual finish or pass here and there, but he hasn’t put it all together since his return from the ACL injury.

Despite that, he’s put together six goals and one assist in 18 total appearances this season. He’s averaging about .40 goals per 90, which isn’t exactly elite, but it’s better than his career average, and it’s exciting to think of how much better he could be down the stretch.

Yeimar is our rock

Yeimar’s absence during the early stages of the season may prove to be a blessing down the road, as it provided Jackson Ragen with valuable experience. Ragen was impressed during his run with the first team and certainly earned himself further opportunities, but against Charlotte, Yeimar reminded all of us why that starting spot is his until someone takes it from him.

He put in a Man of the Match quality performance, winning 6 of 7 duels — 5 of 5 on the ground — 2 of 2 tackles attempted, and adding eight interceptions and recoveries. He was everywhere, closing down attacks and more than ably contributing with the ball at his feet.

Raul Ruidiaz in form

After last night, Raul has now scored three goals in the previous four league matches. The man is on FIRE. In addition, in those games he scored, the Sounders have won. This good run of form started from the CCL final after scoring himself a brace on that glorious night.

Ruidiaz got off to a slow start thanks to an injury at the beginning of the season, but he is back to his usual self. On the wrong side of 30, most pundits and writers would write him off. If anything, he has found his footing even more than before. If Raul can keep this form, he can easily catch up with the rest of the top scorers in the league. Let’s hope he wants to stay in Seattle for the rest of his career. In my eyes, he’s already a legend. I’m sure most Sounders fans would agree with me as well.

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