Seattle Sounders Go into CONCACAF Champions League on a Poor Run

Seattle Sounders Logo (Wikimedia Commons)

Seattle Sounders Logo (Wikimedia Commons)

Seattle Sounders welcome Santos to the Pacific Northwest in the CONCACAF Champions League while they’re off to their worst start to an MLS campaign with three losses, no wins and one draw coming at home to neighbors Portland.

Sitting in the basement of the Western Conference staring up at everyone else in the division is nothing but disconcerting, with the Sounders having scored only two goals in four matches as well as not being able to keep a clean sheet in any of their first four.

Santos on the other hand have started their domestic campaign the way Seattle would have hoped, sitting in 4th with only two losses from their first 12 matches.

Seattle manager Sigi Schmid said there was a “disease” afflicting his squad after they dropped their most recent game at the weekend; a 2-1 road defeat to Real Salt Lake.

“We’re picking and choosing at times when to play,” Schmid said, who suggested personnel changes might be coming. “We have yet to get where 11 guys are involved for 90 minutes.

“At the end of the day, you have to work,” he continued. “You have to run with people on one-twos, you have to follow people, you have to anticipate, you have to close people down, you have to get tight to people, you have to win duels, and if you don’t want to do any of that, then it becomes a difficult game to play.”

Midfield Steve Zakuani recognized his squad have slumped terribly to start the season, but reminded fans and everyone else that there is more than enough time to turn the season around.

“At 0-3-1, our record is not good,” Zakuani said. “We have to take what’s coming our way - the criticism, the backlash. We deserve it, but the good thing is that the season is still young. We have time to turn it around.”

Defender Djimi Traore added that their play so far this season isn’t representative of what the team is capable of, but that they’re ready to make it right, saying: “what we showed on the pitch was not the Seattle Sounders team. We need to change things. We need to take responsibility … and turn this thing around.”

Even Seattle’s opponents share that sentiment that the boys from the Emerald City can and will right the ship quickly.

“All in all, that team is not going to lose too many games,” RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman said.

Seattle have only been leading going into halftime in one match so far this season (their mid-March home tie with Portland that they ended up drawing), and they’ve been losing at half-time of their other three games. With Santos and American international Hercules Gomez coming to town, it looks like a tall task. Then again the bright lights and the big stage might be just what they need to kick-start their season.

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