COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – No matter the final score, Friday night was a huge loss for Sounders FC.
In the third minute of Seattle’s 1-0 road win against the Colorado Rapids, star midfielder Steve Zakuani suffered a potentially season-ending injury on a malicious tackle by Brian Mullan.
Zakuani, who came into the game tied for the team high in goals (two) and assists (two), had to be taken off on a stretcher and went to the emergency room for X-rays. He was found to have broken his leg in two places.
Mullan was immediately issued a red card and Colorado, the reigning MLS Cup champion, was forced to play the rest of the game with 10 men.
Seattle (2-2-3) quickly took advantage and scored on a brilliant counterattack in the 19th minute.
The play started when forward O’Brian White gathered the ball near midfield and raced down the right flank before passing it to midfielder Mauro Rosales.
Rosales then centered a pass to a wide-open Fredy Montero, who buried an 18-yard shot to the far post to end a long scoring drought.
Montero hadn’t scored in his past 16 games and 1,290 minutes in all competitions. His last league goal was Aug. 28 against Chicago.
Colorado (3-3) tried to press forward in the second half for the equalizer but was limited without forward Conor Casey, who is out with a hamstring strain.
Seattle held on for its first shutout of the season and extended its unbeaten streak to five, currently the longest in MLS.
The consistency in results hasn’t been shared in lineup choices, as Sounders FC started its sixth different combination in seven games. Despite having to wear a cast as he recovers from wrist surgery, Montero started at forward for the first time in four games.