Seattle – one of many enduring strengths of Seattle Sounders Beneath the management of coach Brian Schmitzer is their skill to carry out within the huge video games, particularly at residence. The Sounders are 12-0-1 at residence within the MLS playoff and 6-0-1 at residence in CONCACAF. Champions League Play below Schmetzer. That features a residence win within the 2019 MLS Cup and the 2022 CCL Closing.
For no matter motive, this dominance hasn’t all the time translated into the common season and particularly towards Portland Timbers.
The final frustration got here on Saturday, the 3-0 loss to Timbers. Not solely was this the Sounders’ worst loss to the Timbers within the rivalry’s practically 50-year historical past, but it surely additionally ran a winless residence run towards their greatest opponent in six common season video games.
“It is actually disgusting to fall in our faces like that,” Sounders coach Brian Schmitzer informed reporters. “I can assure you this very a lot, we are going to attempt to repair it in order that the following time they arrive right here, we may have no extra of this story.”
What was notably plucking about this explicit loss wasn’t the lopsided final result. I believe anybody who’s seen the proceedings is aware of that the Sounders had been on this sport so much proper as much as the late penalty and that there have been lengthy durations after they had been the legitimately higher workforce.
Give credit score to the Timbers, although. They got here up with an concept of tips on how to play – take up strain and be a killer on the desk – they usually executed it completely. There may be nothing mistaken with something they did.
However the Sounders did not do themselves any favors, and nothing was executed both. There have been many missed alternatives within the first half. Most painful was Raul Ruídias’ shot on the submit with a large open shot from about 10 yards. It is a shot that appears so spontaneous that watching a replay seems to be like an optical phantasm.
“Raul won’t ever miss this chance once more,” Schmitzer informed me on Monday.
One other self-inflicted harm was Jackson Ragne who managed to choose up two comparatively ineffective yellow playing cards on both aspect of the primary half. The primary got here with a contested header by which Ragan gained the ball however raised his elbow barely, which ended up being one of many final performs within the first half. Reminding Stefan Fry to “watch out” within the first half, Raggen made one other foolish foul lower than a minute into the second half. Raggen was seemingly caught between two minds of regressing or attacking the ball, and he was late to deal with in an try to interrupt a counterattack near midfield.
This wasn’t solely Ragne’s fault—the Timbers had already eluded some strain—however taking part in conservatively was smart, particularly since he nonetheless had a canopy.
“An excellent and great studying expertise for him,” Frye stated of Ragan’s remedy. That is what he wants. That is the rising pains you want. If issues go easily, you’ll by no means study.
“I’ve full confidence in him. He’s an excellent participant and I’m completely happy that he’s in our workforce. He has a really shiny future.”
The second aim was one other considerably problematic created by the Sounders, because it got here after they had been successfully taking part in 9 males. A full three minutes earlier than the aim, Ruediaz started sending indicators to a substitute after he gave the impression to be exacerbating the muscle harm from which he had simply returned. With coaches and gamers alike yelling for the ball, Sounders managed to not get a substitute regardless of profitable a free kick and a nook throughout that point. The sequence that led to the aim, in truth, got here straight from that nook.
“In some methods, I can admire a workforce that desires to go, go, go, however we’ve to be smarter about that,” Schmitzer stated.
In a distinct class of frustration was the failure to name up Nicolas Lodeiro within the penalty space a couple of minutes after Ruediaz wasted. Replays clearly confirmed that Lodeiro gained the ball and Jose Van Ranken solely bought a person on his unhealthy deal with. Nonetheless, neither referee Chris Pinseau nor VAR official Daniel Radford felt the necessity to formally overview the referee.
This name is not the Sounders’ loss, in fact, and the workforce understands that. Schmetzer spent many of the subsequent twenty-four hours desirous about what he might have executed in a different way.
One thought he got here again with was that the Sounders might in all probability be just a little inflated. Schmitzer wasn’t often one for his fiery pre-match speeches, he stated he was extra animated than regular earlier than the Timbers sport. Cameras captured Frei sharing these emotions throughout his speech on the sphere simply earlier than kick-off. When the Sounders did not convert their early probabilities after which watched the Timbers rating on one in all their first probabilities, there may need been a pause.
However Schmetzer additionally does not are inclined to overreact. Maybe greater than anybody else, he understands how necessary it’s for the Sounders to finish this ridiculous streak with no residence win towards the Timbers. It additionally tends to remain in perspective.
“This workforce we’ve is getting up for the large video games,” Schmitzer stated. “That is one in all their strengths and it’s clear. We’re additionally not good.”
Schmetzer can be assured that this loss is not going to have a hangover impact throughout this upcoming wild journey, as they’ll play two video games in fast succession towards Nashville SC and Chicago fireplace.
“They’ve a way of satisfaction,” he stated. “I believe they’ll come again robust, however that is nothing greater than the standard plan of action for a workforce led by a veteran.”