It’s not too late for the Seattle Sounders to emerge from their haze and claim at least a stake in the MLS playoffs, but a 3-1 road win over Colorado helps a great deal.
The Seattle Sounders were by no means teetering on losing out in the MLS playoff race this season heading into their road match with the Colorado Rapids on the Fourth of July. But they needed a road win all the same.
Clint Dempsey scored two goals, Will Bruin added another, and Stephan Frei held the Colorado Rapids to one goal with a few excellent saves to give the Seattle Sounders three points. Brian Schmetzer’s team now sits at 6-7-6 and 24 points in sixth place in the Western Conference in front of the two-week CONCACAF break in the schedule.
But in spite of two goals by Dempsey, one an absolutely beautiful chip shot over US Men’s Team legend Tim Howard (see below), the Seattle Sounders lost a couple key players to injury. Osvaldo Alonso left the game after holding his knee in pain, and Chad Marshall was forced from the game after a collision hurt his ankle five minutes after Alonso went out.
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It was a physical game in which Colorado earned itself five yellow cards and out-fouled Seattle 19-9. Somehow, after the goal line challenge on Marshall, no cards were issued, which drew fire from Schmetzer after the game.
Colorado’s Dominique Badji gave the home fans brief hope when he scored in the 78th minute, but Dempsey’s run under a long bounce from a clearance by Frei and nifty chip sent many of them home early.
Colorado hasn’t been the same side as it was last year, when it fell to the Sounders in the MLS Western Conference Finals. The Rapids are in 10th place at 6-11-1 after their home loss to Seattle on the Fourth.
The injuries come at a good time for the Seattle Sounders. Schmetzer of course gave very little details about the Marshall and Alonso injuries, but the two-week break may give them enough time to return when the Seattle Sounders return July 19th against DC United at home.