The Seattle Sounders FC ( 15-11-8, 53pts) secured a second bye in the MLS Playoffs with a wacky 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids (9-19-6, 33pts) Sunday afternoon at CenturyLink Field in front of 44,370 Rave Green fans. The game featured two red cards, two penalties and the teams finished the game playing ten on ten.
The Seattle Sounders started out on the front foot with short passes that created numerous chances as soon as the whistle was blown to start the game. It did not take long for the Sounders hard work to pay off.
Joevin Jones left footed miss in the sixth minute was followed up by an exquisite three pass play goal that started with a Jones pass to Clint Dempsey who fed the ball to Will Bruin who scored the games first goal in the 8th. According to Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer the goal proves that his teams offense is clicking at the right time.
“I’ll answer it this way: So if you watch the first goal — the build-up play — good possession, [Clint] Dempsey plays a ball over on the right-hand side [and] Harry [Shipp]’s movement of diving inside to create that space for Kelvin [Leerdam]. Kelvin had a tremendous performance today [with] his ability to get to the end-line, and then also have a little bit of patience down there. Because he was kind of waiting, waiting, waiting for the right pass, he makes a pass and [Will] Bruin puts it in.
That goal was a quality goal, and I think that is just a bunch of good soccer players making some good plays. And each one of those plays – you know, Dempsey’s a good passer of the ball, Harry came in and did a good job tonight, Kelvin was strong and Will was doing what he’s supposed to do, which is score goals. So, the team is playing to its strengths, and our home form has been very good.”
Bruin nearly grab his second goal of the game in the 15th minute his right-footed shot ricocheted off the Rapids goal post and the chance went begging. The Sounders continued their aggressive style and the aggression turned against the Sounders in the 24th minute when Clint Dempsey has issued a red card for violent conduct for fouling Colorado defender Axel Sjoberg.
The Sounders kept their composure despite being a man down with tight marking on defense, accurate passing and good communication between the backline, midfield, and Bruin who played the lone striker up front. The Rapids had a chance to tie the game in the 53rd when they were awarded a penalty after a handball by Harry Shipp.
Unfortunately for the Rapids, striker Dominique Badji right footed shot hit the left post and the Sounders were able to preserve their lead.
Things got worse for the Rapids in the 60th minute when defender Sjoberg was issued a red card after video review for his tackle on Bruin in the Colorado goal box. Nicolas Lodeiro converted the penalty kick to give the Sounders the two-nil lead as both teams were down to 10 players. Lodeiro scored his second goal of the game in stoppage time to give the Sounders the emphatic 3-0 win.
The Sounders will begin their title defense on October 29 or October 31st. The Sounders will play the highest seed to advance from the Knockout Round.
Substitutes not used: Zac MacMath, Mekeil Williams, Ricardo Perez, Luis Gil