Proceedings on Saturday did not start well for the Seattle Sounders, who entered their home match against the Colorado Rapids on a three-match losing streak. Jonathan Lewis scored just three minutes in for the visitors, forcing a Seattle team that hadn’t scored in 300 minutes to play from behind immediately.

Jordan Morris equalized just before halftime but then Kelyn Rowe was sent off just two minutes into the second half, marking the second time in four matches the Sounders were forced to play a man down.

But rather than rolling over or trying to keep the draw, the Sounders, despite playing with 10 men, took it to the Rapids and spent almost the entire second half on the front foot. In turn, they won 2-1 and earned their gutsiest victory of the 2022 MLS season.

“Any of you out there who are listening who think that we’re happy with CCL and just ready to pack it in for the rest of the year, I think you should take a look at the performance of that group of players,” said Head Coach Brian Schmetzer.

“You look at that group of players and their determination to grind out a victory and you’ve got to give it to them because they put everything into that game,” he continued. “It was a well-deserved three points.”

The victory briefly sent the Sounders above the Western Conference playoff line, although they finished the evening a point below but with a match in hand on the Portland Timbers above them. Saturday was as massive a win as the Sounders have needed all year, and when the urgency mounted, the team responded.

“It showed the character of our team,” said Cristian Roldan. “It displays our character and what we stand for, which is playing as a team and grinding games out…When things don’t go your way, you have to bounce back, and we saw that today from all 11 guys and especially when we were at 10 guys.”

Added Schmetzer: “What I told them was they’ve been in so many pressured-filled games already this year…They weren’t afraid. The game wasn’t too big for them.”

Saturday’s win should hopefully buoy the Sounders as they prepare for a Friday night showdown in Los Angeles against Supporters’ Shield-leading LAFC (8:15 p.m. PT; FS1, FOX Deportes, 93.3 KJR FM, El Rey 1360AM). The Black and Gold sport some flashy new additions in Italian legend Giorgio Chiellini and Wales captain Gareth Bale, but Seattle won’t be fazed heading into an environment where it has had some previous success in big matches.

“We have a great team,” said Jimmy Medranda, who set up Morris’ opening goal. “We have confidence in all the players. We know that if we play our game, we can get goals and results.”



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