A first-half goal from Alex Roldan helped propel Seattle Sounders FC (7-0-5, 26 points) to a 1-1 draw against Western Conference foe Colorado Rapids (5-3-2, 17 points) in an Independence Day matchup at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. With the road point, Seattle equals the MLS record for the best start to a season, becoming just the fifth team in league history to go unbeaten through the first 12 matches of the season. The point also keeps the Rave Green tied atop both the Supporters’ Shield race and the MLS Western Conference standings, level with Sporting Kansas City
Fresh off an international callup for El Salvador for this summer’s Concacaf Gold Cup, Alex Roldan slalomed inside the Colorado defense in the 41st minute, burying his shot beneath Colorado goalkeeper William Yarbrough to give the Rave Green a narrow lead heading into the intermission. For the Seattle University product, it was his first MLS goal in 58 regular-season appearances.
Michael Barrios pulled a goal back for the home side in the 58th minute, picking up a loose ball inside Seattle’s area and finishing at Stefan Cleveland’s far post, leveling the match at one goal apiece.
Following tonight’s contest in the Rockies, Seattle returns home to Lumen Field for a showdown with the Houston Dynamo in three days’ time. The July 7 match is the first fully-open Sounders FC contest since the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, with the club now permitted to welcome back a capacity crowd for the first time since the pandemic began. Kickoff is slated for 6:00 p.m. PT (JOEtv, Prime Video, Sports Radio 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).
- Following tonight’s result, Seattle moves to 18-7-3 all-time in regular season action against the Rapids, outscoring Colorado 50-31. The Rave Green have also won all three postseason meetings between the two sides.
- Tonight’s draw snaps a two-match losing skid in the series for the Rave Green. In regular-season play dating back to 2009, Seattle is now 7-5-2 all-time at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
- With the draw, Seattle remains unbeaten in 2021, becoming just the fifth club in Major League Soccer history to begin a season unbeaten through 12 matches. The last team to accomplish this feat was Real Salt Lake in 2014. The other sides to accomplish this mark are the 1996 LA Galaxy, 2000 Kansas City Wizards and the 2010 LA Galaxy. No club has ever started a season with an unbeaten run of 13 matches.
- Seattle’s current 12-match unbeaten run is tied for the second-longest streak without a loss in club history at any point during a single season, level with a 12-match streak in 2018 and one shy of the club record of 13 set in 2017.
- Deploying a 3-4-2-1 formation for the first time this season, Seattle Head Coach Brian Schmetzer made just one personnel change to his lineup from the June 26 match vs. Vancouver. With forward Will Bruin a scratch due to a right knee injury suffered against Vancouver, Brad Smith got the starting nod, with Sounders FC playing a lone forward up front in Raúl Ruidíaz. In addition to the club’s usual three-man backline, Schmetzer opted to play a four-man midfield tonight, with two wingbacks overlapping the flanks.
- Following the draw, Seattle is level with Sporting Kansas City atop both the Supporters’ Shield race and MLS Western Conference standings. The New England Revolution currently lead the Eastern Conference and trail the two clubs by two points in the Supporters’ Shield standings.
- With his goal in the 41st minute of play, wingback Alex Roldan recorded both his first goal of 2021 and his first career goal in MLS. Since joining the Rave Green from Seattle University in 2018, Roldan has logged 58 regular-season matches (27 starts), in addition to five career assists.
Seattle Sounders FC 1 – Colorado Rapids 1
Sunday, July 4, 2021
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Referee: Kevin Stott
Weather: Mostly sunny and 81 degrees
SEA – Alex Roldan 41’
COL – Michael Barrios 58’
COL – Diego Rubio (caution) 21’
COL – Danny Wilson (caution) 26’
SEA – Yeimar Gómez Andrade (caution) 34’
SEA – Shane O’Neill (caution) 47’
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Cleveland; Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Shane O’Neill, AB Cissoko; Alex Roldan, João Paulo, Josh Atencio (Danny Leyva 73’), Cristian Roldan – captain, Jimmy Medranda (Kelyn Rowe 56’), Brad Smith (Ethan Dobbelaere 84’); Raúl Ruidíaz
Substitutes not used: Spencer Richey, Reed Baker-Whiting, Fredy Montero
Total shots: 7
Shots on goal: 1
Colorado Rapids – William Yarbrough; Keegan Rosenberry, Danny Wilson, Auston Trusty, Sam Vines; Michael Barrios (Nico Mezquida 84’), Cole Bassett, Kellyn Acosta; Andre Shinyashiki (Braian Galván 73’), Diego Rubio – captain, Jonathan Lewis
Substitutes not used: Clint Irwin, Drew Moor, Lalas Abubakar, Nico Benezet, Jeremy Kelly, Kortne Ford, Collen Warner
Total shots: 14
Shots on goal: 3