MLS Focus: Another August run puts Seattle Sounders back in race

If it's August, it must be time for the Seattle Sounders to get on a roll.

For the third straight year, the Sounders have begun August with three straight wins.

In 2016, the three wins started a turnaround under new coach Brian Schmetzer that ended up with the Sounders, ninth in the Western Conference at the beginning of the month, winning their first MLS Cup.

In 2017, the three wins came in the middle of a 13-game unbeaten streak that pushed the Sounders to near the top of the Western Conference. After finishing second in the regular season, they won the conference postseason title but fell in MLS Cup to Toronto FC.

Saturday's 5-0 win over the LA Galaxy gave Seattle six straight wins and extended its unbeaten streak to nine games, putting it above the .500 mark for the first time in 2018.

The victory also moved the Sounders ahead of Vancouver into seventh place and to within two points of the Galaxy and slumping Portland, both tied for fifth place.

With the depleted Galaxy missing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and all its Designated Players, the game had the makings of a mismatch, and Sounders needed only three minutes to go ahead on a goal by Chad Marshall.

The Sounders also got goals from Harry Shipp, Cristian Roldan and Peruvian newcomer Raul Ruidiaz and an own goal from Galaxy midfielder Servando Carrasco en route to the biggest win in their MLS history.

The key to the Sounders' run has been Nicolas Lodeiro, who assisted on the goals by Marshall and Roldan and played the ball that Carrasco hit into the Galaxy goal. Lodeiro, who missed out of returning to the World Cup with Uruguay for a third time, has six goals and seven assists in the last two months.

“Nico’s engine in that No. 10 position is actually not just good in the attacking side of things," said Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer, "but also good defensively because he covers so much ground he can close guys down. He makes it challenging for teams to create any sort of extended possession.”
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