Chad Barrett would still rather be in the starting lineup, where he did his damage as the first of four Sounders scorers in Seattle’s 6-0 defeat of Chicago in the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday.
But the 10-year veteran has come off the bench in 11 of his 17 league appearances this season.
“It’s just a different mindset,” Barrett said Monday after training at CenturyLink Field. “Coming off the bench, you’ve got to catch the speed of the game. It’s always a different tempo, a different speed. Home or away, you’re up, you’re down. Whatever the situation calls for, you have to be ready for it.”
The situation now calls for putting the brakes on an increasingly worrying run of games.
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Including Saturday’s 2-1 loss in Salt Lake City, the Sounders have lost three of their past four MLS matches and four of their past six to drop into second place in the Western Conference for the first time since April.
The most recent setback, though, came despite good play by Barrett.
He sparked Seattle’s comeback with his second goal of the week, this time as a 62nd-minute substitute, and nearly completed it with a stoppage-time effort that flashed across the goal mouth.
“He’s a brilliant player,” teammate Andy Rose said after Saturday’s match. “He can be a starter in this league. He brings a wealth of experience and a lot of energy. He’s a really hard worker, holds the ball up, understands how to bring other players into the game. That’s his biggest asset.”
Barrett has been able to prove his worth both in and out of the starting 11.
“I’ve come in off the bench enough now where I feel comfortable coming in in any spot of any game,” Barrett said. “If the team needs a lift, if they’re dragging out there, guys are getting a little tired, hopefully my presence can uplift them a little bit.”
Pappa could return Wednesday
The depth Barrett and Rose help provide will be put to the test this week, as Seattle continues its run of six matches in 20 days with a home game against San Jose on Wednesday and a trip to Portland on Sunday.
Marco Pappa could return to the lineup after missing the trip to Salt Lake City with a slight hamstring injury.
“We felt it was too early to go on Saturday,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “But I think he’s back in the mix for Wednesday.”
Brad Evans, who is also nursing a sore hamstring after being taken off at halftime of the RSL loss, will likely be a match-day decision.
“He was surprised,” Schmid said, “he was able to do a little more than he thought he could do today.”
Season-ticket info coming soon
The Sounders will release season-ticket information for the 2015 season, including pricing and package information, sometime this week.
Matt Pentz: firstname.lastname@example.org