Will Bruin scored twice and the Seattle Sounders survived a first-half tally from Sam Nicholson, eventually bagging a 2-1 Independence Day victory over the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Wednesday.
Bruin found the opener in the 19th minute after a deflection bounced to him in front of the Colorado goal, allowing him to tuck a left-footed finish past Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard to give the Sounders a dream start.
Nicholson would find the leveler as the contest crept toward halftime heading home a finish off a feed from Edgar Castillo to equalize the contest at 1-1.
Bruin would bag the game-winner in the 59th, however, after the Sounders dispossessed Colorado at the top of their own area, allowing Víctor Rodríguez to set up the veteran forward with another finish past Howard to make it 2-1 – the scoreline that would hold as the final.
The Sounders played this same Rapids team in this exact same venue on July 4 last year, and got a 3-1 victory courtesy of a brace from Clint Dempsey and another tally from Bruin. This year, it was Bruin who played the role of double goalscorer, but the result ended up the same: Three points.
It’s been a tough season on the whole so far for Seattle’s attack, but you can’t blame Bruin for that. Following Wednesday’s brace, the 28-year-old striker is leading the team with five goals to go along with four assists, making him the club’s most statistically productive attacker through its first 16 matches. He’s also demonstrated impressive efficiency since joining the Sounders before the start of last season, as he now has 16 goals in 37 matches in Rave Green.
FREI TO THE RESCUE
The match could have very easily ended 2-2 if not for some epic heroics from Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who came up with the highlight of the match late in the second half after Coloardo’s Shkëlzen Gashi was set up with an open look on goal at the end of a counterattack. Gashi’s shot looked certain to hit the back of the net, but Frei laid out for an absolute stunner of a denial to preserve the 2-1 scoreline. The 2016 MLS Cup MVP now has another clip that will go on his highlight reel for the rest of his career.
SEA - Will Bruin 19'
COL - Sam Nicholson (Édgar Castillo, Dominique Badji) 40'
SEA - Will Bruin (Víctor Rodríguez, Nicolás Lodeiro) 59'
COL - Yannick Boli (Unsporting Behavior) 43'
COL - Édgar Castillo (Time wasting) 48'
COL - Sam Nicholson (Unsporting Behavior) 65'
COL - Dominique Badji (Unsporting Behavior) 66'
COL - Micheal Azira (Persistent Infringement) 70'
COL - Joe Mason (Dissent) 87'
SEA - Magnus Wolff Eikrem (Time wasting) 90'+5'