Even though it was the home side that got out to the faster start on Sunday night, the Seattle Sounders found their second away win of the season at Camping World Stadium.
The Sounders picked up their first victory since head coach Sigi Schmid’s exit, defeating Orlando City SC, 3-1, behind a Clint Dempsey hat-trick. The loss for Orlando City snaps the team’s 17-match unbeaten streak at home.
Despite their offensive woes over the first half of 2016, the Sounders looked lively throughout the match in the attacking third, particularly sequences run through new Designated Player signing Nicolas Lodeiro.
The U.S. Men’s National Team attacker netted two tap-in scores from close range in the 14th and 37th minutes, giving the Sounders a lead prior to halftime. Tyrone Mears played provider for the away side’s equalizer just before the quarter hour mark, while an unselfish play by Jordan Morris set up Dempsey’s second prior to halftime.
Dempsey completed his hat trick just three minutes into the second half when Morris found his fellow American for the second time on the night.
The Lions held an early advantage after just seven minutes when defender Seb Hines knocked home his third finish of the season. Following a Kaka corner kick, the 28-year-old Englishman timed his run to perfection before heading home the in-swinging cross.
The two sides will return to action next Sunday, as Orlando City travels to Toyota Park to face the Chicago Fire, while the Sounders host Real Salt Lake in a critical Western Conference showdown.
MAN OF THE MATCH
While the distribution into Clint Dempsey was great all night, the U.S. forward still needed to be in the right positions to finish his chances. With the hat-trick, Dempsey is up to six goals on the season, one behind Jordan Morris for the team lead.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Coming into the match, Jordan Morris was one of the few bright spots in the Sounders attack this season, but instead of needing his scoring on Sunday the young American forward played provider on the team’s second goal. Instead of shooting in a one-on-one situation with goalkeeper Joe Bendik, Morris chose to lay the ball off to Dempsey in front of a wide open net.
MATCH TO FORGET
Orlando City’s backline was too porous on the night when it came to defending crosses. All three of Dempsey’s finishes were far too easy, and the Lions will have to improve in that area moving forward.