The Sounders are 3-4-3 one-third of the way through their season.
That kind of record will not get them into the playoffs. And after a longer-than-usual postgame address to his team, coach Sigi Schmid had a long list of questions.
“We all need to look inside ourselves and ask ourselves why it took us 10-15 minutes before we start playing,” he said. “I think we have to look at ourselves as to why we spend game time to argue insistently with referees. We’ve got to ask ourselves why, if a guy hits a bad pass, why we sometimes throw up our hands and stop playing for a second. I think we have to ask ourselves why if we lose a ball we don’t react right away and make a second and third effort. … All of us – and that includes staff, and it includes players – we need to ask ourselves why we can’t do it better.”
Schmid allowed that things should improve soon, when Nate Jaqua returns from injury, providing a big target in front of the goal that the team has lacked. And then they should improve again after the World Cup, when striker Blaise Nkufo arrives. And Schmid also implied things might have been better Saturday if Brad Evans and his off-the-chart-work rate hadn’t been lost to a knee bruise.
However, Schmid also left an unmistakable message: If the solution isn’t on the existing Sounders roster, the club will do its best to find a solution elsewhere.
“We’re looking at all those options,” he said. “Ours is a league where you have to subtract before you can add. Certainly, in the new (collective bargaining agreement) there’s a lot of guaranteed contracts, so it’s not like you’re a European team or you’re a South American team where you go ‘OK, we’re going to take our roster from 24 to 25 or 26.’ You don’t have those options. But there’s no stones that we’re going to leave unturned. There’s nothing that we’re too proud to look at. If we can make our team better, we’ve got to look at that option.”