Seattle beats Sporting, 3-0

Coming off back-to-back wins and playing the team’s third match in seven days, Sporting Kansas City (4-10-4, 16 points) suffered a 3-0 setback at the Seattle Sounders FC (7-6-2, 23 points) on Saturday afternoon at Lumen Field in Seattle.

The Sounders opened the scoring in the eighth minute as Will Bruin headed home a cross from Cristian Roldan at the top of the six-yard box.

Bruin, a three-time Missouri State High School Soccer Coaches Association Player of the Year, now has 76 career regular season goals while Roldan recorded his 76th career regular season goal contribution for Seattle (30 goals, 36 assists).

After conceding the earliest goal scored by an opponent in the team’s MLS campaign, Sporting came close to leveling the score in the 34th minute. Khiry Shelton, on the eve of his 29th birthday, acrobatically got on the end of a floated pass from Johnny Russell only to see his volley strike the post and the offside flag go up from assistant referee Jeff Hosking.

The first half – which saw Sporting KC make 34 entries into the final third, more than double the 16 credited to the hosts — came to a close with the Sounders nearly doubling their lead. USMNT teammates Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan combined down the left channel to spring Roldan inside the penalty area but Tim Melia raced off his line with a superb stop to turn away the left-footed effort.

The second half started with Sporting Kansas City’s best scoring opportunity of the afternoon as left back Logan Ndenbe played a well-weighted pass into the path of Cam Duke. The 21-year-old Sporting KC Academy product worked his way past two Seattle defenders and went for goal, narrowly sending his shot wide of the far post from a tight angle along the endline.

Melia produced his second save in the mid-day matinee in the 52nd minute, diving low to his left to corral an attempt from Morris. On the opposite end, Frei was called into action for the first time in the 65th minute as Russell was unmarked on a Felipe Hernandez corner kick however his header bounced straight into the arms of Frei.

Seattle stretched its advantage to 3-0 with a pair of goals in a five-minute span. The home side pounced in the 71st minute with a goal that came in strikingly similar fashion as their first with Morris directing a header into the back of the net from the top of the six-yard box on a pinpoint service from Nouhou. In short succession, Cristian Roldan tapped in the Sounders’ third in the 76th minute to seal all three points on an assist from Morris.

The Sounders continued to threaten a Sporting Kansas City defense that has conceded a league-worst 24 road goals this season and nearly put the exclamation point on the performance in the 80th minute if not for Melia making a series of three saves in a matter of seconds to deny Morris, Jimmy Medranda and Fredy Montero.

Sporting Kansas City will return home to play host to the New York Red Bulls at 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 3, for the club’s annual Americana theme night featuring post-match fireworks. Tickets are available on SeatGeek as Sporting KC plays the 200th MLS match at Children’s Mercy Park on a night in which Peter Vermes will coach his 500th game for the club in all competitions.

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