Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer was blunt when discussing his team’s defense Saturday.

“It’s high alert,” he said following a draw with New England at CenturyLink Field.

Seattle opened the afternoon match with a goal then conceded two before halftime. After working to regain control of the game with a 3-2 lead, the Revolution found an equalizer via penalty kick in the 87th minute.

The Sounders have conceded nine goals in their past five matches, going 2-2-1 during the stretch. Seattle (11-7-6) remains second in the MLS Western Conference standings mainly because Minnesota and San Jose can’t find wins to take advantage of the Sounders’ inconsistencies.

The club travels to play Real Salt Lake (11-9-4) on Wednesday. Seattle will be without first-choice center back Kim Kee-hee, who’s serving a one-game suspension for yellow-card accumulation.

Seattle was already in the midst of getting adjusted to lineup changes along its backline due to the retirement of Chad Marshall and suspension of Roman Torres. There will be another adjustment Wednesday.

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RSL is on a five-match unbeaten streak, including a 2-1 win against Sporting Kansas City last week.

“We need to improve a little bit on urgency, on awareness, all the way around when it comes to defense,” Sounders keeper Stefan Frei said. “Just being a bit more smart. …We’re trying to make things happen offensively, but it can’t come at the cost of a defensive lapse, a mistake and easy counter.”

NOTE:

Sounders midfielder Henry Wingo was transferred to the Norwegian club Molde FK.

The Seattle native made 31 appearances across all competitions since signing with the Sounders as a Homegrown Player in 2017. The Sounders retain 100 percent of the transfer fee, per MLS rules.

Wingo played for the University of Washington, making 56 appearances and earning All-Pac-12 second-team honors in 2015 and 2016. He joined the Sounders Academy after graduating from Shorecrest High School.