After a 3-0 loss to the LA Galaxy at CenturyLink Field on Monday night, Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid had an easy solution to Seattle’s woes.
“Play better,” Schmid said, pausing for emphasis. “It’s that simple.”
The Galaxy controlled the match from opening kick, taking advantage of the time and space it was given by Sounders FC’s defense to charge to a 3-0 lead before Seattle could register its first shot on goal.
In the eighth minute, Marcelo Sarvas slipped Landon Donovan into the box behind the Seattle defense. Donovan touched it back to Gyasi Zardes for a left-footed shot that beat Stefan Frei for his seventh goal of the season and a 1-0 lead for the Galaxy.
The goal ended Seattle’s home shutout streak at 352 minutes and marked the first goal Sounders FC allowed at CenturyLink Field since May 7.
Ten minutes later, Donovan added to that lead with his fourth goal of the season. Sarvas dribbled uncontested along the top of the 18-yard box and fired of a shot at the edge of the arc. Frei made the save, but left the rebound for Donovan charging at the far post for a first-time shot to put LA up 2-0.
The Galaxy would add one more before halftime, as Sarvas fed Stefan Ishizaki up the right side and he blistered a first-time shot back inside the far post for his fourth goal of the season.
“I thought the Galaxy were better than us tonight. We lost to a better team,” Schmid said. “I didn't think we did a whole lot of things well tonight. It was a bad game for us. Our passing was poor. We didn’t get tight enough to people. There were a number of things that didn’t work. It’s just one of those days at the office that’s better to forget about and move on.”
What makes the defeat baffling and tough to swallow for Seattle was the good run of form the Sounders had been on entering the match. In addition to the home shutout streak, Seattle had won six straight matches at CenturyLink Field and was 5-1-1 in its last seven matches overall.
At training on Friday, Sounders FC saw the best out of its starting group in an intrasquad scrimmage. The attack was full of vibrancy and verve as it prepared to face the Galaxy. However, it didn’t translate to the pitch on Monday.
“The guys that were starting the game when we scrimmaged on Friday were flying by us. They looked unstoppable,” said forward Chad Barrett, who came on as a second half sub. “We definitely put our best starting lineup out there. We just couldn’t get it going.”
Seattle will look to bounce back on Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, the new home of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers.
Even with the short training week, Sounders FC is looking forward to a chance at redemption.
“I think we’re all ready to get back on the field,” defender Zach Scott said. “I’d play another 90 right now.”