SEATTLE (AP) — From bench-warmer in Cleveland to game-winner in Seattle, Cristian Roldan has had some kind of a week.
Roldan scored the go-ahead goal in the 78th minute and the Seattle Sounders overcame a three-goal deficit in the second half to beat D.C. United 4-3 on Wednesday night.
Will Bruin, Brad Evans and Gustav Svensson also scored for Seattle (7-7-6), with the four goals coming in a 27-minute span.
Bruin set up the winner when he stole the ball at midfield and sent it ahead to a streaking Roldan. Roldan caught up with it, got around United defender Steve Birnbaum and beat goalkeeper Travis Warra to the left side from 12 yards in front.
“Don’t miss, because I would have gotten a lot of crap for that,” Roldan said with a laugh when asked what he was thinking after he left Birnbaum behind. “Brad (Evans) always says if you have nowhere else to shoot and if it looks like the goalkeeper has cut all the angles, shoot through his legs.
“I shot as hard as I could through there,” added Roldan, who was in uniform, but did not play for the United States in last Saturday’s 3-0 Gold Cup victory against Nicaragua. “And luckily, it went in.”
Roldan’s goal was his third of the year.
“It was a tremendous effort,” coach Brian Schmetzer said of Roldan’s tally. “It was a great assist by Will, but Cristian did most of the heavy lifting. He has a tremendous future, and we all see it.”
It was the second home game this season in which Seattle came from 3-0 behind to get a result. The first one was on April 29 against New England, ending in a 3-3 tie.
“I think the guys are relieved, like I was,” Schmetzer said. “They obviously put their heart and soul into this match. Had the result not gone our way, I think I still would have been proud of the effort they showed in the second half.”
Deshorn Brown and Ian Harkes scored in the first half, and Lloyd Sam added a second-half tally for United (5-12-3). The Washington club is last overall in MLS with 18 points and 17 goals.
“We had plenty of chances. We could have scored more goals in the first half, then got a little stretched in the second,” said United coach Ben Olsen, whose team outshot Seattle 8-2 in the first half before the Sounders had a 13-4 advantage in the second. “To do that, and then they’re throwing aggressive numbers at you with some of the quality they have you’ve gotta make some plays. We weren’t able to do that. We let ourselves down on too many plays.”
Bruin got Seattle on the board in the 51st minute, flicking a shot off the side of his head across the net and into the far side for his seventh goal of the year. That tied Clint Dempsey for the team lead. (Dempsey is still away on Gold Cup duty.) Evans cut the deficit to one in the 62nd minute with his first of the season.
Svensson tied it at 3 in the 74th with his first when he headed in a corner kick from Nicolas Lodeiro.
Brown put United on top in the eighth minute. That was D.C.’s earliest goal of the season and its first in the opening 15 minutes of a game.
Harkes made it 2-0 in the 27th minute. Sam made it 3-0 with a wide-open shot from the top of the penalty area in the 50th minute.
The Sounders played the final two minutes of regulation and four minutes of stoppage time with 10 men after Lodeiro was sent off with a straight red card.
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