Seattle welcomed Colorado Rapids with an unusually warm sunny spring afternoon. Many fans were ready to roll out the welcome wagon for Brian Mullan, on the condition that Brian Mullan be under the wagon. It is difficult not to think about these two teams without thinking about the horrendous tackle on Steve Zakuani last season, and it is Brian Mullan’s first trip to Seattle since it occurred.
Colorado came out with a 4-3-3 with Omar Cummings, Brian Mullan, and Tony Cascio up front. Conor Casey coincidentally played his last match against Sounders, Colorado commonly played a 4-4-2 when Casey was available. When you start to add these things up and the fact that these two teams are on similar paths to the Western Conference playoffs you get the impression that a rivalry is building.
Fredy Montero found himself with a close opportunity early in the 5th minute that was saved by Matt Pickens, a recurring theme throughout the match. Another good opportunity came on a Alex Caskey cross in the 13th minute that found a wide open Zach Scott who headed the ball just wide.
Leo Gonzales 32nd minute showed good situational awareness that saved a goal. Mullan was offside when Omar Cummings took his shot that Gspurning dropped right to the clearly advantaged Cascio right in front of the net.
Colorado keep their shape exceptionally well, their defensive line stayed organized and kept Seattle’s best chances at a managable distance. Gspurning does not catch the ball out of the air very frequently, he’s usually punching the ball clear and has let a couple of shots rebound to dangerous areas this season.
Halftime statistics showed that Colorado had an advantage in possession, 60% of possession and 286 passes (76.% completed) to Seattle’s 188 (73.4% completed).
Eddie Johnson was booked in the 46th minute for a strikers challenge after turning the ball over to Larentowicz. Another caution was issued to Zach Scott for tugging the shoulder of a Rapids player who was looking to breakaway after a Sounders corner kick.
Brad Evans appeared quite upset with Eddie Johnson for not getting in front of the net to challenge Pickens for a ball that Evans won in the air on a long ball. Johnson had not made an impact on the game at that point and was not challenging for possession of the ball in the danger area.
in the 62nd minute Zach Scott made up for a near miss on a Caskey set piece. On a corner kick, again from Caskey, Scott, on a near post run, finishes to the far post with his head. His first goal, and Caskey’s first assist of his career.
Montero did manage to play a good ball through for Ochoa. It would have been about a 40 yards to the goal, Ochoa was able to control the ball but not make anything positive out of it. Johnson & Ochoa were competent, but neither made much of an impact on the game in terms of creating an opportunity to score.
Montero almost scored again in the 89th minute on a spectacular half-volley that Pickens was able to push over the bar for a corner. Montero was subbed off in the 90th minute for Roger Levesque. Montero will have to be content to sit below Zach Scott on the scoring chart for another week. Although Montero has yet to score, criticism of him directly may be misplaced. Montero appears to be seeking to create for his teammates more than looking for his shot.
The box score at the end of the match was quite revealing, Colorado maintained a 60/40 advantage in possession, made more passes, but came away with 7 fewer corner kicks & run-of-play crosses each, and only 4 attempts on goal to Seattle’s 18.
38,360 in attendance.