Updated Jul 16, 2011 - 10:07 pm
Match review: Seattle Sounders FC 4- 3 Colorado Rapids
In a match that saw both sides score seven goals, Fredy Montero (goal and assist), Osvaldo Alonso (two assists) and Mauro Rosales (goal and assist) each notched two points in the victory over last year's MLS Cup champs.
Roger Levesque and Alvaro Fernandez tallied the other two goals to round out the scoring for the Sounders.
Man of the match: Fredy Montero
For the second straight week, Montero earns my accolades as the star of this matchup against Colorado. His diving header near the left post, with his head barely a foot off the ground, showed the Colombian's desire and grit.
Give credit to head coach Sigi Schmid for knowing the right buttons to push to get Montero back on track after a series of up-and-down performances in the first half of the season. He's returning to the Fredy of 2010 and appears to be adjusting to the responsibilities and pressure of a Designated Player.
The enigmatic forward has scored three times in the last two matches. He leads the team in goals (6) and assisted on five other tallies.
"He's stepped up and accepted the challenge. He's been getting goals and he set up a great goal to Mauro [Rosales]. I was very pleased with our front four - [Roger] Levesque, Montero, [Alvaro] Fernandez and Mauro Rosales. I think they were creative and they put a lot of things together and a lot of combinations."--Sigi Schmid, Sounders FC head coach
"Yes, in the first game and in another game last time I scored a similar goal (diving header). This time I was a little bit afraid that the ball seemed a little bit too low."--Fredy Montero
Unsung hero: Mauro Rosales
Rosales' pace and playmaking capabilities to me are the keys to Seattle's current success. The Argentenian makes all the right plays and moves to involve everyone in the offensive third of the pitch.
Game in and game out, he's taking control of the pace and tempo of the game. He's my selection for MVP at this stage of the 2011 campaign.
In the Colorado matchup, Rosales tallied the game winning goal and earned his sixth assist of the year on Levesque's strike.
"We played very nice football today. I don't think we deserved to lose the game. They were playing very good in the first half and they were winning the game - they deserved to. The second half we worked for everything, for the game, and this is the prize."--Mauro Rosales
Defensive woes: Five goals in two matches
One area of concern for goalie Kasey Keller and his defensive backs has to be a leaky defense the last two games. They've given up two goals against Portland and another three in the victory over the Rapids.
If Seattle is to make a move into the MLS elite (LA Galaxy and NY Red Bulls), the defense needs to return to form before the playoffs start. The goals are harder to come by in the post-season, and, if not addressed, we could see another early exit for the Rave Green.
"That was shocking. Our discipline and defending was just not there today...We keep giving teams goals. We keep having to come from behind. At some stage we have to start to clean that up. We just can't let that happen."--Kasey Keller, Sounders FC 'keeper
Temporary grass surface: Thumbs down
Visiting sides from Europe will not play on an artificial surface. With Manchester United slated to play the Sounders on Wednesday, the CenturyField Link pitch was horrid.
The ball appeared to die and barely bounced on the spongy grass. You would think that with today's technology someone could create a better grass field. We'll see how the temporary surface looks in several days for the ManU match.
"It looked difficult for all, including Seattle. They are not used to that surface; it was boggy and heavy along with being difficult to turn on."--Gary Smith, Rapids head coach
"We had two leads in this game, if anything it helped us out. Some weird plays and a few strange bounces, we were just on the wrong end of the score."--Pablo Mastroeni, Rapids midfielder
"The rain made it a little tougher so the field was a little heavier than it would have been without the rain. The ball was pretty dead when you hit long balls so balls would stay in play, which created opportunities for them because of their speed up front and also created opportunities for us on the flanks where those switching balls would sit."--Sigi Schmid
They said it:
"The team has been maturing over the course of three seasons. We find that kind of energy when we are down. I'm very proud of what the team has done today and we managed to get the three points."--Fredy Montero
"Overall, I was very pleased with our passing and our play. I thought guys stepped up and did very well. If you came to today's game and you didn't enjoy it then you don't enjoy sports."--Sigi Schmid
"I have to be honest there were good periods of the game were we look unsettled in the back. I don't know if it was the pitch or just some good movements from Seattle but we looked vulnerable. There were other opportunities where Seattle breached our backline and increased their lead at certain points."--Gary Smith
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