The Seattle Sounders lost 1-0 to the Chicago Fire Saturday.
I am getting sick of the Sounders losing to an Eastern Conference foe in maddening fashion. In fact, I am getting sick of the Sounders losing and then having to write about it.
My options as a blogger are limited to: 1, contextualize the loss (hey, we’re missing lots of players, but are still doing great on the table); 2, be a Pollyanna (Perkins looked great, didn’t he?!); 3, find a scapegoat (Pineda’s played like crap, huh?). I’ve been churning through those three tacks for the last couple of weeks (and at least then I had the World Cup to distract me).
Writing about the Sounders losing stinks, especially when they keep losing in bone-headed ways. In every loss, the under-handed Sounders play admirably, keep it close and then brain fart. The Philly loss centered on one moment of leaving CJ Sapong unmarked as he crashed the box. The SKC loss came down to giving up a late penalty. The San Jose loss was the result of sloppy defending on MPG and Nyassi, and the Portland loss was just 11 men giving up in the final fifteen minutes.
But this Chicago loss was the worst. First off, we didn’t play admirably (we played like crap), but still almost escaped with a result. We had survived a siege in the first half, looked good throughout the second and found ourselves nursing a draw, away, in stoppage time. We won a free kick. All we had to do was possess, run the clock another 120+ seconds, and we’re out, with a point, and a two-game unbeaten streak. But then, as Pineda is setting up to take the free kick, all the big bodies inexplicably run forward to get their head on the ball, leaving us exposed to a counter. Then Pineda fluffs the kick and the counter starts, but Micheal Azira mans-up on Michael Stephens and all can still be averted as Azira has all the time in the world to take the professional yellow and foul Stephens, but he doesn’t, and Stephens charges into the final third and finds Jason Johnson who slams the winner home.
The Sounders are getting really good at finding even more inexplicable ways to lose. And, frankly, I am running out of ways to write about it.