The Sounders, playing in their first-ever Major League Soccer match in the state of Florida, captured their second league road win this season with a 3-1 victory over Orlando City Soccer Club.
ORLANDO – Clint Dempsey finished with a hat trick and the Seattle Sounders captured a rare, much-needed road win Sunday.
The Sounders (7-12-3, 24 points) won for just the second time away from home this season with a 3-1 victoryover Orlando City SC (5-6-11, 26 points).
The match was played on artificial turf in front of an announced crowd of 28,247 at Camping World Stadium. It goes down as the first victory for interim coach Brian Schmetzer, who took over for Sigi Schmid on July 26.
Real Salt Lake @ Sounders, 4 p.m., FS1
“We’ve, over the years, been a really good road team,” Schmetzer said. “I wanted to instill that confidence back in that group. We can be a good road team, we will be a good road team, and we’re gonna need to be a good road team if we [want to have] a chance at the playoffs.”
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Orlando City entered the match with a 4-0-7 record at home this season. Seattle, playing in its first-ever MLS match in Florida, improved to 2-7-2 on the road.
Schmetzer praised Jordan Morris for his unselfish play said he hopes Dempsey may have silenced some critics after notching his first hat trick since 2014 against Portland.
Morris got behind the back line of the Lions to help put Seattle in front for good at 2-1 in the 37th minute when he charged the right post and dished the ball to Dempsey for a clean look on goal from the middle of the box.
Dempsey added his third of the match, and sixth of the season through 15 games, in the 48th minute off a Morris assist as they went two-on-one against the Orlando City goalkeeper.
“We started off on the wrong foot in terms of conceding on a set-piece away from home and had our backs against the wall, but through our play and our movement we were able to create chances, and the guys were great tonight,” Dempsey said.
Orlando City struck first on a corner kick in the seventh minute when Kaká delivered the ball to the middle of the 18-yard box. Seb Hines converged to bounce a header past Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei, giving the Lions an early 1-0 advantage.
Dempsey tied the score seven minutes later after being on the receiving end of a cross from the left side by Tyrone Mears.
Mears took a feed along the right sideline from recent acquisition Nicolás Lodeiro to help set up the equalizer, which came by way of Frei promptly unloading the ball downfield following a corner kick by the Lions.
The Sounders missed on two more chances for goals late in the match when shots bounced back off the post. Orlando City was held to four shots in the first half but finished with a 13-12 advantage.
“We’re still second from the bottom [in the standings], so nobody’s cheering yet,” defender Brad Evans said. “The ship hasn’t been righted just yet. We’ve got to keep climbing and we’ve got to keep working.”
The Sounders defeated Orlando City 4-0 during its expansion season a year ago in the only other meeting between the two sides.
The Sounders will look to continue their momentum when they host Real Salt Lake at 4 p.m. Sunday at CenturyLink Field.