Rapids fall to Seattle in contentious season finale

The Colorado Rapids closed the 2017 regular season with a 3-0 defeat against the Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday afternoon at CenturyLink Field.

The Rapids found themselves trailing just nine minutes into the match, as forward Will Bruin tapped in his 11th goal of the year following a lovely ball across the face of goal by Kelvin Leerdam.

Six minutes later, Bruin came close to bagging the brace. A poor giveaway by Mohammed Saeid in the middle of the park quickly turned into a Sounders FC breakaway. Clint Dempsey played Bruin in on goal, but the forward’s shot luckily bounced off the upright.

Colorado would catch another break in the 24th minute as Dempsey was sent off for an elbow to the face of defender Mike da Fonte. After an initial no-call, referee Christopher Penso turned to Video Review before giving Dempsey the straight red.

The Rapids’ best chance of the first half came with five minutes left to play. Saeid’s in-swinging cross found Stefan Aigner all alone in the box. With no defenders near him, Aigner calmly chested the ball before unleashing a side-volley straight at goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

In the 53rd minute, the visitors were awarded a penalty kick, but forward Dominique Badji was unable to convert his tenth goal of the season, sending Seattle’s faithful into a frenzy.

Desperate for the equalizer, interim head coach Steve Cooke opted for fresh legs in the offensive end, bringing in Alan Gordon and Joshua Gatt in place of Mike da Fonte and Dillon Serna, respectively.

Instead, Nicolas Lodeiro would double Seattle’s lead in the 64th minute from the spot-kick following a foul by Axel Sjöberg inside the six-yard area. After consulting Video Review for the second time, the referee deemed the tackle worthy of another ejection.

Lodeiro would get another deep into stoppage time, ending Colorado’s 2017 campaign for the second consecutive year.