SEATTLE - JULY 16: Alvaro Fernandez #15 of the Seattle Sounders FC watches his first half goal sail into the net against the Colorado Rapids at CenturyLink Field on July 16, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Seattle should be fined. There was very little dirty play on the pitch when they played the Rapids and some of the yellow cards that were peppered throughout the teams today were certainly deserved. There was diving on both sides, sure, but nothing that we wouldn't usually see in your average MLS match. No, the league has decided this month that they're putting the wealth of the league ahead of the quality of the play in the league, and Seattle has taken that to the extreme today. A three or four inch long natural grass 'turf' was set over the usual pitch in anticipation of an upcoming friendly against Manchester United and a rain this morning made the pitch quite frankly unplayable.
The Rapids probably didn't deserve to win this game - a draw looked to be the most likely result with the back and forth offenses and terrible defense all around - and it never really looked like they were going to pull out victory, but you have to wonder how the game might have turned out had it been played on an actual football pitch instead of a slip and slide.The Rapids started off quickly as the terrible pitch seemed to catch the Sounders off guard, allowing Kosuke Kimura to get ahead a pass to Wells Thompson, who scored his first goal of the season and third goal as a Rapid in league play. It took only six minutes for the Sounders to equalize as Alvaro Fernandez got a ball forward and fought off a close-marking Kimura for several yards before snapping home a close range shot. Around that point, you could tell that this game was going to be a heck of an offensive shootout.
The incredibly slow and deliberate play kept the ball out of the net, along with some great play by Kasey Keller and Matt Pickens. It took until the 43rd minute for anything else to happen offensively when Jeff Larentowicz stuck in a shot off the post after a great lay-off by Wells Thompson in the 18 yard box. The half ended with the Rapids up 2-1 but a bit of a foreboding atmosphere thanks to the pitch conditions seemingly not improving and
The second half was a disaster for Colorado, and it started right at the outset. Roger Levesque knocked the equalizing goal past Pickens despite being closely marked by Tyrone Marshall. Conor Casey was the first casualty of the pitch in the 52nd minute, slipping as he settled a ball down and seemingly injuring his ankle. He was forced to leave the game for Caleb Folan and the Rapids offense died right along with him. Although the shots kept coming as guys like Sanna Nyassi and Omar Cummings continued to break through the Seattle backline, nothing as good as the Larentowicz chance at the edge of the half materialized.
With the Rapids seemingly holding out for a tie after Kosuke Kimura suffered a tough injury, Fredy Montero and Mauro Rosales scored a few minutes apart right before stoppage time and slaughtered the Rapids chances at taking a point away from Seattle. Caleb Folan managed to snag a goal in stoppage time but it was way too late by that point and only served to make the final score look a bit better for the away side.
The Rapids are still winless at Century Link Field and probably won't have much of a chance to get anything more out of Seattle this season with the playoff hopes sitting where they currently are.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Wells Thompson. A goal and an assist, stepping up in the offense for once seemed to work for Wells against a tough opponent on the road. Then again it might have been the decreased play for everyone else that got Wells his chances. Still, two great games in a row for #15.
GOAT OF THE MATCH: Omar Cummings. Caleb Folan didn't play well either, but at least he was able to stick one into the net by the end. Omar was just brutal all game. His passes were off, his shots never materialized... just bad.