Preview: Sounders seek first 2-0 start in 7 years Saturday vs Colorado Rapids
Opening a season with consecutive wins against a favorable schedule would normally be nothing to get excited about. Forgive the Seattle Sounders if they don’t subscribe to that notion.
The Sounders seek their first 2-0 start in seven years Saturday night when they host the Colorado Rapids, who will be happy to be playing in something other than snow and frigid temperatures.
After spotting expansion FC Cincinnati an early goal in its inaugural match, Seattle scored the next four en route to a season-opening 4-1 victory last Saturday. Jordan Morris recorded his second career two-goal game in his first MLS regular season appearance since September 2017 following a major knee injury, and Victor Rodriguez had two assists for the Sounders.
“My teammates helped me get through last year, because there were some tough times,” Morris said. “So leaning on them, and then coming in this year they understood it was going to take a little time for me to get back to full and get back to having my touches right and all that, and they were always supportive. To kind of have that team embrace after the goals was something special.”
Kelvin Leerdam and Raul Ruidiaz also had goals for Seattle, which had a 23-7 shots advantage – including eight by Ruidiaz – and dominated possession throughout.
“There are times I feel like a proud dad,” Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said. “That happens. I’m proud of all the guys in that locker room. They did a great job tonight staying composed.”
Following a season opener it was expected to win, Seattle will be in a similar situation against Colorado. The Sounders have won six straight meetings overall and have outscored the Rapids 9-1 during a three-game win streak at home. Ruidiaz scored twice and Nicolas Lodeiro had a goal and two assists in Seattle’s 4-0 victory over the Rapids on Sept. 29 at CenturyLink Field.
A seventh consecutive win over Colorado would make Seattle 2-0 for the first time since 2012, when it began the season 7-1-1.
The Rapids should enter this matchup feeling confident after they rallied for a 3-3 draw against visiting Portland last Saturday in the coldest match in MLS history. Andre Shinyashiki scored in his MLS debut on a putback in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time and 10-man Colorado overcame a late deficit, 18-degree temperatures and a snow-covered field to earn a point.
All three Colorado goals were scored by newcomers, as Kei Kamara and Benny Feilhaber tallied in their club debuts. Three goals in their opening match could be a good sign for the Rapids, who scored a league-low 36 in 2018, reaching three just twice all season.
“For all the guys that stuck together, I think it’s huge,” Feilhaber said. “It’s great to get a point today, coming from behind down a man in those conditions against a good team. Everyone put in 100 percent effort. The guys were phenomenal. It’s a big-time point for us.”
Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard has never beaten the Sounders, losing all four matchups while yielding 12 goals.