The Sounders only had one thought in mind — stop the Union from scoring. To that end, they gave up space in midfield but looked to press Philly’s fullbacks when they moved high up the pitch. The tactic provided good defensive structure as long as Seattle’s wingbacks were not caught out of position.
In those moments, the Union became dangerous and Jim Curtin had his team pressing hard as they looked to create turnovers and attack with speed.
In the sixth minute, Sergio Santos chased Stefan Frei and helped Ale Bedoya create a turnover up the right flank. Bedoya’s quick pass back into Santos was miscontrolled in space and a good chance was left wanting.
Meanwhile, the Sounders looked to big veteran Will Bruin with longer balls over the top as they played exclusively on the counterattack; when the first half ended, the visitors only had 33% of the possession.
Before the 10 minute mark, Philly had another huge chance when Kai Wagner’s low cross deflected to Brenden Aaronson near the penalty spot, Scrambling bodies blocked the homegrown’s shot, however, and the score remained even.
Six minutes later, Aaronson turned provider and hit Kacper Przybylko in the center, but the striker rippled the outside netting of the near post with his shot.
Seattle couldn’t control the Union’s teenager, and in the 18th minute, Aaronson ripped off a screamer that Frei stretched to push wide.
Sergio Santos lifted a right-footed effort well over the goal and Seattle finally made Andre Blake work with a soft shot on goal before the half ended.
Aaronson continued to assert himself in the second from with a speedy curler from outside the box in the 49th minute.
Jamiro Monteiro then threatened Frei with a drilled bouncer that the goalie spilled in front of Przybylko, only to fall on it before the striker could slip in to finish.
Ilsinho entered the match in the 57th minute and promptly spent the length of a TV sitcom unraveling Nouhou Tolo’s confidence. The Brazilian’s move started a play that ended with Medunjanin finding Przybylko at the back post, but Frei somehow made the initial save on a close-range header and corralled the rebound.
Ale Bedoya found his way into the box in the 63rd minute off a feed from Monteiro, but once again Seattle closed ranks in front of goal and caused enough disruption to prevent the captain from striking his shot. Ilsinho was in attack mode again a few minutes later and found Aaronson alone in the box but the attacker leaned back and skied his finish.
Off a free kick on the far right, Medunjanin forced a tip-save from Frei that nicked the crossbar on its way out. It simply wasn’t the Union’s night as they poured on pressure but could not find the finish that would have brought three points.
Second place Seattle came to town looking for a point and they got it, but the Union showed once again that they are one of the best teams in the league with a dominant performance at home.
Portland is the next squad to tiptoe into Union territory as they come to Talen Energy Stadium on May 25 at 7:30 pm. ET.
Tickets are available here.