COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Seattle forward Fredy Montero brought his scoring drought to a close in helping the Sounders edge a 10-man Colorado Rapids, 1-0, on Friday night.
Montero, who hadn’t scored a goal since a Sept. 1 US Open Cup semifinal win against Chivas USA, finally found the net, calmly slotting in from the edge of the box in the 19th minute to give the Sounders their second win in a five-game unbeaten streak.
This game all hinged on one dramatic moment right at the start. In the third minute, Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan – frustrated by the lack of a call just seconds earlier – went in with a reckless two-footed sliding tackle on Sounders winger Steve Zakuani and was given a straight red card.
Zakuani was taken off on a stretcher and immediately transported to the hospital to undergo X-Rays for what was reported to be a broken leg.
Down a man, Colorado faced an uphill battle. While the home team tried to accommodate themselves on the pitch, Seattle took advantage and struck for the only tally of the match.
In the 19th minute, after sustaining some pressure on their goal, the Sounders countered through O’Brian White. The forward then laid the ball of to Mauro Rosales, who subsequently found Montero at the edge of the 18-yard box. The Colombian then slipped the ball under ‘keeper Matt Pickens for his first goal of the season.
The Rapids eventually found their footing, but despite enjoying most of the possession, they failed to create any serious chances until the final moments of the game.
Second-half Colorado substitute Wells Thompson came close to finding the equalizer in the dying seconds of regular time, but his powerful left-footed volley was blocked by the Sounders’ defense.
Shortly after, Rapids forward Caleb Folan had an opening in stoppage time and rifled a shot, but it was again blocked by the opposition.
In the final seconds of the match, Seattle again countered in an attempt to ice the match with a second goal, but midfielder Osvaldo Alonso sailed a shot just over the bar.
With the win, Seattle improve to a 2-2-3 record. They will now return home to face Toronto FC on April 30. Colorado, meanwhile, suffered their third straight defeat and fall to a 3-3-0 record. They will next host the Chicago Fire also on April 30.
SEA -- Fredy Montero 1 (Mauro Rosales 3, O'Brian White 2) 19Misconduct Summary:
COL -- Brian Mullan (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 3
COL -- Caleb Folan (caution; Reckless Foul) 75
SEA -- Fredy Montero (caution; Reckless Foul) 81
Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl, Mauro Rosales (Erik Friberg 74), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Fredy Montero, Steve Zakuani (Alvaro Fernandez 9) (Leo Gonzalez 82), O'Brian White.
Substitutes Not Used: Mike Fucito, Nate Jaqua, Miguel Montano, Terry Boss.
Colorado Rapids -- Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Tyrone Marshall (Anthony Wallace 66), Drew Moor, Jamie Smith (Sanna Nyassi 72), Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni (Wells Thompson 68), Brian Mullan, Omar Cummings, Caleb Folan.
Substitutes Not Used: Andre Akpan, Joseph Nane, Scott Palguta, Steward Ceus.
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Referee's Assistants: -Daniel Belleau; Eric Proctor
4th Official: Geoff Gamble
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 58 degrees