Seattle Sounders 4, Orlando City SC 0 | MLS Match Recap
SEATTLE – Obafemi Martins scored twice in his first game back after a lengthy injury absence, Nelson Valdez added another in his team debut and the Seattle Sounders broke out of their recent offensive funk in a big way, cruising to a 4-0 blowout of Orlando City SC on Sunday afternoon at CenturyLink Field.
Midfielder Thomas scored just before the final whistle to top off the result for Seattle, giving the Sounders their second convincing victory over an expansion franchise this season, the other being a 3-1 takedown of New York City FC on May 3.
There were plenty of new faces on the field for both sides – Wednesday signing Roman Torres debuted along with Valdez, slotting into the middle of the backline and pushing Brad Evans to midfield, while summer acquisition David Mateos made his debut for Orlando and Adrian Winter got his first Lions start.
Martins, out since June with a strained adductor, wasted no time making his presence felt, giving the Sounders a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute after a give and go with Lamar Neagle left him all alone against Orlando City goalkeeper Tally Hall. The star forward rifled his attempt past Hall for his eighth goal of the season, taking over the team lead from Clint Dempsey and giving the Sounders the early advantage.
Seattle looked primed to double the lead in the 30th minute after Mateos brought down Chad Marshall in his own penalty box, drawing a penalty kick call from referee Kevin Stott. But Hall laid out for a big save to deny Martins’ attempt from the spot, keeping Orlando trailing by the single goal.
But Orlando City were dealt a big blow just minutes later, when Stott issued defender Tyler Turner his second yellow card for a foul on Neagle, leaving the Lions shorthanded for the duration of the match. The Sounders would capitalize shortly after second-half kickoff, when Valdez sent a header of an Erik Friberg cross screaming past Hall, giving Seattle the 2-0 lead.
Martins added his second of the day in the 62nd minute after a fortuitous deflection off of Thomas left him with another opportunity against Hall. Martins chipped the ball over the Orlando ‘keeper before running it down and putting the ball into the net, giving the Sounders a 3-0 lead.
Thomas notched Seattle’s fourth of the day in second-half stoppage time, his first in Rave Green after joining the team in June.
Seattle (11-12-2) now have a midweek CONCACAF Champions League matchup with Honduran club Olimpia at home on Wednesday before returning to MLS play on the road next weekend against Real Salt Lake. Orlando City (7-11-7) will look to right the ship as they head north for a Saturday afternoon tilt with Toronto FC on August 22.