Two goals allowed is too many for Seattle Sounders FC — in most cases.
However, the Sounders were mostly satisfied with their defensive effort in their 2-2 draw at Los Angeles on Sunday. And they sound like they’d be satisfied with something similar when the Galaxy visits CenturyLink Field at noon Saturday in a game that will determine the Supporters’ Shield winner.
“I thought we were a bit unfortunate to be down 2-0,” coach Sigi Schmid said Tuesday after his team returned to training. “I thought we played pretty well, especially defensively. Especially in the first half, I thought we bottled them up pretty well.”
Los Angeles is the highest-scoring team in Major League Soccer with 69 goals — six more than the No. 2 Sounders
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Five of those Galaxy goals have come against Seattle: three in the July meeting in Seattle, then two more Sunday in Carson, California.
Both of Los Angeles’ weekend goals came on attacks that Seattle could have snuffed with proper clearances. Instead, both ended at the feet of L.A. players, and both times those players made them pay — first Baggio Husidic late in the first half, then Marcelo Sarvas early in the second.
“It’s just different errors, and it’s errors from the whole team,” right back DeAndre Yedlin said. “It’s not just one guy at all. It’s stuff that we have to cut out.”
Seattle’s primary defensive successes came from slowing Los Angeles’ counterattack and from shutting out their top three goals leaders Robbie Keane (19 goals), Gyasi Zardes (16) and Landon Donovan (10).
“If we don’t let them have the ball, they’re going to have little bit of trouble,” Yedlin said. “So we tried to be just a little bit more aggressive, and I tried to be smart about when I go (forward) because I know Landon likes to counter.”
That called for a particular balancing act from Yedlin. The Sounders want to continue to benefit from all he can bring by pushing up into the attack, but it was also important for him to pick his spots in a way that didn’t leave the remaining defenders dangerously outnumbered when possession switched.
“He did what he had to do in the game,” Schmid said. “I thought he got forward at key moments. He obviously made a good impact on the first goal with the cross, and I thought there were other times when he went forward well. He played to the game, which I thought was very good.”
Sounders FC announced Tuesday that more than 54,000 tickets have been sold for the regular-season ending match at CenturyLink Field. However, Seattle needs a crowd of 62,841 to break the MLS single-season home attendance record for the sixth consecutive season. Schmid hopes to do better than that. “We want to sell out the place,” he said. “… It would be fantastic, I know, for our group. We’ve won a couple of Open Cups here in front of our fans, and to be able to win the Supporters’ Shield in front of our fans I think would be fantastic.” … Schmid said his team returned from California in good health. … The Sounders who played long minutes in Los Angeles were allowed to take Tuesday training mostly as a light day of regeneration. However, goals leader Obafemi Martins took part in the harder, longer session with the reserve players. “It’s an individual thing,” Schmid said. “Oba, after he has a day off, he doesn’t like to just regen. He sort of trains at his own tempo and his own pace, and we let him do that. He just feels his recovery is better when he does that. He’s been having a good season, and it’s been working for him, so why should I change it?” … The Sounders are off again Wednesday before returning to training Thursday and Friday.