Studs and Duds from Sounders FC’s 4-0 win over Colorado Rapids.

The Sounders’ 4-0 win over the Colorado Rapids was the exact tonic head coach Brian Schmetzer and his side needed.  The pre-match motif from ECS  said it all.  Don’t call it a comeback, okay fair enough. Personally, I prefer a redemption tour. No matter which moniker or phrase one uses, the point the Sounders are out to prove that missing the postseason last year was a one-off.  A solid home opener does wonder when you are out to erase a past transgression. One game does not a season make so here are some Studs and yes there were a few duds in the Sounder’s feel-good win.



Will start with the low-hanging fruit. Could have started with Jordan Morris but as Schmetzer is quoted as saying, ” João makes everyone better.” And he does. Why?

His ability to play from box to box is what separates him from the rest.  He is technically sound, reads the game, and plays two passes ahead. Last night his ability to find tight spaces in the midfield took the pressure off Albert Rusnak which then took the pressure off Nicolas Lodeiro.  While Paulo thinks two passes ahead there is no better distributor of the ball than Lodeiro when he is in the middle of the field and facing forward.  Paulo started his 75th game for the club last night.


Morris had one of his better games as a Sounder. Yes, he netted a brace but it was his off-ball movement that put him in the right sport and at the right time. By staying wide near the touchline Morris dragged defenders from the middle of the field. Once he was wide he patiently waited for the opportunity to use his sped and cut inside. With the defender chasing him Morris found space in the goal box.


By many accounts, this is the best preseason Roldan has had. The number reason is his health.  Roldan was hurt for the majority of last season but labored through it until he was forced to have surgery. An offseason of rest and recovery has done wonders for the former UW product. It was no coincidence that he scored a goal last night his 33rd in MLS regular season play and 37th overall.


The one dud from last night was the dodgy play of the backline. Yes, it’s tough to criticize a unit that pitched a shutout. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei had to make seven saves on his way to his 92nd career shutout. The backline made the plays they had to make on set pieces, covering for each other. My criticism is that they put themselves in unnecessarily dangerous situations between the goal box and the 30-yard line.

Colorado players were given too much space with and without the ball leaving gaps between the defenders. When push came to shove Center backs  Jackson Ragen and Yeimer Gomez read the situation correctly and made the play. Outside back Alex Roldan and Nohou were disciplined when it came time to gallop down the field and they did a good job of coming back.


There Sounders did show some first-game jitters in terms of communication although this was not their first game of the season. It will take some time for the backline and midfield to jell with the return of Paulo.  Raul Ruidiaz did not play and his debutant Eber scored playing under Schmetzer’s 4-2-3-1 formation which is uniquely situated for Ruidiaz.


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