In the club’s three-year existence at the MLS level, the Sounders FC has had a good track-record when faced with a losing streak.
That ability to bounce back has been a hallmark of the club.
Now, faced with a 6-1 defeat to Santos Laguna on Wednesday, they will look to show that resilience against Toronto FC in their opening match for the MLS season at CenturyLink Field on Saturday.
The loss was difficult to stomach for the team, as they had aspirations of becoming the first MLS club to win a series with a Mexican opponent since the Champions League took its current format in 2008.
Head coach Sigi Schmid wasn’t shy about that disappointment after the match.
“We need to show our character. Our character has to show through,” he said. “Certainly there are probably some changes we need to make in our team because of fatigue and maybe performance, as well. It’s just a matter of us showing our character right now and standing back up. It’s easy to go hide after a loss like this.”
They have shown an ability to stand back up in their short history, going 17-10-7 in their 34 opportunities across all competitions to bounce back from a loss.
Last year, after a loss the Sounders were 7-2-2 across all competitions, including wins in their final six bounce-back games.
And while history may be on their side, the team isn’t willing to rely on those past successes to get the job done against a Toronto FC side that disposed of the LA Galaxy 4-3 on aggregate on Wednesday to reach the CCL semifinals, where they will meet Santos Laguna.
“Everybody has to know that we made many mistakes and we have to figure it out as soon as possible because we have to start the competition in the best way. Looking for a win,” midfielder Mauro Rosales said. “It’s tough to recover after that, but we have to.”
Though he is new to the team, goalkeeper Michael Gspurning is not new to the concept of getting back into the win column when faced with adversity.
“I don’t care about the result or anything after it’s over. What I care about and what the team cares about is Saturday and our opening game of the season,” he said. “We have to keep our head up and work on Saturday.”
The season-opener will be a big match for the club, too. They have opened the season at home in each of their three seasons, winning the first two in convincing fashion before dropping a 1-0 result to the LA Galaxy last year.
Opening their fourth season, the Sounders are No. 2 in the league in points and in scoring in their first three seasons. The start of the new MLS season is another opportunity to build on that success and get off to a strong start to what looks to be a promising year.
Between Thursday and Saturday, though, they may look to get the sour taste of a 6-1 loss out of their mouths.
“Saturday is a new game,” Gspurning said. “It’s a pity for us and for the fans because we wanted this so much and this result is not a good sign from us to the fans and the MLS, but this game is over and we have to look forward to Saturday.”
Kickoff at CenturyLink is 7 pm and the match will be televised live on KONG 6/16.