Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Sounders end their drought, defeat the Rapids 2-1
The Seattle Sounders finally got a win that they desperately needed. Saturday night, a crowd of 39,060 at CenturyLink Field saw first hand, the return of their fan favorite Steve Zakuani who made his first appearance since April 23, 2011 when he suffered a fractured leg and more importantly, the Sounders bringing an end to their nine game winless run. The Sounders got their first win since May 9th as they defeated the Colorado Rapids 2-1 to improve to 8-5-6 (30 points). Keep in mind, the Sounders have been a great second half team these past couple of seasons.
Two minutes later, they had another opportunity. Marvell Wynne gave the ball straight away to Mauro Rosales in his own area. Rosales waiting for an overlap from Eddie Johnson before playing it to him. Johnson was forced into a tight angle and tried to sneak the ball inside the near post, but Pickens again tipped it wide for a corner.
The Sounders continued to dominate this match and they came close again in the 14th minute, but not close enough. After a give and go with Alvaro Fernandez, Marc Burch went long for Eddie Johnson who brought the ball down at the top of the penalty area and tried to put it away with a half volley, but he took about a second too long and fired his shot wide of Pickens's left hand side.
The Rapids didn't have a real opportunity until the 24th minute. Ozzie Alonso gave the ball away in his own area to Conor Casey. Support came from Jamie Smith and Martin Rivero. Casey fed Rivero on the near side for a first timed shot that hit the side of the net.
The Rapids looked to hit back a couple minutes later. Jeff Larentowicz had time and space from about 30 yards away and he decided to give it a go and Bryan Meredith had to do everything he can to punch the ball away. In case anybody didn't even notice on that shot, there was quite a bit of movement on the ball.
Five minutes later, the Rapids thought they equalised, but the officials didn't think so. The Sounders had difficulties clearing the ball away. The ball fell to Jeff Larentowicz, who dribbled around Alex Caskey and sent in a ball to the far post and it snuck in, but the offside flag went up because the linesman claimed that Omar Cummings got a touch to it. I've been looking at the replay over and over again and it looked to me like Cummings did get a foot on the ball and he was in an offside position when Larentowicz played the ball in.
April 23 of last year when he suffered a fractured tibia and fibula following a dangerous two footed challenge from Brian Mullan. Having him back is really big for this team as the season progresses. Remember this past offseason, Sigi Schmid didn't expect him to be back until late 2012 if not the 2013 season, but I didn't buy that, I thought he was gonna come back sooner and now he's back. So now what's next for Zak? It's simple, work his way back into the starting 11. He did get a few touches late in the match which is good.
In the final seconds of stoppage time, the Sounders nearly let another one slip away. Tony Cascio played in a low left footed ball to the near post which got away from Omar Cummings. The ball fell to Castrillon, who played the ball back to the top of the area for a first timed shot from Martin Rivero and it just flew over the bar. After going nine games without a win, the last thing the Sounders want is to blow a two goal lead late and have their winless run extended to 10 games, but the Sounders were able to hang on and win 2-1.
Seattle Sounders FC - Alvaro Fernandez 1 (Mauro Rosales 5) 52'
Seattle Sounders FC - Eddie Johnson 8 (Mauro Rosales 6) 64'
Colorado Rapids - Omar Cummings 4 (Luis Zapata 1) 79'
Colorado Rapids - Martin Rivero (caution; foul) 41'
Seattle Sounders FC - Eddie Johnson (caution; excessive celebration) 64'
Colorado Rapids - Matt Pickens; Hunter Freeman, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Luis Zapata; Brian Mullan, Martin Rivero, Jeff Larentowicz, Jamie Castrillon (Tony Cascio 84'), Jamie Smith (Omar Cummings 67'); Conor Casey (Edu 67')
Seattle Sounders FC - Bryan Meredith; Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Marc Burch; Alex Caskey, Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose, Alvaro Fernandez (Cordell Cato 81'); Mauro Rosales (Steve Zakuani 85'), Eddie Johnson (Fredy Montero 72')