Sounders players gather around captain Nicolas Lodeiro (center) after he scored the second of two penalty kicks in the first half of an MLS match against Los Angeles FC on Sept. 18, 2020, in Seattle. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times via AP)

Sounders players gather around captain Nicolas Lodeiro (center) after he scored the second of two penalty kicks in the first half of an MLS match against Los Angeles FC on Sept. 18, 2020, in Seattle. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times via AP)

Sounders back on top of West after win over LAFC

Nicolas Lodeiro scores twice as Seattle rolls to a 3-0 victory.

Associated Press

SEATTLE — Nicolás Lodeiro scored on a pair of penalty kicks moments apart in the first half,and the Seattle Sounders moved back on top of the Western Conference standings with a 3-0 victory over Los Angeles FC on Friday night.

Lodeiro converted the penalties just four minutes apart as the Sounders (6-2-3, 21 points) jumped ahead of Sporting Kansas City in the West standings. Raúl Ruidíaz provided the capper in the 82nd minute with his eighth goal of the season.

Lodeiro’s first penalty came in the 29th minute and following a video review that determined Dejan Jakovic used his arm to clear a corner kick in the penalty area. Lodeiro sent LAFC goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega the wrong direction.

Moments later, LAFC’s Latif Blessing was whistled for fouling Yeimar Gómez Andrade on a free kick. Sisniega guessed correctly on Lodeiro’s second penalty, but only got one hand on the shot and couldn’t keep it out of the net.

Lodeiro is 14 for 14 on penalty kicks in MLS regular-season matches. It was the quickest a team has scored two penalties since Houston scored two in just over two minutes against Real Salt Lake in 2010.

It was Seattle’s first match since scoring a franchise record for goals in a 7-1 win over San Jose last week. While the Sounders couldn’t match the same offensive output, they did shut down the top scoring team in the league.

LAFC (4-5-3, 15 points) had just a few good scoring chances and dropped to 2-5-0 in its matches following the MLS is Back tournament in Florida. LAFC has been shut out in four of its five losses since returning from Florida. Three of LAFC’s last four losses have come by 3-0 scores. It lost by three or more goals just twice in its first 79 matches after joining the league.

LAFC’s best scoring chance came early in the first half when Bradley Wright-Phillips scored after Diego Rossi’s shot was saved by Seattle’s Stefan Frei, but Wright-Phillips was flagged for being offside.

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