2009 May 23

Sounders show depth in come-from-behind draw in Colorado

Colorado Rapids  2 - 2  Seattle Sounders FC

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO

17' SEA: Fredy Montero

25' COL: Colin Clark (Omar Cummings, Mehdi Ballouchy)
47' COL: Conor Casey (Clark)
76' SEA: Nate Jaqua (Montero, James Riley)

Colorado: Matt Pickens; Jordan Harvey, Scott Palguta (Ty Harden 77'), Corey Gibbs, Ugo Ihemelu (Kosuke Kimura 71'); Colin Clark, Pablo Mastroeni, Mehdi Ballouchy, Nick LaBrocca; Conor Casey, Omar Cummings (Jacob Peterson 79'). Substitutes not used: Preston Burpo, Greg Dalby, Terry Cooke, Gregory Richardson.

Seattle: Kasey Keller; Nathan Sturgis (Tyson Wahl 80'), Tyrone Marshall, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, James Riley; Steve Zakuani, Osvaldo Alonso (Stephen King 2'), Peter Vagenas (Patrick Ianni 71'), Sebastien Le Toux; Fredy Montero, Nate Jaqua. Substitutes not used: Ben Dragavon, Taylor Graham, Sanna Nyassi, Roger Levesque.

Match report by Ron Stickney

Seattle Sounders FC got the early lead on the road, but had to come from behind to gain a draw with the host Colorado Rapids. Fredy Montero's early strike was cancelled by Colin Clark's goal in the first half. Shortly after intermission Conor Casey put Colorado ahead, but Nate Jaqua scored to make the final score 2-2.

Seattle played without injured regulars Freddie Ljungberg, Brad Evans and Zach Scott. Then arter only one minute Osvaldo Alonso went down with perhaps a strained right quadriceps. That is two matches in a row where someone departed in the early minutes with a strain or pull that seems odd. Is there something wrong with their warmups? Or something wrong with the training regimen?

Seattle's depth was tested with Peter Vagenas getting his first start in central midfield, then it was tested further with Stephen King coming in for Alonso.

The first couple of shots were for Colorado, the better from Casey in the 9th minute, deflected and then saved by Kasey Keller.

17' SEA: Montero. The first goal was set up by James Riley's cross from the right. Montero ran around his marker to the near post and shot, hitting the near post squarely as goalkeeper Matt Pickens dove left. The rebound fortunately went right to Montero, who calmly headed it into the net on the volley. 1-0 Seattle.

Colorado nearly scored from Clark's free kick from the touch line at 22'. Omar Cummings' header hit the crossbar at the top far corner and stayed in play.

25' COL: Clark (Cummings). Cummings easily ran by Nathan Sturgis down the right side to earn a cross from the bye line. Clark was not marked well and ran onto the cross 10 yards from the near post and finished inside the near post. 1-1.

Colorado had the momentum and had the next few chances. At 31' a dangerous cross almost found Casey sneaking between two defenders in front of goal, but the ball ran by untouched. Cummings crossed from the right for Casey at the far post, and Casey powered a header on goal that was deflected wide by an excellent save by Keller. The next dangerous Cummings cross was intercepted by Keller.

At 38' Tyrone Marshall had a good chance from what would be Seattle's only corner kick of the match, but his header went off the top of the bar.

Into added time at the end of the first half, Nick LaBrocca got a cross from the left on a counter and had only Keller to beat, but Keller made another great save to send the teams to the locker rooms level.

Halftime: Colorado 1 - 1 Seattle

47' COL: Casey. Casey on the front line was served from Clark and beat Marshall with a feint. Casey's shot deflected off Vagenas' lunging foot and went over the collapsing Keller and in. Sturgis tried to get there to cover, but the ball was already past the goal plane before he cleared it. 2-1 Colorado.

The next 23 minutes saw no chances, but a pair of yellow cards to SEattle and one to Colorado.

At 70' Colorado had a golden chance when Nick LaBrocca got through from Casey's pass and had only Keller to beat from inside the area, but Keller made another great save. Then at 74' Casey got ahead on the left for a shot but Marshall recovered just in time to stick a foot out and deflect it wide for a corner. A minute later Cummings tried from 30 yards but was 5 feet high.

76' SEA: Jaqua (Montero, Riley). Although Colorado had the momentum, the Sounders struck next. Riley delivered a nice cross from the right that went to the far post, where Montero reached it first, beating Kosuke Kimura, to head it down in front of goal. Jaqua was on a run up the middle and finished low to the left, under a collapsing Pickens. 2-2.

The momentum was Seattle's the rest of the way and they had three chances to find a match winner. At 84' Steve Zakuani fired a hard shot from the 18 on the right, but Pickens was there for the save. Two minutes later Zakuani was sprung up the middle and had an excellent chance with only Pickens to beat from the spot, but Pickens guessed correctly and dove right to make the save. After a strong attack, Montero's shot from the 18 just missed the top far corner. Four plus minutes of added time produced no chances either way.

Final: Colorado 2 - 2 Seattle

The same two teams will meet again three days hence in a US Open Cup qualifier hosted by the Sounders at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila.

          COL  SEA
Shots:     12    7
Saves:      2    4
Corners:   10    1
Fouls:     10   16
Offside:    2    4

28' SEA: Jaqua cautioned
57' SEA: Hurtado cautioned
61' SEA: Vagenas cautioned
67' COL: Ihemelu cautioned

Referees: Hilario Grajeda; Darren Clark, Frank Anderson; Ben Chouaf

Attendance: 16,528

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