Sounders Insider

Speed leads to Rapids' early flurry of PKs

Six games into their MLS season, the Colorado Rapids lead MLS with four penalty kicks -- half of their total goals.

With the Rapids visiting Seattle on Saturday, we asked Sounders coach Sigi Schmid if that's a fluke statistic or if Colorado has some quality that leads them to draw PKs.

"Certainly they are a team that has some dribblers," Schmid said. "(Vicente) Sanchez is a dribbler. Certainly Deshorn Brown has got some speed. So when you look at the two penalties in the Portland game: Ricketts off his line and just hammers the guy. And then the second one: Weber’s late off his line. So they’re both sort of like speed-related type of things. So we have to be aware of their speed certainly, and make sure that we have the appropriate line in the back."

More from Schmid on the Rapids:

"They were obviously a team that made the playoffs last year. They changed coaches, but they didn’t really change personnel all that much: just the main change was Henry Thomas not returning, and them adding some other pieces. … At this stage you can definitely tell that Colorado is a team that concentrates on their defending and they do well with their defending and try to give themselves a chance at winning every game. You always get some breaks along the way – and they’ve gotten some breaks – but they’ve also scored some great goals. … To me, they’re a team that has shown that defensively they’re very consistent, and that’s going to put them into games.

"(New Colorado coach) Pablo Mastroeni was an attacking midfielder who became a defensive midfielder as he moved into the pros and takes a lot of pride in that and played for a World Cup team in that same role. His desire as a coach is to keep a clean sheet in the back, and they do a good job of defending as a group. I think they’re transition has been very good. When they lose the ball they get back pretty quickly defensively. That’s helped them a lot."