While he is not quite ready to hit the eject button, Seattle Sounders (0-3-0) head coach Brian Schmetzer is weighing out his options regarding player selection. The Rave Greens gaffer was visibly agitated and frustrated after his teams 1-0 home loss to the Montreal Impact (2-2-0, 6 points) Saturday at CenturyLink Field.
“I’m very disappointed. Very disappointed. Kelvin [Leerdam] understands what he did. He apologized. But that’s, again, it comes down to me because I have to make sure I tell them exactly what the expectations are of this club. We do n’t need to do those things because it’s not the way we want to do things.
It puts the team in jeopardy. It’s not the style of soccer that we want to do. It’s not the sportsmanship that we want to have within this club. And, look, I get it. Guys get heated. It’s the heat of the moment. But that’s actually when you have to be mostly composed. That sort of stuff is going to stop. It’s going to stop.”
Poignant words from a frustrated coach who understands that changes must be made quickly before the drastic measure are needed. The Sounders have lost all three of their MLS games this season, ended up playing with ten- man and have not scored a goal in all three matches.
The lazy observation would be that the Sounders have become an undisciplined team that is lacking leadership. The microanalysis would be that the Sounders are not as deep as they thought, psychological and physical wounds take time to heal. Sounder forward Jordan Morris suffered a season-ending ACL injury February 22nd during the teams 2-1 loss to Santa Tecla in CONCACAF Champions League.
The team was able to temporarily overcome the physical and emotional loss and advance to the Quarterfinal round but was trashed 3-0 in the second game of the two-legged series after winning 1-0 at home in the first game. The team was physically and mentally battered in the 3-0 loss.
Nicola Lodeiro sat out the game due to a sprained foot and the injury bug took a bigger bite when Will Bruin ( concussion) and Chad Marshall ( eye injury) had to be replaced. Clint Dempsey received a red card in the Sounders next game a 3-0 loss to FC Dallas. Bruin, Lodeiro, Victor Rodriguez (right knee sprain) and Osvaldo Alonso (right quad strain)were all sideline participants due to injuries.
You have to figure that Schmetzer felt good about his line up Saturday despite the absence of Dempsey, Rodriguez, and Alonso. Vital players but ones the team can do without in the short term. That feel good feeling quickly dissipated in the 40th minute when Leerdam has issued the Red Card for violent conduct against the Impacts Daniel Lovitz.
After regrouping during the halftime break the Sounders had decent looks at the Montreal goal but they never really tested Impact keeper Evan Bush into making a world class save. Any thoughts of stealing a while playing with ten men were quickly dashed in the 60th minute when Ignacio Piatti found a wide open Jeisson Vargas in front of the Sounders goal for a 1-0 tap in that proved to be the game-winner.
With plenty of the season left to play, rumors of the Sounders shopping for a high-level striker, and the expected return of Dempsey and Alonso adding much-needed optimism, each loss moving forward will mean more contemplation for Schmetzer and his staff.
The Sounders coaching staff and front office have plenty of time to contemplate their next move courtesy of a the upcoming bye week. The Sounders next game will be April 15th at Kansas City.
- Seattle starters Román Torres (Panama), Gustav Svensson (Sweden) and Cristian Roldan (United States) all returned to the Sounders FC lineup tonight following their time away from the club over the most recent FIFA international break.
- Torres appeared in both of Panama’s European-based friendlies this past week against Denmark and Switzerland, while Svensson started in a 2-1 loss to Chile but did not play in Sweden’s other match against Romania. Roldan was a stoppage-time substitute in the second half of play in an international friendly against Paraguay in Cary, North Carolina.
- Jordan McCrary made his first career MLS appearance when he came on at halftime for Magnus Wolff Eikrem, filling Leerdam’s place at right-back. McCrary appeared in all four of Seattle’s 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League matches against Santa Tecla FC and Chivas Guadalajara.
- Rookie winger Handwalla Bwana continued his good run of form with the club, making his second MLS start in just three matches for Seattle. After signing as a Homegrown Player this past offseason, Bwana has played in every MLS match of the 2018 season thus far. He made his MLS debut on March 4 versus Los Angeles FC.