Seattle Sounders vs. Colorado Rapids | MLS Match Preview

Aug. 30, 2014 (WEEK 25, MLS Game #235)
1 p.m. PT (KCPQ-13 FOX/ROOT-NW Alt/KOMO2; Altitude)

A key match in the Western Conference playoff chase is ahead on Saturday afternoon when Seattle Sounders FC play host to the Colorado Rapids at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC return home after yet another goal fest at their fiercest rivals, defeating the Portland Timbers 4-2 last Sunday at Providence Park. The Rapids return to action after seeing their losing streak extended to five games last time out, with a 4-3 loss to the LA Galaxy at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.


REFEREE: Hilario Grajeda. AR1 (bench): Frank Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Mark Cahen; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 112 games; FC/gm: 24.2; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 18; pens: 18

SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SEA: Osvaldo Alonso, DeAndre Yedlin, Gonzalo Pineda … COL: Nick LaBrocca
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SEA: Obafemi Martins, Zach Scott … COL: Carlos Alvarez DISABLED LIST: SEA: Damion Lowe; Kevin Parsemain

ALL-TIME (13 meetings): Sounders FC 9 wins, 24 goals … Rapids 2 wins, 16 goals … Ties 2
AT SEATTLE (7 meetings): Sounders FC 6 wins, 17 goals … Rapids 2 wins, 7 goals … Ties 1
FUTURE MATCH: 10/5: Colorado Rapids vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 1 p.m. MT

2014 (MLS):
4/26: SEA 4, COL 1 (Neagle 46+; Dempsey 47, 52; Martins 75 – Serna 62)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Clint Dempsey scored twice and Lamar Neagle and Obafemi Martins also added goals as Sounders FC rolled to a 4-1 win April 26 at CenturyLink Field.
  • Sounders FC have not lost to the Rapids in Seattle, in nine meetings in all competitions, including a 2-0 win in the Knockout Round of the MLS Cup Playoffs a year ago.
  • Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. COL: P42 W23 L11 T8 … Pablo Mastroeni vs. SEA: P1 W0 L1 T0


  • Sounders FC opened the scoring just before the halftime whistle. A through ball from Obafemi Martins put Clint Dempsey in alone on goal. He rounded goalkeeper Clint Irwin and sent in a shot from a tight angle. Rapids defender Drew Moor was able to get just enough of the ball to keep it out of the net, but his block went right to Lamar Neagle, who smashed it into the net.
  • Seattle made it 2-0 in the 47th minute. A Clint Dempsey back-heeled flick gave Marco Pappa an open look from about 10 yards out. Irwin made a diving save on the initial attempt, but the rebound went right to Dempsey for a simple tap-in.
  • It was 3-0 just five minutes when Pappa put it in a corner that Chad Marshall headed back toward goal, where Dempsey was waiting near the top of the goal area, and he then looped his header over a stranded Irwin.
  • The Rapids made it 3-1 in the 62nd minute when Dillon Serna scored his first professional goal, finishing off a through ball from Nick LaBrocca with a low shot in the penalty area.
  • But Sounders FC put the match away 13 minutes when Martins took a quick throw-in from Neagle, made a quick move to free up some space and slotted the ball inside the far post from the left side of the box.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Stefan Frei - DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Chad Marshall, Dylan Remick - Lamar Neagle, Gonzalo Pineda, Osvaldo Alonso (Andy Rose 82), Marco Pappa (Brad Evans 69) - Clint Dempsey (Kenny Cooper 88), Obafemi Martins.
  • COLORADO RAPIDS (4-2-3-1): Clint Irwin - Thomas Piermayr, Shane O'Neill, Drew Moor, Christopher Klute - Nathan Sturgis (Marlon Hairston 56), Jose Mari (Jared Watts 71) - Nick LaBrocca, Gabriel Torres, Dillon Serna - Edson Buddle (Deshorn Brown 59).

Seattle Sounders FC again put four goals past their archrivals on their own ground, defeating the Portland Timbers 4-2 on Sunday afternoon at Providence Park. Sounders FC are in first place in the Western Conference and the MLS overall table with 45 points from 24 games.


