How is this for turnabout of historical trends: The Seattle Sounders finished one of its few chances and then watched as the other guys blew opportunities for an equalizer.
As a result, the Sounders and have stripped away that awful moniker as Major League Soccer’s last, winless team as a result.
We have talked so many times over the last few years about Seattle as the team that could create sufficient opportunities, but the one that so frustratingly, so frequently struggled to finish them. Saturday outside Denver, the Sounders put together just enough offense and then rode the first MLS goal from Designated Player striker Obafemi Martins to a desperately needed 1-0 win over Colorado.
From the Rapids’ side, the chances to equalize were there. In this case, it was Colorado that created enough coming and going near opposition goal to pull a point, but needed something better once they arrived near goal.
Following an uninspired opening 45 from the Rapids – surprising considering the reports of solid, intense practices from Colorado this week – Oscar Pareja’s team did better at forming the chances after the break. Rookie Dillon Powers came close on another of his shots from outside the 18.
Later, Danny Mwanga came sliding through to miss from close range off Jamie Smith’s feed. Even nearer to the end, Kamani Hill sneaked into the back post and banged one off the piping on a fine feed from Brian Mullan. (A lot of the better stuff from Colorado after the break came on Mullan’s work up the right flank from his defensive spot.)
Defender Drew Moor had a great opportunity on a pinpoint free kick delivery from Smith but headed right at Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspuring. Even Atiba Harris got a look with his right foot from about 18 but couldn’t generate enough on his shot to test Gspurning.
Pareja wants a certain style from his team, which is fine. But there’s no style that can survive middling finishing. Then again, Seattle knows all about that.
The full highlight package, including Martins’ first-half, game-winning goal.