After a difficult road trip to Los Angeles, the Sounders FC will push on to face the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Here to analyze the key questions ahead of the match is broadcast analyst and Seattle University head men's soccer coach Pete Fewing.
On how the Sounders bounce back this week:
It’s disappointing in one respect, but in another they’ve created a lot of good chances. That’s what makes room for optimism. Some of the crossing was good and Lamar had plenty of chances. I don’t think he could have done better on the headers. The bottom line is: Lamar Neagle is getting chances and Obafemi [Martins] is as well. Seattle is disappointed with the loss, but any player – and these guys are all veterans – they’re looking at it and thinking, “Hey, our opportunities are going to come. We just have to keep pressing and keep pushing for more of the same.”
The most important thing is that they’re creating chances.
Colorado is interesting. They’ve been on the wrong side of good results for a long time and then, boom, they get a four-nothing win. What happens in that situation, especially against a team like Dallas, who has done well this season, is that it gives them a dose of confidence and adrenaline. They get to be home, they get to show the crowd that they are for real and there’s a lot of optimism there.
It’s important for Seattle to come out and play good soccer like they did against LA, they just have to finish the chances. They have to put Colorado back in the spot they were in prior to their win last weekend.
On preparing for an unpredictable opponent:
You have to watch the game tape and the one you’d really want to watch is the match against Dallas. You want to find out where their four goals came from. You don’t want to look at the past; you look at where they had their success. I think when you look at the game tape and you start to break it down, that’s where you start your preparations. When a team gets four goals, I consider it “cleaning out the pipes”. They had four goals. They had a shutout. 4-1 is a lot different than a four-nothing result. A shutout makes everyone look better, look smarter and fit. You want to put them back in the spot where they don’t’ have the confidence that they’ll win the game.
On the progress of the Sounders defense:
They need to be organized. I think Brad and Chad are getting more comfortable with each other. I think Tyrone Mears has been terrific and whether it's Dylan Remick or Leo Gonzalez, I think both those guys do a great job. More of the same from the defense as well as the offense is needed. Stefan has not been put in a spot where he had to make a spectacular save, except maybe the New England game where where Kelyn Rowe hit the shot from outside and he had to dive to his right to push it around. Other than that, he hasn’t had to make that kind of save because the guys in front of him are doing such a good job. Defensively, I think the team is strong. If they can continue like this throughout the season, they’ll be very pleased with their goals-against average and their shutouts for the entire year.
Defensively, it’s more of the same. Offensively, same thing – more of the same, but make sure you finish your chances.