COMMERCE CITY, CO (July 4, 2017) – The big stars provided all the fireworks at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Tuesday night. Clint Dempsey had a brace and an assist as the Seattle Sounders defeated the Colorado Rapids 3-1.
Rapids Manager Pablo Mastroeni made no changes from last game. Tim Howard wore the Captain’s Armband in goal. Mike da Fonte and Eric Miller started again at center back. Marlon Hairston and Bismark Nana Boateng led the midfield. Dominique Badji and Kevin Doyle started up top.
Sounders Head Coach Brian Schmetzer had to make some changes with players missing for national team duty. Stefan Frei was in goal. Chad Marshall led the back four with youngster Nouhou Tolo at left back. Osvaldo Alonso and Nicolas Lodiero were in midfield along with Joevin Jones. Clint Dempsey and Will Bruin started up top.
Clint Dempsey Brace Leads Injured Seattle Sounders To 2-0 Win In Colorado
Seattle were all business to start the match. Just six minutes in, Joevin Jones dribbled down the sideline, picking up speed. Dempsey split the center backs to get open inside the box. Jones found him and Dempsey beat Howard to open the scoring.
The match got a bit chippy after that, with some hard fouls by both sides. Schmetzer was forced to make two substitutions in the first 22 minutes, as Marshall and Alonso went down with injuries. Aaron Kovar and Tony Alfaro came on.
The Sounders were able to gut out another goal despite the changes. In the 30th minute, Lodiero sent a long cross into the box. Dempsey rose up and deflected it towards Bruin. Miller slipped on the play, allowing Bruin shoot off the bounce and send the ball into the far side netting.
Colorado attempted to claw back in the first half, with Doyle and Serna getting decent chances inside the box. Seattle continued to be the better team going forward. Kovar and Bruin used their speed to get into space and give the Rapids defense fits. The half ended 2-0 with Mekeil Williams and Boateng on yellow cards.
The Rapids made an attacking substitution to start the half, bringing on Caleb Calvert. Colorado had an excellent chance in the 58th minute. A ball was sent into the box with Badji and Doyle in the area. Four players attacked the ball, it bounced around, and Frei ultimately saved a deflected chance from Badji. There were shouts for handball, but nothing foul was called.
The Rapids nearly pulled one back in the 77th minute, Frei made a save on substitute Alan Gordon right in front of goal, then Badji’s rebound shot went off the crossbar.
Colorado finally broke through in the 78th minute on the break. Hairston got behind the defense and ran onto a long ball. He sent a perfect cross towards goal and Badji tapped it into an open net. That made it 2-1.
The two sides traded chances, but it was the star power of Seattle that prevailed. Dempsey got on a counter attack in the 85th minute, Running level with the last defender, he fired a perfect shot past Howard to make it 3-1. The match ended with no further goals.
6′ Seattle – Clint Dempsey, assisted by Joevin Jones
30′ Seattle – Will Bruin, assisted by Dempsey and Nicolas Lodiero
78′ Colorado – Dominique Badji, assisted by Marlon Hairston and Micahel Azira
85′ Seattle – Dempsey, assisted by Bruin and Gustav Svensson
This was a really chippy game. The Rapids had seven yellow cards handed out to them and none were given to the Sounders. I don’t think it played a factor in the result, but Colorado were clearly angry with the result of the match and the way things went. This is the team that eliminated them from the playoffs last year and they could not get revenge. Furthermore, this is another loss at home with defensive mistakes. Mastroeni needs his team to get healthy and clean up their mistakes at the back.
Seattle got another gut-check result on the road. Dempsey continues to show his worth. He and Lodiero found some chemistry in the match. On the whole, the team rolled with the punches well, despite two first half injuries to key players.