Preview Image - Colorado at Seattle, July 20

Preview: Colorado at Seattle, July 20

July 20, 2013 (WEEK 21, MLS Game #194)

2 p.m. MT (Altitude)
Viewing Party

Seattle Sounders FC will be looking to use their CenturyLink Field support to their advantage when they meet the Colorado Rapids on Saturday afternoon. Sounders FC return home off back-to-back road shutout losses, last a 1-0 defeat at the San Jose Earthquakes. The Rapids hit the road off an undefeated homestand, claiming a 2-1 win against the New England Revolution at midweek at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.


REFEREE: Ismail Elfath. AR1 (bench): George Gansner; AR2 (opposite): Frank Anderson; 4th: Daniel Radford
MLS Career: 16 games; FC/gm: 24.5; Y/gm: 2.9; R: 5; pens: 7

DISABLED LIST: SEA: Josh Ford, Steve Zakuani … COL: Diego Calderón
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SEA: Jhon Kennedy Hurtado … COL: Shane O’Neill, Hendry Thomas

ALL-TIME (10 meetings): Sounders FC 8 wins, 18 goals … Rapids 1 win, 9 goals … Ties 1
AT SEATTLE (5 meetings): Sounders FC 5 wins, 12 goals … Rapids 0 wins, 5 goals … Ties 0
FUTURE MATCH: 10/5: Colorado Rapids vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 8 p.m. MT (NBCSN)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Obafemi Martins scored the game’s only goal in the first half to lead Sounders FC to victory, April 20 in Commerce City.
  • Sounders FC have won seven consecutive meetings between the teams, dating back to the 2010 season. They have won eight of 10 league matches in the series, with one draw.
  • Sounders FC have won all five meetings lifetime in Seattle. The lone Rapids victory came May 29, 2010, a 1-0 triumph at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. COL: P39 W22 L10 D7 … Oscar Pareja vs. SEA: P4 W0 L4 D0

4/20: COL 0, SEA 1 (Martins 17)

  • The game's lone goal came after 17 minutes. Shalrie Joseph’s blast from just outside the penalty box required a diving save from Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin, and Obafemi Martins gobbled up the rebound and finished easily from short range for his first MLS goal.
  • Sounders FC goalkeeper Michael Gspurning made three saves for the clean sheet, including a pair of quality stops late in the match.
  • COLORADO RAPIDS (4-1-3-2): Clint Irwin - Brian Mullan, Marvell Wynne (Shane O'Neill 55), Drew Moor, Christopher Klute - Hendry Thomas - Nick LaBrocca (Kamani Hill 46), Dillon Powers, Tony Cascio (Jamie Smith 77) - Atiba Harris, Danny Mwanga.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Michael Gspurning - DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez - Brad Evans, Shalrie Joseph, Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani (Alex Caskey 70) - Obafemi Martins (Mauro Rosales 61), Lamar Neagle (Marc Burch 89).

Seattle Sounders FC suffered their second consecutive road defeat, falling 1-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. Sounders FC are in seventh place in the Western Conference with 24 points from 17 matches.


  • The game's lone goal came in the 48th minute. Walter Martinez collected a ball from Steven Lenhart in the left side of the box, cut inside Seattle defender DeAndre Yedlin and fired high to the back post, beating substitute Andrew Weber.
  • Weber and starting Sounders FC goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, who appeared to suffer a left wrist injury and came off at halftime, each recorded two saves. Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch was called upon to make just one save.
  • Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made three changes to the team that dropped a 2-0 decision to Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place. DeAndre Yedlin came into the back four for Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, and Osvaldo Alonso and Marc Burch started in the midfield in place of Shalrie Joseph and Obafemi Martins.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Michael Gspurning (Andrew Weber 46) - DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore (Jhon Kennedy Hurtado 53), Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez - Brad Evans (Mauro Rosales 32), Servando Carrasco, Osvaldo Alonso (ejected 95+), Marc Burch - Eddie Johnson, Lamar Neagle.


  • Sounders FC have lost three consecutive games away from CenturyLink Field, matching the club’s MLS record, shut out in all three games. They have gone 327 minutes since scoring on the road.
  • “I thought there were times where we played some decent soccer, but there weren’t enough moments of it. It was just one of those games where you roll up your sleeves and hope for the best,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. “At the end, we put some pressure on them and came close to getting an equalizing goal.”
  • Said midfielder Servando Carrasco: “I think we should have been a little more patient in the final third. We got the ball out wide with Mauro [Rosales] and [Marc] Burch whipping some crosses in. We just didn’t do a great job of getting on the end of them. You’re not going to win like that.”
  • Signed on loan from FC Phoenix of USL PRO just days before the game, Andrew Weber was forced into action when he came on as a halftime substitute. It was his sixth career MLS appearance, his fourth with Seattle after starting three matches last season.
  • Weber is the likely candidate to start in goal with Marcus Hahnemann sidelined with a hamstring strain, an injury that brought about the emergency signing of Weber.
  • “This weekend does not look good for him for sure and we'll have a better idea after he sees the specialist,” said Schmid of Gspurning.
  • Brad Evans was another casualty of the match, forced off just after the half-hour mark with a rib injury. Djimi Traoré suffered a hamstring injury and had to come off early in the second half.
  • “In five years in Seattle, it's probably the worst injury run we've had cumulatitively,” Schmid said. “It seems to have all hit at the same time.”
  • Osvaldo Alonso made his first start in four matches, after being forced off very early with an injury in the win vs. Chivas USA on June 1. When Alonso was sent off late in the match, it seemed as if he would be out for the Colorado game – but the MLS Disciplinary Committee overturned the suspension and Alonso will available for this weekend’s match.
  • “I would really like to see what this team looks like if we could get our best players on the field for three to four games in a row,” Schmid said. “I'd like to see what we look like at that point.”

