One of Head Coach Brian Schmetzer’s favorite mantras is that Sounders never quit.
That mentality was palpable during the post-match press conferences on Saturday night as the Seattle Sounders reflected on their disappointing 2-1 defeat at the Houston Dynamo. But with only five games remaining in the 2021 MLS regular season, the whole squad is eager to rebound quickly from such a frustrating result on the road.
“Everybody wants to beat us,” said midfielder Nicolas Benezet. “Everybody wants to play well against us. So, we’re trying to do our best, but sometimes it doesn’t go through. The thing is done. It’s over. We cannot do anything. The thing is right now we have to be focused on the next game.”
The Sounders entered the weekend five points clear atop the Western Conference standings. Despite the loss, they maintained their lead as both the Colorado Rapids and Sporting Kansas City each failed to pick up points in their respective matches.
While results elsewhere cushioned the blow of Saturday’s defeat to the Dynamo, Schmetzer stressed that the team is well aware of how difficult the final stretch will be if they hope to achieve their objective of winning the West.
“I don’t think that group of players took Houston lightly,” he said. “We understand that every point is vital for us to stay ahead of Colorado and Sporting KC. So, I don’t think that was the issue.”
A veteran of both France’s Ligue 1 and Major League Soccer, Benezet echoed Schmetzer’s sentiment, urging the entire group to dig deep for the duration of the campaign.
“I hope everybody is not thinking about we’re already in the top of the West and that it's going to be like this until the rest of the season, because it’s not. It doesn’t work like this. It’s football – anything can happen. I hope everybody thinks it’s not done and we’re going to work to stay on the top of the West until the rest of the season.”
According to Schmetzer, the team will learn from the mistakes that led to their loss at the Dynamo. With their next two matches coming against the Rapids on Wednesday (6:00 p.m. PT; FOX 13+, Prime Video, 1090 KJR AM, El Rey 1360AM) and at home against SKC on Saturday (12:30 p.m. PT; Univision, TUDN, Twitter, FOX 13+, Prime Video, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360AM | TICKETS) – the two sides that are also vying for first in the West – the Sounders can’t dwell on their missed opportunities for too long.
“It’s a setback,” noted Schmetzer. “But this team has shown that they can rebound from subpar performances and still keep their eye on the prize. It’s not going to be easy going to Colorado. It’s not going to be easy at home to Sporting KC. It’s not going to be easy to go down to LAFC. None of the remaining games are going to be easy. We get it. We understand it.”