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Rapids vs. Sounders, recap: Short-handed and short on ideas

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Sounders struggle mightily in loss to Rapids.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Missing 13 players — including six likely starters — the Seattle Sounders were thoroughly outplayed and were probably a bit lucky to only lose 2-0 to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday. Instead of solidifying their No. 2 spot in the Western Conference, instead remain locked in a tight race that has just six points separately the Nos. 2 and 8 spots.

Key moments

  • Just about one minute into the game, the Rapids had a golden chance when Andre Shinyashiki beat Stefan Frei, but Kim Kee-hee was there to clear it off the line.
  • The Sounders had their own good chance in the 7th minute when Harry Shipp put Justin Dhillon in behind the defense with a well-placed pass, but Clint Irwin was able to come off his line well and make what turned out to be a relatively easy save. It would turn out to be their only shot on goal until deep into second-half stoppage time.
  • The Sounders needed to have another shot cleared off the line in the 32nd minute, this time it was Kelvin Leerdam saving a Mezquida shot.
  • The Rapids finally broke through in the 41st minute when Jonathan Lewis was able to find Shinyashiki with nice cutback pass. Shinyashiki didn’t have much of an angle, but was able to hit it over Frei and off the underside the crossbar to get a 1-0 lead.
  • Danny Leyva replaced Handwalla Bwana to start the second half.
  • Shandon Hopeau made his MLS debut in the 58th minute, replacing Justin Dhillon.
  • Lewis broke behind the Sounders backline and had a great look, but Frei did well to come off his line and force the shot wide. Lewis pulled up with an apparent hamstring on the play.
  • The Rapids added a second goal in the 70th minute, capitalizing on a Harry Shipp giveaway in midfield. Keegan Rosenberry played it ahead to Nicolás Mezquida, who squared it to Shinyashiki who easily completed his brace.
  • Frei came up with a spectacular save on Mezquida in 86th minute, sliding over to block the shot with his left arm.

Talking points

Not THAT deep: The Sounders were missing 13 players to international call-up, injury or suspension. They were forced to field a roster of just 16 and had to make two “hardship” signings just to get to that number. The Rapids, who have quietly been pretty good for the last four months, were missing some players too, but looked far more ready to compete. The Sounders were out shot 22-5 and never looked particularly likely to score. Explanations aside, it was a very poor performance.

No attacking plan: The Sounders were effectively allowed to possess the ball all they wanted, but that only seemed to play into the Rapids’ plans. Despite 57 percent of the possession, the Sounders never pressed the action in the offensive third. They were particularly ineffective along the right side, where Kelvin Leerdam must have been advised to pinch in and stay back. Shipp wasn’t much better, failing to register a single pass in the offensive third on the right side of the attack.

Gotta move on: Thanks to the win over the Portland Timbers a couple weeks ago, there wasn’t a ton of pressure on the Sounders to win this one. As bad as they were, they can render this game mostly irrelevant by winning next week against the New York Red Bulls. If they don’t win that one, however ... things could get dicey.

Did you see that?!?

Saves don’t get much better than this one.

One stat to tell the tale

89 — There were 89 minutes between the Sounders’ two shots on target.

Poll

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    Stefan Frei
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