Seattle Sounders 3, Colorado Rapids 0 | 2017 MLS Match Recap
The Seattle Sounders knew the job they had to do as they hosted the Colorado Rapids on Decision Day presented by AT&T, and despite some controversy were able to prevail 3-0 to clinch a first-round-bye in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs as the 2nd-place finisher in the Western Conference.
Will Bruin used a calm finish to get the Sounders up early when Kelvin Leerdam found himself alone in the penalty area with enough time to send in a low cross, a goal that ultimately sealed second place for Seattle. Fifteen minutes later the Sounders playoff fates were again altered as Clint Dempsey was given a red card on Video Review for serious violent conduct when he used hands in the face of Mike da Fonte.
The teams would go on to trade penalty kicks in the second half, with the Sounders the only team able to convert. Harry Shipp surrendered a penalty when a cross missed its intended target, then made contact with his arm in the penalty area, but Dominique Badji was unable to convert for Colorado. Later Axel Sjoberg pulled down Bruin in the penalty area and was given a red card upon Video Review. Nicolas Lodeiro converted the penalty kick, and would finish with a brace as he got a stoppage-time goal to send CenturyLink Field into raptures.
- DEUCE IS MISSING: The Sounders earned their way into the Western Conference No. 2 spot, but the joy of the moment was dampened slightly when Dempsey received his red card. He'll be absent for the first leg when Seattle faces the higher seeded of the remaining Western teams after the Knockout Round, with the team already missing Jordan Morris as he recovers from a hamstring injury.
- LODEIRO HEIGHTS: The good news is that series has two legs, and also that the man who will have to shoulder much of the attack is in fine form. Lodeiro notched the brace (converting 2-of-3 shots-on-goal) with 3 key passes and 6 fouls earned to go along with it. He and Bruin will need to be in sync for the Sounders to pick up a precious road goal.
- RAPID DECLINE: The Rapids avoided the Wooden Spoon this year with the LA Galaxy finishing last in MLS on points, but that's a small silver lining for the club. Losing 15 of their last 17 road games and failing to score in 11 of their last 18 league matches leaves Colorado fans with little to hang their hats on when looking for a turnaround next season.
- SEA: TBD; Western Conference Semifinals Leg 1 (at winner of VAN-SJ on Wed., October 25)
- COL: End of Season