The Seattle Sounders put themselves in a position against the Colorado Rapids that has been rare for them this season: Playing with the lead for nearly the entire match after an early tally. The tandem of Clint Dempsey and Will Bruin combined for three goals. Unfortunately a very physical game from Colorado left Chad Marshall and Osvaldo Alonso with injuries forcing them from the game, but their replacements fit in seamlessly for the most part and Seattle held on for the 3-1 victory.
Seattle are now 6-7-6, -3 GD. They have 24 points through 19 games, or 1.26 PPG, which puts them just into playoff position in 6th place in the Western Conference.
Seattle Sounders FC 3 - Colorado Rapids 1
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Venue: Dick's Sporting Goods Park
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistants: Corey Parker, Brian Poeschel
Fourth Official: Fotis Bazakos
Weather: Partly cloudy and 85 degrees
SEA - Clint Dempsey (Joevin Jones) 6'
SEA - Will Bruin (Clint Dempsey, Nicolás Lodeiro) 30'
COL - Dominique Badji (Marlon Hairston, Micheal Azira) 78'
SEA - Clint Dempsey (Will Bruin, Stefan Frei) 85'
COL - Mekeil Williams (caution) 23'
COL - Bismark Boateng (caution) 45'+2'
COL - Dominque Badji (caution) 48'
COL - Mike da Fonte (caution) 54'
COL - Alan Gordon (caution) 66'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Jordy Delem, Román Torres, Chad Marshall (Tony Alfaro 22'), Nouhou; Osvaldo Alonso - captain (Aaron Kovar 17') (Harry Shipp 84'), Gustav Svensson, Nicolás Lodeiro, Clint Dempsey, Joevin Jones; Will Bruin
Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Zach Mathers
Total shots: 11 (Dempsey, 4)
Shots on goal: 4 (Dempsey, 3)
Fouls: 10 (Lodeiro, 2)
Corner-kicks: 2 (Lodeiro/Kovar, 1)
Saves: 2 (Frei, 2)
Colorado Rapids - Tim Howard; Dennis Castillo (Alan Gordon 64'), Mike Da Fonte, Eric Miller, Mekeil Williams (Caleb Calvert HT); Nana Boateng (Micheal Azira 59'), Mohammed Saeid, Marlon Hairston, Dillon Serna; Dominque Badji, Kevin Doyle
Substitutes not used: Zac MacMath, Dillon Powers, Shkelzen Gashi, Kortne Ford
Total shots: 14 (Serna/Gordon, 3)
Shots on goal: 5 (Badji, 2)
Fouls: 18 (Badji/da Fonte, 3)
Corner-kicks: 3 (Saeid, 5)
Saves: 5 (Howard, 1)
Head Coach Brian Schmetzer – Seattle Sounders FC
On overcoming injuries on the road…
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.
On the importance of this win…
There is still a bit of the season to go. The three points are a big push for us, I’m not going to complain about it. But I think more than the three points, it’s the emotion, the attitude in there. Everybody was surrounding Ozzy [Osvaldo Alonso].
On Osvaldo Alonso and Chad Marshall’s injuries…
Dinged up knee and dinged up foot. They’re tough kids.
On Will Bruin and Clint Dempsey’s partnership…
What you have there is you got Will who does a lot of the heavy lifting and Clint brought that quality. so it’s a good combination.
On having Clint Dempsey back healthy…
Well you guys saw it tonight. The four games that we had with him last year, we were pretty good then too. He’s overcome a lot and we are just happy to have him.
On the referee’s performance…
I can’t complain when a ref misses an offside or the ball goes out, that’s just part of the game, they make mistakes. The thing that gets me fired up though is the safety of my players. We need to make sure that the players’ safety is always a priority. I felt like there were some challenges that weren’t dealt with.
Forward Will Bruin – Seattle Sounders FC
On winning head balls in the attack…
Yes, when the ball is in flight, I knew Clint was just going. It was worth the risk and we saw at the end we got one from it. We could’ve had a PK on one so it was a nice thing we had going.
On Clint Dempsey’s second goal…
I was trying to catch my breath getting up the field. It was bouncing and he put it in a perfect spot so it was great.
On your goal…
It was okay. Bottom corner is my corner
On seeing two players go down injured…
It’s tough when two of your leaders go down with injuries, but I think Aaron [Kovar] and Tony [Alfaro] did a great job. They had next man up mentality and we got a 3-1 result on the road.
On the physicality of the game…
There were a lot of elbows being thrown in this game. I thought there was going to be a red card at some point but I’m glad there wasn’t either way.
On the importance of tonight’s win…
This is huge, we knew it was a huge game for us. We don’t have another league game for a while so we always want to have a good taste in our mouths going into a little break. We have a friendly, but then a little break before our next league game and we want to build on it.
Forward Clint Dempsey – Seattle Sounders FC
On tonight’s performance and partnership with Will…
Just confidence in possession and we got into good areas just being able to stay calm and collective, look for the right pass and not get too ahead of yourself. I thought Joevin [Jones] put a great ball in and was able to get a good first touch to put it in, they had to try and press the game a little more because they were at home and they were losing, but then we were able to get them on the counter a few times.
