Another blowout loss for Sounders FC has Sigi Schmid re-evaluating
Whitecaps’ Kekuta Manneh scores a hat trick in easy victory in Seattle
Seattle Times staff reporter
Sounders @ Portland, 6 p.m., ESPN
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The Sounders had a chance to claim the best record in MLS on Wednesday.
Instead, for the second consecutive game, Seattle looked like the worst.
Kekuta Manneh, an 18-year-old rookie, became the youngest player in league history to score a hat trick and Nigel Reo-Coker added another goal as the Vancouver Whitecaps breezed to a 4-1 victory in front of 38,833 at CenturyLink Field.
The attendance number is deceiving, however, as many fans didn’t endure the humiliation all the way to the final whistle.
Afterward, coach Sigi Schmid said the failures were team-wide and that no starting job was safe.
“I think we have to look at everything. ... There’s nobody that’s a given right now,” he said.
It marked the second-worst home defeat for Sounders FC, eclipsed only by a 4-0 defeat to the Los Angeles Galaxy on May 8, 2010.
Seattle (15-10-6) is winless in four games, including three defeats, and failed to clinch a playoff berth for the third consecutive time. And now, the only way the Sounders can win the Cascadia Cup regional competition is by beating the Portland Timbers on the road Sunday, otherwise Vancouver claims the trophy.
“I feel sorry for the fans,” said team captain Mauro Rosales. “As always, they are supporting us. We couldn’t give to them what they need and what they deserve today — the Cascadia Cup.”
Trailing by three goals in the second half, the home team pushed all bodies forward for a comeback and also brought in Clint Dempsey and Steve Zakuani off the bench.
The pressure led to a goal in the 69th minute when Rosales slammed home his fourth goal of the season off a rebound. Any hope of heroics ended in the 82nd minute, however, when Reo-Coker converted a breakaway chance through the legs of Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.
“I feel like the rest of the team — horrible,” Gspurning said. “I’m sorry for the teammates about the last goal because this was clearly my fault.”
A fitting end to a team record 14-game home unbeaten streak (10-0-4).
When including the 5-1 road defeat Saturday in Colorado, it was by far the Sounders’ worst two-game stretch. They have allowed 10 goals over the past 195 minutes overall.
“It’s just unacceptable the last two performances, so everything you say is warranted because obviously we haven’t done anything in the last two games to show a difference,” said Schmid.
Vancouver (12-11-9) had come in on a lowly 1-4-3 streak in the past eight games and had never won here since joining MLS in 2011.
The visitors also staved off playoff elimination.
“You can’t win games when you concede goals like we did,” said Dempsey.
• Reports from U.S. national team camp Wednesday were that Seattle forward Eddie Johnson limped out of practice, perhaps due to a groin injury. No further updates were available. Brad Evans also is away with the USMNT.
• Leo Gonzalez missed his third consecutive game with a hip/groin injury. Zach Scott sat out due to suspension.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org.