Sounders hoping they haven’t lost momentum
“One game can’t define your whole existence,” said Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid after Saturday’s four-goal loss.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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TUKWILA — How bad was Sounders FC’s 5-1 road loss in Colorado over the weekend?
It was so bad Seattle coach Sigi Schmid conceded defeat, in a sense, midway through the second half. Key starters Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Mauro Rosales and Osvaldo Alonso were all pulled early when it became clear an against-all-odds comeback wasn’t going to happen.
Schmid, looking ahead to this week’s games against rivals Vancouver and Portland, said he wanted to give the trio some early rest.
Indeed, Saturday’s performance was ugly, embarrassing and required an unpleasant updating of the record books.
The loss matched the franchise’s worst margin of defeat and set a team record for goals allowed in a league game.
It was also just one match.
“One game can’t define your whole existence,” Schmid said Monday. “You can’t use outliers and you can’t use deviations from the standard in saying this is reality. Reality is what you do on a general day-in and day-out time. I think day in and day out, we’ve been a pretty consistent team and we’ve been pretty solid.”
So have the Sounders lost all their momentum from a seven-game unbeaten streak? Does the team’s aggressive style of play on the road lend itself to the occasional blowout loss? Is there added pressure on the upcoming games?
That was a sample of questions aimed at Schmid upon the team’s return home.
“I think we’re hanging everything now on this 5-1 game,” he said after five minutes on the subject. “All of the sudden this is now the defining point of our season. Is it the defining point of our season? Is that who we are? You guys tell me. Did you guys think that’s who we are? Then go ahead and write that in the papers and write that’s who we are. I don’t think that’s who we are.”
The trick is keeping a bad night into becoming a slump, and the Sounders have done well in that respect the past few months. Seattle’s previous defeat, a surprisingly poor 3-1 road loss to Houston on Aug. 17, was followed by five straight wins.
Before that, a 1-0 road defeat to San Jose on July 13 was answered by a 3-0-1 run.
Defender Marc Burch said the team has embraced a similar mindset after the latest setback, no matter how lopsided.
“I think everybody is like, ‘Let’s just play the next game and let’s win,’ ” said Burch. “We’ll get right back on track. All we need is a win. That’s how sports goes: you win the next one. What if we win 5-0 this Wednesday? Is anybody going to talk about Colorado again?”
The Sounders have been on the wrong end of two four-goal drubbings this season, though Schmid has suffered worse.
While coaching the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2002, the team was blasted by the MetroStars 5-0 midway through the season. It must have been a bad year, right?
Not at all. The Galaxy went on to win its first MLS Cup.
Schmid has relayed that story to the Sounders, but now comes the more important part.
“We have to come back and we have to show who we are and what we are,” Schmid said. “Saturday night in Colorado ... was not who we are.”
• Five Sounders who were out with injuries Saturday were able to practice Monday, but Schmid said it remains uncertain if they will be able to play Wednesday. Those players were Clint Dempsey (hamstring), Obafemi Martins (groin), Djimi Traore (hamstring), Leo Gonzalez (hip/groin) and Steve Zakuani (sports hernia).
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org.