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Will Bruin brace leads Seattle Sounders to 2-1 Independence Day win over Colorado Rapids

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – For the second consecutive year, the Seattle Sounders brought the fireworks to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, as a Will Bruin brace resulted in the visitors taking home all three points against the Colorado Rapids in a 2-1 win on Wednesday night.

“It wasn’t a good night,” Rapids head coach Anthony Hudson told reporters postgame. “We started poorly and gave ourselves too much to do. We gave way soft goals.”

With a striking combination of Dominique Badji and Yannick Boli, Colorado was unable to generate much offensively – the striking duo only managing a shot apiece and one shot on target through the first half hour of play.

Seattle opened the scoring in the 19th minute as Bruin collected the through ball from Victor Rodriguez in traffic, slotting his shot past Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard to give the Sounders a 1-0 lead.

“We were just very slow to transition,” explained Rapids centerback Kortne Ford, who played his first 90 minutes since going down with a knee injury in early March. “It was a bit of an unfortunate deflection that kept him onside that he could put away.”

Rapids midfielder Shkëlzen Gashi came up with Colorado’s best opportunity to equalize in the first half with a booming shot from outside the 18-yard box in the 34th minute, but the effort was wide.

In the midfield, Colorado was missing the presence of Jack Price, who didn’t feature in the match due to suspension (yellow card accumulation).        

“I think it was a huge loss,” Hudson said of Price’s absence. “He’s so important. He’s been one of our best players all season. That’s what we lacked in the first part of the game – our ability to hold the ball. When you go behind, most games when we’ve needed people to step up, he’s been the one that drives the team and I think we lacked that tonight.”

Despite being out-possessed for much of the half, Colorado would eventually find the equalizer in the 40th minute when Edgar Castillo’s cross from the edge of the box found the head of Sam Nicholson, leveling the score at 1-1.

Seattle would take back the lead in the second half with another goal from Bruin. Following a restart from Tim Howard, Christian Roldan stripped the ball from Gashi, sending the pass through to Bruin who finished for the easy goal, giving Seattle a 2-1 advantage in the 59th minute.

“It was just a mental mistake on a number of us,” Ford said of the second goal from Seattle. “We’re not pointing fingers. We’ve got to be better a s group. We could have been tighter, we could have been higher. At the end of the day, we can’t make those mental mistakes, but credit to him.”

Despite a late push from Colorado which included late efforts from Gashi and Badji in the dying minutes, Seattle was able to hold on to the win.

“As the game wore on we tried to change as many things as we could to be as positive as we could,” Hudson said of the second half push. “I don’t know what else we could have done. We created some very good opportunities to score. We have to take one of those chances.”

The loss ended a three-game unbeaten streak for Colorado, which now sits just three points and one spot ahead of last placed San Jose in the Western Conference table. Colorado will now embark on a road trip to face Montreal this Saturday, while Seattle will embark for New England to face the Revolution.

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