The Seattle Sounders’ commanding 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids on Sunday extended their Western Conference lead in outstanding fashion. Here are 10 things you might have missed from the massive victory:
Sounders midfielder João Paulo channeled his inner Marshawn Lynch by dribbling the ball 60 yards through the Rapids defense in one of the goals of the MLS season. The Brazilian wowed people across the MLS universe (including his own teammates) and showed exactly why he’s an MVP candidate and likely MLS Best XI this season.
In addition to João Paulo’s solo effort, he also produced an incredible assist to Jimmy Medranda to set up the second goal. Cristian Roldan dropped a pass back for João Paulo, who drew several defenders on him before deftly redirecting the ball into open space at the far post where he knew Medranda was running into. The Colombian did the rest with a hammer of a finish.
Forward Will Bruin set up the opener inside of two minutes when he took a deflected attempted clearance and found Cristian Roldan for the one-timed finish. Then he had the pass before the pass on Medranda’s goal by playing a wonderful blind through ball over his shoulder to an onrushing Roldan in behind. He won’t get an assist for the latter, but his contributions drew plenty of praise.
FOUR IN FOUR
Speaking of Roldan’s opener, Sunday marked the fourth time in as many matches in all competitions that the United States international found the back of the net. He also finished with two assists (he was credited with the pass to João Paulo before his marauding run) and has been unstoppable over the past few weeks.
SOUNDERS OFFENSE FIRING
After a brief midsummer lull in the scoring department, the Sounders offense is finding its form at the right time. Seattle has scored eight goals across its last three matches and has been a nightmare for opponents to try and defend.
THIRD NINE-POINT WEEK
For the third time this season, the Sounders have won three matches, bookending a midweek win with victories on either side. It’s been an incredible response since a heartbreaking loss in the Leagues Cup Final, as the Sounders took three points at second-place Sporting Kansas City, at a playoff-hungry San Jose Earthquakes and then home to third-place Colorado.
FREI CLIMBS CLEAN SHEET LEADERBOARD
Stefan Frei recorded his fourth clean sheet of the season on Sunday, which gives him 86 for his MLS career. He’s now tied for third in league history with Joe Cannon, although Frei (312 matches) has done it in fewer appearances (342). With one more shutout, Frei will be behind only MLS legends Nick Rimando (154) and Kevin Hartman (112).
Part of why Frei and the Sounders kept a shutout is because of the great defensive presence of Xavier Arreaga. The Ecuador international had a match-high four blocks, plus 10 recoveries, two interceptions, two clearances and a tackle.
ONE RESULT FROM THE POSTSEASON
The Sounders are a win or a draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday (6 p.m. PT; FOX 13+, Prime Video, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360AM | TICKETS) away from extending their all-time MLS playoff streak to 13 years.
MEDRANDA BRACE THAT WASN’T
Medranda thought he had scored his second goal of the evening before it was waved off for a foul off the ball. It was a shame for the left wingback, who put the Colorado defense on skates before finishing past goalkeeper Clint Irwin.