The Seattle Sounders lost to the Montreal Impact 1-0 on Saturday. You know the tune: Seattle gave up another late goal and coughed up the result. Seattle now has its second 0-3 run. That’s two in the last 7 games. This isn’t getting worse than the collapse in 2013. This is worse.
The frustrating part is the team isn’t completely broke. The defensive again played fine. The keepers, whether Frei or Perkins, have been solid (poor Troy Perkins. After his third start between the pipes, he finds himself with an 0-3 record despite only 1 GAA). The backline, even with Scott and some Fisher, Ockford, and Leo, has been solid. Omitting the late collapse in Portland, we have only given up 6 goals in 6 games.
The midfield, despite changing formations and mercurial lineups, is working. We possessed and cycled much better against Montreal. Ozzie is finally looking like a rock star again. He was everywhere between both boxes and destroying. Friberg is slowly shaking off his preseason rust, as he kept find space to exploit and tried to spring open the forwards.
The forwards… The Seattle Sounders, Hail Hydra itself, couldn’t score peanuts at the ballpark. Our forwards don’t run. Our forwards provide no off-the-ball movement. Our forwards don’t finish. Chad Barrett has been an afterthought and Neagle is no better. I am a Neagle fan, but he just hasn’t been good enough. Who would’ve thought that Seattle’s biggest problem at the midpoint of the season would be its inability to score? An inability to score so profound that it poisons the whole team.
Sigi is livid at the offensive protection, or lack thereof. In his postgame interview, he said, “We’ve gone 270 minutes without goal…. we’re not forcing saves… Some guys probably need to go to the bench.” He will get to make good on that benching threat this weekend. With Dempsey and Evans back from the Gold Cup, the selection might actually be dangerous again. At least for this weekend.
The Sounders play 7 games in the next 5 weeks with CCL group play starting. Sure, July stunk, but August might as well. Even with reinforcements to the lineup (the return of the USMNTers, Oba getting healthier, Adrian Hanauer seemingly working on a transfer for a goal-dangerous player), Sigi is going to have to get creative managing minutes. Again.