April record: 3-0-1, 10 points
Overall record: 5-2-1, 16 points
Results: @ Portland (4-4); @ FC Dallas (3-2); @ Chivas USA (2-1); vs. Colorado (4-1)
For the third straight season, Sounders FC went through the month of April without a loss, this time going 3-0-1 to jump to the best record in MLS at 5-2-1 overall. However, it took a stellar stretch of play from Clint Dempsey to get the ball rolling and he has since turned in one of the best months of play in Sounders FC history.
Things took a dramatic turn in the waning moments of the first match of the month at Providence Park against the rival Portland Timbers.
Trailing 4-2, Clint Dempsey scored goals in the 85th and 87th minutes to give Seattle the 4-4 draw and in the 275 minutes since, Sounders FC has outscored its opponents 11-4.
"I think the last minutes of that game showed our character," Sounders FC Sporting Director Chris Henderson said. "That Portland game was a turning point for us. That confidence has carried on and the quality at training has been really high. You could name six or seven guys who are just playing great right now."
In addition to Dempsey, who is up for Etihad Airways MLS Player of the Month after posting seven goals and two assists in four matches in April, Seattle also had great contributions from others during the unbeaten month.
Lamar Neagle and Obafemi Martins both had two goals and two assists, while Gonzalo Pineda displayed his set-piece mastery to register two assists. Osvaldo Alonso played his typically disruptive midfield role and Chad Marshall was dominant at center back and added two assists to the cause on the offensive end.
Meanwhile, Stefan Frei has 11 saves in his last three matches and has come up big in big moments for Seattle late in close matches.
The confidence that has spread throughout the team can easily be traced to the tear that Dempsey is on.
"It brings everyone's level up. We love to see it," Henderson said. "There's so much in the psychological part of pro sports. You can take a player and pump him with confidence and he could be playing the best of his life. But it can go the other way too and that's what we need to be aware of – make sure that we are confident, but not overconfident. Things in soccer can change like that."
After drawing with Portland, Seattle put itself in vulnerable positions trailing on the road against FC Dallas and Chivas USA before snaring comeback victories.
At home, however, Sounders FC left no doubt against the Colorado Rapids in the final game of the month, dominating the entire much to the tune of a 4-1 victory. Now with a busy month of May ahead starting with two home matches against the Philadelphia Union and MLS co-leaders FC Dallas, Seattle has the momentum and confidence at home to carry that streak into the next month.
"This is a long season and you have to pace yourself, but when you're playing sharp you have to ride it as long as you can. I think we've turned the corner on our home results and we need to build on that," Henderson said. "At the same time, Saturday is the most important day. It doesn't really matter what we did against Colorado. We've got to fight for three points at home against Philadelphia and Dallas and then going to New England is a challenge for us as well."