Seattle Sounders Notebook: Were the Sounders playing better soccer when they were losing?

TUKWILA, Wash. – Is it possible the Seattle Sounders were better this season when they were actually losing games?

On the heels of the team’s second straight home win against the Philadelphia Union, both head coach Sigi Schmid and goalkeeper Stefan Frei said the club has actually been better at times this year than they have over the three-game unbeaten streak that has resurrected their season.

The Sounders are 2-0-1 over their last three games with home wins over the Union and Montreal Impact and last-gasp draw on the road against the Houston Dynamo on April 10.

“Even in the three losses, we played decent soccer in those games,” Frei said Monday. “We were in all the games. And in fact, you could possibly argue that in the losses we played a little better than the wins and the tie. But that’s the nature of this league. Sometimes games aren’t going to be pretty, but you have to fight through it, and sometimes grind out a result. And that’s what we did.”

The Sounders didn’t exactly grind out their 2-1 win over the Union on Saturday – they rang up season-highs in shots (19) and shots on goal (8) – but it also wasn’t clear sailing. Despite going a man up early in the second half after a second yellow card to the Union’s Roland Alberg, the Sounders allowed a surprising shorthanded goal that made the final 15 minutes hairier than they should have been. And that left a few Sounders players to remark Saturday night things could have been much better, even in the wake of their success.

“Would you say the overall soccer was as good as it has been it some other games? No,” Schmid said Monday. “The soccer in some other games was better. But sometimes people don’t care about that, they care about the results. And you gotta find the right balance between the possession and holding onto it, and being direct and getting behind them at the right moments.”

Praise For Ivanschitz

Midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz assisted on both of the Sounders’ goals on Saturday night, giving him a team-high three this season. On Monday he was named to the Team of the Week for his efforts.

Ivanschitz now has two game-winning assists on the season, tied with four other players for the league lead.

Lowe Scores For Minnesota United

Defender Damion Lowe scored a goal in the 40th minute of Minnesota United’s 3-0 win over the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers in USL action on Saturday. The goal was Lowe’s first with the team since going on loan from Seattle this season.

Ockford Logs 90 for New York Cosmos

Defender Jimmy Ockford started and logged 90 minutes on Saturday in the New York Cosmos’ 2-1 loss to Indy Eleven. This was Ockford’s third start of the NASL season since going on loan earlier this year.