COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Osvaldo Alonso’s 65th-minute volley handed the Seattle Sounders a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, sending the Rapids (7-14-1) to their sixth consecutive loss, which ties a franchise record for futility.
With the game tied 1-1 well into the second half, Eddie Johnson’s inch-perfect cross found an unmarked Alonso running into the box, and the Cuban midfielder one-timed a volley into the corner for a sensational first goal of the season and the decisive tally for the Sounders (9-5-7).
The game-winner came after a historic flurry of goals in the game’s opening minutes. Johnson’s second-minute header for Seattle and Drew Moor’s third-minute strike made it two goals in the first three minutes of the game, marking the first time that has happened in MLS play since May 24, 2007, when New York scored twice on Chicago in that game’s first three minutes.
With the victory, Seattle extended their MLS unbeaten streak to five games, while Colorado will happily flip their calendars to August after finishing July pointless at 0-6-0.
HIGHLIGHTS: COL 1, SEA 2
It took all of 80 seconds for the visitors to get on the scoreboard, as an unmarked Johnson rose above the crowd to nod past Matt Pickens for his team-leading ninth goal of the season, giving the Sounders an early 1-0 lead.
Less than two minutes later, though, the Rapids had their reply. Martín Rivero’s through ball along the right wing found Brian Mullan, who crossed to an open Moor, and the Rapids captain made no mistake with the perfect pass for his third goal of the season and the quick equalizer.
The early goals set the tone for a busy first half, but neither side could find the back of the net after the initial outburst of goals.
Conor Casey’s 13th-minute drive outside the box just missed the post, and his shot inside the penalty area just minutes later required a save from Seattle ‘keeper Michael Gspurning, who made his return following a lengthy layoff with a hip injury.
Johnson blew past Rapids defender Tyrone Marshall in the 24th minute and hit a rocket that glanced off the post, but despite the numerous chances for both teams, the game remained knotted up at one after 45 minutes of play.
After Alonso’s strike put Seattle up early in the second half, the Rapids furiously pushed forward seeking an equalizer and nearly found it in the 75th minute when Rivero’s set piece slammed off the crossbar. But the second goal never came for Colorado, who have now lost eight of their past nine games.
The Sounders now begin a busy week as they face Trinidad and Tobago’s Caledonia in CONCACAF Champions League play at CenturyLink Field on Aug. 2, and they’ll return to league play three days later when they host the LA Galaxy. Meanwhile, the Rapids won’t play until Aug. 4 when they host Real Salt Lake (9 pm ET, MLS Live).
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Eddie Johnson||Watch out MLS. EJ isn't just using his speed; he's developed into an all-around threat going forward.|
|2||Conor Casey||He wasn't able to score, but Casey threatened the Seattle backline time and time again. That's a good sign.|
|3||Michael Gspurning||The Sounders' 'keeper has the ability to be the league's best, if he can stay on the field.|