  • Sounders FC were ahead after just the 18th minute. A 14-pass sequence set up Brad Evans on the right wing, who flew past a Timbers defender and rolled an unchallenged cross to a charging Obafemi Martins for an easy tap-in goal.
  • Seattle doubled their lead in the 34th minute on a perfectly executed counter attack off a Portland corner kick. Martins came away with the clearance, drove through the center of the park and fed a charging Clint Dempsey for a cool finish underneath onrushing Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
  • Barrett made it 3-0 on a 70th-minute blast through Ricketts’ gloves from the left wing on a feed from Dempsey from the center of the box. Fanendo Adi pulled a goal back just three minutes later when he got on the end of a long Rodney Wallace cross and poked it past Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
  • But before the Timbers could settle, Sounders FC found the back of the net again on a bullish run from Martins and authoritative finish past Ricketts. Adi hit for his second in stoppage time, striking home a Steve Zakuani pass in the area, for the final scoreline.
  • Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made five changes to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes at CenturyLink Field. Zach Scott and Leo Gonzalez came into the back four for Djimi Traore and Jalil Anibaba, Brad Evans and Gonzalo Pineda started in midfield in place of Kenny Cooper and Andy Rose, and Clint Dempsey came in up top for Chad Barrett.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Stefan Frei - DeAndre Yedlin, Zach Scott, Chad Marshall, Leo Gonzalez - Brad Evans (Lamar Neagle 78), Gonzalo Pineda, Osvaldo Alonso, Marco Pappa (Chad Barrett 63) - Obafemi Martins, Clint Dempsey (Andy Rose 80).


  • Sounders FC put an end to a three-game road losing streak with the victory, the second time this season they had scored four goals at Providence Park (the first coming in a 4-4 draw April 5). The four goals matched a season-high for the season, now hit three times.
  • “Our team went out there with an attitude that we wanted to make a statement. We talked about that yesterday and today, that we wanted to make this a statement game. This was not last year, was not déjà vu. I thought we started off the game really well,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid.
  • Said Clint Dempsey: “It’s always good to win. There’s a good feeling around the team. We’ve been a little bit down in terms of our energy with not getting the right results, but getting a win like today definitely lifts the spirits and hopefully we can push on and go on a run.”
  • Obafemi Martins scored a pair of goals, his first goals since netting a brace on June 7 in Chicago. Martins is tied for eighth in the MLS Golden Boot standings with10 goals this season.
  • Martins was also credited with a pair of assists, and has three assists in the last two games. Martins is tied for third in MLS with 9 assists for the season, behind LA’s Robbie Keane and New York’s Thierry Henry.
  • Clint Dempsey netted his first goal in seven matches, since the July 13 win vs. Portland, scoring his 10th goal of the season.
  • Chad Barrett scored a goal for a third consecutive match, the second time in that span after coming off the substitutes’ bench. Barrett has scored a goal in four consecutive games in all competitions.
  • “It’s really important for Oba. It’s also important for Clint [Dempsey] to get on the board. The combinations were good. ... Getting Oba on the board for the second one, where he dribbles through is obviously a good goal for him. Dempsey sets up [Chad] Barrett who comes in, continues to score goals for us. Those are all good things. Strikers love scoring goals,” Schmid said.
  • Said Brad Evans: “If you go back and look at Clint [Dempsey]’s run in the second goal, that’s just pure determination, heart and grit. That’s what we want from all of our players. At the end of a stretch of games and, obviously, he didn’t start last game and he had a couple days off, so he’s feeling fresh. He booked it there. I think guys feed off of that. When everybody puts in that little bit extra, the results tend to go your way.”
  • After missing out on the San Jose match, Gonzalo Pineda returned to the Sounders FC lineup and played 90 minutes in the center of midfield.
  • “I don’t know what’s a first-choice lineup because you always have little aches and little injuries,” Schmid said. “Obviously getting Pineda back is helpful to our team. I thought he played a good game. He probably played where some guys might not have played with his ankle injury, but he’s a competitor and once the adrenaline flows, I’m sure he’s pretty sore right now. It’s a lineup we were very happy putting on the field.”

The Colorado Rapids return to action after their losing streak was extended to five games last time out, the LA Galaxy storming back for a 4-3 win on August 20 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids are in seventh place in the Western Conference with 30 points from 25 games.


