Sounders end scoring drought with 1-0 win over Rapids
Defender Zach Scott scored his first MLS goal off an assist from first-year midfielder Alex Caskey to snap Seattle's 305-minute scoreless streak.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Top teams in MLS this seasonThe Sounders have allowed only two goals in MLS games this season and snapped a brief two-game winless streak on Saturday.
Real Salt Lake (5-2-0)
Sporting KC (6-0-0)
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New York (3-2-1)
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Wives and moms don't think like MLS defenders.
They want goals.
So while Zach Scott, a hard-nosed veteran for Sounders FC, has been more worried about shutouts and defensive responsibilities, his family has just wanted to see him score.
That wish, however unlikely, came true Saturday as Scott scored his first MLS goal with a 63rd-minute header to give Seattle a 1-0 win against the Colorado Rapids in front of 38,360 at CenturyLink Field.
The goal broke the team's 305-minute scoring drought and was the first in 2,048 minutes for Scott, a longtime Sounder from the United Soccer Leagues.
"My wife and mom have been on my case lately about putting one of those away," he said, unable to recall when he had last scored previously. "Hopefully I made them proud."
The victory snapped a two-game winless streak for Seattle (3-1-1) and continued the one-sided nature of the rivalry against Colorado. The Sounders are 5-1-1 against the Rapids and 4-0 at home.
The hosts dominated the second half with a 12-1 advantage in shots and earned their deserved reward with a goal off a corner kick. First-year midfielder Alex Caskey, making his first MLS start, swung in the cross to Scott, who redirected it with a sharp header at the near post past goalkeeper Matt Pickens.
Caskey, who earned his first MLS assist, leaped into Scott's arms in the celebration.
When asked if there was a more unlikely goal-scorer on the field than Scott, coach Sigi Schmid joked there was only one: goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.
Scott, the oldest player on the team at 31, is sometimes maligned for his offensive contributions, but Schmid praised the veteran for giving "everything he has every time he steps on the field.
"His energy level is great," the coach added. "He competes for everything and he makes the guys around him compete."
The Sounders proved that Saturday, putting the defensive clamps on the Rapids (3-3) to earn their second straight shutout — third, overall — with Gspurning only having to make one save.
Seattle finished with an 18-4 advantage in shots and lamented not scoring more than once.
Fredy Montero was particularly dangerous with eight shots, but Pickens came up with huge stops early (fifth minute) and late (89th minute) to keep the forward without a goal through his first five games.
Montero assumed more of a playmaking role due to injuries to fellow designated players Mauro Rosales (knee) and Alvaro Fernandez (quad), but said he's "always hungry to score goals."
"I'm going to keep trying — that's it," said Montero, who wore the captain's armband again.
Seattle has used a different lineup for all five of its MLS games this season and Saturday marked the first starts from forward Eddie Johnson, who had been dealing with injury and fitness issues, and Caskey, a 2011 draft pick.
Nineteen different Sounders have started games this season, but many of the thoughts on the day were with someone who couldn't play: midfielder Steve Zakuani. Colorado's visit marked the return of Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan to Seattle for the first time since breaking Zakuani's leg last year.
Mullan was booed by the home crowd upon his every touch of the ball, and the memory of the incident last April proved motivating for the Sounders.
"We wanted to basically honor Steve with a win," said Scott, "and that's what we did."
• The Sounders have a bye next weekend and return to MLS action with a 5:30 p.m. road game at Chicago on April 28. Schmid was particularly pleased with Saturday's win because of the upcoming layoff. "You'd rather go into the break with a win underneath you as your last game because you don't want to stew on your last result," said Schmid.
• Seattle plays an MLS Reserve League game on the road Monday against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
• Fernandez suffered the quad injury in Friday's practice.
• Rosales (knee) and defender Adam Johansson (hamstring) were out for the fourth straight week, but should be available for the next MLS game. Rosales' void has been filled by committee; Scott has started all four games in place of Johansson.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or email@example.com. On Twitter @joshuamayers.
|Colorado||0 0 — 0|
|Seattle||0 1 — 1|
Colorado — Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, Luis Zapata, Drew Moor, Marvell Wynne, Jeff Larentowicz, Brian Mullan, Jaime Castrillon (Kamani Hill, 70th), Martin Rivero, Tony Cascio (Andre Akpan, 83rd), Omar Cummings.
Seattle — Michael Gspurning, Jeff Parke, Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez, Osvaldo Alonso, Alex Caskey (Marc Burch, 75th), Brad Evans, Eddie Johnson (Sammy Ochoa, 66th), David Estrada, Fredy Montero (Roger Levesque, 90th).