It was the comeback the Sounders couldn’t create in December .
Then – at a facility about 5 miles away – the Sounders were embarrassed in a 3-0 loss to the Columbus Crew in a MLS Cup championship match.
The loss prompted the Sounders to change lineup formations.
In a rematch Saturday, the Sounders found themselves down 1-0 in the 77th minute with the environment inside the new Lower.com Field in Columbus, Ohio, rising to a fever pitch.
Unlikely goals from defender Xavier Arreaga and reserve forward Will Bruin helped the visitors depart with a 2-1 win and retribution.
Columbus created its only score off a corner kick in the 77th minute. Crew midfielder Lucas Zelarayán sent the ball in and defender Jonathan Mensah had the first attempt that was blocked.
Bradley Wright-Phillips collected the rebound and whipped it past Sounders keeper Stefan Cleveland.
Arreaga had a similar score on the other end in the 88th minute for the equalizer. He missed the MLS Cup loss because of the birth of his first child.
Sounders forward Bruin had the winner in the 89th minute. On a solid buildup by Seattle, midfielder Jimmy Medranda used a cutback pass to Bruin in the box to set up the attempt. The score was Bruin’s first of the season.
Seattle (12-3-6) finished a grueling three matches in seven days with three straight wins.
Columbus dropped to 6-9-6.
Seattle’s Yeimar Gomez Andrade, Nico Lodeiro and Fredy Montero had shots on target in the opening half. None was able to find the back of the net, the sides heading into the break scoreless.
The Crew played without star Gyasi Zardes. The U.S. men’s national team forward injured his hamstring in the Crew’s 1-0 loss against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday. Miguel Berry, who last made an appearance in July and has one start this season, replaced Zardes.
Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer made expected, wholesale changes to the starting lineup from the one that collected a win in Dallas on Wednesday. The most significant was the return of captain Nico Lodeiro. The Uruguayan hasn’t started since the MLS Cup match due to a knee injury that needed surgery in May.
On the bench was center back Nouhou. The Sounders veteran hasn’t played since May due to international duty and adductor injury.
The Sounders’ next match isn’t until they host the Portland Timbers at Lumen Field on Aug. 29. MLS’s weeklong break is for the All-Star game versus Mexico’s Liga MX stars in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Seattle is sending a record six Sounders players. Midfielder Cristian Roldan was voted captain of the MLS team and forward Raul Ruidiaz will also participate in the skills challenge.
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