Second half we had a few chances, I thought maybe it was close to a penalty call. I was trying to play through it even though the guy was holding me. Credit to Colorado they forced their way back into the game, they had a few chances that they maybe should’ve scored on. Finally scored one and it looked like the pressure was on but then we were able to counter back and get one and put the game away.
On your first goal…
It must’ve been a little bit of a late run, I wasn’t being tracked, great ball in from Joevin, right in my path, all I had to do was take the first good touch and I already knew what I was going to do with it and was able to put it on frame.
On Will Bruin’s performance…
Will was dominant on top for us and he was winning a lot of balls for us and giving us opportunities off those flick-ons, so credit to him. I enjoy playing with him and he’s been really strong for us.
On the physicality of the match…
I feel like the game got a little out of hand. There was a lot of reckless tackles going in. Maybe if you get more yellow cards early that kind of calms the game down, it seemed like the game never calmed down. It was just a battle all the way through. When a team is losing at home, they are going to show that they want to fight and all you can do is try to be smart and pick the moments and the kind of play can be the challenges.
On the importance of this win…
It’s huge to get points and try to move up in the table. We’re not where we want to be, hopefully this gets us going a little more. Getting that draw in Portland away from home, it showed a lot of fight that we had and hopefully we keep that going forward. We got to see where Ozzy and Chad are at, they’re huge for us. Good thing we got a little bit of an international break and hopefully we can get them back.
Defender Tony Alfaro — Sounders FC
Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni – Colorado Rapids
Opening statement on the game…
We knew this stretch of games was going to be difficult. I think there were seven or eight games in 22 days, 25 guys on the roster and five injuries. We knew that balance was going to be tricky in the latter part of this set of games.
I thought we were set up to get a good result here. Unfortunately, we got behind against a team that has a lot of fire power in Clint [Dempsey], Will [Bruin] and [Nicolas] Lodeiro, so when you’re chasing the game against this kind of team, it makes it very difficult. That said, I could not be more proud of the effort and commitment that they showed one another tonight.
On trying to hold off Seattle’s attack…
I think goals change games and we didn’t do a good enough job of winning the first long ball and winning second [balls]. When you get into a game of this magnitude and you’re behind it, you start to feel your legs go a lot quicker than you would as opposed to going ahead. A lot of the decisions against Houston were different and I think at the end of the day, the [team] did everything they could, given the situation they were in.
On the Gold Cup break…
It will give us a chance to get everyone healthy and it will give us a chance to bring players in. More importantly, continue to work on both sides of the ball. We’ve been stressing to get the ball in advanced areas, being more creative and committing numbers forward. Having that time to go back to the basics and really hit on some of those things, on both sides of the ball are critical, especially if we’re going to bring in a couple of players into the team. After a long stretch, eighteen games is welcomed for everyone. It’s a reset to get back after it.
On the early substitutions in the second half…
I thought we needed energy into the game. I thought Caleb [Calvert] was a guy that we could put up front and who could cause some havoc. He did a really good job coming into the game and spark some stuff on that left side. It was more about freshness.
It’s a tough stretch, I can’t explain it any other way. I will say, I could not be more proud of the group of guys and the effort they put forth.
On the importance of 4thFest and soccer in the state…
It’s been impressive. I’ve been hearing since 2002 and I’ve been able to take part in every Fourth of July experience. It’s great for my family to come into town and take part in this experience. As far of soccer is concerned, I think it’s the sport that continues to attract a lot of other sports fans. I think it’s synonymous with celebration, unfortunately not for us tonight. It is a celebration every time we step on the field, and I think it brings families and cultures together, especially when you’re celebrating the Independence of the United States.
Midfielder Mohammed Saeid – Colorado Rapids
On Seattle’s game plan in the first half…
They took their chances very early. We made some mistakes and they scored off [them]. I know we’re much better than that defensively. Offensively, we had a few good chances but their goalkeeper made great saves.
On the difference from Saturday’s performance…
I don’t think there was much difference – I think they realized what our strengths are. In the first half we weren’t able to get the ball to Kevin [Doyle] and in the second half we were able to get the [ball] to the strikers. In the first half they also sat back and didn’t allow us much space.
On Clint Dempsey’s second goal…
It was our errors that cost us the goals but he was clinical enough to take the chances and he punished us.
On the upcoming Gold Cup break…
We have a lot of injuries, so hopefully we can get some guys back. I know we have a great team, so we just have to keep it up.
Midfielder Dillon Serna – Colorado Rapids
On Seattle’s early goal…
I think we were on top of the game in the first half. They just caught us in a couple of counters and they put their chances away. We ended up getting one back but we were open in the back, allowing the third goal.
On whether fatigue played a factor…
I don’t think so. I think we just got caught in a couple moments on the break. We weren’t quite tuned-in enough and they made us pay.
On the long break coming up…
I think it’s huge. Not the result we were looking for tonight, so we’re going to get away for a bit and take our minds off things. We’re going to come back ready to work.