The Seattle Sounders (1-4-2, 5points) walked away from Saturday afternoons home match with the Colombus Crew SC (4-3-3, 15 points ) with a mere point in hand. While the point earned is a step up from last weeks 1-0 loss to LAFC in stoppage time, the question is are the Sounders trending in the right direction?
The Sounders are fast becoming team inconsistency in a season that is slowly slipping away. Sundays match in front of 39,515 Rave Green fans was supposed to be the tonic that would cleanse the Sounders of their scoring ills and leave the team feeling whole and complete. In other words, a must-win game at home.
The Sounders talked all week about the need to be aggressive and impose their will early and often against the Crew. Crew midfielder Pedro Santos received a red card 15 minutes into the game for kicking Alex Roldan in the face giving the Sounders a man advantage. The Sounders numerical advantage brought high optimism and expectations.
Unfortunately for the Rave Green faithful, the Sounders played with no sense of urgency to move the ball the around and create a crease in the bunkered down Crew defense. Sounder midfield Nicolas Lodeiro missed the game due to a foot injury and the Purugayian’s absence left a huge hole in the middle of the field.
The Sounders finished the game with just one shot on goal compared to the Crew two shots. Sounder midfield The Sounders inability to create chances is becoming the norm rather than the exception according to forward Will Bruin.
“We were too slow, we moved it too slow, we were too predictable. We just didn’t even try to play through the final third, I think everyone in the stadium knew we were gonna get it and try to cross it, you’ve got to find other ways to create chances, and we just haven’t been able to do it.”
Bruin believes the team is lacking creativity and courage inside the opponent’s box.
“We’ve got to be willing to take chances, get some creativity, some flair, we’ve got to pass and move, we’ve got to try things, we are too caught up with playing the simple pass, ‘I’m not going to make the mistake and move it to the next guy.’ You aren’t going to score like that, it’s too easy to defend. It was a prime example tonight.”
- With the draw, Sounders FC is now 1-4-2 on the season and currently sits in a tie for 12th place in the Western Conference with five points.
- Sounders FC is now 5-4-4 against Columbus Crew SC in MLS play, including a 2-2-3 record at CenturyLink Field. Saturday’s match marked the lone regular-season meeting of the campaign between the two sides.
- Kim Kee-hee made his second MLS start (and first at home) on Saturday after Román Torres was ruled out due to a right hamstring strain. The South Korean defender started last Sunday’s match at Los Angeles FC and previously played 16 minutes at FC Dallas on March 18 in his MLS debut. He also logged 55 minutes at Chivas Guadalajara in Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League play on March 14.
- Henry Wingo made his second appearance of the season when he came on for Nouhou in the 77th minute. The second-year Homegrown Player previously played 90 minutes against LAFC in the season opener on March 4.
- Sounders FC is now 22-3-8 at CenturyLink Field (regular season and postseason) since Brian Schmetzer took over as Head Coach in July of 2016.
- With the start today, Chad Marshall recorded his 376th career MLS regular-season appearance, two behind Steve Ralston for fifth in league history. It was also his 121st start for Seattle, moving him ahead of Leo Gonzalez for fourth in club history.
- Stefan Frei made two saves en route to his first shutout of the season and the 60th in his MLS career, second among active players to Nick Rimando, who is the league’s all-time leader with 139. It was also Frei’s 138th regular-season appearance with Seattle, moving him ahead of Leo Gonzalez for third on the club’s all-time leaderboard.
- Sounders FC’s 45 crosses in Sunday’s match marked a season-high for the club.
- Columbus’ red card in the 15th minute was the first ejection of the season for a Seattle opponent and the 35th since Sounders FC entered the league in 2009.