July 3, 2018 / 11:56 PM / 3 months ago

Frei questionable as struggling Sounders travel to Colorado

These are tough times for the Seattle Sounders.

And they aren’t looking any better heading into their match Wednesday against the host Colorado Rapids.

Starting goalkeeper Stefan Frei remains in concussion protocol and is questionable for the two-time defending Western Conference champions.

“If he passes, he’ll be able to play,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer told reporters this week.

Frei missed Saturday’s 3-2 home loss to rival Portland, with Bryan Meredith making his first MLS start since 2012.

Two of the Timbers’ goals came off corner kicks.

“I think just a little unorganized,” Meredith said of the Sounders’ defense against set pieces. “I think we need to organize a little sooner and stay focused on the game a little bit.”

The Sounders won 3-1 in their last trip to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, last July 4. Clint Dempsey scored twice in that game, which came in the middle of Seattle’s 13-match unbeaten streak.

The Sounders (3-9-3) might need a similar run this season to even make the playoffs. They’ve never failed to reach the postseason in their nine previous MLS campaigns.

“The current state of affairs is not good,” Schmetzer said. “We have to be realistic. It’s not good. We’ve really put ourselves in a hole. The work we do during the week to prepare for games, the effort I think the guys show, I think all of that is there. But at some point, we as coaches need to take responsibility for what we do and players on the field need to take responsibility for what they do. We are not going to give up.”

The Rapids (4-9-3) are 2-0-1 in their past three matches after an eight-game losing streak and are coming off their first road victory of the season, a 1-0 triumph Sunday in Vancouver in which the lone tally was a Whitecaps own goal. Tim Howard made 10 saves for Colorado, which posted its first shutout since April 14.

That gave the Rapids back-to-back wins for the first time since June 2017.

“From the position we were in, it’s just important that we pick up as many points as we can, and I think we’re incredibly pleased with (Sunday’s victory),” Colorado coach Anthony Hudson said after the Vancouver match. “But because of this week that’s just about to start, the key for us now is total focus on recovery, professionalism and making sure we’re ready for Wednesday.”

Dominique Badji leads the Rapids with six goals, but missed the Vancouver match with an undisclosed injury. He was not listed on the injury report for Wednesday’s game.

The Sounders hold a 15-5-2 lead in the all-time series, including 6-3-1 in Colorado.

—Field Level Media

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