Sep 29, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Colorado Rapids midfielder Giles Barnes passes after trapping a pass against Seattle Sounders FC defender Kim Kee-Hee (20, left) during the first half at CenturyLink Field. (Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports)
SEATTLE – The Seattle Sounders reversed their recent fortunes in front of a crowd of 40,042 at CenturyLink Field Saturday, serving up a 4-0 trouncing of the Colorado Rapids. Raul Ruidiaz bagged a brace, while Nicolas Lodeiro had a goal and two assists as the Sounders won in convincing fashion.
“The way this game turned out was not as easy as the score line suggested,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said. “(Colorado coach Anthony Hudson) has learned the league. He has guys pressing up the field. His guys didn’t quit. There were some nervy moments. At the end of the day I think our quality showed through. It was a good performance to get us back up on the horse.”
Seattle (13-11-5) took the lead in the 22nd minute, when a Tim Howard save fell to Cristian Roldan. Lodeiro took the ball off Roldan at the byline, and cut a cross on the ground back to an open Ruidiaz near the penalty spot and the Peruvian international buried his sixth goal of the season to put Seattle on top.
Schmetzer said he had his assistant coaches keep his player focused during halftime, not content with a one-goal lead.
“We want to make sure that when the game is there to be won that we win them, that we don’t become complacent,” Schmetzer said. “I think during the nine-game winning streak that we’re all very proud of, maybe it was just my voice. I think having some other voices paid off for us tonight.”
The Sounders doubled their advantage in the 51st minute, when Lodeiro was tripped on the outer edge of the penalty area and referee Nima Saghafi pointed to the spot. Lodeiro pushed his kick to the right past a diving Howard to make it 2-0.
The Sounders scored again in the 73rd minute after winning a turnover in the attacking third. Victor Rodriguez found Lodeiro with a through ball. Lodeiro drew several defenders, as well as Howard away from the goal, before rolling the ball back for a Ruidiaz tap-in.
Rodriguez drove in the dagger in the 80th minute, receiving a cutback cross from Kelvin Leerdam and smashed a shot to the far side netting for his second goal of the year.
Saghafi turned to Video Review after issuing Osvaldo Alonso a yellow card in the 33rd minute when Alonso appeared to leave his studs up on a challenge. After reviewing the footage for several moments, however, Saghafi decided against sending the Cuban off and awarded Colorado (6-17-6) a free kick.
The Sounders outshot the Rapids, 18-8, including a 7-1 advantage in shots on target. Seattle controlled 64 percent of the possession over the course of the 90 minutes.
Seattle has now outscored opponents 28-10 dating back to the start of a 12-match unbeaten streak in early July. Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei had a slow day at the office, making one save on a Tommy Smith header in the 50th minute to preserve his seventh clean sheet of the season.
“This was a game we needed to win,” Schmetzer said. “We messaged them all week about having a comeback performance from the last two games. I give all credit to those guys in the locker room. That’s an experienced group of players. We had a couple of bad results, but those guys know how to win.”