Seattle Sounders look for an elusive first MLS win at Colorado
The winless Sounders head into Saturday's road game at Colorado having won six straight against the Rapids dating to 2010.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Sounders @ Colorado,
6 p.m., KONG
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TUKWILA — There is a story behind Brad Evans' increasingly shaggy beard. Well, a short one.
The Sounders FC midfielder has said he isn't shaving until his team wins an MLS game.
With a bye week looming, Evans hopes two long waits will soon end as Seattle seeks that elusive first win Saturday in a 3 p.m. game at Colorado. And if history is any indication, the matchup should be a favorable one as the Sounders have won six straight against the Rapids dating to 2010.
"We know the reality of the situation and where we're at, and we obviously don't think that we're a 0-3-2 team," Evans said. "I've thought regardless of the games we didn't win, or tied, we have had a number of opportunities to score and a number of opportunities to win. We have played some good soccer."
While player health is improving (the Sounders had full participation in practice the past two days), the schedule is getting more difficult.
Saturday is the first of three consecutive road games — the longest stretch of the season — and includes lengthy trips to Eastern Conference teams Philadelphia and Kansas City at the start of May.
And from coast to coast, public perception of the Sounders remains on the decline.
The team consistently ranks at or near the bottom of power rankings leaguewide and Seattle is at the bottom of the Sagarin computer ratings (including a predictor for future games), and only one of six staffers on MLSSoccer.com picked a Seattle win in Colorado, while four took the Rapids.
A prove-people-wrong mentality has added to motivation.
"We know at the end of the day there's going to be a lot of things said," said forward Eddie Johnson. "A lot of people saying this, saying that — 'Well, they're not as good as they think they are.'
"We're confident with every individual that's out here, and we know with due time that everything is going to play out in our favor. The most important thing is we have to keep believing, which we do."
Roster changes have continued seven weeks into the season, but coach Sigi Schmid said the Sounders have "enough talent here to get the job done."
"You always question things when you're not winning and you're saying, 'Should we do this or should we do that?' But I think the right group is still here in the vast majority," he added. "Obviously on the edges there's some tinkering that could be done, so you see, and you're always paying attention, and you're looking and you're trying to decide if something makes sense that would help your team.
"But I don't think there are a lot of teams in this league that say, 'Oh, I hope we get to play the Sounders. They're not very good.' I don't think anybody is out there saying that."
• The Sounders confirmed the addition of Will Bates on Friday, a day after the rookie forward tweeted he had signed. Seattle also announced it waived defender Andrew Duran, the team's top overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. Twenty-nine players out of a maximum of 30 are under contract.
• Steve Zakuani will be making his first trip back to Dick's Sporting Goods Park since suffering a devastating broken leg there in April 2011.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @joshuamayers.