Thankfully it is another Seattle Sounders matchday. I can’t wait to get the taste of a 4-1 loss to Portland out of my mouth (as a 2-0 loss to DC won’t sting that bad, I kid kid!).
Maybe I am being pessimistic. Maybe these ersatz Sounders can finally win an undermanned game. If they do, the one major benefit they’ll have is rest. Looking at that atrocious Portland game macrocosmically: the Sounders were playing their 5th game in 16 days, a grueling pace made worse by the fact that they weren’t well rested before they beat Dallas on June 13. As I noted earlier, last weekend’s game ended Seattle’s run of 9 matches in 37. Every Sounder on that pitch was tired.
Let’s drill-down into the Sounders’ rough run of form:
SKC: 0-1 L
FCD: 3-0 W
PDX: 1-3 L (USOC)
SJ: 0-2 L
PHI: 0-1 L
PDX: 1-4 L
3 straight MLS losses, 4 straight all comps (and the Timbers twice in 12 days?!)
Dropped 12 out of 15 MLS points
5 GF; 11 GA (all comps)
Those are some mighty ugly numbers. Seattle has to stop the bleeding. Yes, Friberg can start playing next week, Ozzie should be healthy soon, and Pineda and Barrett should be getting fully match-fit again. But the ersatz Sounders need to find a way to win, and we can’t keep waiting for reinforcements to arrive. The selection has been both hairy (Fisher at leftback and Craven in the 18 against Portland) and scary (Ockford, Fisher, Kovar starting against the Union), but will only get weirder tonight against DC United. Brad Evans and Marco Pappa join Martins, Dempsey and (maybe?) Alonso on the list of unavailable Sounders.
The Gold Cup starts today and if the USA succeeds, Dempsey and Evans will be gone until the July 26th Final in Philadelphia. Pappa may return sooner but Honduras’s group isn’t too intimidating after Mexico. We must find a way to win with the players we have.
Bold Prediction: Jeez. These predictions are getting painful. I had a 1-1 draw to Portland all lined up until Adi went boom with fifteen minutes left. Realistically can these Sounders beat table-topping DC United? Sure. And Raving Green could win a Pulitzer. I am just hoping Sigi gets cynical and starts playing for draws. We don’t need to be poetry in motion every week. The MLS season is a marathon. We built up a good head of steam in the early months. Let’s just park the bus and coast for a while. Draw 0-0.