The Seattle Sounders’ 1-1 draw against LAFC at Lumen Field on Saturday was an informative litmus test for the mentality of the team.
Playing the Supporters’ Shield leaders on short rest while missing several key starters due to injury is a difficult task for any team. Fresh off becoming the first MLS side to win Concacaf Champions League, the Rave Green were undaunted by the occasion.
Despite picking up a valuable point, Sounders players came away disappointed – a sign of the championship mindset that is deeply embedded in the culture of the club.
“It was a very even match against currently one of the league-leading teams,” goalkeeper Stefan Frei told media on Wednesday. “So, that was a good measuring stick for us. Obviously, some disappointment in there too because we were able to take the lead and you want to put those games away and take the three points. It was a good learning experience.”
As Frei noted, there were plenty of positives to take away from the match.
LAFC boasts the most prolific attack in the league, averaging two goals scored per game, and the Sounders managed to stifle their offense for much of the afternoon. Seattle carved out a host of quality chances of their own, even if they weren’t always able to capitalize, adding to a bit the frustration the players felt at the final whistle.
Join us as we celebrate Pride month and Stand for LGBTQ+ Equality together. Get to Lumen early for our limited run gate giveaway, featuring a custom pair of Pride Sunglasses presented by Starbucks.
“It was quiet, [with] a little frustration,” Frei said of the mood in the locker room. “Those are good signs that you don’t want to be satisfied against the league leader. You don’t want to be satisfied at home when you have the opportunity to take three points… We were in a good situation and generally speaking when we go up, that’s when we want to be ruthless and not surrender that advantage.”
Motivated by the match against LAFC, the Sounders have set their sights on securing three points at home against Sporting Kansas City (12:08 p.m. PT; ABC, ESPN Deportes, 93.3 KJR FM, El Rey 1360AM | TICKETS) on Saturday.
Matches against SKC are always a battle, with the Rave Green posting a 10-9-4 record against them since 2009. While the visitors might be struggling in league play this season – Sporting currently sits 12th in the Western Conference – the Sounders are mindful that Saturday’s match will be extremely difficult.
“They’re always competitive,” midfielder Cristian Roldan said of SKC. “They’re always in matches. They press extremely hard. They win balls in the midfield. They always do really well in duels won. It’s going to be a matter of bringing it on Saturday… If we can send a message early, we are going to be a in a good spot. If we match their intensity, I like our chances.”
You can learn more about Saturday’s matchday programming HERE.