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Sounders vs. Rapids: Takeaways from the "worst" loss of season

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Colorado Rapids Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

This is now the second-worst start in Seattle Sounders history, with only the 2012 campaign getting off to a slower beginning than the current seven points in seven matches.

There are extenuating circumstances, to be sure, but there is also plenty of cause for concern, especially after Saturday's disjointed outing. Here are some of the main takeaways:

Jordan Morris had his best game yet

Before we get too bogged down in the negatives, we should discuss the performance of Jordan Morris. Sure, his goal was great. He confidently picked up the ball outside the penalty area, attacked the defense and threaded it through defenders to beat the goalkeeper far post with an excellently placed shot.

It was the kind of goal we'd been hoping to see all along and now gives him two goals in as many matches.

But what we should find even more encouraging is everything else he did in the match. Morris freely switched spots with Herculez Gomez, spending nearly as much time on the right wing as he did in the middle and looked confident throughout. He completed 81 percent of his passes and forced Zac MacMath into another tough save. If he can continue to build off this, he's in great shape.

Andreas Ivanschitz was a disaster in the middle

As encouraging as Morris' performance was, Ivanschitz was equally dispiriting. The Sounders' best offensive player for much of the season struggled to find the game despite starting as a center mid and never looked particularly dangerous. Ivanschitz completed just 59 percent of his passes and, more concerning, only even attempted 17. That doesn't include the three unsuccessful cross attempts.

As a point of comparison, Erik Friberg ostensibly played a similar role and replaced Ivanschitz in the 50th minute. He attempted 26 passes and completed 89 percent of them.

Afterward, Sigi Schmid said Ivanschitz was pulled after feeling some muscle tightness and it's at least possible that contributed to his poor play. But when the player around whom that day's offensive gameplan appears to be built struggles so much to just get involved, it's no wonder why the team looked so disjointed.

The defense broke down

It's easy enough to look at the three goals conceded, consider that the Sounders stopped a penalty and come to the obvious conclusion that the defense struggled. But simply looking at those stats doesn't really tell us enough, especially when you consider one of those goals was definitely offside, another may well have been and the penalty -- while the correct call -- was more of an unforced error.

Take the extenuating circumstances out of it, we're left with some raw numbers that don't look very good at all. While the Rapids' 14 shots are not particularly alarming, that 10 of them came inside the penalty area -- not including the penalty itself -- is problematic. Even more concerning is that seven of them came from inside the penalty area and from between the goal posts. That's simply too many shots allowed from very dangerous spots on the field.

Among the lowlights were Jermaine Jones totally losing his mark on the opening goal, then getting another open look on a set-piece before the defense adjusted; Tyrone Mears' sloppy touch and then failure to track the runner on the second goal; and Brad Evans needlessly picking up two yellow cards for dissent to earn himself a one-game suspension (fair as Evans' frustration may have been, the captain has to be smarter than that).

The good news is that the defense has been pretty good, having allowed the third fewest expected goals against (xGA) prior to Saturday's game. Hopefully this was only a blip.

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