BY: Karen Watson
SEATTLE – Defender Zach Scott edged the Sounders to a 1-0 home victory against the Colorado Rapids, ending the team scoring drought with his first MLS goal.
The Sounder hadn’t scored in their last 305 minutes of MLS play, but that dubious streak came to an end today in the 63’ when Scott hit a fantastic header off a corner from newbie midfielder Alex Caskey, who earned his first assist. Scott is one of the original team, a carry over from Seattle’s USL days, but hadn’t scored in over 2,000 minutes of playing time.
Colorado has never won in Seattle and has lost three of their last four matches. While they maintained sixty percent of the possession in the first half, most of that was in the back third of their own half where the Rapids defense seemed content to knock the ball about between them and sit back as if trying to wear the Sounders down with the extreme tediousness of the play. Despite some bursts of creativity from the Sounders, it made for a dull first half.
David Estrada was pushed back to midfield to make room for the return of Eddie Johnson who has been plagued by injury problems. The partnership between Estrada and Fredy Montero created several chances for the Sounders but Montero couldn’t find satisfaction. His best chance came shortly after kick off in the 5’, slicing the ball across the front of goal but Rapids keeper Matt Pickens was there for the save. Scott just missed scoring in the 13’, from almost the same set up that proved fruitful later in the game, a header off a Caskey free kick.
Colorado almost went into the half with the advantage after Omar Cummings hurdled over the downed Michael Gspurning in the 33’ and drove the ball into the net. But referee Baldomero Toledo quickly called it back for offside. Unusually, there was no added time in the first half and things were left 0-0 at the break.
This was also the first match in Seattle for Colorado’s Brian Mullan since his infamous tackle that ended in a broken leg for fan favorite Steve Zakuani, who is still out of the Sounders line up almost one year later. Mullan was serenaded by a loud chorus of boos every time he touched the ball today and was issued a yellow card in the 87’ after a hard tackle on Osvaldo Alonso. That incident was followed by a shoving match, resulting in a yellow card for Seattle team captain Montero.
Colorado remained almost lifeless in the second half, with only one real opportunity for an equalizer when Cummings drilled a shot from five yards out in the 69’ but the ball bounced off the far post.
The Sounders ended a two game winless streak with the victory and earned their second shut out of the season heading into a bye week, followed by an away match up against the Chicago Fire on April 28.