Kamani Hill

Obafemi Martins hits huge goal for Seattle; Sounders no longer winless

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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.

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Soccer Birthdays:

Colorado Rapids forward Kamani Hill turns 27. The once-promising prospect has seen his fortunes turn after failing with VfL Wolfsburg and Vitoria Guimaraes, but he’s seen a bit of resurgence since returning to Major League Soccer in 2010. He scored five goals in 2012, although he only earned three starts. Hill, who played for United States youth levels and earned two senior team caps, might never return to the good old days, but being a 27-year-old professional athlete isn’t a bad life. Happy birthday.

RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day:

Cobi Jones. Always Cobi Jones.

Ahead on the blog today:

Steve Davis returns with some words of wisdom about the weekend to come and looks back on some 2012 trends. Plus, you never know but he might let you know how he plans to celebrate New Years. (Hint: Party time in Big D.)

Twitter daps:

[tweet https://twitter.com/RMeara_18/status/284361886680637441 align=’center’] [tweet https://twitter.com/DubbZV/status/284355994857914369 align=’center’]

Background noise while blogging:

I don’t know, but it’s not going to be Christmas carols. I’ve had enough of those for quite some time.

We’ll leave you with this:

Happy New Year, everyone. I won’t be back until 2013. I know you’ll miss me. But hey, at least the apocalypse didn’t get us all.