Tell me if you've heard this one before: The Seattle Sounders fall behind early, come storming back, fall behind again, take a lead and then hold on for dear life. Saturday's 4-3 win over the Colorado Rapids may not have played out exactly like last week's win over the Portland Timbers, but there seems to be an eery trend forming.
At this point, I think we can safely say no Sounders team has ever clicked like this on offense. For the fourth time in six matches against MLS teams, the Sounders scored at least three goals. In their past 11 matches, they have scored 23 goals. More importantly, they have not lost any of those and have gone 6-0-3 in MLS competition to move within a point of the Los Angeles Galaxy in the Supporters' Shield race.
This one had something for everyone. Alvaro Fernandez continued to show that he might just be one of the better finishers in MLS, winning a battle with right back Kosuke Kimura and then beating Matt PIckens for his fifth goal of the season. Roger Levesque added another opportunistic goal on a nice finish on a pass to the near post. Fredy Montero scored a beautiful diving header for his sixth tally of the season. Mauro Rosales even scored to go along with an earlier assist.
Offensively, it was an effective, almost workman-like performance as the Sounders took just 13 shots, but put nine of them on frame. Basically, it was a very similar offensive performance to what we've grown accustomed seeing from this team.
But it wasn't exactly a pretty game, either. All three of the Rapids' goals were on defensive breakdowns. The first off a horrible clearance, the second when Jeff Larentowicz was unmarked at the top of the box and the third when Caleb Folan lost his mark on a corner kick.
How much of that is attributable to the awful turf -- and man, did it look bad -- is a fair question. But this seems to be part of a recent trend. While the defense hasn't been outright bad, they have allowed 11 goals during their unbeaten streak after giving up just seven during their previous 9.
Maybe this is just part of the deal, though. The insertion of Tyson Wahl at left back seems to have come with the knowledge that some amount of defense would be sacrificed. The same could be said with Erik Friberg getting most of the time over Brad Evans. Both Wahl and Friberg are unquestionably more dynamic offensive players, and there is a predictable cost with that.
Right now, it's a cost well worth paying. Even during the heady days of late last season, when the team was reeling of wins with remarkable regularity and surging toward the playoffs, the Sounders never went this long without a loss. They also never scored at quite this impressive a clip (their biggest output over 11 all-competition matches was 21).
Simply put, this team is a joy to watch right now, even if they are prone to some mistakes. The ball moves fluidly through the midfield and quickly down the wings. The forwards seem to be in the right place at the right time. Meanwhile, Osvaldo Alonso seems to be everywhere all at once. If this means there are going to be more goals scored against, I think I can live with that.