McClatchy News Services
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Colorado Rapids took the lead 14 seconds after the first kick Saturday and kept building all the way to a 5-1 win over Seattle Sounders FC at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.
Those are the most goals the Sounders have ever allowed in a Major League Soccer match, and four-goal margin matched the Sounders’ largest defeat in league play.
It also ended Seattle’s seven-game unbeaten streak while extending their winless streak to three games (0-1-2).
The result also dropped the Sounders (15-9-6) two points back in the Supporters Shield race, behind New York, which tied New England on Saturday; and one point back in the Western Conference race behind Real Salt Lake, which drew with FC Dallas.
Things started going wrong for Seattle before the match when coach Sigi Schmid had to fill out a lineup card without designated players Clint Dempsey (hamstring) and Obafemi Martins (hip). Also absent were defenders Leo Gonzalez (groin) and Djimi Traore (hamstring) and midfielder Steve Zakuani (groin).
The Rapids (13-9-9) jumped ahead in the 13 seconds it took them to move from the ball the first kick at the center circle to the back of the net. The finish was provided by rookie-of-the-year candidate Deshorn Brown, who just slipped the ball under diving goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.
This was the worst possible scenario for the Sounders, as midfielder Brad Evans had foretold in the days leading up to the match.
“When they’re playing good and they are confident and they score early on you, that’s when they play their best soccer,” Evans had said at midweek. “So we’ve got to do well playing away from home, try to play smart, and not let them get on the board early.”
After the early breakthrough, the Rapids just kept pouring it on: a 10th minute corner-kick goal by Dillon Powers, a second goal by Brown in the 31st minute, and finally a Drew Moor score in the 41st minute, which sent Colorado to halftime with a 4-0 lead. Along the way, the Rapids also outshot the Sounders, 12-4.
Seattle stopped the bleeding for most of the second half, and even cut into the lead in the 63rd minute on an Eddie Johnson goal, assisted by Marc Burch.
It was Johnson’s ninth goal of the season, moving him into the team lead, one ahead of Martins and Lamar Neagle. It was Burch’s four assist of the season, the most in his nine MLS seasons.
The goal also marked the 13th consecutive game in which Seattle has scored, the longest such run in club history and the longest ongoing streak in MLS.
However, Colorado set the final score in stoppage time, as Gabriel Torres finished inside the far post.
Seattle played the final 11 minutes one man down as Zach Scott picked up his second yellow card. That also will make him ineligible Wednesday, when the Vancouver Whitecaps visit CenturyLink Field.