Caltex Socceroo Brad Smith starred as the Seattle Sounders advanced to the Western Conference Final in Major League Soccer’s Playoffs.
The 25-year-old left back helped the Sounders shut out Real Salt Lake in a 2-0 victory at CenturyLink Field, and played a key role in the hosts' game-clinching goal.
Sweden international Gustav Svensson’s header broke the deadlock on 64 minutes from Nicolas Lodeiro's corner, before the Uruguayan turned from provider to scorer.
Smith's searching through ball released Raul Ruidiaz and the Peru international found his fellow designated player, Lodeiro, who slammed in a rocket strike on 81 minutes.
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Everton Luiz put a dent in the visitors’ hopes of a comeback when he was sent off on 83 minutes and Seattle advanced to the Conference Finals for the third time in four years.
Smith has played in 27 MLS games in the United States in 2019, after making six appearances for the Washington state club in 2018.
The Aussie full-back, who is on loan from English parent club Bournemouth, missed last year’s Conference Semi Final through injury as the Sounders fell to rivals Portland Timbers in a penalty shootout.
But Smith, and the 2016 MLS Champions, got their redemption against Real Salt Lake and booked a return to the Western Conference Final, where they will face either LAFC or LA Galaxy on Wednesday, October 30 AEDT.
Smith has collected 21 caps since making his Caltex Socceroos debut in 2014. He most recently started in the 7-1 triumph in Chinese Taipei in FIFA World Cup 2022™ qualifying.
Brad Smith's successful passes against Real Salt Lake in the MLS Conference Semi Final
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