After watching his team fall behind by two goals in the first half, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid was asked by a TV interviewer what he was going to do at halftime.
“I’m going to go yell at them,” he said.
The yelling seemed to do some good, as the Sounders played better over the final 45 minutes. But it couldn’t change the result as Seattle lost to Real Salt Lake, 2-1, tonight before a sellout crowd of 20,359 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The result drops the Sounders to 0-3-1 on the season, the worst start in franchise history. Combined with their 1-0 loss at San Jose the week before, it marked the Sounders’ first back-to-back losses since March 2011, ending what had been the longest such streak in MLS history.
RSL (2-2-1) dominated from the start and broke through in the eighth minute when Seattle’s midfielder Brad Evans tried to clear a ball in the box, but it smacked into teammate Osvaldo Alonso. Salt Lake’s Robbie Findley beat goalkeeper Michael Gspurning to the deflected ball and threaded it into the goal.
That lead doubled in the 35th minute, when Ned Grabavoy chipped a short corner back to Luis Gil, whose header beat Gspuring to the far post.
Salt Lake had other chances, but the score remained at 2-0 when Schmid gave his halftime interview in which he called his team’s performance “horrible, absolutely horrible.”
The Sounders came out with more intensity in the second half, and it almost paid off quickly as Evans slipped a pass into the penalty area just ahead of forward Eddie Johnson.
Seattle finally halved the lead in the 57th minute when Mauro Rosales touched a DeAndre Yedlin cross back to Evans, who scored off the post from 8 yards.Both teams had goal opportunities after that, but the score did not change.
Designated player Obafemi Martins made his first start as a Sounder, playing 62 minutes. However, DP Shalrie Joseph was not on the 18-man roster.
The Sounders now turn their attention to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series against Santos Laguna, which begins Tuesday at CenturyLink Field.
Seattle’s next MLS match is April 13, when the New England Revolution visits.
I'll be back with quotes as they arrive.
62' Martins off, David Estrada on.
57' GOAL Seattle. Evans from about 8 yards. RSL lead halved to 2-1.
The three goals tonight already represents more than the total of two scored in these teams five meetings last season.
Second half: ... has begun. No changes. Yet.
Halftime: RSL, 2-0, and that absolutely reflects the domination.
In interview as he comes off field, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid calls it "horrible, absolutely horrible" and says game could be 5-0. He says he's going into the locker room to scream at his team.
Shots 13-4 RSL; on goal 7-2 RSL, corners 4-2 RSL, possession 52% RSL.
Marc Burch had a nice half. Little from Johnson or Martins.
35th minute: GOAL RSL, Gil finishing from close range. 2-0
Ninth minute: RSL goal as Brad Evans clears ball into Osvaldo Alonso and Findley threads it in. RSL 1-0.
RSL had dominated the early going and had three good chances before the goal.
First kick: We're under way. Sounders in rave/rave; RSL in red/red. Ninth straight sellout at Rio Tinto.
Lineup: For Seattle, it's GKL Gspurning, D Yedlin, Hurtado, Traore, Burch; M Rosales, Alonso, Evans, Zakuani; F Johnson, Martins. Reserves: Hahnemann, Scott, Gonzalez, Rose, Caskey, Ochoa, Estrada.
Most notable there: the forward combination. Most notable not there: Shalrie Joseph. Sounders announcer Ross Fletcher says Sigi Schmid told him Joseph should be ready for CCL match Tuesday.
For RSL: Rimando; Beltran, Schuler, Borchers, Mansally; Velasquez, Beckerman, Gil, Grabavoy; Sandoval, Findley.
Pregame: Sounders and Real Salt Lake kick off at 6 p.m. PT in Sandy, Utah.
The game will be shown on KONG 6/16, and heard on the usual radio outlets. I didn't travel for this one, but I'll be updating the big stuff here on this blog and commenting @donruiztnt.
It's a big game, as the Sounders are looking to avoid a winless March. And it should be an interesting one, as we may get out first extended look at the Eddie Johnson/Obafemi Martins combo, and the Sounders debut of Shalrie Joseph.