The Seattle Sounders got a second-minute goal from Cristian Roldan and never looked back, eventually cruising to a 3-0 rout of the Colorado Rapids at Lumen Field on Sunday.
All three of Seattle’s goals came in the first half, starting with Roldan’s first-time finish that marked his fourth goal in his last four games across all competitions, with Jimmy Medranda and João Paulo netting a goal apiece to pace the home side.
Roldan got the match off to a dream start just two minutes into the contest. After a giveaway at the back from Colorado, Will Bruin found the US international midfielder with a cross into the box, allowing Roldan to lash home a deflected finish to put Seattle up 1-0.
That lead was doubled on 25 minutes through a scorching goal of the left foot of Medranda. The Colombian wingback took a running start and uncorked a vicious first-time finish into the net to cap off a gorgeous team goal, with João Paulo providing a nifty flicked assist.
João Paulo then took matters into his own hand for Seattle’s third, right on the stroke of halftime. The Brazilian collected the ball in his own end and embarked on a bounding solo run all the way through the Colorado defense before finishing the breakaway shot, pushing the lead to 3-0 and sending the crowd at Lumen Field into a frenzy.
That would be the final goal of the match despite an eventful second half. After another stellar individual goal from Medranda was waved off on Video Review, Colorado’s Lucas Esteves was dealt a straight red card just past the hour mark for a foul on João Paulo, affording the Rave Green a man advantage for the rest of the match.
Seattle would be content to see out the result from there, bagging its 16th win of the season and moving back past Sporting Kansas City for the No. 1 spot on the Western Conference table.
João Paulo is already the author of one MLS Goal of the Year candidate for his screamer in Seattle’s season-opening win over Minnesota United, but he may have outdone himself with this one. This run is more than 50 yards on a dead sprint, shedding multiple defenders and then having the composure to slot home the finish. It’s one of the best individual efforts we’ve seen throughout the league all season. Just watch the highlight and enjoy.
CRISTIAN DOES IT AGAIN
The beauty of Cristian Roldan is often found in his unselfishness and versatility. The 26-year-old is the definition of a two-way player, willing to do the dirty work on defense with a motor that never stops running. Any goals he scored were usually considered icing on the cake. With that in mind, it’s been great to see Roldan get rewarded in with his recent blistering streak of goal-scoring as he continues to thrive in a more advanced role while helping cover for the absence of Nicolas Lodeiro.
DEPTH TEST PASSED
With Lodeiro still out and Raúl Ruidíaz missing Sunday’s match due to hamstring pain, this match was a good demonstration of the depth that makes Seattle such a formidable threat in the West. Playing a Rapids side that has been challenging with them at the top of the conference all season, Seattle put on a clinical first half, with Bruin putting in another huge shift in Ruidíaz’s absence and homegrown midfielder Josh Atencio also drawing another start next to João Paulo.