Morris shocks Rapids as Sounders Advance to MLS Final

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

The roller coaster season for the Seattle Sounders has reached new heights as they advance to their first MLS Cup Final in team history following a 1-0 win at Colorado on Sunday afternoon.

The only goal came from rookie all-star Jordan Morris who skillfully finished one of Seattle’s few chances in the 56th minute. Morris battled the flu as well as some very physical play from the opposition to be the game’s deciding factor.

The first half was all Rapids as they dominated in front of their home fans but couldn’t find the elusive go-ahead goal. Colorado was one of the league’s worst offenses but also one of its stingiest defenses with only seven goals allowed at home all season. The team generated several fantastic opportunities but none was better than Kevin Doyle’s chance in the 23rd minute. Taking advantage of Roman Torres’ defensive lapse, Doyle tried to slot home the ball from a tough angle but the chance went just wide of net.

More of the same was in store for Seattle to start the second half. Head coach Brian Schmetzer moved to his bench early in the half by putting in veteran Alvaro Hernandez. However, it was Nelson Valdez’s perfect ball in the 56th minute that found Jordan Morris for the game’s only goal.

From there, Seattle sunk in deep, with eight players back on defense, and shut down the Rapids’ offense.

Seattle did have some worrying situations during the game. Osvaldo Alonso and Jordan Morris both appeared to be favoring leg injuries. Alonso came off quickly, making his issues seem a bit more serious.

Seattle will now await the winner of Toronto FC and Montreal Impact on Tuesday night.

STARTING XI:

Colorado Rapids: McMath; Miller, Watts, Sjoberg, Burch; Azira, Powers; Le Toux (’59 Hairston), Gashi (’85 Badji), Jones; Doyle

Seattle Sounders: Frei; Mears, Torres, Marshall, Jones; Roldan, Alonso (’74 Fisher); Morris, Ivanschitz (’51 Fernandez), Lodeiro; Valdez (’88 Scott)

GOALS:

’56 (Seattle Sounders): Jordan Morris assisted by Nelson Valdez

DISCIPLINE:

’14 (Seattle Sounders) YELLOW CARD: Roman Torres