Jonathan Lewis breaks duck to beat Sounders, extend Rapids home unbeaten streak to 23

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COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – It was another uphill battle at home for Jonathan Lewis and the Colorado Rapids. Two red cards in their midweek game saw them thin at defense. Seattle Sounders came into Dick’s Sporting Goods Park also missing pieces. Both teams were looking for a result to rightfully move into a playoff spot.

Jonathan Lewis scores to beat Sounders, extend Rapids home unbeaten streak

Both teams had to rotate the squad having played midweek. Anthony Markanich made his MLS debut while Steven Beitashour was also at the back due to suspensions. Jackson Ragen was in defense with Alex Roldan suspended. Nicolas Lodeiro missed this game due to the birth of his child.

The match started slowly with both teams trying to play out of the back. Both front lines pressed well. Mark-Anthony Kaye put the ball in the back of the net in the 23rd, but the play had been whistled dead just before. Bryan Acosta fouled Omar Vargas to win the ball in the box.

Colorado’s best chance came a half hour in. Markanich won the ball on the end line off Kelyn Rowe then set up Michael Barrios for the first time shot. The ball went over the bar. Kaye was subbed out in the 40th minute for a right eye injury after contact with Ragen.

Seattle did not have a shot attempt in the first half. Their best opportunities came off through balls to Jordan Morris in space or when Omar Vargas dribbled up the middle.

The Rapids front three wasted no time in the second half. Five minutes in, Barrios ran onto a loose ball, passing to Diego Rubio. Rubio’s shot was saved by Stefan Frei, but it deflected off Yeimar to Lewis for a tap in. Morris nearly made it 1-1 minutes later getting in behind and chipping William Yarbrough. Lalas Abubakar cleared the ball before it could cross the line.

VAR instigated a review in the 68th minute to check for a potential foul by Beitashour on Raul Ruidiaz. The review did not award a penalty.

Seattle’s best chance in the final 20 was a shot from Ruidiaz from a sharp angle. Yarbrough made the diving save. The match ended 1-0.

Three Thoughts:

No Lodeiro, limited offense: Seattle struggled to break Colorado down in the final third without their No. 10. Other than when Morris got free into a gap, they were held in check. Ruidiaz was not happy with the VAR call, who was isolated for much of the game.

The kids were alright: Ragen had played less than 500 minutes in MLS going into this game. Markanich had only seen first team minutes in preseason and the one Open Cup game. Ragen held Kaye in check for 40 minutes. Markanich grew into the game, contributing to the attack while not playing his natural position.

Lewis ends goal drought at the perfect time: Lewis had just one goal in 2022. He had not scored in 11 appearances. Coming off the bench for an injured Kaye, he needed to impact the game. The super sub prodigal son returned on Sunday night.

Photo Credit: Mark Shaiken, Last Word on Soccer.