Lodeiro, Eikrem help Sounders end drought, beat DC, 2-1
SEATTLE (AP) Nicolas Lodeiro had a rough week. Yet he was feeling at least a little better about it by helping the Seattle Sounders end a rough stretch.
Lodeiro halted a 362-minute Seattle scoreless drought in the 57th minute, and Magnus Wolff Eikrem headed in the winner in the 83rd on Saturday night as the Sounders rallied to beat D.C. United 2-1.
Seattle (3-7-2) had not scored since Handwalla Bwana’s tally in the 54th minute of a 2-1 win at Toronto on May 9. Since then, the Sounders were blanked by Portland and twice by Real Salt Lake.
The 362 minutes tied a club record for longest dry spell between goals, originally set over the course of six games from July 11-Aug, 9, 2015.
Lodeiro hadn’t been on the field with the Sounders since a 1-0 loss at Los Angeles FC on April 29, as he spent May in Uruguay hoping to win a spot on his home country’s World Cup team. But earlier this week, he was told he didn’t make the final 23-man squad, and embarked on the long journey back to Seattle, arriving Friday.
”Obviously, my colleagues would have preferred for me to be in the World Cup,” Lodeiro said. ”It’s hard to forget what happened, and I’m sad. But the important part is to help the team win and help the team get three points.”
Lodeiro’s shot from the top of the penalty-area restraining arc tied the game just four minutes after Darren Mattocks had put D.C. in front.
Kelvin Leerdam’s throw-in from deep down the right touch line helped set Lodero’s chance. The ball was headed out, and it landed at directly in front of Lodeiro. His hard shot zipped past D.C. goalkeeper David Oustad into the back right corner.
”For the team to respond like it did it a statement not only to Nico’s brilliant left foot, but his commitment to help the team progress,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said. ”It was a combination of him wanting to help the team win, putting himself in a good spot, and actually delivering and finishing the play.”
Cristian Roldan set up Eikrem’s first of the year and the game winner. He crossed a target ball into the box from the right side. Eikrem met it at the penalty spot and headed it past Oustad, who was playing his 150th MLS game.
”It’s always a great feeling scoring, and winning was massive for us,” Eikrem said of his first MLS goal. ”Hopefully, we can build some momentum on it. … Now, we have to keep going. It was just one game, and we need many more wins.”
The goal by Mattocks in the 53rd minute was his sixth the season for D.C. (2-6-3). Paul Arriola’s header was slapped away in the goalmouth by Seattle keeper Stefan Frei. But Mattocks ran onto the ensuing loose ball inside the 6-yard box and drilled it in around Seattle defender Kim Kee-hee.
”I was disappointed, but there was a lot of good,” United coach Ben Olsen said. ”On the day, we were just a little bit short with some of the quality, the passing, the execution. There were a bunch of areas around the field where we were just a tad off.
”I think it was a game we could’ve won or certain get something out of it,” Olsen added. ”Our mentality wasn’t good enough to get something out of that game, and that’s something we have to be better with.”
It was the first time this season the Sounders won after conceding the first goal. They had been 0-7-1 in such games.
Seattle now has an eight-game unbeaten streak against D.C. (7-0-1) dating back to 2011.