Lamar Neagle tallied his first two goals of the season in the first 25 minutes and Obafemi Martins added his fourth goal in the 73rd minute to lead the Sounders to a 3-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids Saturday night in Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce, CO. Coming off a 1-0 loss to the LA Galaxy, the Sounders dominated throughout and improved to 3-1-1 (10 points).
The Sounders snapped a three-game scoreless streak on the road, dating to last season.
“I thought Colorado played very well tonight,” said Sounders coach Sigi Schmid. “Being up at half, we felt a little fortunate. I thought in the second half, we played much better. I thought they still got around our goal, but their chances were mainly shots from distance.
“I thought we got forward really well; sometimes getting chances isn’t necessarily reflected in shots, you are just missing opportunities.”
The Sounders, 5-3-1 all-time at Colorado, were outplayed statistically, allowing the Rapids 27 shots to Seattle’s 17, while also losing the possession battle, 55.1 percent to 44.9. But the Sounders forced 15 errant Colorado shots and made the most of their nine targeted chances, starting with Neagle early in the match.
In the fourth minute, Colorado had an opportunity to take a lead following a failed clearance by Chad Marshall that fell at the feet of Rapids midfielder Dillon Powers, whose shot caromed off the far post.
On the counterattack, Clint Dempsey found Neagle, who whipped in a shot from the top left side of the box, beating goalkeeper Clint Irwin and giving the Sounders a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute.
The Rapids equalized in the 22nd when Powers sent the ball through to a streaking Gabriel Torres, who finished.
The deadlock didn’t last long. In the 25th minute, Sounders defender Dylan Remick spotted Neagle with a lofted ball into Colorado’s box. Irwin saved the initial effort, but the ball deflected off James Riley and fell to Neagle, who bagged his second goal unassisted on the rebound.
Colorado led in shots 10-6 at halftime, but Seattle goalkeeper Stefen Frei had five saves.
Martins put the game out of reach in the 73rd minute. Off a soaring assist from Andy Rose, he split defenders Bobby Burling and Drew Moor with an exquisite spin move to score Seattle’s third goal.
The Sounders drew three yellow cards, Marshall, Rose and Tyrone Mears the offenders.
The Sounders play their first Cascadia Cup match of the season at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, April 26 against the Portland Timbers at CenturyLink Field.