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Sounders vs Rapids, recap: All even at elevation

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Sounders draw Rapids 1-1 thanks to late Cristian Roldan goal.

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

The Seattle Sounders maintained their lead in the Western Conference with a 1-1 draw away against the Colorado Rapids. Both sides had opportunities throughout the first half, but for all of the chances, the Sounders often looked out of sorts. They were regularly slow to respond when Colorado sprung attacks throughout the opening half-hour, and were similarly disjointed in possession. The second half was similarly open, although both teams had stretches of control.

One area in which the Rapids seemed particularly dominant was set-pieces. Colorado only gave up three free-kicks inside their own half, while they won twice as many in Seattle’s half. Things were even more lopsided when it came to corners, with Seattle earning none to Colorado’s six.

The Rapids opened the scoring on one of those corners, with Dom Badji leaping unmarked in the box in the 66th minute to head the ball into the back of the net. The Sounders would eventually find their answer 15 minutes later, thanks to some excellent play by substitute Léo Chú and a late run from Cristian Roldan to finish off the sequence.

The draw leaves Brian Schmetzer’s Seattle side well-poised for their match on Saturday when they host Sporting Kansas City at Lumen Field.

Key moments

22’ — After a Fredy Montero goal was called back for offside, Montero gets another good look, but the shot is blocked and Seattle fail to capitalize on the pressure.

31’ — Some slick passing from Seattle releases Cristian Roldan down the right wing where he’s able to cut the ball back to Nicolas Benezet, but the final shot is wide.

49’ — Mark-Anthony Kaye does some fancy dribbling after a deflection falls to his feet and eventually gets a shot off from close range, but Nouhou puts it out for a corner.

54’ — João Paulo nearly dribbles yet another MLS team’s entire defense, getting his jersey tugged for his trouble as he enters the area, but his shot is saved.

66’ — GOAL! Dom Badji rises up unmarked on a corner and heads it into the back of the net to give Colorado the lead. 1-0

67’ — Seattle nearly provides an immediate response, but Alex Roldan’s left-footed shot glides wide of the goal.

81’ — GOAL! Léo Chú winds his way into Colorado’s area , takes a moment to allow the attack to get in place, then slides the ball across for Cristian Roldan to finish and level the game! 1-1

Quick thoughts

Léo Chú wants you to know his name: Seattle added a second Brazilian to the squad this summer when they signed U22 attacker Léo Chú. The promising youngster hadn’t had many opportunities to prove himself at the top level in Brazil, but in his showing so far with the Sounders he’s provided two assists and a goal in all competitions. He’s clearly still developing, but Léo Chú is already making his presence felt and giving Garth Lagerwey and Co. plenty of reasons to feel good about their investment.

The left (wing) back question: With Brad Smith’s recent absence the question of who the starting left back has seemingly been put on the back-burner. When he eventually makes his return the question will presumably open once again, but I’m here to say that it should be immediately closed. Jimmy Medranda wasn’t as influential against Colorado as we’ve seen him in the past, but he still played a significant part in making sure the Sounders left with a point. He led the Sounders with 9 duels, added 6 recoveries, 3 interceptions and 3 successful tackles. He only attempted 24 passes, but completed 20 of them. Even when he’s not at his best, Medranda seems to have proven himself to be the best choice on the left.

Where have all the goals gone? Another game, another day we wait for the Seattle Sounders to have another multi-goal game. The Sounders recently went on a run of four games in which they scored multiple goals, and have had 10 such games in 2021. This two-game road stretch saw the side score a combined two goals and secure a single point. It’s not entirely clear where the goals are going to come from right now, and with no firm return date for any of the absentees — to say nothing of how long it will take for the likes of Jordan Morris or Nico Lodeiro to have an impact once they’re back on the field — Schmetzer and his staff are going to need to find a solution for whatever gunk is mucking up the attacking engine.

Did you see that?!?

Léo Chú was recently voted Most Likely to Give Defenders Nightmares.

He said what?!?

One stat to tell the tale

44 — Seattle won 44 duels, 12 more than Colorado.


Poll

Man of the match

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Jimmy Medranda
    (24 votes)
  • 17%
    João Paulo
    (78 votes)
  • 19%
    Cristian Roldan
    (86 votes)
  • 57%
    Léo Chú
    (257 votes)
445 votes total Vote Now