Sounders win it, 2-1. Holding on after a flurry that saw all goals scored in a 10-minute stretch early in the first half.
With the three points, Seattle moves to 22 points. That sends them past Houston and within one of Colorado, San Jose and Toronto ... who are all even for the sixth, seventh and eighth (and final) playoff position.
A few locker room reactions:
SIGI SCHMID overview:“Obviously, we’re pleased with the three points. The team showed a lot of grit and determination. At the beginning of the year we had some games where we played some good soccer and didn’t come out with anything. Right now we need to get points, and sometimes that means rolling up your sleeves.”
“... We scored two good goals. Obviously they got right back in it after we scored our first one. But we came back and got the second one, and in the second half we had to dig in a little bit. But that’s something that this year we haven’t been as successful at doing, and it was good to see.”
ZAKUANI on his two goals:"The first one I initially took a bad touch, I think it was Sturgis or Alonso who played it to me, but Fredy was coming up and it was a bit of ping-pong in the box and the ball fell to me. It was about getting a quick release and I did, maybe got a bit lucky, it came off his back, but I take it as it comes. The second one, great combination with Fredy and Sanna out wide, I just made a run and Sanna picked me out and it's an easy tap-in. I was happy to get both goals."
KASEY KELLER on his performance (and especially his save getting back to a Conor Casey header:
"I’ve been very happy with my form probably since the break. I’m just glad I was able to help the team. I had a little bit of experience come into play probably on that first header from Conor. When he kind of had to check back to the ball I realized the only way he was going to beat me was by looping it back over the top. I just didn’t think he was going to be able to do it as well as he did. I think having that little bit in my mind gave me maybe that half a second that allowed me to get back to the ball."
By the numbers:
Colorado Rapids 1 0 1Seattle Sounders 2 0 2
Scoring Summary:SEA -- Steve Zakuani 6 (unassisted) 8COL -- Omar Cummings 5 (Pablo Mastroeni 1) 9SEA -- Steve Zakuani 7 (Sanna Nyassi 2, Fredy Montero 8) 17
Colorado Rapids -- Matt Pickens, Julien Baudet, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Danny Earls (Kosuke Kimura 65), Omar Cummings, Pablo Mastroeni, Mehdi Ballouchy (Quincy Amarikwa 77), Jeff Larentowicz, Jamie Smith (Claudio Lopez 65), Conor Casey.
Substitutes Not Used: Colin Clark, Wells Thompson, Scott Palguta, Ian Joyce.
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Conor Casey 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (4 tied with 1); FOULS: 12 (Conor Casey 3); OFFSIDES: 2 (Conor Casey 1, Omar Cummings 1); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Jamie Smith 4); SAVES: 3 (Matt Pickens 3)
Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Zach Scott, Sanna Nyassi (Roger Levesque 81), Nathan Sturgis (Mike Seamon 74), Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani, Fredy Montero, Blaise Nkufo (Nate Jaqua 70).
Substitutes Not Used: Tyrone Marshall, Tyson Wahl, Miguel Montano, Terry Boss.
TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Fredy Montero 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Fredy Montero 2, Steve Zakuani 2); FOULS: 12 (Fredy Montero 5); OFFSIDES: 3 (Steve Zakuani 2); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Nathan Sturgis 2); SAVES: 3 (Kasey Keller 3)Misconduct Summary:SEA -- Zach Scott (caution; Tactical Foul) 28COL -- Jamie Smith (caution; Reckless Tackle) 58SEA -- Osvaldo Alonso (caution; Reckless Tackle) 90Referee: Yader ReyesReferee's Assistants: -Kermit Quisenberry; Chris Strickland4th Official: Landis WileyAttendance: 36,333Time of Game: 1:56Weather: Clear-and-75-degreesThe Sounders return to practice Monday, preparing for their opening CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round match Wednesday, when Metapan of El Salvador visits Qwest Field for the start of a home-and-road aggregate-score series.
Seattle returns to league play Saturday at San Jose.Stoppage time:
Three minutes will be added. Sounders up, 2-1.
(Nasty collision a couple of minutes in. Ianni and Casey knocked heads going for a ball in front of the Sounders' goal. Players immediately signaled for trainers. ... Ianni up now. Casey still being tended to.)
Conor is headed to the locker room ... walking off on his own, but with a towel to his head. Nice hand from the crowd.
87th minute: Almost just had the goal of the week ... Montero lofting one quickly from about 50 yards after change of possession. However, Pickens went back and got it on the warning track.
81st minute: Levesque in, Nyassi out.
74th minute: Sturgis out, Seamon in.
72nd minute: Sounders feel like they're just trying to get to the end. All serious chances have been Rapids' recently.
70th minute: Nkufo out, Jaqua in.
62nd minute: Sounders dodge a couple of bullets, one on a nice Keller save, then on a Cummings shank over the bar at close range.
Second half: Action has resumed. No personnel changes.
Pablo Mastroeni has been awarded an assist on the Colorado goal.
Halftime: Seattle, 2-1. The flurry of all three goals in the first 17 minutes. Then things settled down a bit.
Montero had a terrific half. And Zakuani, of course. But the Sounders haven't reallly involved Nkufo much. For Colorado, Casey and Cummings look dangerous constantly.
Colorado has seven shots and put three on goal. Seattle three shots and two on goal.
Only card to Zach Scott in the 28th minute.
17th minute: Zakuani gets his second goal of the match, finishing from about a yard away after a cross from Sanna Nyassi and a nice opening pass into space by Montero, who is active so far. Sounders, 2-0.
Ninth minute: Colorado answers instantly, and Omar Cummings sizzled one inside the far pole from the top of the penalty area, beating Keller high and wide.
Colorado hasn't lost a game this season when also scoring a goal.
Eighth minute: Sounders jump ahead early. Fredy Montero works hard for the ball at the top of the box, finally sends it to Zakuani, who fires, hits the pole, and then bounced from pole into diving keeper Matt Pickens and into the goal.
Colorado had been the only MLS team not to have allowed a goal in the first 15 minutes this season. Seattle now has a league-high six such goals.
Seventh minute: Now it's Conor Casey down, as Jeff Parke went over his back on a header. He's staying in.
Fourth minute: Colorado midfielder and captain Pablo Mastroeni down with injury and walking slowly off pitch.
First minute: Early impression of Nkufo: Strong. Colorado defender Marvell Wynne just tried to take him off the ball bu running up his back. Nkufo wasn't budged.
Kickoff: The game has begun, Rapids in burgundy/white; Sounders in rave/blue.
Colorado four points ahead of Sounders in MLS standings.
Game is on FSC and usual radio.
Game is already listed as a sellout, but lots of empty seats showing as of now.
40 minutes till gametime: The Sounders have released their lineup, and the surprise omission is Pat Noonan who we are told is out with an adductor strain. (So, about my preview story today: Never mind.)
Here's the lineup: GK Keller; D Riley, Parke, Ianni, Scott; M Nyassi, Sturgis, Alonso, Zakuani; F Montero, Nkufo. Reserves: Boss, Jaqua, Levesque, Marshall, Wahl, Montano, Seamon.
(The Noonan injury, btw, apparently happened late in practice Saturday. I was there and the time, but neither I nor apparently any of the other reporters there noticed anything.)
For Colorado: GK Pickens; D Baudet, Wynne, Moor, Earls; M Cummings, Mastroeni, Ballouchy, Larentowicz, Smith; F Casey. Reserves: Joyce, Clark, Kimura, Lopez, Thompson, Amarikwa, Palguta.