The Seattle Sounders have won the Concacaf Champions League.
The Major League Soccer side are the first American team to lift the trophy since the tournament underwent a remodel in 2008.
The Sounders triumphed 3-0 over Pumas UNAM on Wednesday at Lumen Field as goals from Raul Ruidiaz and Nicolas Lodeiro led the MLS side to a revolutionizing victory.
The hosts saw a turbulent start to the game, as midfielder Nouhou Tolo limped off the pitch within the first 10 minutes. Head Coach Brian Schmetzer was then forced to make his second substitution of the half after Joao Paulo was stretchered directly into the locker room with a 26th minute injury.
Despite the initial setbacks, Seattle was determined to make history.
Minutes before halftime, the hosts cemented their offensive edge as Albert Rusnak pushed towards the goal on the left to catch Xavier Arreaga and Raul Ruidiaz inside the box. The defender found the initial cross before making a pressured pass to Ruidiaz, who nervously hurled the ball into the goal.
The shot was derailed by Pumas player Nicolas Freire before reaching the back of the net.
Before Pumas could attempt the equalizer, Ruidiaz extended the lead for the Sounders. Jordan Morris made the initial run on the right to reach Nicolas Lodeiro, enabling the midfielder to find Ruidiaz and inspire the right footed strike into the bottom left corner.
Nicolas Lodeiro finally sealed the victory with an 88th minute strike, burying a left footed shot from the center of the box.
As the final whistle echoed throughout Lumen Field, fans went into a frenzy. The Seattle Sounders completed the impossible feat.
GK: Stefan Frei – 9/10 – Fantastic performance by the goalkeeper, two crucial saves to hold off the goal and keep a clean sheet.
RB: Alex Roldan – 8/10 – Solid defending, and good involvement in the offense. One clear opportunity in the second half that forced Talavera to dive for the save.
CB: Yeimar Gómez Andrade – 7.5/10 – Made the necessary clearances, while keeping the back mostly secure.
CB: Xavier Arreaga – 8/10 – Struggled under pressure in the first half before taking a clear offensive role in the second 45. Solid at the back, and a good support up top.
LB: Nouhou Tolo – N/A – Left the pitch injured in the 9th minute of the match.
RW: Cristian Roldan – 7.5/10 – Decent, but did not act like the offensive force he’s expected to be. Opted for a supportive role instead, aiding on the right but never individually standing out offensively.
CM: João Paulo – 7/10 – Creative inside the final third and active throughout the pitch before being stretched off into the locker room in the 28th minute of the game.
CAM: Nicolás Lodeiro – 9/10 – Great performance. Active throughout the pitch, and an eager take on the attack that led to one assist and one goal.
CM: Albert Rusnák – 9/10 – All around phenomenal effort. Active and present whenever, wherever needed. Kicked off the play that led to the first goal.
LW: Jordan Morris – 8.5/10 – Missing a bit of accuracy in his shots during the first half, but returned to play a supporting role in creating inside Pumas’ half. Played integral role in the third goal.
F: Raúl Ruidíaz – 8.5/10 – His second goal was much better than his first, but overall good performance, not his best. Missing power and precision in the first half, but returned to the pitch with a bit more attention.
SUB: Kelyn Rowe (For Tolo , ’10) – 8/10 – A great substitute, came in unexpectedly and under pressure, and delivered.
SUB: Obed Vargas (For Paulo, ’29)- 7.5/10 – Delivered. Football smart, understands the game well for a 16-year-old.
SUB: Will Bruin (For Ruidiaz, ’91) – N/A –
SUB: Jackson Ragen (For Morris, ’91) – N/A –
SUB: Fredy Montero (For Lodeiro, ’91) – N/A –