The Seattle Sounders FC (6-7-6, 24 points) earned their second road win of the season thanks to a Clint Dempsey brace with a 3-1 victory over the hapless Colorado Rapids (6-11-1, 16 points), Tuesday night at Dicks Sporting Goods Park in Colorado. The win came at a high price for the Sounders who saw veterans Asvaldo Alonso and Chad Marshall leave the game with injuries within the first 23 minutes of the first half.
Dempsey gave the visitors a dream start in the 6th minute when he rifled home a Joevin Jones pass to give the Rave Green the 1-0 lead. The joy of the dream start turned into an unimaginable nightmare when Aaron Osvaldo Alonso suffered a serious-looking knee injury and had to be replaced by Aron Kovar in the 17th minute. The nightmare turned into insomnia when Chad Marshall suffered an ankle injury five minutes later and was replaced by Tony Alfaro.
Despite the depleted ranks, the Sounders were able to penetrate the lethargic Rapids defense which looked like it was in no mood to play defense in front of its own goal. Sounder players were left wide open in front of the Rapids goal.Wil Bruin’s right footed blast gave the Sounders a 2-0 lead and it looked like the Sounders would score plenty more given the Rapids cavalier attitude about playing defense.
While they were not up for playing defense, the Rapids were in the mood to play tough physical soccer and resorted to shoving, pushing, and kicking the Sounder players off the ball.The Rapids earned three yellow cards from the 48th minute to the 66th minute.Colorado had five total yellow cards in the game. Despite the aggressive tactics by the Rapids, the Sounders stayed focused and overcame a difficult and showed their true character. A performance that pleased Sounders coach Brina Schmetzer.
“They responded very well. Not just by the score line but certainly the difficulties of playing here because Colorado is a good team. Pablo does a good job of getting them prepared. They came through with some quality. The quality was very good. I just thought overall it was a gutty performance. I can’t just talk about Clint [Dempsey’s] two goals. I don’t know how that ball stayed out of the net in that scramble. That was unbelievable. Guys were laying their body on the line to try and block it, so it was good defensive effort and also good offensive effort.”
The insertion of Allan Gordon into the game and the Rapids rough and tumble play enabled them to get back in the game in the 78th minute when Dominique Badji’s right footed shot found the back of the Sounders net to narrow the visitors lead to 2-1. With the Rapids pushing for the equalizer, the Sounders were able to keep their composure and the patience paid off in the 85 minute when Clint Dempsey’s half-volley found the back of the Colorado net for his second goal of the game and secured the win for the Sounders.
Sounders FC is now 6-7-6 this season and sits in sixth place in the Western Conference. The victory moves Seattle to three consecutive matches with a result in league play following draws with Portland on June 25 and Orlando on June 21.
Next up, Sounders FC takes part in an international friendly this Saturday, July 8 against German side Eintracht Frankfurt on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field (12:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, ROOT SPORTS, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM).