The Sounders FC were staring a win in the face Wednesday night, but couldn’t hold their two-goal, second-half lead.
Up 3-1 in the 63rd minute, the Sounders squandered the three points and came away with a 3-3 draw against the Eastern Conference leading DC United.
Already en route to New York to face the Red Bulls on Saturday, the Sounders have the unenviable task of putting the disappointing result behind them and focusing on a team that reached the MLS Cup Final last season.
“You’ve got to forget about it and you’ve got to get focused on the next task,” head coach Sigi Schmid said. “New York, in New York, is going to be difficult. Their backs are against the wall. They’re a desperate team. They’re playing for their jobs right now. They’re playing for their coach. They’re playing for more things than just trying to get a result. So that’s obviously going to come into play. We’ll have to judge where we are fitness-wise, physically, and that’ll determine our game plan.”
Potentially the most affected by the draw could have been Tyrone Marshall, whose miscue in the box gave DC United the equalizing goal in the 87th minute. But the 11-year MLS veteran was the quickest to put the folly behind him and revert his focus to the Red Bulls.
“We just have to get back to our routine, which is to be aggressive on the training pitch again and prepare for New York,” Marshall said. “It’s going to be tough, but we have (Wednesday night and Thursday morning) to get this out of our system. This is over and they got their point, but we have to move on. We can’t really dwell on it. We just have to focus on New York now.”
Just focusing on the team that was trounced 3-0 by the Sounders in their inaugural game March 19 won’t be enough though.
“We have to win. We have to go off into New York, and get this result out of our heads, I think,” said Steve Zakuani, who came on in the 66th minute Wednesday night. “It’s going to feel like a loss. They scored really late…That’s not easy to take in. The way to get it out of our systems is to go to New York and to get three points.”
Kickoff is set for 4:30 pm Saturday on KONG television and KIRO 97.3 FM radio. We will be blogging the game on SoundersFC.com.