Sounders FC is back on the road this weekend as it makes its first cross-country trip of the season to face New York City FC. Providing his thoughts on the match in the latest Off-Camera Observations is former Sounders goalkeeper and current broadcaster Marcus Hahnemann.
On playing an expansion club:
I’m sure they’ve watched film on all of [NYCFC’s] games so far. Our team’s changed a lot over the years. We’ve changed styles a little bit, changed personnel. So just the fact that we haven’t played these guys ever, and just because they’re a new team, it doesn’t really matter so much for us. They’re going to be trying to knock us off our pedestal because I think a lot of teams look up to an organization like the Sounders and what we have. We have the biggest fan base, we’re in the playoffs every year and we’ve won Open Cups. We’re setting the marker pretty high, so it’s a chance for those teams to go out and challenge us. Ultimately, they’re going to raise their game to play against us. So there are all these different things you have to take into account. With us traveling all the way across the country, that’s going to have an impact as well. We need to go out and play solid soccer for the first 20 minutes, and then hopefully our quality will show.
On the Sounders' play so far this season:
It’s definitely had some ups and downs. We’ve won when we played poorly, for our standards, and we’ve also played well and lost, such as the LA game. We had a really good game and just came out on the wrong end. We couldn’t find that final pass, that final shot, but we played really well. Those are all positives. I think the biggest thing is when you can play poorly and still find ways to win, find ways to keep clean sheets. That’s the sign of a really good team. The more games you can play poorly and still get results, the higher up on the table you will be.
On the team's next three matches on the road:
Traveling is very difficult, but we’ve become accustomed to that. I kind of enjoyed the fact that you get to go on the road, and you get all the guys together, and it’s like a mini camp. You hang out with some guys you probably don’t normally get to hang out with. You get a chance to hang out in different areas of the country. I certainly enjoyed that. You have to look at the positives, and if you can do that, these road trips aren’t as big of a deal. If you start dreading these things, it becomes a really long season.