Rookie, Designated Player. It didn't matter, Seattle was the better team and by far. Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE
MLS teams on the East Coast, and those on the West that didn't pay attention, just received notice. This isn't last years Sounders, or the year before, or the year before. This is a new Seattle. A Seattle of power. A Seattle of opportunity. A Seattle of staunch defense. A Sounders of blue and green and shiny things. Sunday night's Seattle Sounders are a team that can win more than one trophy.
The offense wasn't just about Eddie Johnson. Nor designated players like Fredy Montero, Mauro Rosales and sub Christian Tiffert. It was an offense that clicked. It created opportunities and it didn't matter if rookies or seasoned vets were at the end of those chances, they were converted.
Where the reigning champions, the only team that can clearly claim to be better than the Sounders over their MLS life, blew open shots on goal, Seattle finished. They picked the defense apart with throughballs on the ground, with long balls over the top, with 1-2s, with funky dribbling moves. Seattle was the better team offensively.
Seattle was also the better team defensively. The fouls were generally smart and in less threatening areas. It took the LA Galaxy 84 minutes according to Bruce Arena to get a shot on goal. It was a complete game. Patrick Ianni and Jeff Parke controlled the line. The rare opportunities were cut out by Michael Gspurning, who would punch the ball out to start an attack more often than not.
After a slump, the Sounders aren't bad. Any power ranker or media personality pointing out their failings, is focusing on a time that no longer exists. This Sounders team is 6-0-3 +12 GD in all comps since losing to Portland. The bell has been rung. Notice is served. This is a different Sounders team and most of those other teams aren't good enough.