Seattle Sounders FC went on the road, matched a club record with six goals scored, won by four and climbed to second in the Major League Soccer Western Conference standings.
But that doesn’t mean all was cheery in coach Sigi Schmid’s postgame assessment of Saturday’s 6-2 win at Chivas USA.
“Defensively, when we lost the ball we had way too many guys standing there,” he said. “There were times when Chivas was attacking us seven against five or seven against six and we had four guys standing up front. It was a matter of getting back and recovering. The place-changing is something that we encourage … and the key to doing that and making that work is you have to keep the ball.”
According to form, this was projected as a low-scoring game. Chivas entered the game having scored the fewest goals in MLS, but also having the fifth-best defense.
However, that combination wasn’t working for the Goats, who had been falling out of playoff contention. So coach Robin Fraser tweaked his lineup and its offensive aggressiveness, and an uncharacteristically wide open game unfolded.
“The team as a whole is moving forward in terms of offensive movement and being more aggressive, and I think everyone saw that,” Chivas forward Tristan Bowen said. “We just have to be sharper in front of the goal and have that killer instinct in and around the box. Defensively, as a unit we all need to work harder and make sure we don’t give away easy goals.”
The Sounders broke ahead in the 10th minute on a goal by Brad Evans, who started at left midfield. Then they piled on with a pair of first-half goals by Fredy Montero, who was on his way to the fourth hat trick in club history.
However, Chivas chipped that lead from 3-0 to 3-2 with about a half-hour to play, and had several good chances that didn’t find the net.
“We were very fortunate that they didn’t get more goals, we made some desperation saves,” Schmid said. “I thought (goalkeeper Michael Gspurning) came up with a couple of good reactions on crosses on clearing them.”
Gspurning played behind a back line of Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Leo Gonzalez. The Sounders went with a reworked midfield of Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Christian Tiffert and Evans. The forwards were Montero and Eddie Johnson, who are tied for the team goals lead with 11 each. Newly acquired midfielder Mario Martinez made his MLS debut in the 78th minute.
That depth should come in handy with the club turning to another busy portion of its schedule.
The Sounders will train today at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila before traveling to Texas and then Trinidad for their CONCACAF Champions League match at Caledonia AIA on Thursday. Then they travel directly back to Texas for their MLS match Sunday at FC Dallas.firstname.lastname@example.org 253-597-8808 blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer @donruiztnt