Sounders vs. Rapids, summary: a fresh start

SEATTLE – The Seattle Sounders kicked off their 2023 MLS campaign at home to the Colorado Rapids on Sunday night with a 4-0 win that included a Jordan Morris brace. Goals from Morris and Cristian Roldan saw the Sounders take a 2–0 half-time lead as they took advantage of the best chances the team could create against a Rapids side with new talent and promise, but missed out on some key contributors.

The second half went much the same as the first. Less than 10 minutes into the second half, the Sounders seemed to have wasted a dangerous counter by getting too complicated and cute, but when Lalas Abubakar sold out to block a Nico Lodeiro cross, the ball straightened up in the area for Héber to run on and hammer home for his first Sounders goal in his MLS debut for the club. Seattle continued to push and got a fourth from Morris when he headed in a ball in the 83rd minute after a corner kick bounced into the penalty area. Léo Chú almost got on the scoresheet with a few dangerous points, but his passes went just wide. Ultimately, the Sounders will be happy with a dominant start to the MLS season.

2′ — Darren Yapi dribbles into the Sounders defense and gets a shot on the crossbar before going out for a goal kick.

4′ — João Paulo directs Alex Roldan into the right channel with Cristian for company; Alex cuts his left foot at the top of the box and nails the crossbar for Seattle’s first look.

25′ — GOAL! It takes a few tries, but Cristian Roldan heads Seattle ahead after a cross from Jordan Morris on the right to the back post. 1-0 Sounders

45′ — Jordan Morris makes it two! Nico Lodeiro hits a laser toward the 6-yard box on the half volley, and after it bounces around, Morris ducks low to head it home. 2-0

53′ — That’s three! Héber adds to the lead by bouncing off a wayward ball in the box after Lalas Aboubakar blocked a ball from Lodeiro. 3-0

58′ — Heber almost grabs another one! Racing behind down the right, Morris finds Héber in front of the cut, whose finish nearly makes William Yarbrough nutmeg.

67′ — Stefan Frei comes up with a great save against Darren Yapi and crams the striker into the penalty area alone.

83′ — Jordan Morris again! Lodeiro sends in a corner that Jackson Ragen makes contact with, but the ball bounces around before finding Morris at the back post to head home. 4-0

Earn their extensions: Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan both signed new long-term contracts ahead of this season and immediately started making good on those deals. Each scored in the first half to take a 2–0 half-time lead, and while neither gets any assists for them, they both helped create the chances from which the other scored. With the two players manning the flanks – even switching sides from time to time – Seattle has skilled chances and goalscorers in their best positions for the foreseeable future. Morris added another late to secure a brace and put a candle on the opening win.

Joao Paulo is back! João Paulo’s absence was acutely felt last season after he left the CCL finals with an ACL injury. But now he’s back, and the Sounders are so much better at it. His stats don’t jump off the page – 4 for 9 on ground, 1 chance created, 79% passing on 63 attempts – but the timing of his interventions and the passes he chooses make all the difference. His ability to pop up and get away with a loose ball or win a challenge and instantly shift his attention forward to pick a pass for a teammate making a run completely upsets opponents and makes it entire Sounders team harder to defend. His willingness to give his all to every challenge, every run, whatever is asked of him, is what drives this team forward. This Seattle Sounders team just can’t work the way they would like to without him, and now that he’s back, so are the Sounders.

Play to your strengths: The Sounders have a new playing system for this season when in possession, pushing Jordan Morris, Alex and Cristian Roldan in attack and moving Nouhou to a third centre-back designed to match the strengths of the best players on the team. and putting those guests in dangerous positions more often. Against the Rapids, that didn’t come into play much, as Colorado’s approach to the game gave Seattle plenty of opportunities to attack in transition or go direct instead of being more patient with possession. That approach produced the first three goals of the game, as Cristian Roldan and Jordan Morris terrorized Colorado’s fullbacks and left the defense behind Rave Green’s stripes behind the pitch.

A debut delight for Héber as he completes the offensive run.

Looks like Heber is going to like it here.

4 — The Seattle Sounders had 4 unassisted goals in their 4-0 win, a club record.

read more

Leave a Comment