Editor’s Note: The following photographs from Keith Cirillo show action before, during, and after the first game at CenturyLink Field on Tuesday night, but this story captures both legs together. Kickoff for Leg Two at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is less than two hours from now….
Editor’s Note at 10:10 p.m.: The video is complete and ready to Tweet (2 minutes, 15 seconds of Pablo Mastroeni, Brian Schmetzer, crowd noise, and drums and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park).
CenturyLink Field/Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (November 22 and November 27, 2016) — The first two legs of the MLS Western Conference Championship series show one team peaking after a midseason course correction against a group consistently on-course all year. The Seattle Sounders heard 42,774 folks roaring over the rainfall and won 2–1 for a nose-length lead that’s closer that it sounds because Kevin Doyle’s away goal counts for more than his sixth for Colorado. A 1–0 win for the Rapids today means Seattle will miss another MLS Championship game.
The band performed outside the stadium instead of from the march origin on Tuesday, possibly to protect some of the horn players from drowning.
Fitting from the home of Jimmy, the anthem rocked.
Pablo Mastroeni and Steve Cooke settle in for an unsettling situation.
Pablo Mastroeni is “Welcome” at CenturyLink Field.
Zac MacMath handled shots, crosses, a near-Olympico corner kick, and situations off his line.
Shkëlzen Gashi simply willed himself to recover in time for kickoff on Tuesday night.
Sébastien Le Toux had three ripe chances and played tough defense all night.
At halftime, the score remains 0–0 and the Sounders remain out front. Jermaine Jones won balls in the air, chased down balls on the wings, held the ball in traffic, took shots, and delivered crosses for Colorado (11 shots for Colorado and one for the visitors). Fouls? Five for the home side, four for Seattle.
Jordan Morris showed his speed on the few occasions Sounders surged forward. With 59 percent possession in Colorado’s favor, the visitors made the most of every chance forward. Throw-ins become one-time chest traps to running teammates in green, capitalizing on the sure thing of a restart. With one late goal kick from Stefan Frei, Nelson Valdez flicked the ball forward and Jordan Morris showed his speed chasing to the corner flag with Jared Watts. Both players smacked shoulders and hit the ground.
Later… after halftime, after 10:01 p.m.
Jordan Morris received another pass from Nelson Valdez early in the second half, calmly finishing the shot, the game, and the MLS Western Conference Final series.