Major League Soccer is a streaky league, proclaims Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid. Teams get hot. Teams get cold. It’s a matter of keeping those hot streaks going for long periods and limiting the length of the cold stretches that separate the elite teams from the pack in a given season.
With shutout defeats in two consecutive matches, Seattle is itching to get some results quickly, starting this Sunday against the Houston Dynamo at CenturyLink Field.
“It’s a streaky league and we’ve been on pretty good streaks. For us, right now maybe this is our bad streak and we’ve just got to make sure we get out it … quickly. And I think we have the talent and ability to get out of it,” Schmid said after a 1-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday. “It happens to everybody. There’s nobody in this league that goes from A-through-Z without having a dip somewhere.”
Seattle still maintains the top spot in the Western Conference at 12-6-2 and trails Sporting Kansas City by just one point in the Supporters’ Shield standings. Getting back in the groove that helped build that early-season cushion is a priority for the Sounders, but the team is far from panicking and remains confident that the recent run is just a hiccup.
“I’ve always felt confident in this team and I’ll continue to feel confident in this team. We’ll keep playing good soccer and things are going to happen,” midfielder Brad Evans said. “It’s a streaky league, but if we want to be that championship team, we’ve got to find a way to break those streaks and get on winning ones. If we keep working and doing what we’re doing and continue to combine and get guys in good positions, and eliminate the small mistakes … that’s it.”
While the results on the field have changed, with Seattle earning just three points in the last four matches, the locker room has remained largely optimistic as players work to get back in the win column on a consistent basis.
When asked if there was a different feeling in the locker room after losing two in a row for the first time this season, Clint Dempsey was frank in his response.
“These last two games, yes … because we lost. Besides that, we felt fine after we beat Portland,” he said. “It’s just been two games.”
Sunday’s match against the Dynamo will be televised nationally on ESPN2. It will be the third MLS match this season that will have CenturyLink Field opened to its full capacity. In the other two, Seattle earned shutout wins against Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers.