SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Sounders dropped a tough 1-0 result to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium as they are still searching for their first MLS victory in 2013.
Here are four things we learned from the loss.
“We’ve got to score more goals. Simple as that.”
Those were the words from Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid after he was asked what the Sounders need to do to get over the hump against San Jose, against whom the Sounders have now lost four straight league matches. In all four the Sounders have lost by just one score.
While it is certainly true for the series with the Earthquakes, it has also shown true in the MLS season in 2013. There, the Sounders have managed just one goal in three outings. That’s not a winning formula and it needs to get better quickly if the Sounders are going to turn around the start of the new campaign.
Reinforcements are coming
Yes, the Sounders expect to have Obafemi Martins, Eddie Johnson and Mario Martinez back with the club in time to face Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, but Schmid also said he expects to have Brad Evans and Shalrie Joseph available as well – a sure boost in two veteran presences to help the Sounders out of their current rut.
“We expect Evans and Shalrie to be in full training beginning next week, as well. So that gives us two more options also,” Schmid said. “I think with that, it enhances what we can do, but the main thing is the group has to play with the same spirit that we played with today.”
Wins build confidence
The Sounders are, no doubt, a confident bunch, but there is a different type of confidence that comes with winning and they haven’t got there yet this year. Once they do, the common belief within the locker room is that it will start an avalanche of success as that confidence grows into a swagger.
“It’s just you need a result to help your team get confidence. We’ve got guys who are pretty ambitious and driven, and when they don’t get results, they get a little ornery,” Schmid said. “We’ve got to continue to have that hunger and turn that hunger into wins.”
Wondolowski is MVP for a reason
Chris Wondolowski was the only player for San Jose that was able to generate dangerous scoring chances all night and the one that he scored in first-half stoppage time would hardly have been considered a scoring chance had he not whistled it into the back of the net for his second goal of the season.
That finishing quality proved to be the difference in the match.
“I thought Estrada and Ochoa were a handful today up front,” Schmid said of the two forwards he employed in the starting lineup. “The quality of finishing, a couple of the opportunities that they had, could that quality be a little better? That’s what Wondo displayed. He gets a half a chance and his quality was good. It’s just a matter of who’s out there has got to do the work."