Seattle Sounders FC’s Dylan Teves knocked out a couple of firsts Saturday in Toronto.
Teves recorded his first MLS goal in his first MLS start after signing this offseason following a highly productive career at the University of Washington. That was all the team needed in a 2-0 decision at Toronto FC.
The Seattle lineup was missing several big names after the group dropped a midweek home match to CF Montreal. Stefan Cleveland, Jimmy Medranda, Danny Leyva, Dylan Teves and Leo Chu slotted in for Stefan Frei, Kelyn Rowe, Albert Rusnak, Cristian Roldan and Jordan Morris. Frei, Morris, Roldan and Rusnak were given time off and did not travel with the team.
The replacements took full advantage. Chu advanced the ball and centered to Teves, who tapped it in during the 39th minute. Teves had to wait a few more awkward moments as the goal was reviewed.
“[Leo’s] going to take a guy on every single time and beat them the majority of the time,” Teves said. “I knew that as soon as he got around his player, he was going to send a cross in. Just the luck of him playing such good ball and me being in the right position.
“It’s a great feeling, that’s for sure.”
Teves spent four years in the Sounders Academy before college. He became UW’s all-time leader in postseason goals and points while leading the Huskies to the NCAA College Cup final for the first time in program history.
“Before the game, we were joking about Dylan just a little bit, how he’s the only player, I think, in NCAA history to score back-to-back hat tricks in the NCAA tournament. So we know the kid has the goals in him,” coach Brian Schmetzer said. “It was instinctual. He gets in front of the net and he puts it away.”
After goalkeeper Cleveland located and grabbed a spinning shot from Toronto’s Alejandro Pozuelo, Fredy Montero made it 2-0. Seattle had the Toronto defense twisted and scrambling until Montero went in with Chu at his side.
“I’m so pleased that we’re able to keep Fredy. He did so much for us in Champion’s League,” Schmetzer said.
“His game was very, very good, not just because of the goal, but all of the defensive work he did on Michael Bradley in the middle of midfield.”
It was the teams’ first meeting since the 2019 MLS Cup. Jonathan Osorio had one of Toronto’s best looks but sent his chance sailing toward the crowd in the 36th minute.
Even with the personnel changes, Seattle was able to shake off its first loss in more than a month.
“Tactics were spot-on,” Schmetzer said.
“Having Fredy drop in, and having Leo and Teves be the two guys who are the prongs of our attack, showed up in that goal.”
On July 9, Seattle returns to Lumen Field to face the Portland Timbers and unfurl a banner in celebration of becoming the first MLS club to win CONCACAF Champions League.
They head back with homegrown and grateful Teves, who hopes to contribute much more.
“Growing up through the academy, they’ve given me so much,” the 22-year-old said. “I just want to pay it back to them.”