Photo credit: (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)
The Seattle Sounders looked like they woke up on the wrong side of the bed or the country. On a hot summer night in the swamps of Orlando, FL the Rave Green looked hapless as LAFC took them to the woodshed for a 4-1 loss. The Sounders are now knocked out of the MLS is Back Tournament and will go home for the next several weeks and contemplate what went wrong.
To say the defense was bad, is an insult to bad defenses. The days of Chad Marshall and Roman Torres holding the line are long gone and new fresh faces looked severely outclassed by the opposition. In what was supposed to be a classic rematch of the MLS conference championship in 2019, turned out to be a parody of a soccer match where error after error by the Sounders bit them in the backside. They looked very unlike the 2019 MLS champions and more like an expansion team.
“We created most of their goals,” Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei said via videoconference call with media. “Which is a credit to them, too, because they forced those errors and situations. The last time we found success against them (October 2019), we defended more as a team from front to back and we were also more precise with the key moments. …We had a chance to comeback.”
Many blamed the heat and fatigue; however the Sounders had 7 days between games and LAFC had to play in the same heat. The truth is what little offense the Sounders could muster was muted by oddities. In a span of 10 minutes, the Sounders got in each other’s way blocking shot attempts from their own strikes in a comedic keystone cops manner.
As bad as the offense was, the defense looked out of sync and clueless. Much can be said about LAFC and their powerhouse offense—and that cannot be discounted; however, it was just than less than a year ago, many of these same players stymied an LAFC offense on the way to the MLS Cup. Defender Xavier Arreaga looked bad yet again, losing his mark several times and committing a foul in the box to setup a Diego Rossi PK in the 14th minute.
Defender Shane O’Neill had a goal as the backup as he saw one of LAFC’s 25 shots bounce off his shoulder and into the net.
“It was a measuring stick for us and we failed,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said.
The tournament continues until August 11th at which point the MLS hopes to begin a truncated season. Points from this tournament will carry over to which the Sounder have 4 points which is something, but will make another postseason effort incredibly difficult to achieve.