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Martins scores 2 more in Sounders’ win

Forward up to 17 goals; Dempsey has goal, assist

Mcclatchy

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Seattle forward Obafemi Martins scored two goals Sunday in leading the Sounders to a 4-1 win over the Colorado Rapids.

Martins, who was named Major League Soccer player of the month in September, built on his club record with his 16th and 17th goals of the season.

The win moved Seattle (19-9-3) to the top of the MLS standings – even with Los Angeles in the points race, but ahead by two in wins, the first tiebreaker.

Clint Dempsey also extended his run of eight consecutive games with a goal or an assist. He recorded one of each, including the game’s first goal on a penalty kick in the 11th minute.

Martins doubled the lead in the 28th minute, taking a pass from Marco Pappa behind the Colorado defense, then faking goalkeeper Clint Irwin out of the way and finishing.

Pappa and Dempsey combined to make it 3-0 in the 33rd minute. The play began with a Pappa pass to Dempsey, which he back-heeled back to Pappa. Pappa then used his own heel to touch the ball into position before lifting a chip over the onrushing Irwin.

“It’s difficult when you’re traveling, and you have an early kickoff, and you’re trying to get everybody ready and trying to shore things up in the back, and I think we did that today,” Dempsey said. “Not only did we keep moving forward and creating chances and scored goals, but I think also the defense played well today and we kept them to one.”

That one came just before halftime, when Deshorn Brown scored for the Rapids (8-15-8).

Martins settled the issue in the 70th minute, taking a pass from Lamar Neagle and finishing from close range.

“We scored our goals, we had some other chances along the way,” Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. “I thought the last 6, 7 minutes of the first half, we gave the game back to them a little bit. But then the second half I thought we were really professional about what we needed to do.”

The Sounders return to action Friday when the Vancouver Whitecaps visit CenturyLink Field. That game will determine the winner of the 2014 Cascadia Cup. Vancouver needs a win to retain the cup.

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