SEATTLE – The Seattle Sounders began their week with a free-flowing and high-scoring victory, but ended it with a very different kind of challenge.
The Sounders managed to take that one too, making a lone goal from Clint Dempsey stand up for a 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday at CenturyLink Field.
“Every game is a little bit different – takes on a different personality,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “We knew that they were going to be somewhat cautious in the way they played. They tried to slow the game down for sure, make it difficult for us to get forward. … I’m proud of the fact it was a victory that we had to ground out.”
The only goal came in the 52nd minute, when Marco Pappa launched a corner kick into the box, and Dempsey volleyed it into the back of the net.
It was Dempsey’s team-high 11th goal of the season.
The game will be Pappa’s last with the Sounders for a couple of weeks as he will now join the Guatemala national team at the Central American Cup, which will run from Wednesday to Sept. 13 at various U.S. locations.
Pappa’s departure will assure at least one lineup change Wednesday when the Sounders resume MLS regular season play at Chivas USA. But Saturday marked the first time this season that Schmid wrote out a lineup card identical to the one he had used the game before.
That earlier game was the 4-2 win at Portland last Sunday. And even though Schmid used the same lineup, he knew they would have to play a different kind of game.
The Rapids arrived with a five-game losing streak, having given up 15 goals along that way. So, Schmid anticipated that they would play conservatively at Seattle, and that’s largely what happened. The Sounders and Rapids combined for 22 shots, just one more than the Timbers alone had taken six days earlier.
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