December 4, 2021

MLS: Seattle through, Nashville spring upset

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Reigning MLS Cup champions Seattle Sounders swept aside LAFC 3-1 to reach the Western Conference play-off semi-finals.

On a night of upsets elsewhere, the Sounders outclassed their opponents for a second straight season at this stage, thanks to goals from Nico Lodeiro, Raul Ruidiaz and Jordan Morris.

The holders will face FC Dallas, who ousted Portland Timbers on penalties.

They raced in front in the 18th minute when Morris ran onto a cross-field pass from Ruidiaz and afforded Lodeiro a first-time shot past rooted goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega.

Carlos Vela had a chance for an immediate response when he was tripped by Nouhou but the former Arsenal man fired straight at Stefan Frei.

A Sounders second was proving elusive as Morris and Lodeiro hit the woodwork in quick succession but Ruidiaz finally doubled their advantage in the 66th minute, converting a ball that fell loose from a Lodeiro corner for his eighth goal in seven play-off games.

Eduard Atuesat gave LAFC a 77th-minute lifeline but Morris settled the game three minutes later.

Jordan Morris (13) celebrates with Raul Ruidiaz (9) after scoring for Seattle Sounders against Los Angeles FC Pic: MLSSoccer / USA Today
Image: Jordan Morris (13) celebrates with Raul Ruidiaz (9) after scoring for Seattle Sounders against Los Angeles FC Pic: MLSSoccer / USA Today

Upsets elsewhere as Nashville, New England advance

Daniel Ros scored in the 108th minute as expansion side Nashville beat Toronto FC 1-0 to reach Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference play-off semi-finals.

Ros struck on the rebound after Hany Mukhtar’s shot was parried and Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis made a double close-range save at the death to ensure his side booked a date with Columbus Crew.

Toronto had been the first MLS team to seal a play-off spot this season but the heavyweights lost four of their last five games and fledgling side Nashville are now a step closer to a fairytale run to the MLS Cup.

Elsewhere, New England Revolution sprung their own shock by beating Supporters’ Shield winners Philadelphia Union 2-0.

Adam Buksa (26) and Tajon Buchanan (30) scored quickfire goals in the first half – both of which were assisted by Carles Gil, who saw a second-half chip his the crossbar.

New England’s reward for their first win over the Union since 2017 is a meeting with Orlando.