Maybe things would have been different if the match hadn’t been rescheduled. Maybe things would have been different if its new date wasn’t during the FIFA international break, leaving Seattle without 10 of its players.
But one can’t change the past.
In a match that was originally supposed to happen in April, yet due to inclement weather was rescheduled to Sept. 7, the Sounders fell 2-0 to the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.
“Certainly disappointing,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said. “I don’t think it was Colorado. Robin (Fraser) has done a good job and he’s certainly a young coach, but he’s new to this team and we knew his guys were going to be energetic to play, but the struggles were from our side. I don’t think we played up to our potential.”
Seattle (13-9-7) was without 10 of its players due to international call-ups. Schmetzer called up two players from the Tacoma Defiance (Nick Hinds and Shandon Hopeau) to help fill the void, yet it wasn’t enough to stop the Rapids (9-14-6).
“The public narrative is certainly, ‘You’re missing guys,’” Schmetzer said. “We’re not going to use that excuse in there. I’m going to hold people accountable, starting with myself. When guys come back we’ll establish momentum.”
With Saturday’s loss, Seattle’s second-place standing in the MLS Western Conference is on the line. The Sounders’ one-point advantage above third-place Minnesota United (45 points) has the potential to become a two-point deficit Wednesday if United defeats Houston. Additionally, if San Jose (44) defeats Real Salt Lake that same day, Seattle could possibly drop to fourth place.
“Our mindset was to come out and get three points,” Seattle midfielder Harry Shipp said. “It didn’t turn out that way, unfortunately, which is upsetting. There were a lot of things we could have done better throughout the entire match, so it’s frustrating.”
Colorado’s Andre Shinyashiki opened the scoring in the 41st minute with a left-footed shot into the top left corner of the goal. The ball brushed under the crossbar and into the net, over the head of Seattle’s Stefan Frei, and gave the Rapids a 1-0 lead into halftime.
Seattle carried the majority of the possession (55.3%) in the first half. Yet the Rapids put heavy pressure on the Sounders defense and attempted 11 shots in the half, with four of them on goal. Seattle struggled to push the ball past Colorado’s defense, only attempting two shots, with just one on goal.
“I think in the first half, we could have done a better job of keeping the ball, especially on their half,” Shipp said. “It took us too long. I thought we were all right the first 10 to 15 minutes, but then the last 30 minutes of the first half, we had a hard time dictating tempo, letting them get in the game and then, obviously, giving up the goal before half hurts, hurts your mindset going into half.”
Shinyashiki earned a brace in the 70th minute with an assist from Keegan Rosenberry in front of the goal to send the ball past an outstretched hand of Frei and into the back of the net.
The Sounders return to Seattle next weekend to host the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, Sept. 15, at 3 p.m. at CenturyLink Field.
-Victor Rodriguez (left hamstring) traveled with the team to Colorado after a full week of training. Schmetzer did not play Rodriguez for precautionary measures due to his recovery but expects him to be ready to play for next week’s game.
– Midfielder Hopeau made his MLS debut, subbing in for Justin Dhillon in the 58th minute.