Jordan Morris scored his first professional goal as the Sounders beat the 10-man Philadelphia Union 2-1 on Saturday night at CenturyLink Field.

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Jordan Morris scored his first professional goal as the Sounders beat the 10-man Philadelphia Union 2-1 on Saturday night at CenturyLink Field.

These are my first impressions:

– Morris finally got on the board.

It was shaping up to be another frustrating night for Seattle’s rookie striker, a steady stream of chances snuffed out by Philadelphia goalkeeper Andre Blake.

Morris looked much more comfortable as a center forward, picking at the cracks of the Union back line and sprinting in behind on counterattacks. His inaugural MLS goal still proved elusive, though, even when Oalex Anderson slipped him in with a clear sight on goal midway through the second half.

In the 71st minute, however, Morris finally broke through. When it came, both the goal and the controlling touch to set it up were made with nonchalance at odds with his previous desperation. Morris’ celebration was telling, however, an emotional sprint toward the corner flag and a jumping fist pump as fire shot into the air behind him.

– Chad Marshall, goal-scorer, again came to the rescue.

Seattle’s towering center back now has many goals as he’d netted in seasons 2013-15 combined after heading home Andreas Ivanschitz’s corner kick in the 41st minute.

The first half mostly ebbed and flowed, Philadelphia with most of the possession but Seattle showing its threat on the counter. An even scoreline at the half would have been equitable.

But Marshall sent the Sounders into the locker room riding a crest of momentum. He’d similarly changed the entire tenor of the preceding week with his stoppage-time goal in Houston, turning a would-be fourth loss in five games into a robbery of a draw that felt more like a win.

– Seattle played to its strengths.

Sounders coach Sigi Schmid has yet to go on record against his preseason shift into a 4-3-3 formation. Pushing Clint Dempsey back into the midfield and changing Andreas Ivanschitz’s roles were minor tweaks, and putting numerals on a game as fluid as soccer is just semantics, really.

But Seattle’s system is proving increasingly malleable as it continues to try to connect its attacking dots.

The Sounders lined up mostly in a 4-4-2 on Saturday night. Morris slotted up front with Dempsey, with Ivanschitz and first-time starter Anderson manning the flanks.

Perhaps the most significant strategic shift was an apparent willingness to concede possession to the Union. That hasn’t always been Seattle’s style this season, but with burners Morris and Anderson leading the line, it made some sense.

Up a goal and a man following Roland Alberg’s second yellow card, Schmid doubled down by bringing on Herculez Gomez for Cristian Roldan as a fourth forward. For a night, at least, the gambits worked, and Morris finally came off to thunderous applause with less than seven minutes remaining.