That's the message right there. The team expects the game to be called a certain way, and clearly to this point it is not. Throughout the match on questionable fouls a Sounder would go down a little easily and then look up for help from the referee. Most often this was from Fredy Montero, but it certainly was not limited to him.
I think what we are seeing is that so many of the starting XI are really MLS rookies. Some of these rookies went from being the best in their old leagues getting calls as most stars do, to just being good, even very good players in this league. Montero's body language shows this the most. He was THE MAN in Colombia for nearly two years.
Now though, he's just a good player in a league that is more physical. The calls aren't always going to go his way, and rather than lie on the ground looking at the referees he's going to need to start getting up and playing the game. Quickly recapturing the ball, and continuing to move forward.
The 21 year old wasn't the only one with this kind of action though. Last night Keller expected an offside call. It would have been the wrong call, and it wasn't made. Instead of stopping the shot, Kasey depends on the call. The shot was stoppable, but likely in order to sell the trap Keller doesn't make a play on the ball.
This is a valid technique, but one that cost the Sounders a goal. Ianni moved late. He doesn't have the experience working with the backline, and he hasn't been a Right Back but once in his career. One could lay the blame all over, but really this is just a case of inexperience and dependency on referees.
See video here. The ball leaves the foot of Saragosa right before the replay starts, but even then Ianni leaves Rocha in an onside position.
While many fans in Seattle will want to blame this tie on the referees, it is in appropriate to do so. The most important call they got right.
The Flatter Four
With Riley out and Sturgis injured, Sigi had to look somewhere for Fullbacks. He turned to Patrick Ianni and Zach Scott. Scott we have seen is an MLS caliber Left Back but he is also not a Wingback. Ianni has played Right Back once in his life, and while he is a faster Centerback, he did not come forward in overlapping and supporting runs like Riley.
When Scott pulled a groin, his removal forced Tyson Wahl into full time usage as a Left Back. It has been at least a full year since Wahl has been used at anything but CB, but I can't find any evidence online of his use as a wide mid. Wahl came forward as much as Sturgis does, but still was not a contributor offensively that we have seen to this point in Riley.
Why is Riley my measure? Because when he is on the pitch we have seen faster transitions to attack, seven men over the centerline in run of play situations, basically a better offensive balance. For Seattle to be a dynamic offensive force it would appear that at least one of the full backs needs to run endline-to-endline for 90 minutes. Currently only Riley has done that in league matches.
Brad Evans is a Center Mid!
This was reconfirmed yesterday. Evans looked strong as a Center Mid making up for the loss of the fair Swede, but also controlling the game going both ways. While Evans isn't as good as a Blanco or GBS or Ljungberg he is solid player in this role.
It is a shame that he is injured and on crutches with the totality of the damage still to be determined. He provides depth at CDM and CAM, and is the rare box-to-box man in the modern game. I have had my complaints about Evans at Right Midfielder, but not today, it would just seem inappropriate. He played well Saturday, and now waits on a medical exam.
Jaqua is not the Problem
Reading some message boards you would think that Nate Jaqua doesn't have a goal, and that he's some kind of "lumbering oaf" that doesn't deserve to be on the pitch.
These people clearly aren't watching him play, nor looking at his statistics. They can't appreciate that he gets double or triple teamed on set-plays either.
But mostly they can't conceive of a target forward that gets assists rather than goals. Nate now has four assists and leads the team. If that's a problem, and I was coaching, it is one that I would be happy to have.
Jaqua did something else tonight that was rather impressive. He played at Right Midfield for a about 15-20 minutes as the club moved to a more direct, dare I say, USL style of play with Seba and Montero up top. Jaqua defended well on the wing and showed that he is more flexible in role than I had previously thought.
I have some thoughts on Montero as well. There were some things that I liked from him today, and he played a bit differently, in a way that might have great hopes for the future.