SEATTLE — Two goals in the first seven minutes and a four-goal second half punctuated a wild, hot-blooded 4-3 Seattle victory over the visiting Colorado Rapids on Saturday afternoon at CenturyLink Field. Seattle’s Fredy Montero and Mauro Rosales each posted a goal and an assist to put the finishing touches on the Sounders’ second consecutive comeback win.
Roger Levesque and Alvaro Fernandez scored the other two goals for Seattle. Midfielders Wells Thompson and Jeff Larentowicz scored first-half goals for the Rapids, while substitute Caleb Folan scored in the 90th minute to make matters interesting.
With three points, Seattle climb to within one point of Western Conference-leading LA Galaxy. They also extend their league unbeaten streak to nine games.
Colorado remain in 5th place in the West. They are 1-3-2 in their last six matches. To make matters worse, the Rapids lost striker Conor Casey to an injury in the first half. TV reports during the match claimed he had injured his Achilles tendon.
The last time Seattle and Colorado met, on April 22, Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan broke Steve Zakuani’s leg on a rash challenge that led to a 10-game suspension. While the Rapids opted to leave Mullan at home, the midfielder’s absence didn’t calm the bad blood between the two sides on Saturday.
In all, match referee Edvin Jurisevic handed out five yellow cards as the two teams contested an overtly physical match.
The Rapids opened the scoring before many of the 36,424 fans could take a seat. Capitalizing on a short clearance from Seattle defender Jeff Parke, Thompson gathered the ball and drove a low 18-yard shot into the left corner.
The Sounders answered through Fernandez in the 7th minute. Osvaldo Alonso found a streaking Fernandez down Seattle’s left side, and the Uruguayan held off Rapids right back Kosuke Kimura long enough to fire a shot in at the far post.
As the first half progressed, Colorado midfielder Pablo Mastroeni was lucky to escape a red card after an altercation with Erik Friberg. Already on a yellow card, Mastroeni reacted strongly to a Friberg foul that probably deserved a caution of its own, but Jurisevic merely warned both players.
Although Mastroeni stayed in the match, the Rapids were dealt a blow in the 38th minute when Casey limped off.
The Rapids then reclaimed the lead just before halftime. Thompson collected a long ball from Cummings, and laid it off to Larentowicz, who fired a strong drive off the far post and in.
The second half exploded as quickly as the first. This time, though, it was the Sounders who found the net early. Roger Levesque flicked in a cross from the right from Rosales, squaring the match at 2-2 just as the sun emerged in the sky.
A back-and-forth period followed Levesque’s goal, until the Sounders broke through in the 82nd minute through Montero. After substitute Brad Evans’s shot was tipped by Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens, Montero, crashing the far post, stooped low to nod the ball in.
Seattle seized on the momentum to score again less than a minute later. Rosales capitalized on a missed touch by Drew Moor and slotted his shot past Pickens to make it 4-2.
It proved to be a vital goal for the home side as Folan slammed home a rebound in the 90th minute to make it close.
But it wasn’t enough, and the Sounders held on for their fifth win in six games.
Seattle return to action Wednesday night with a friendly against Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson, who watched the match from a suite. Colorado return home for a Wednesday night matchup with the New York Red Bulls.
COL -- Wells Thompson 1 (unassisted) 1
SEA -- Alvaro Fernandez 5 (Osvaldo Alonso 1) 7
COL -- Jeff Larentowicz 4 (Wells Thompson 1, Omar Cummings 2) 42
SEA -- Roger Levesque 3 (Mauro Rosales 6, Osvaldo Alonso 2) 48
SEA -- Fredy Montero 6 (unassisted) 82
SEA -- Mauro Rosales 2 (Fredy Montero 5) 84
COL -- Caleb Folan 3 (unassisted) 89
Colorado Rapids -- Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Tyrone Marshall, Drew Moor, Sanna Nyassi (Ross LaBauex 80), Pablo Mastroeni, Jeff Larentowicz, Wells Thompson, Omar Cummings (Andre Akpan 86), Conor Casey (Caleb Folan 38).
Substitutes Not Used: Joseph Nane, Scott Palguta, Steward Ceus.
Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke, Tyson Wahl, Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg (Brad Evans 73), Alvaro Fernandez (Lamar Neagle 71), Fredy Montero (Nate Jaqua 89), Roger Levesque.
Substitutes Not Used: Mike Fucito, Pat Noonan, Zach Scott, Terry Boss.
COL -- Pablo Mastroeni (caution; Reckless Tackle) 18
COL -- Conor Casey (caution; Dissent) 25
SEA -- Fredy Montero (caution; Goalkeeper Interference) 27
SEA -- Roger Levesque (caution; Reckless Tackle) 69
COL -- Wells Thompson (caution; Reckless Tackle) 79
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Referee's Assistants: Mike Kampmeinert; Colin Arblaster
4th Official: Andrew Chapin
Time of Game: 1:56