Early and often: Two early goals set tone in Sounders victory over the Colorado Rapids

Jose Moreno

Outside of a yellow-card filled second half, the Seattle Sounders had every reason to feel good about how their game with the Colorado Rapids went on Saturday at CenturyLink Field.

They scored early. They scored twice. They dominated possession. And they earned a shutout.

Put it all together and the Sounders had a 2-0 victory over the Rapids to improve to 2-0 in the MLS season for the first time since 2012. It was also the first shutout since blanking Colorado, 4-0, on Sept. 29 of last season.

From the beginning, the Sounders pressured Colorado’s defense, much like they did against FC Cincinnati in the season opener. Kelvin Leerdam — who scored only one goal before this year in 41 games with Seattle — got his second of the season to put Seattle up 1-0 in the fifth minute.

Before fans could get done celebrating that goal, the Sounders struck again. In the eighth minute, Raul Ruidiaz got his second goal of the season to push the lead to 2-0. Those two quick scores set a team record for scoring twice in one match. The previous record was set on Oct. 25, 2015 in a 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake when Clint Dempsey and Marco Pappa scored in the fifth and 10th minutes.

Ruidiaz now has 12 goals in 16 regular season games with the Sounders. Including the playoffs, Ruidiaz now has scored in his last seven appearances and 15 goals in 18 games.

And while the Sounders dominated, goalkeeper Stefan Frei had some work to do to earn his 67th career shutout (seventh all-time in MLS). He made three saves.

Seattle’s second half, however, was marred by penalties.

Four players picked up yellow cards. Jordan Morris got his in the 52nd minute for an apparent elbow;. Cristian Roldan was carded in the 59th minute and Leerdam and Nico Lodeiro earned cards for time wasting.

The victory kept the Sounders’ streak of dominance against the Rapids (0-1-1) alive. Seattle has beaten Colorado five straight times and leads the all-time series 18-5-2, including a 11-2-1 mark at CenturyLink Field.

The Sounders hit the road for the first time this season next week facing off with the Chicago Fire on March 16 at 10 a.m. The next home game isn’t until April 6 where the Sounders will host Real Salt Lake at 7 p.m.

Hello, I’m Andrew Hammond, and I am new to the Pacific Northwest area. I’ve been a journalist for 13 years, mainly covering sports in the state of Kansas, where I am from. I’m excited to be a part of the Pacific Northwest sports scene. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @ahammTNT