Seattle Sounders stress need to take offensive risks, be difference-makers after loss to Real Salt Lake

Alex Roldan at RSL 2018-06-02

SANDY, Utah — The Seattle Sounders fell for the second time in eight days to Real Salt Lake, this time on the road at Rio Tinto 2-0 behind goals from Corey Baird and a hockey-style empty-net finish from Luis Silva with Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei all the way up the pitch on a corner kick.

Seattle was outshot 18-5 and struggled to find any menacing opportunities in the final third. Forward Will Bruin returned to the starting lineup after missing the previous two matches with a partially torn plantar fascia, but was not playing at 100 percent. Midfielder Magnus Wolff Eikrem also did not travel after suffering a foot contusion at training late in the week.

“The team can’t play not to lose, they have to play to try to win games,” said Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “There’s times when we get down into the attacking third of the field and the quality is missing. I have to try and find a way to give them the confidence to make final passes, to create something to score goals. We’re never going to win games if we can’t score.”

Added midfielder Harry Shipp, who came on as a halftime substitute to earn his first minutes since March 18: “It’s tough, I thought we played at least well enough to get a point. We created a few chances in the second half and I thought we were going to get a goal to tie it. Obviously the one late is frustrating when we were pushing to tie the game, but we don’t have any other choice but to keep playing.

“Luckily, we have a bunch of games in a short period of time. We’re professionals and we come to work every day, and hopefully it turns around at some point.”

Seattle Sounders stress need to take offensive risks, be difference-makers after loss to Real Salt Lake -

Cristian Roldan battles Brooks Lennon at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday
USA Today Sports

The Sounders will have a chance to get right back after it on Wednesday, June 6 when they visit USL side Sacramento Republic FC in the Fourth Round of the 2018 U.S. Open Cup. That games starts a stretch of three matches in eight days with a home tilt against D.C. United on Saturday, June 9 before making a cross-country trip to visit the New York Red Bulls the following Wednesday.

Captain Cristian Roldan talked about the team needing to take more risks in the attacking third to try and force goals and create opportunities, something the team will look to improve upon in the coming period.

“At the end of the day, if you don’t take risks, you’re not going to get too much out of a game offensively. If there’s no flair, if there’s no creativity up top, we’re never going to score a goal.”

One of Seattle’s weapons returned on Saturday with Víctor Rodríguez making his 2018 debut as a substitute after missing the first few months of the season with a knee sprain. Schmetzer mentioned the Spaniard’s recovery was the only silver lining from the match, and hopefully he can be one of the players to make a difference moving forward.

“It’s coming in and not being afraid of making mistakes, wanting the ball, wanting to be the guy who makes a difference,” Shipp added. “Once we have all 11 guys wanting to be the guy who makes a difference, things will start to go in the right direction.”

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