Throughout their first three years in Major League Soccer, only one team scored more goals than the Sounders FC.
Already in 2012, they have kept that high-scoring reputation alive, scoring five goals in their first two matches. That scoring total has already matched their total through five games in 2011 and the difference has been in shot selection.
By being much more patient and active with the ball, the Sounders have been able to put nine of their 19 total shots on target, for a 47 percent conversion rate. Through five games last year, the Sounders put just under 36 percent of their shots on frame.
“There are some teams that get a lot of shots on goal, but every shot is from 35 yards and out,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said.
Part and parcel to that patience has been Seattle’s adjustment to the way they use their defenders as part of the attack. When an initial attack has broken down, the Sounders aren’t afraid to play the ball backwards through the midfield to the defenders to restart an effort to spread the defense or attack through a different channel.
“I don’t think we’ve laid in some of those silly shots, so that keeps the statistics down a little bit,” Schmid said. “It means also that we’re getting good looks.”
By comparison, it took 78 shots for the Sounders to reach five goals in 2011.
They went just 1-2-2 in that stretch, arguably costing them a chance at the best record in the league, as they finished just four points behind the LA Galaxy in the chase for the Supporters’ Shield.
So continuing their hot start is the focus for the Sounders as they prepare for their third consecutive home match against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.
Kickoff is set for 7 pm Pacific Time at CenturyLink Field. The match will be shown live on KONG 6/16 and broadcast on the radio on 97.3 KIRO FM.