Sounders look for rare 2-0 start with Rapids in town
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The Seattle Sounders may finally be flipping the script.
At least the first act, anyway.
The Sounders, slow starters each of the past three seasons -- two of which culminated in Western Conference championships -- got off to a much better start to this MLS campaign with a 4-1 victory against expansion FC Cincinnati last Saturday.
They'll look to continue that trend Saturday when they play host to the Colorado Rapids.
"We have a couple home games to open the year, a good schedule, everybody's healthy," Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer told reporters this week. "Why can't we lead from the front?"
Jordan Morris, who missed the entire 2018 MLS season with a knee injury, scored twice against FC Cincinnati.
"You can't just sit here and say you want to win MLS Cup -- everybody wants to win MLS Cup," Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei said. "You need to set yourself goals for along the road. How do you get there? We want to get there week by week and a strong start is very important for us. We really value that. So far it's been good. It will be a tough test this weekend, but we want to go for it and we want to achieve our goals."
The Rapids are coming off a 3-3 tie against the visiting Portland Timbers in the coldest game in league history (18 degrees at kickoff).
Rookie Andre Shinyashiki scored in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time as the Rapids rallied despite the loss of center back Axel Sjoberg, who received a red card for a handball in the penalty box in the 27th minute.
"The biggest part of it was the mentality of the players," Rapids coach Anthony Hudson told Altitude 92.5 FM of the comeback. "We can say what we want from the sidelines and in the locker room but in the end you have to be the type of character to go through that and dig in."
The Rapids will be short-handed on the back line. In addition to Sjoberg sitting out the match because of the red-card suspension, fellow defenders Kofi Opare (foot) and Kortne Ford (knee) are listed as out and Tommy Smith (knee) is questionable.
The Sounders are 17-5-2 all-time against the Rapids, including 10-2-1 at home.