BY SPNW Staff 09:22PM 04/23/2016

Schmid: Sounders loss ‘Worst game of season’

Yes, Jordan Morris scored the second goal of his rookie season. But without Clint Dempsey (groin) and Nelson Valdez (hamstring) on the trip because of injuries, the Sounders were largely ineffectual offensively, losing 3-1 to the Rapids at mile-high Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., Saturday night.

Another rookie, Oalex Anderson, joined Morris up front with Hercules Gomez, the 34-year-old newcomer, getting his first Seattle start. But the changes cost the Sounders (2-4-1) early when the Rapids (5-2-1) dominated the run of play.

“I thought we didn’t play well at all,” said coach Sigi Schmid. “I thought it was our worst game of the season.

“There was no leadership on the field. I expect more and I think they need to expect more from each other. So it rests on my shoulders at the end of the day, maybe we didn’t have them prepared enough. But you can’t always prepare for everything.”

Jermaine Jones put his team up 1-0 in the 20th minute when a free kick from midfielder Shkelzen Gashi was perfectly spotted for a header when neither Brad Evans nor Chad Marshall properly marked the Colorado star.

Another key Sounders operative, Andreas Ivanschitz, left the game in 50th minute with a leg muscle injury, replaced by Erik Friberg. A minute later, another lapse left the defense vulnerable on counterattack. A cross was delivered to Luis Solignac, who beat the defense for a sliding score and a 2-0 lead.

Morris answered in the 63rd minute. Cristian Roldan brought the ball up the left flank and crossed into a thicket, but the ball emerged at Morris’s feet. He beat his man off the dribble and sent a low ball from 12 yards past the goalie Zac MacMath inside the near post.

The outcome for the Sounders would have been worse had not GK Stefan Frei in the 68th minute guessed correctly on a penalty kick from Gashi, making a one-hand stab diving right.

The Sounders’ pursuit of a tie and a point were thwarted in the 86th minute when an airborne Kevin Doyle volleyed a cross past GK Stefan Frei. Doyle appeared to be a half-yard ahead of Marshall, but offsides wasn’t called.

Evans complained about the non-call and was ejected after a red card.

The Sounders had a possession edge of 57 percent to 43, but it mattered little with the poor defensive showing.

The injuries to Dempsey and Valdez are not serious and both are expected back for the next game at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Clink against Columbus, although Evans will sit out.

 


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