  • The Rapids were two goals ahead inside of 17 minutes. A long ball from Edson Buddle picked out striker Deshorn Brown inside the box, and his initial shot was saved with a terrific stop from Jaime Penedo. But Marlon Hairston was first to the rebound, drilling it home from a tough angle.
  • Just three minutes later the score was 2-0, when Buddle scored his 100th career league goal, headed home perfectly from a corner kick at the top of the six-yard box.
  • But the Galaxy pulled one back just three minutes later, when Robbie Keane sent a looping header from a Dan Gargan cross back inside the right-hand post, eluding Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin.
  • Yet the margin was restored on the half hour. Fullback Marc Burch drilled a free kick from 25 yards out that banged it off the bottom of the crossbar and in off the goalkeeper's back to make it 3-1.
  • The Galaxy stormed back after the break. First, in the 55th minute, Landon Donovan put a free kick service straight onto the head of a charging Omar Gonzalez, and he made no mistake with his close-range header.
  • Alan Gordon turned home a shot from inside the area in the 68th minute to level the score at 3-3. Then, in the 80th minute, Keane sprung Donovan with a through ball up the center of the park, and Donovan used a terrific run and classy finish to round Irwin and slot home the match-winner.
  • Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni made three changes to the team that fell 4-2 to D.C. United at RFK Stadium. Jared Watts came into central defense in place of the injured Drew Moor, and Marlon Hairston and Edson Buddle came into the side in place of Vicente Sanchez and Dillon Serna.
  • COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-2): Clint Irwin - Christopher Klute, Jared Watts (Grant Van De Casteele 61), Marvell Wynne, Marc Burch - Marlon Hairston (Gabriel Torres 77), Jose Mari, Nick LaBrocca, Dillon Powers - Edson Buddle (Vicente Sanchez 63), Deshorn Brown.


  • The Rapids lost their fifth consecutive game, one shy of the club’s all-time record losing streak, set twice previously, in 1999 and in 2012.
  • The Rapids conceded a season-high four goals for a second consecutive game, and a third time this season. They have allowed 12 goals over the last five matches.
  • “The way we’re conceding them is really strange. There are little breakdowns that lead to goals, and for me, I always preach about good starting positions,” said Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni. “If you’re in a good spot to start, you’re going to be able to deal with a ball that’s coming in. If you’re in a bad spot to start, you’re going to be reaching, the player’s going to play it around you, you’re going to be shifting, and once one of those guys on the back line shifts, everyone else has to shift. Then there’s open space on the other side, so everyone shifts again.”
  • Said Edson Buddle: “I guess now our main focus is to going to be not to let up as many goals. You can’t win games [by] five goals every game. I think we probably have to start there, get back to shutouts and 1-0 games, and 2-1. It’s good that the fans got to see seven goals but for us it’s not as good.”
  • Buddle scored his second goal of the season, his first since April 12, the 100th league goal of his career. Buddle became the eighth player in MLS history to reach the century mark in goals, in 289 regular season appearances.
  • “For Edson, that 100th goal is a great stamp to put on the career he’s had. I think he’s been one of the true unrecognized pioneers in the modern game and it’s a great accolade to have in the old trophy case. I couldn’t be happier for him,” said Mastroeni.
  • Marlon Hairston scored his first professional goal, in his 16th league appearance this season, making his first start in five matches.
  • “They were both catalysts in the first half as far as the attacking went. Edson found a lot of great opportunities and played a lot of great passes, and I think Marlon was on the front foot quite a bit and got into good spots. I think they deserved their goals,” Mastroeni said.
  • With Drew Moor lost for the season with a knee injury, Jared Watts made his first start of the season in a central defense role, but played just 61 minutes before he suffered a hamstring injury.
  • Rookie Grant Van De Casteele made his first-team debut, coming on as a substitute in central defense just after the hour mark.
  • “Watts had a good game going and you throw up [Grant Van De] Casteele in his first professional match against a team like that – I almost feel bad throwing him to the wolves but I think he did a good job, and he’s going to take his lumps and move forward,” said Mastroeni. “We can work on a million different things, but at the end of the day it’s about concentration and focus.”
  • For a fourth consecutive match, Gabriel Torres came off the substitutes’ bench, playing 13 minutes. “The truth is I’m a bit sad,” Torres said. “But they’re coaching decisions, and as a professional, I have to respect them. ... This is the first time I’ve ever been in this situation. I have to keep working and hoping that things will improve.”