Seattle has played in the last two MLS Cups, winning a title in 2016. So losing is not taken lightly, particularly when its places the Sounders last in the Western Conference.
That’s why coach Brian Schmetzer felt the need to forcefully address the current plight heading into Saturday’s home game against the Columbus Crew.
“I want to push forward on all this mess because, I have already told you, as long as I am here, this team is never going to quit. Simple as that,” he said. “Those players haven’t quit on the fans, and I don’t think our fans have quit on us.”
Seattle’s record fell to 1-4-1 with a 1-0 loss at the expansion Los Angeles FC last Sunday after a stoppage-time free kick goal by Laurent Ciman that slipped through the hands of goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
It continued a frustrating season for the Sounders, who have been beset by injuries, including to central defenders Roman Torres and Chad Marshall. Torres is out with a hamstring injury and Marshall (neck sprain) is questionable against his former club.
Still, the Crew (4-3-2) know Seattle can be dangerous.
“It’s hard to believe they’re bottom of the West; the way they’ve played, some of the games,” Crew coach Gregg Berhalter said. “To me it’s a tough team. That’s going to be a very difficult game for us.”
The Crew have had struggles of their own. They ended a four-match winless streak with a 2-1 win against San Jose last Saturday.
“When you get in this phase of the season your job as a team is to continue to improve,” Berhalter said. “You use little moments like the victories to give you a boost in confidence, but the theme has to be to continue to progress and get better.”
—Field Level Media