Sounders bend but don’t break remain undefeated with 1-1 draw at Colorado

 Despite another injury crisis the Seattle Sounders (7-0-5, 26 points) managed to stay unbeaten with a 1-1 draw against the Colorado Rapids (5-3-2, 17 points). Well, start with the what. Midfielder Alex Roldan gave the Rave Green a 1-0 lead just before halftime. The Rapids clawed back into the game and leveled it in the 58th on an exquisite shot by midfielder Michael Barrios.  A fair result given the Sounders was overrun in the latter stages of the second half and could have easily left Colorado with nothing to show for their herculean effort.

INJURIES MOUNT

In his post-game news conference head coach Brian Schmetzer revealed that striker Will Bruin had orthoscopic surgery. Bruin suffered a torn meniscus tear in last week’s game against the Vancouver Whitecaps.  Bruin will join injured Sounders Jordy Delem, Jordan Morris, Nicolas Lodeiro,  Stefan Frei  and Nohou. Delem and Morris have been ruled out for the season with the rest on a wait-and-see basis. The injuries forced Schmetzer to deploy a 3-5-1 formation with 19-year-old Josh Atencio getting his fourth start in the midfield.

TACTICAL BATTLE

Both teams came out in conservative mode. Allowing the opponent to have possession and staying compact in the middle. The strategy was similar to a heavy-weight boxing match in which the fighters were content with counter-punching each other. The goal by Roldan was unexpected but well deserved due to perseverance and yes a little luck.

OVERRUN IN THE SECOND HALF

A quick tactical change by Rapids head coach Robin Fraser saw the home-side institute a high press resulting in countless giveaways by the Sounders. The Sounders were caught in one-way traffic for the majority of the second half. Colorado was never able to make that last pass in the box that would lead to the go-ahead goal.

Give credit to the Sounders backline of  Yeimar Gomez Andrade, Shane O’Neill, and AB Cissoko for getting in front of the ball and making good decisions. Schmetzer’s insertion of Kelyn Rowe in the 56th minute and Ethan Dobbelaere (84th) brought some speed in the middle of the pitch and forced Colorado to call off their press. Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland made what is getting to be routine a couple of game-saving saves late in the game to preserve the tie.

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