Sigi Schmid's press conference following Seattle's 3-1 loss to the Rapids on Saturday night in Commerce City, Colo., was a notable exception to his usually measured tone -- and the clearest sign yet that frustrations are boiling after his team's fourth loss in seven games
Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid usually reflects his adopted city’s climate. Rarely hot, less often genuinely cold, Schmid’s three-plus decades as a coach have established an equilibrium that only occasionally spikes.
His press conference following Seattle’s 3-1 loss to the Rapids on Saturday night in Commerce City, Colo., was a notable exception — and the clearest sign yet that frustrations are boiling over after his team’s fourth loss in seven games.
“I think that was our worst game of the season,” Schmid said afterward, not incorrectly.
Seattle (2-4-1) now sits in ninth place out of 10 teams in the West and is tied for the most losses in the conference. What was at first glance a forgiving portion of the schedule has proven more complicated, and this summer’s national team call-ups and a brutal July stretch grow larger on the horizon by the week.
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Schmid didn’t stop with his frank assessment of Saturday night’s performance. Some other notables:
– “There was no leadership on the field,” Schmid said. “I expect more. They need to expect more of each other. It rests on my shoulders at the end of the day, so maybe we didn’t have them prepared enough. But you can’t always prepare for everything. Colorado did a good job of bringing (Shkëlzen) Gashi off the front line and he picked up a lot of balls there. Nobody on the field for us ever figured that out. And this isn’t basketball. You can’t call timeout and call them over.”
– “Possession doesn’t mean anything. Every team in this league that has had less possession this weekend has won. Everybody gets all hung up on possession because they see Bayern Munich in possession. Bayern Munich can get away with their possession and Barcelona can because they have individuals who are able to wiggle out of trouble. You can have excellent spacing and everything else you want out of your team, but your guys aren’t good enough to wiggle out of that problem so you’re going to lose the ball.”
– “I’m also tired of this talk of young players and old players. They’re either good players or bad players. Let’s forget about everything else.”
– “I thought the first three games of the year, even though we lost, we were unfortunate. I thought we played better and we created more chances than the opponent. We were a little bit unlucky. Today, I thought, as a unit – when I say, ‘team,’ I don’t mean just the players; I we mean as a unit: coaching staff and players – we beat ourselves today. As much as Colorado did a good job and played well, and I don’t want to take anything away from Pablo’s team, we did not play well.”
Pinning down a specific, bullet-pointed list of reasons for Seattle’s slow start is difficult.
The Sounders have been limited by an uncommonly long injury list for this point of the season — forwards Clint Dempsey and Nelson Valdez both missed Saturday’s match — but that just underlines how reliant they can be on a handful of standouts. Jordan Morris has struggled to find his footing at the professional level but was Seattle’s best player on the field in Colorado. Few players have taken to the team’s preseason shift to 4-3-3 formation.
Though a three-match unbeaten streak had suggested modest steps forward, even Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei admitted that they’d actually objectively played better in their three season-opening defeats.
Seattle will recognize a kindred spirit next Saturday at CenturyLink Field, a Columbus Crew team that reached last season’s MLS Cup but that has also stumbled out of the gate. A win would allow the Sounders to steady themselves for at least another week. A loss, and … well, forlorn Schmid press conferences may become less telling for their rarity.