COLUMBUS, OHIO - Sigi Schmid is in a position that he hasn’t been in since mid-March - preparing the Sounders FC to come back after a loss.
After their 2-1 defeat at RFK Stadium to DC United, Schmid and the Sounders will look to bounce back on Saturday against the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium.
The loss was a hard pill to swallow for Seattle, as it ended a six-game unbeaten streak and it came against a DC club that had struggled in recent matches. Just moments after the match, they already started shifting their attention to Columbus.
“It’s a tough one, but we have to regroup and forget about it because we have a big game on Saturday. We need to prepare for that and that’s where our mind’s got to go,” forward Nate Jaqua said Wednesday night.
In Columbus, the Sounders will face a team that dropped their season-opener 3-1 to DC United, but hasn’t tasted defeat since. They followed that match up with four straight shutouts and are 3-0-3 while conceding just two goals.
“They’re a team that is on a good streak. They haven’t given up a lot of goals,” Schmid said. “They play pretty tight in the back and they’re dangerous on set pieces, so we have to be aware of those things.”
The match in Columbus not only provides the Sounders an opportunity to get back on the winning side, but also a chance to atone for what they view as a poor performance against DC United.
“At some stage you have to just put everything all together and keep it going. Unfortunately we’re still riding a bit of a rollercoaster but we’ve been finding ways to get results,” goalkeeper Kasey Keller said. “I don’t want to lose two games, regardless. We’ve got to go and limit the easy chances they have and make them beat us on something earned if they’re going to and continue to play the way we are capable of playing.”
Not to be lost on the Sounders is the fact that they are 2-0-0 in Columbus and 3-0-2 all-time against the Crew, including a win in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup championship match last year.
In Schmid, Brad Evans, Pat Noonan and assistant coach Ezra Hendrickson, the Sounders have plenty of ties to the Crew and it is no secret that players have extra motivation when they play against their former teams.
“It’ll mean a lot to this team. For a number of people it will mean a little bit more than a regular game,” Evans said. “It will give us a good chance to get points and it will be a good test because Columbus has done really well this year.”
Kickoff is slated for 4:30 pm Pacific Time on KONG 6/16 with the radio call on 97.3 FM as the Sounders may have the opportunity to rise to the top of the MLS Western Conference with a victory.