An early 2-0 lead for Chelsea brought back bad memories of last season's disastrous friendly loss to Manchester United, but the Seattle Sounders showed some fight in clawing back to bring the score level before falling behind 4-2 just at the stroke of halftime. The second half was a more subdued affair with the visitors content to work out their possession game and run out the clock. Still, it was a strong showing by the Sounders against a Chelsea team that boast some exceptional talent, and both sides put on a great show in a fun night at CenturyLink Field.
Chelsea got the scoring underway in the 3rd minute, with sentient, mobile, nimble oak tree Romelu Lukaku latching onto an excellent ball from 12-year-old wunderkind Josh McEachran before dancing through the Seattle defense and sliding the ball past Bryan Meredith. Eden Hazard, who has been legally allowed to purchase alcoholic beverages in the United States for eight months and commanded a transfer fee equal to one-tenth of his home nation's GDP, made it 2-0 in the 11th minute with a nifty bit of skill.
Fredy Montero pulled things back just three minutes later after hustling to intercept a lackadaisical horizontal pass along the back line and firing past Chelsea keeper Hilario. It would be Montero again in the 42nd minute, gathering a ball from Mauro Rosales at the edge of the area and cutting back to create space before hitting a low, curling shot into the lower near corner. Chelsea would come roaring back in the 40th minute with notable Hobbit Marko Marin dribbling down the left and finding space to fire past Meredith. Lukaku would cap the scoring in the 44th minute with another nifty piece of skill that seemed frankly impossible given the fact that he is chiseled from solid granite.
The highlight of the second half came with the introduction of Roger Levesque just after the hour mark, drawing an enormous roar from the crowd. Though Chelsea were content to move the ball about their 4-6-0 and hold onto the victory, the Sounders had a few moments of danger and Levesque was right in the thick of the Seattle attack. The retiring utility-man nearly gave the Sounders faithful a moment to remember on a last-second corner kick, but his redirection of an Andy Rose header missed the mark just as the final whistle blew.
If the Sounders are going to continue with their policy of one friendly against a big-name opponent per season, they couldn't ask for much of a better show. Seattle put up a good fight against the reigning Champions League winners, outdone only by individual moments of brilliance while maintaining a strong team performance and coming up with a few special moments of their own. Despite the loss, Seattle should feel content with shutting down the Blues after the break despite the introduction of Frank Lampard and Ramires. Though a win would have certainly been preferable, it's noteworthy that the Sounders were able to play their own attacking, possession-based game -and for extended periods look quite good doing so- while giving Chelsea a run for their money. As these things go, it was a whole lot of fun. And ultimately, that's the whole point of these games.