Sunday was more of the same.
Martins and Dempsey teamed up for another virtuoso performance, combining for three goals and an assist while helping the Sounders cruise to an easy 4-1 road victory over the Rapids.
Martins scored twice, bringing his personal total for the season to a team-leading 17.
Dempsey, meanwhile, got the Sounders off to a fast start, calmly converting a penalty kick awarded to Seattle in the 11th minute after Colorado center back Marvell Wynne was whistled for a handball in the box. The Seattle star also added a nifty back-heel assist on Marco Pappa’s chip goal in the 33rd minute that gave the Sounders a commanding 3-0 lead.
“It was a good combination with a player with great technique,” Pappa said. “I saw [Dempsey] coming to me so I tried to play some combination…Of course I was happy to score a goal, but I’m more happy to be on the team and see the team happy.”
Perhaps even more encouraging than the offensive fireworks, the Sounders also got an improved performance on the defensive side of the ball after struggling in recent games. Colorado only managed one goal, a near-post finish from Deshorn Brown toward the end of the first half after the Rapids already had a three-goal deficit
Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid said he was pleased with his team’s ability to regain control of the contest after conceding Brown’s goal.
“I thought the last six seven minutes of the first half, we gave the game back to them a little bit,” Schmid said after the game. “But then the second half, I thought we were really professional about what we needed to do. We kept possession, we could have probably scored three or four in the second half, and we did a good job of keeping them off the board.”
With the victory, the Sounders kept pace with the LA Galaxy in the Supporters’ Shield race, tying their Western Conference rivals at 60 points with three regular season games left before the playoffs start.
“It truly is going to be a battle until the end,” defender Brad Evans said. “Earlier in the season, we had a 10-point cushion. We knew that wasn’t going to be that easy, it’s never going to be that easy.”
Next up for the Sounders is a home clash with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Oct. 10, before two games against the Galaxy to close the regular season: on the road on Oct. 18 and in Seattle on Oct. 25.