View from the Booth: The best 45 minutes of the season as Sounders silenced
In the heat of battle it's often quite easy to lose a sense of perspective and analyze a game through burgundy-tinted spectacles, which is why I sit down and pen 'View from the Booth' the morning after a match.
Deshorn Brown's Opening Goal
That way, I've had time to collate my thoughts, and hope to write in a more considered manner without the fear of emotion discoloring the copy.
So, I write this, sat at my kitchen table while the rest of my household still sleeps. I am occasionally pausing to sip at a piping-hot cup of tea. My voice was a little 'damaged' from the night before, so I've consumed a spoonful of honey (prima dona). I’m settled.
There should be nothing to suggest the words which flow through the keyboard are anything but fair and balanced.
In my humble opinion, that was the best 45 minutes of soccer I've seen this season. My color analyst on Saturday, Marcelo Balboa, went even further and suggested it was the best half of soccer he'd seen from a Rapids team 'in a long time'.
Quite simply, it was breathtaking.
Deshorn Brown made MLS history with the second-ever fastest goal, netting after only 15 seconds!
Gabriel Torres made club history when he rifled in the fifth in stoppage time at the end of the contest, becoming the first Designated Player to score for the Rapids.
Gabriel Torres' Maiden Goal
In between, Vicente Sanchez again showed why he could well be the catalyst to more great things this season. He instinctively called for a rapid return from the ball-boy, allowing him to take a quick corner kick. Dillon Powers had the presence of mind to make a darting run to the near post, and the Rapids were 2-0 up inside 10 minutes.
- COMMENTARY: Sorry Seattle, Rapids were just making a point
Cue the first of a number of Seattle Sounders huddles, as they met to discuss 'what the hell just happened??'
By half-time, the rampant Rapids were 4-0 up, and it could so easily have been five or six. Michael Gspurning - who didn't have the best of games, I think it's fair to say - did come up with two world-class blocks within seconds of each other, to deny Sanchez and Powers. He could then only watch on as a Sanchez free-kick clattered back off the underside of the crossbar.
It was no surprise that the Sounders’ center half, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, failed to emerge for the second period. At 2-0 down I witnessed him looking completely perplexed, turning from side to side, seeking answers. In boxing terms, he appeared punch-drunk, but he wasn't alone. Defensively, the Sounders were on their knees first half and - at 4-0 adrift - almost out for the count.
Let's not forget, this is a very good Seattle Sounders side, and yet so many of their so-called stars failed to twinkle, on a night which belonged to the Colorado Rapids.
I'll say this, and people may have heard me on broadcasts suggesting something along these lines, that the Sounders were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Rapids have put in displays this season where fans have emerged wondering how the opposition came away with a tie, or the Rapids only triumphed by one goal, such was the team's dominance.
Full Match Highlights
You only have to look at the 2-2 home tie with Real Salt Lake. Nick Rimando's heroics saved RSL from a pasting.
Somebody was going to feel the full force of a fully fit, all-firing Rapids unit. Somebody was going to be stood before the Rapids on a night when everything clicked. It just so happened it was the Seattle Sounders, who would've gone top in the Supporters' Shield race had they made it nine wins in 12 meetings with the Rapids.
The Rapids had only previously beaten the Sounders once in MLS but it's all about the here and now, the games leading into what Rapids fans hope will be a long and glorious run through the playoffs.
In beating - nay demolishing - the Sounders 5-1, they inflicted upon their sorry opposition the kind of loss which can scar heading down the stretch. Since joining MLS in 2009, the Sounders had never conceded five goals in a game (and it could've been eight).
Eddie Johnson goading the Rapids fans on scoring his ninth goal of the season was a sight to behold. Not sure where you'd been all night but, Eddie, your side were losing 4-1. That particular moment did little to enhance his reputation, on a night when reputations were brought sharply into focus.
I could not be happier for Deshorn Brown. Quietly-spoken, he's often walked past me, out of the locker room after training, unnoticed. On Saturday, against the Sounders, he flew past the impressive DeAndre Yedlin - not once, but twice.
Yedlin, a fellow-Rookie of the Year contender, looked anything but.
Brown, like the Rapids as a whole, looked hungry, focused and – more importantly – as though leaving their best ‘til last.