If anyone wants to try to paint the game as one of luck for Colorado (given the possession % Seattle had), look no further than the OPTA stats below.
Colorado Rapids – Final 3rd – Successful Passes & Crosses
As you can see, fewer passes overall than Seattle, but a large portion of the passes were forward and towards the 18. Contrast that with the Seattle final 1/3rd. While there were more passes (much of this due to the Rapids sitting back in the second half of the game), you can see Seattle getting into the final 3rd and being forced to make a non-attacking back or side-pass because of the Rapids marking the Seattle players without the ball, and closing out any potential passing lanes into the 18.
Note: my one concern: Even with a de-emphasis of Klute and Wynne on the wings, the Rapids still seem to struggle in creating opportunities directly above the center of the 18. Maybe we just lack that kind of player, even with Sanchez, but even in a dominating performance, that is quite a sparse middle of the field.
Seattle Sounders – Final 3rd – Successful Passes & Crosses
Yedlin Passing – Final 3rd
Yedlin was defended, in large part to Klute. Since the bulk of Seattle’s attack goes through the center and left sides of the field, Klute, more than Wynne, was tasked to keep Seattle out of the 18 due to Yedlin. You can see, Yedlin was contained on the sideline. More than ½ of his successful passes were back-passes or, short passes when contained. It is a sign of Klute’s strength that Yedlin was unable for all intents and purposes to get into a solid position to provide either the service EJ needs (since his specialty is his aerial attack) or to move close to the 18 before either shooting or passing the ball. More evidence why Klute’s defensive prowess (which ultimately is the main requirement of a left-back) puts him over Yedlin.
And if you ignore the two passes that went out of bounds (assuming this was the case with those two)(Yedlin had 2 oe 3 actually effective passes that could attempt to get EJ the service he needs.
Klute & Wynne
Now look at Klute and Wynne, who were, due to tactical reasons, actually staying back in a more defensive position throughout the game. Almost ALL of their successful passes either were into the 18 or were a successful pass to another play capable of likely either striking or providing service into the 18.
Not sure whether the de-emphasis of crosses from Klute and Wynne is going to be the norm going forward. Klute's skills at crossing should not be forgotten, but allowing him to pick and choose rather than constantly be a main focal point for advancing the ball is key, especially in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation, where central mid-fielders are critical to the success of those formations.