The Colorado Rapids went into the land of green and beat the Seattle Sounders 1–0, earning its third straight victory over Seattle. But the way the match started and finished, it did not look like the Rapids would get the victory, let alone a tie.
The Sounders came out pressing and the Rapids were absorbing the pressure. Clint Dempsey was able to split the defense and Zac MacMath came up with a big save. But at the end of the half the Rapids started to get more of the possession and created some opportunities.
The Rapids were then able to get back-to-back corners and that is where the goal came from. Axel Sjoberg made a run and his defender got tied up with Bobby Burling and that freed Sjoberg. He was able to get his head on the all and directed it back post past a frozen Stefan Frei.
The rest of the match the Rapids bunkered in and were able to limit the opportunities for the Sounders. MacMath had to make two quality save in the second half to keep the ball out of the net. There was some frantic defending at times.
Here is how I saw the match.
Zac MacMath - 8 (8.07): MacMath had a good match and made some critical saves to get the shutout. He faced a relentless attack in the second 45 minutes. He made two quality saves in that time period to go with his wonderful reaction save in the first half.
Mekeil Williams - 6 (6.67): Williams picked up a yellow and for me it was quite soft. He did not pull him back, though it looked like he did. He did get forward a little but mostly had to stay back. While he did well in defending, the inability to get forward limits what the Rapids can do in attack.
Bobby Burling - 7 (6.58): Burling was a stalwart again for the Rapids. He did get pulled out of position a few times, but overall was solid. He did have some good blocks.
Axel Sjoberg - 8 (7.65): Sjoberg got his first MLS goal on the evening. For any other player it would have been a routine header but he had to lean down to get his head on it properly. At first I thought he redirected it in with his foot the way
Marc Burch - 7 (8.00): Burch was a strong point for the Rapids. Putting him on the back post was key to keep a Dempsey header out of the net. He was strong down his side and helped the Rapids to victory. I am more perplexed by his yellow. It was for time wasting, but watching the play, there was no time wasting. Burch was jogging back to his position and referee Ismail Elfath came up and confronted him. There was no reason to give him a yellow.
Micheal Azira - 6 (6.58): He almost had an own goal in the 65’. Jordan Morris tried to curl a shot on goal and Azira tried to head it and luckily he missed. Otherwise that would have ended up in goal. He was good and even got under the skin of Dempsey, who probably should have had a yellow card in the first half.
Sam Cronin - 6 (6.63): While the Rapids won this match, it was an average performance by Cronin. He let Dempsey get by him in the first half that caused the good save by Dempsey. He did have a few key clearances in the onslaught in the second half.
Luis Solignac - 4 (5.70): Solignac seemed lost a few times during this match. It was not one of his better matches. He had a wonderful opportunity to get them a two goal lead and put it off the outside of the post.
Jermaine Jones - 6 (6.42): Jones worked hard all night and found himself in good positions many times, but just could not find the magic. He was physical and made several good runs. He got a little undisciplined at the end of the first half and earned a yellow card.
Dillon Serna - 5 (5.51): Serna seemed lost for the beginning of the match but then got a little more into it. But overall is a below average performance for Serna. It would have been nice
Kevin Doyle - 7 (7.07): Doyle had a great match. It is often unheralded for the striker to hold up the ball and then distribute that, but in a match like this one it is key to have that ability. Doyle did that really well all evening and was able to provide that outlet for the defense clearing the ball.
Marlon Hairston - 6 (5.93): Came on in the 77’ for Dillon Serna. It was a quiet evening for Hairston. By the time he came in, it was a clear and chase the ball.
Erik Miller - N/A (5.86): Came on in 83’ for Luis Solignac.
Jared Watts - N/A (5.79): Came on in stoppage time for Kevin Doyle.
That is how I saw the match. What do you think?
Summary of Player Ratings
This is the summary of the player ratings so far as of the Seattle Sounders match, May 21, 2016.