Once again, Seattle Sounders FC shot a rather erratic first part of the MLS season. And even though I am against the wall in the Western Conference Semifinal against Portland Timbers, another summer has become the "spearhead" of the Esmeralda team.
In 2016 Uruguayan Nicolás Lodeiro arrived from Boca Juniors to give energy to what would have been the season at the end of the season and ended with the title in the MLS Cup. Now, the Peruvian Raúl Ruídiaz, who came later to have been the best scorer in Liga MX, to be the "killer" that Sounders needed.
The Peruvian national team has scored 11 goals in 14 games since joining the Seattle Sounders FC in the summer. His percentage of voices is 0.83 goals per game. He finished the regular season with 10 touchdowns (without penalty), which made him the team's top scorer. The present leader? His predecessor in the front of the "battle" Nico Lodeiro.
The Ruídiaz strip has three consecutive points of play, and his name has been in the score of his team in six of the last 10 matches, making a total of 9 goals.
"The mentality and the union of the group were fundamental, you understand that the team is above all individuality, which is what made the difference this time," the Peruvian told the media recently regarding the momentum of the games won to re-launch the season and reach the semi-finals that are facing the Portland Timbers.
The return match will be played this Thursday (10:30 pm ET, FOX Deportes) and Seattle Sounders must win the game to eliminate the eternal rival. Portland won the first leg (2-1), but the visiting goal left the "emeralds" with good chances of recovery.
"We have to defend from the attackers to the last line Offensively sure we will have the opportunity and we have to take it to take care of the result", Ruidíaz's diagnosis of what would be important in that key to emerge victorious.
In reference to his excellent relationship with Lodeiro, who finished the regular season with 16 assists and 8 goals, the Peruvian preferred to indicate the connections that the team generally develops.
"I see that just as Nicolás and I understand each other, just like Ozzy [Alonso] with Gustav [Svensson]. There is a good chemistry among all and I think it's the difference in good results, "said the man born in Lima.
With a goal as a difference to move forward in the playoffs or go on vacation, the importance of the "killer" is being expanded. And even if it does not end by scoring the goal that the Sounders bring to victory, his work of mobility, the concern for the plant and the connection with Lodeiro, will make Raul Ruídiaz the center of attraction in the second stage for the Semifinal of the Western Conference.
And just as happened in 2015 with Román Torres, in 2016 with Nico Lodeiro, this 2018 could be the perfect year for another summer contract that will bring great results to Seattle Sounders FC.