It was cool and windy at kickoff in Commerce City, but at least it wasn’t raining (or snowing). Jermaine Jones got the first shot 20 seconds in and that seemed to set the tone for the entire first half. The Colorado Rapids put almost continual pressure on the Seattle Sounders, with 60% possession and 11 shots to Seattle’s one shot. Unfortunately, none of those shots were actually on goal, and there were a couple crosses that just rolled through the box untouched.
Jermaine Jones was hustling on the field in this first half, with many saying he was the best player on the field for the first 15 minutes. It seemed like Sebastien Le Toux was having a tough time keeping up and getting on the other side of the crosses, and it was apparent that the Rapids were lacking speed in the attack.
The Rapids (and Jones) had one more chance right before the half, but nothing came of it. The halftime score was 0-0.
There were no subs made at the half for either side, though the Sounders made their first sub, Alvaro Fernandez for Andreas Ivanschitz at the 51’. Just a few minutes later, Jordan Morris took a couple touches in and got it past Zac MacMath to put Seattle on the board first in the 56th minute. Almost immediately after, Pablo Mastroeni subbed in Marlon Hairston for Le Toux.
Both sides kept at it, with a couple scary chances for Seattle, and a great look for Hairston. At the 74th minute, Pablo subbed in Marco Pappa for Micheal Azira. The team kept fighting and pressing, and in the 85th minute, Dominique Badji came in for Shkëlzen Gashi.
But it wasn’t enough. At the end of 90 minutes, the game ended with a Sounders win. The Rapids record breaking season is over.
In the post-game press conference, Pablo summed it up better than I could have:
"Obviously there’s a grieving period… you sacrifice a lot, and the emotion that goes into it that sacrifice and the pain that goes into it, that’s what you feel down about because it just goes up, it vanishes into thin air. It’s gone.
And it’s a lot like life, you know, at the end, you know, it’s about what you leave behind. And I think what these guys left behind is incredible.”