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Sounders vs. Rapids, recap: Back in the win column

Sounders stop the losing streak with a gutsy 2-1 win over Colorado.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

SEATTLE — The Seattle Sounders halted their losing skid with a dramatic 2-1 win at home against the Colorado Rapids. Apart from about six seconds in the first few minutes, the Sounders were, by just about every margin, the better team. Colorado’s opening goal was as frustrating as it was early. Jonathan Lewis made a completely unmarked run between Yeimar and Alex Roldan, both of whom had tucked inside, then took a touch around Stefan Frei and finished into the empty net in the 3rd minute.

From that point, Seattle piled on the pressure by the pallet until Jordan Morris finally found the breakthrough. In the 43rd minute Will Bruin was fouled near midfield and Nico Lodeiro took the free kick quickly, playing a lovely switch to Jimmy Medranda who was running into space down the right. Medranda slid the ball through for Morris, and Morris took care of the rest with a calm chip over William Yarbrough to level the score.

The second half started as auspiciously as the first, as Kelyn Rowe was shown his second yellow card of the game not even two minutes into the half. With Seattle down to 10 men Colorado did make some effort to press their advantage — going from having around 25% of possession in the first half to finishing with nearly 45% by the end of the game — but the Sounders had the better chances and made their best chance count.

Near the 70th minute, Albert Rusnák hit one of the finest passes you’re likely to see for an on-rushing Jordan Morris. Morris drove into the box and unleashed a right-footed shot that goalkeeper William Yarbrough was able to stop, but giving up a rebound that Morris was first to. Yarbrough took out Morris, earning a penalty that Lodeiro calmly finished. The result snaps a three-game losing streak, marking the first win since the victory in Toronto three weeks ago. The team now has an opportunity to start a winning streak as they travel to face LAFC on Friday, July 29.

Key moments

3’ — Jonathan Lewis opens up the scoring for Colorado. His run splits Yeimar and Alex Roldan, and he gets around Stefan Frei before finishing into an empty goal. 0-1 Rapids

10’ — Jordan Morris makes a good move to open up space to get a shot off inside the box, but a defender gets a body in front of the effort.

12’ — Yeimar picks a poor time to push forward, winning a header but leaving Xavier Arreaga with no support as Colorado attack. Arreaga is able to put it out for a corner.

17’ — Nico Lodeiro gets the closest any Sounder has so far, putting his shot from the top of the box over the bar after some slick play from Morris and Albert Rusnák to set him up.

20’ — Kelyn Rowe nearly sets up the equalizer, putting in a great cross for Morris, but the ensuing header to the corner is stopped by William Yarbrough.

37’ — Morris nearly scores again, this time rinsing a few defenders inside the area then hitting a shot that squirts under Yarbrough but the ‘keeper is able to grab the rebound.

41’ — Yeimar nearly scores twice in a matter of seconds! First his shot from a scramble on a corner is blocked, then his header bounces off the turf and over the bar.

43’ — Jordan Morris! Lodeiro takes a free kick quickly, playing Jimmy Medranda in behind. Medranda feeds Morris with a clever touch and Morris chips the GK to the far post! 1-1

47’ — Kelyn Rowe receives a second yellow for delaying a Colorado throw-in. Sounders will play the remainder of the game with 10 players.

60’ — Morris cuts in from the left and drives centrally towards the top of the box before unleashing a shot that nearly slithers in before the GK corrals it.

69’ — Morris again! He nearly beats Yarbrough after running onto a beautiful through ball from Rusnák, then gets taken out by the GK as he goes for the loose ball. PK for Seattle.

71’ — Goal! Nico Lodeiro steps up to the penalty and puts it over Yarbrough as he guesses the right way but can’t stop the shot. Sounders lead! 2-1

Quick thoughts

Unleashing the full power of Jordan Morris: Against Colorado, Morris was an absolute menace. He was a dangerous and frequent option, grabbing a goal and earning a penalty while contributing 7 of the team’s 17 total shots and adding 3 key passes. Out on the wing Morris showed the kind of tenacity that some have felt was lacking at times this season, repeatedly taking on defenders and looking for shooting opportunities. In Raúl Ruidíaz’s absence, goals are at a premium, and Morris reminded the league tonight that he’s more than capable of providing them.

This is why you play Rusnák in central midfield: Albert Rusnák is a fantastic player, and you could probably put him anywhere on the field and he’d find a way to impact the game. Tonight, with Cristian Roldan covering all kinds of ground around him and popping up to facilitate possession and attacks, Rusnák was repeatedly able to step forward in possession and transition moments to gaze into the future and pick out the best possible pass to spring a dangerous attack. That led directly to the penalty, and more than a few other instances that left the Rapids scrambling. Rusnák’s ability to step into the opponent’s weak spaces in the middle of the field from his deeper position, often unchecked as the opposing 6 tracks Lodeiro or one of the other attacking kids, has a profoundly unsettling effect on defenses, to say nothing of his ability to see and hit a pass.

Stopping the skid: Brian Schmetzer, Cristian Roldan and Jimmy Medranda all spoke to the feelings leading into this game with a three-game losing streak on their backs, and the relief of finally getting a win. The staff changed the training approach, moving to a lower volume but higher intensity training schedule heading into the game. Schmetzer made personnel changes and dropped Cristian Roldan into central midfield. The team got off to a rough start with the early goal, but clawed back and came away with a much-needed win. Now it’s time to add to the tally.

Did you see that?!?

This pass was deserving of an assist, but setting up a PK is pretty good too.

He said what?!?

One stat to tell the tale

20 — The Sounders won 20 more duels than Colorado, winning 59 to 39 duels.


Poll

Man of the match

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    Jordan Morris
    (836 votes)
  • 10%
    Albert Rusnák
    (98 votes)
  • 1%
    Cristian Roldan
    (11 votes)
  • 2%
    Xavier Arreaga
    (29 votes)
974 votes total Vote Now

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