Obafemi Martins scored twice, Clint Dempsey added a goal and an assist, and the Sounders ripped through the inept Colorado Rapids 4-1 Sunday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO. Seattle set a club record for wins in a season (19) and kept pace with the LA Galaxy in the race for the Supporters’ Shield.
With three points Sunday and three matches remaining, same as LA, the Sounders and Galaxy are tied with 60 points. Seattle and LA face each other in the final two matches of the regular season.
The Rapids have not won their last 11 matches, a span in which they have conceded a boggling 34 goals.
Improving to 19-9-4, the Sounders tallied three goals in the first half and then went into a defensive mode to prevent an uninspired Rapids squad from getting back in the match.
Dempsey notched his 14th goal of the year in the 14th minute on a penalty kick. In the 33rd, he fed Marco Pappa for his fourth goal of the season. Five of Dempsey’s 14 goals have come against the Rapids.
In the 84th minute, Dempsey nearly scored another, his shot boinking off the near post.
“An important win,” said Dempsey. “Not only did we keep moving forward and creating scoring chances, our defense played well today. We still have some things to work on, but we’re happy with where we are right now.”
Between the Dempsey and Pappa goals, Martins scored in the 28th minute when he got out on a break, faked goalkeeper Clint Irwin and drilled an easy shot into the center of the net.
The Sounders suffered their one letdown in the 43rd minute when they allowed DeShorn Brown, who created three scoring chances inside the penalty area in the first 22 minutes, to get wide open. He knocked it through past the far post.
In the 70th minute, Martins drifted to the far post and took a pass from Lamar Neagle and tapped it in from two yards. Martins has an on-going club-record 17 goals this season and has tallied eight in his last eight matches.
Colorado outshot the Sounders 14-13 and controlled the clock for 52.9 percent of the match. But the Sounders were far more efficient when they had possession with six of their 13 shots on target.
The Sounders won the season series 3-0. Seattle defeated Colorado 4-1 April 26 and 1-0 Aug. 30. When the Sounders visited Dick’s Sporting Goods Park last year, they lost 5-1, a defeat that sparked a late-season collapse . . . Seattle’s 19 wins broke the record of 18 in 2011 . . . Sunday’s game marked the third time this season that the Sounders scored four goals on the road . . . Seattle has 61 goals. The record was 56 in 2011 . . . The Sounders are 13-1-3 when scoring first.
The Sounders return to CenturyLink Field Friday to face the Vancouver Whitecaps at 7 p.m. in a Cascadia Cup match (NBCSN). Seattle closes out the regular season with a pair against the LA Galaxy, Oct. 19 (at Los Angeles) and Oct. 25 (Seattle).