Written by Paul Fritz
Commerce City, CO- After enjoying a successful 3 game stretch without a defeat, the Rapids had every reason to be confident hosting their 4th of July matchup against the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday night. Beyond showing significant improvement in their offense in recent showings, the Rapids were also favorites against Seattle who currently hold the 2nd last position in the Western Conference. But it was the Sounders who prevailed in the end as they held the edge in possession.
With a combined total of just 4 shots on goal in the first half, both sides struggled mightily to get any real momentum in the final third of the field. Luckily for the Sounders in the 19th minute, the ball fell directly in the path of Sounders striker Will Bruin who took a dribble and slotted it past the attempted kick-save by Tim Howard.
The Rapids scrapped and scored just before the end of the first half on a quality cross from leftback Edgar Castillo that found midfielder Sam Nicholson, who headed it in for his first goal as a Rapid.
The 2nd half started with a Rapids striker substitution with Jack McBean replacing Yannick Boli to try and get a different look going forward. However in the 59th minute, Bruin found the back of the net once again for his second goal of the game and his 5th goal on the season. This time it was midfielder Victor Rodriguez who put the ball through on goal in position for Bruin to take the shot.
On the stellar performance by Bruin, Hudson said, “We got overrun in midfield from the start of the game. We had a poor start and too many of us were not at the level they needed to be at from the start of the game. It wasn’t just the defenders, it starts with the players up front and all the way through the midfield. It was just a poor start for us tonight.”
From Bruin’s second goal on, the Rapids pressed the Sounders across the whole field which actually allowed them to create a few more legitimate chances. The best chance the Rapids could muster came in the 82nd minute when McBean threaded a smooth cross that passed by three Sounders defenders to ultimately land at the feet of midfielder Shkelzen Gashi. Gashi couldn’t finish off the chance as his shot was slightly hesitant, giving Sounders keeper Stefan Frei enough time to gather himself and punch the shot away from danger. In the end, Colorado couldn’t find the equalizer and suffered a 2-1 defeat.
On his team’s performance overall, Hudson expressed his disappointment by saying, “It wasn’t a good night. We started off poorly and gave ourselves too much to do. Soft goals.” Despite the team’s performance not meeting Hudson’s expectations, the night wasn’t a total failure for the Rapids as they generally put together more passes and chances at goal in the 2nd half. However, they did end the match with a total of 23 fouls and 6 yellow cards. The yellow card on Edgar Castillo means that he will be suspended for their next game. The Rapids will hope to learn from their slow start and get back to a high powered offense this Saturday.
The three points put the Sounders at equal standing with the Rapids albeit near the very bottom of the table. Colorado will need to bounce back during this quick turnaround as they head up to Montreal this Saturday, July 7th, to take on the Impact at Saputo Stadium. Seattle will continue their road trip as they head to New England to take on the Revolution at Gillette Stadium this Saturday.