SEATTLE – Following his team’s 3-0 victory over West Ham United of the English Premier League in Tuesday’s international friendly at CenturyLink Field, Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid acknowledged that his team probably shouldn’t engage in any sort of prolonged chest-thumping over the result.
The Sounders were, after all, taking on a West Ham side that is just getting is preseason underway and also didn’t field anything close to resembling a first-choice lineup.
“We’re realistic enough to understand that they’re at the beginning of their preseason,” Schmid told reporters after the game. “And, obviously, a lot of their players are missing because they’re with their national teams and things like that.”
But with the Sounders enduring a rough stretch of results in MLS play in recent weeks, Schmid also said that the lopsided result of the fixture can only be considered a positive for his side – especially considering that the Sounders were also fielding a largely inexperienced lineup.
“We know what it is in terms of catching them early,” Schmid said. “But we’re also very proud of the fact that we won. People can say ‘Hey, they played a lot of young kids and Academy kids.’ Well, then maybe we should beat them, and we did.”
After scoring a big equalizer in Seattle’s road matchup with Toronto FC on Saturday, rookie forward Jordan Morris continued his strong run of form with a second-half brace to pace the Sounders on Tuesday. Herculez Gomez tallied the other with a 42nd-minute penalty kick, his first goal in any competition with the Sounders since signing in March.
“I think every game you play, you kind of learn how to come together more as a group,” Morris said. “Especially when you’re struggling a little bit, to get a win in any context gives you a little bit of confidence.”
Although it didn’t count in the standings, Tuesday’s victory also means the Sounders are unbeaten across all competitions in their last three matches – something that Schmid hopes can help his squad’s morale as they try to improve on their 5-9-2 record in MLS play.
“For the team and our confidence, that’s something we can continue to build upon,” Schmid said. “When you’re in a rough spell, that’s something that the team needs. Everybody feels a little bitter about themselves and their head held a little bit higher.”
The Sounders may need continued contributions from their young faces as they get set to take on a marathon month of July. With Tuesday’s friendly and a U.S. Open Cup matchup with the Galaxy looming in addition to their MLS schedule, Seattle will play seven more matches before the end of the month.
“Tonight was good because it shows that we have some depth and we have some players that we can put in there,” Schmid said. “We’ve got [a lot of games in July] so those are big games for us…I feel confident we can put a team that’s capable of winning each and every game.”