Perhaps showing the strides the expansion team has made, the Union (3-7-1) were a far different team than the one that lost, 2-0, in the franchise's first game March 25 in Seattle.
"They are a lot better than that first game," said Sounders defender Jeff Parke, an alumnus of Downingtown High and Drexel who joined the team May 15. "I am impressed with how they buckled down and played, and, of course, they had the adrenaline of playing the first game here."
The Union are showing a penchant for defending their turf. They are 2-0-1 at home, with the first two games played at Lincoln Financial Field before construction was completed on the stadium in Chester.
The Union's Sebastien Le Toux, who played his own game of keep-away, mainly with fellow forward Alejandro Moreno, enjoyed a stellar performance against his former team, collecting a goal on a penalty kick and an assist. He also set up the third goal by rookie Danny Mwanga, although he did not receive an assist.
Union goalie Chris Seitz blocked one penalty kick and thwarted another great scoring chance.
Seattle (4-7-3) made good on its only solid scoring opportunity late in the first half when Pat Noonan converted Fredy Montero's touch pass in the 45th minute.
Up until that point, the Union had controlled possession against a conservative attack.
Then came the second half, when the Union took control even more, fighting off the severe humidity against a weary Seattle team that felt the effects of a heat index that reached 106 degrees on the field.
"The first half wasn't perfect, but the second half was almost perfect," Nowak said.
The Union tied the score in the 54th minute on Le Toux's penalty kick, awarded after Alejandro Moreno was taken down by defender Tyrone Marshall in the box.
In the 59th minute, Seattle squandered a chance to take the lead when Seitz stopped a penalty kick by Noonan. The Sounders were awarded the penalty kick after Union defender Chris Arrieta took down Montero in the box.
Seitz made a diving save to his right in keeping the score even and lauded the coaching staff for preparing him on Seattle's penalty-kick tendencies.
"I looked at the tendencies, made the best guess, and there was a little bit of luck involved," Seitz said.
The save took any remaining air out of the Sounders.
"Not making that penalty kick killed us in the end," Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. "If we score and make it 2-1, I think the game's a different game."
Later in the half, Seattle goalie Kasey Keller made three diving saves, the best on a header by Arrieta off a Le Toux corner in the 78th minute.
Finally in the 79th minute, Union midfielder Fred broke the tie, tapping in a cross from Le Toux at the far post.
"I was just left open and put it in," Fred said.
Seitz preserved the 2-1 lead by quickly coming off his line and smothering a shot by Nate Jaqua in the 80th minute.
Mwanga provided insurance by scoring his fourth goal of the season in the 84th minute.
Le Toux crossed the ball to Mwanga, who saw Keller block his first shot before depositing the rebound.
Soon afterward, his teammates were leaping into the crowd to conclude an eventful debut at PPL Park.
Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225 or email@example.com