READ: Eddie Johnson's call-up means even more lineup dilemmas for Sigi Schmid, Sounders

The Colorado stretched their undefeated streak to four games, coming back for a 2-1 win against the New England Revolution on Wednesday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids are in a tie for fifth place in the Western Conference with 30 points from 21 matches.


  • The Revolution took the lead in the 15th minute. From a free kick just outside the penalty box on the right, Juan Toja's effort sailed past the outside edge of the wall and fooled Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin, who was screened as the low blast went into the corner of the net.
  • The Rapids hit for the equalizer in the 62nd minute. Nick LaBrocca had a nifty cutback that forced a defender off his feet from some 25 yards out from goal, opening just enough space for a low left-footed strike into the corner of the goal.
  • Just five minutes later, the Rapids went ahead with a little help. A cross from Dillon Powers went just in front of goal, but as New England defender Jose Gonçalves tried to clear the danger he inadvertently put the ball in the back of his own net for the eventual game-winner.
  • Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja made two changes to the team that reached a scoreless draw with D.C. United at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Marvell Wynne came into the back four for German Mera, and Nick LaBrocca started in midfield for Atiba Harris.
  • COLORADO RAPIDS (4-2-3-1): Clint Irwin - Marvell Wynne, Shane O'Neill, Drew Moor, Christopher Klute - Hendry Thomas (Atiba Harris 46), Nathan Sturgis - Nick LaBrocca, Dillon Powers, Deshorn Brown (German Mera 87) - Edson Buddle (Jaime Castrillon 72)

READ: Pareja opens Rapids goalkeeping competition: "We all need to win our jobs"


  • The Rapids completed their three-game homestand by taking seven of a possible nine points. Following the trip to Seattle, they return to Commerce City for back-to-back home games against the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.
  • “The speed of play picked up a little bit, and especially in the second half, with altitude, those gaps open up, and we expose them,” goalscorer Nick LaBrocca said. Added midfielder Nathan Sturgis: “I think also it’s tough for opposing teams in the second half. In the first half, they’re able to kind of keep their shape and do well defensively against us, but in the second half, it’s tougher for them, I think they get winded a little bit.”
  • Atiba Harris came off the substitutes’ bench for the first time since March 30, the first time since then where he’s been available that he did not start. He came on at halftime for Hendry Thomas, who had been everpresent for three consecutive matches.
  • “Making the substitution, taking out one of our best players, it was a tactical move [to] give us more mobility,” said Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja. “We were going to sacrifice the way we get the ball back in the middle, then we would have another presence up front with Atiba. I thought it worked well.”
  • Nick LaBrocca scored his first goal of the season. He has scored at least a goal in each of the last six league campaigns, missing out only in his rookie season in 2007, when he made two appearances in his first stint with the Rapids.
  • “As soon as you start worrying about chances that you don’t get, you start hesitating and then you’re never going to score one of those,” said LaBrocca. “So that’s a good thing about this team is even looking at some of the games where we could have won, it doesn’t faze us, we keep going and we keep attacking the goal and we’re going to be all right.”
  • Said Pareja: “He’s the player that we were looking at at the beginning of the season, and we know that Nick can do that, because he has experience and has a lot of talent. Today was one of those games where Nick stepped up and gave us what we needed.”
  • Rookie Dillon Powers recorded his third assist of the season, his second in the last four games. He has started 19 of 21 matches this season.
  • “Dillon has been very consistent, and that’s one of the things that we are very proud [of] within the club, to have a young guy who has such a personality, and bringing that every game. So he’ll keep growing,” said Pareja. “He knows that he has a long way to go, but he’s mature enough to have that consistency now, game after game, and we’re very pleased with the way he’s playing.”
  • Marvell Wynne returned to the lineup for the first time in four games, playing right back as Shane O’Neill moved into central defense.
  • “I feel very comfortable, especially today. I felt like I had a lot of room. I felt like I was able to do a decent job in the offensive side of things as well a defensive,” said Wynne. “So at any point where I can get forward and help the team out in both directions, I’m all for it.”