When the Seattle Sounders went into the locker room at halftime trailing 2-1, they must have thought they were a bit unlucky to be in that position. The Colorado Rapids to their credit took both goals well, but the Sounders were generally the more dangerous side in the attack, and controlled the bulk of the possession. Given the penchant for second half scoring blitzes, the Sounders surely thought they were in position to get a result.
Unfortunately, whatever plans they had for the second half apparently stayed in the locker room, as the Rapids came out swinging and knocked the Sounders down for the count on their way to a comprehensive 3-1 victory at Dicks Sporting Goods Park. The Sounders were never really in the game after halftime, as the Rapids high-pressed the Sounders early, forcing repeated bad passes and turnovers. The loss is a costly one, as it ends any chance at the Supporters’ Shield, and with results elsewhere drops the Sounders from first place in the Western Conference to third.
With just two days of rest before their next game, the Sounders will need to rely on their depth Wednesday against a struggling LA Galaxy side to avoid dropping consecutive results and putting their seeding in the MLS Cup Playoffs at further risk.
Bad day for the backline
Whenever you give up three goals, it’s unlikely that that backline had a good day. So it was Sunday evening, as the Sounders defensive unit broke down repeatedly. Shane O’Neill lost his marker the first goal, allowing Andre Shinyashiki to out jump him and nod a header past Stefan Frei. It’s a little harsh to pin the second goal on the Sounders’ defense — although the corner was given away far too cheaply — as it came on a well-struck volley from 22 yards out. However the final goal was alarming, as Yeimar Gomez Andrade and Kelvin Leerdam both failed to mark 19-year-old Cole Bassett, who sealed the Sounders fate with the final tally. Just as alarming were the chances the Rapids didn’t put away while accumulating 16 shots, 10 of which were on goal.
Midfield wasn’t any better
Particularly in the second half, the number of turnovers and bad passing from the midfield reminds one of the LAFC game at MLS is Back, in which LAFC high-pressed the Sounders into submission. Neither Nicolas Lodeiro nor João Paulo (and later Cristian Roldan) seemed to be able to string together more than a couple of passes at a time, and once the Sounders got into the attacking half, the Rapids would attack and force turnovers, leading to repeated breakaways. Were it not for Frei, the score could have been even more lopsided.
Jordan Morris back on the scoresheet
The last four games had been uncharacteristically quiet for Morris, with no goals and no assists to his name. So it was good time see the Sounders winger back on the scoresheet in Colorado. Morris had more of a game fans had become accustomed to seeing, testing the Rapids backline and sending in crosses in dangerous positions. With only two games left, getting Morris back to his best will be essential for the playoff push.
With only two days of rest, head coach Brian Schmetzer confirmed that there will be squad rotation for the game against the Galaxy on Wednesday. Schmetzer trusts and relies on his proven veterans, but with such a short turnaround he’ll have to lean on some of his less used players to try to get a result. This may give fans a chance to see some of the younger talent in a game against a Galaxy side that is bottom of the conference and searching for an identity.