FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Sounders FC has bounced back in games several times already this season.
Now, the team will need to show that character again in bouncing back from the most lopsided regular season loss in club history after a 5-0 defeat to the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. And Head Coach Sigi Schmid said afterward that there is no special formula to get his team to rebound from such a performance, but he is confident that Seattle will show its mettle in the next match on Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes.
"We will bounce back. That's all," Schmid said. "There's no other option."
Seattle had shown throughout the five-match winning streak it toted coming into Sunday's match that it can bounce back from early deficits, garnering 13 points from matches in which they trailed in the first half.
The match against the Revolution was not one of those nights, though, as New England scored an opportunistic goal in the 14th minute and played add-on the rest of the game as Seattle ended a five-match winning streak with a harrowing 5-0 defeat.
"It was just one of those days," Schmid said. "We know we're going to lose some games this year, but I thought we threw too many people forward, left ourselves exposed for the counter. I thought they did a good job of countering today. They executed well when they got forward, and it's just a game that we've got to forget about."
Seattle had the better of the game in the opening 10 minutes and forced New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth into two saves in the first five minutes of the match. However, the Revolution was resilient and turned the tide quickly thereafter.
Stefan Frei stopped a shot from Teal Bunbury in the 14th minute, but Patrick Mullins was there to put back the rebound and Seattle fell behind, 1-0. Chris Tierney sent the cross in from the left side, getting it in behind the Seattle defense to Bunbury at the far post and Frei swatted away the initial effort, only to have Mullins convert on his second goal of the season.
Seattle was still in the fight even after Diego Fagundez made it 2-0 with his first goal of the season in the 29th minute.
It wasn't until a 36th minute goal from Teal Bunbury that there was a noticeable change in Seattle when a second goal from Fagundez in the 41st minute left Seattle with a steep mountain to climb in the second half.
It became insurmountable when New England made it 5-0 just 33 seconds into the second half, with Bunbury taking a pass from Lee Nguyen up the right side and attempting a cross to the far side, but it caromed off of Chad Marshall and inside the near post for an own goal.
"I think four in the first half is tough to bounce back from. You do your best to fight and claw back and then we get unlucky with a deflection and it's five at the start of the second half. Those are the worst times to concede goals – right at the stroke of halftime or right afterwards," said captain Brad Evans, who started at left back for the second straight match. "We tried to stick to our guns in the beginning of the game and it just didn't work out. We didn't play like the away team in the first 15-20 minutes of the game like we talked about but after that we fell apart. I don't know. I'm at a loss for words."
Sounders FC was playing its third match in nine days after traveling across the country to Foxborough, Mass. However, the team was fit to handle the schedule and the travel. The team was physically strong enough to withstand the trip, as evidenced by Seattle holding over 60-percent of possession and completing over 80-percent of its passes.
"We had possession of the ball. So it wasn't a situation where our legs were so heavy that we couldn't play soccer. We played soccer, but I think maybe psychologically, we weren't as alert as we needed to be in certain occasions," Schmid said. "I don't think they're five goals better than us, but today they were five goals better than us and we have to accept it. That pain will sit with us, and hopefully we'll meet again in MLS Cup.
Now, Seattle will have to show the same resilience that has allowed it to bounce back throughout the early part of the season and it starts on Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes at CenturyLink Field, where Sounders FC has won three straight matches.
"There's no excuses. We said we were ready to go. We started off the game like we were ready to go and a couple of defensive lapses put us on the back foot," Evans said. "Now all we can do is prepare for San Jose."