Colorado Rapids Pulled Apart By Seattle Sounders: Three Things I Noticed

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April 2, 2016 - Colorado Rapids defender Eric Miller (3) moves the ball up field during the first half at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on April 2, 2016 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Getty Images/Denver Post/Brent Lewis)

Editorial (July 5, 2017) – The Colorado Rapids lost 3-1 last night against the Seattle Sounders. Clint Dempsey was at the center of all three goals for the winning side, recording a brace and an assist. This ends a stretch of eight games in 22 days for the Rapids.

Colorado Rapids Pulled Apart By Seattle Sounders: Three Things I Noticed

Last night’s match was a battle of wounded teams. The Rapids are dealing with a bunch of injuries after a busy schedule. The Sounders meanwhile had first half injuries to Chad Marshall and Osvaldo Alonso. Here’s three things I noticed that helped Seattle get a gut-check win:

Same Lineup As Saturday: Rapids Ran Out Of Gas

Rapids Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni started the same Starting XI as he did on Saturday. Seattle meanwhile had the weekend off. Colorado came out flat with tired legs. The marking was not there in the first half. There wasn’t as much speed up front on the counter. The passing and little things were just off.

After the game, Mastroeni said “it’s a game of moments and I think in a couple instances, we had tired and heavy legs. We just couldn’t react the right way,” adding “they did everything they could given the situation they were in.”

The Rapids have had a bad habit of late of playing well defensively overall, then making critical errors to give up goals. Mastroeni has been conservative with his roster decisions, giving some of the injuried players a chance to fully recover. All of that led to key players being on the bench or out of the 18. It’s left Eric Miller and Mike da Fonte struggling:

Mike [da Fonte]’s new to the team and I’m new to playing center back. We’re trying to work through. Tim [Howard]’s been great, giving us a ton of advice. But it’s been the whole year, we’ve had different teams playing, different guys playing. I didn’t think we defended terribly, they just killed us on all our mistakes,” centerback Eric Miller said after the game.

The Deuce Is Loose: Dempsey Powers The Attack

Seattle did well in the build up all match long. They slowed things down when needed and used the counter attack to get all three goals.

“Just confidence in possession and we got into good areas just being able to stay calm and collective, look for the right pass and not get too ahead of yourself. I thought Joevin [Jones] put a great ball in and was able to get a good first touch to put it in, they had to try and press the game a little more because they were at home and they were losing, but then we were able to get them on the counter a few times,” said Dempsey after the game.

Dempsey was the focal point in all three goals. He got open at the right times. His teammates found him and he did what he does so well.

Defensive Shape: Seattle Prevents Counter Attack:

The Sounders lost two very important defensive players early on: Chad Marshall and Ozzie Alonso were subbed out with injuries in the first half. Still, Seattle did a good job keeping Colorado in front of them. They watched the film from the game against Houston.

Nouhou Tolo and Jones kept Marlon Hairston pinned down for the most part. Colorado tried throughout the game to release Dominique Badji and Kevin Doyle into the open field. Seattle were organized and alert. They intercepted passes and closed off passing lanes. It probably helped that Colorado did not have as much pep in their step on short rest.

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