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The Colorado Rapids had an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth for the second time in as many years at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Wednesday night.
Unfortunately for the Rapids, that will have to wait for another day.
A goal from Dominique Badji gave the Rapids the lead, but the Seattle Sounders answered with less than 10 minutes before injury time as the game finished in a 1-1 draw.
After drawing to the first place Sounders at home and losing 3-1 in Seattle, the Rapids needed to shake things up and bring a different energy.
“This is a season-defining game for us. Who wants it more?” Jonathan Lewis said before the game. “… We’ve got to show them that we aren’t a little team anymore, people have to start taking notice to us.
“This is a playoff-level game so we have to show that we are up for the challenge.”
Head coach Robin Fraser went with a different look to the lineup, switching the formation to a 4-3-3 and going with a more attack-minded organization with four natural forwards: Lewis, Badji, Michael Barrios and Andre Shinyashiki.
The lineup showed some early returns in the first half as the Rapids dominated possession and created some chances in the beginning of the game. But it didn’t take Seattle long to get its foothold on the match.
The Sounders thought they had the first goal when Freddy Montero got in behind the defense, forcing Rapids goaltender William Yarbrough to come out. Montero flicked it over Yarbrough and put the ball in the back of the net from 40 yards out. But the score was immediately nullified by an offside call.
The Rapids kept their foot on the gas in the second half, controlling possession and creating chances. In the 66th minute, they capitalized.
Jack Price delivered the corner to the near post and it found Badji’s head, who placed it exquisitely in the back of the net to give the Rapids the 1-0 lead.
Price picked up his 12th assist on the season, which leads the club and puts him third in MLS.
The United States international Christian Roldan answered for the Sounders in the 81st minute to tie things up.
The Rapids had plenty of scenarios to clinch a playoff spot with a draw but none of them came to fruition in the other games across MLS on Wednesday night.
They will now look to a Saturday night home matchup with the Portland Timbers to try and clinch a playoff spot for the second-straight year.