Month In Review: July
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
The Sounders had an up and down July with some tough results in the middle of the month.
July Record: 2-2-1
MLS Results: vs. DC United (2-0); @ Vancouver Whitecaps FC (0-2); @ San Jose Earthquakes (0-1); vs. Colorado Rapids (1-1); vs. Chivas USA (2-1).
MLS Record: 8-7-4 (9-10-5 overall).
Entering the month of July, Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid said it would be an important month for his club. With three home dates in a five-match schedule, Seattle had the opportunity to rack up some points. While taking advantage of its home-field hot streak by going unbeaten at CenturyLink Field, the team wasn’t able to have the same success on the road and finished with a 2-2-1 record.
That leaves Sounders FC sitting seventh in the Western Conference, but still with plenty of optimism going forward into another busy month, hosting two West foes with three road matches against Eastern Conference opponents.
“The team is playing always with the same confidence,” midfielder and captain Mauro Rosales said. “We have shown that we are a very tough team to beat on our field. We are a good team on the road too and there have been struggles in the last few games, but we have to keep coming back to the rhythm that we have, playing away and getting points.”
Obafemi Martins started the month with a brace against D.C. United for his first double in MLS and concluded July with his first multi-assist game, serving two helpers in a 2-1 win over Chivas USA.
Brad Evans notched an assist in the first match of the month and a goal in the last, while Lamar Neagle has now scored in three consecutive months since becoming a consistent starter in May.
Sounders FC finished the month without forward Eddie Johnson, as he left to help the U.S. National Team win the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The team also ran the gamut of injuries during the month. Among what could be considered regular starters, seven players missed matches in July because of injuries and international duty for a total of 12 matches missed. That doesn’t even include Steve Zakuani, who is still recovering from surgery to repair a sports hernia, or injuries to depth pieces like Andy Rose, Alex Caskey and Marcus Hahnemann.
With most of those players either back or very close to returning, that’s all the reason for more optimism as Sounders FC turns the page on the calendar to August. However, Schmid warns against expecting instant turnaround when players return to the lineup.
“I think we’re closer,” Schmid said after training on Wednesday. “It’s still getting games together as a group. It takes 2-3 games for that whole understanding to develop.”
Seattle opens the month this Saturday against FC Dallas and will also host the Portland Timbers on August 25. In between, Sounders FC will meet Toronto FC (8/10) and the Houston Dynamo (8/17) on the road before finishing the month against the Columbus Crew on August 31.