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October 5, 2014 at 1:58 PM

First impressions: Sounders 4, Rapids 1

Obafemi Martins scored twice and Marco Pappa and Clint Dempsey added a goal apiece as Seattle cruised to a 4-1 win in Colorado on Sunday to pull even with L.A. atop the Western Conference standings.

Here are my first impressions:

– Defense was optional

Given the chances that flowed back and forth, the near misses and shots off the bar, this was a match that could have ended 8-3.

Dempsey opened the scoring on 11 minutes, finishing off a penalty kick earned by Chad Marshall’s header into Marvell Wynne’s arm. Martins doubled the Sounder lead in the 28th, storming onto Pappa’s well-placed chip. And the attacking midfielder got a goal himself five minutes later, finishing off a spinning, no-look pass from Dempsey with a back-post chip.

At the other end, Seattle made it within two minutes of making it through its first opening half in six matches without conceding a goal – then Deshorn Brown took advantage of a misplayed clearance to pull one back for the Rapids.

There was plenty of entertainment, but this wasn’t one for the defensive purists.

– The single-season club scoring record is still up for grabs

Dempsey equaled what had been Eddie Johnson’s single-second club scoring record with his opening goal, his 14th of the season – and pulled within one of Martins’ new one of 15.

Martins raised the stakes 17 minutes later and again on 70 minutes, when he touched in a pinpoint cross from Neagle to run his season total to 17.

The way those two have combined this season – and the way they continued to push throughout the second half, when both came close to widening the advantage even further — that’s unlikely to stand for very long.

– Seattle and L.A. are pulling away from the pack

In case there was any doubt that the Supporter’s Shield race had been whittled down to the Sounders and Galaxy, it was emphatically removed this weekend. Seattle rolled in Colorado, while the L.A. topped Toronto 3-0.

But the two clubs have put distance between themselves and the rest of the league in more than just the standings.

Grant Wahl wrote in Sports lllustrated this week that L.A. is on pace for one of the great seasons in MLS history, and Seattle is right there with it on 60 points.

Both teams can still reach 69 points on the season, which would set a league record. The home-and-home series in the final week of the regular season is going to be wild.

A potential playoff series wouldn’t be too shabby, either.

| More in First impressions, MLS, Sounders FC

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