Seattle's Designated Players were all out for various reasons and the diminished lineup could not offer Vancouver Whitecaps FC enough threats. Sounders FC were unable to muster the threats necessary to challenge the 'Caps.
With the 12th minute goal Vancouver could afford to absorb pressure, and they did. There were phases in the match when Sounders FC looked dominant. Those rare sessions were squandered due to shots from distance or sloppy passing in the final third. Despite leading the duels contest and matching in shots, Seattle's quality was clearly lacking.
Normally in support roles Neagle, Barrett and Cooper struggled to generate offense on their own. Tristan Bowen got his first MLS play in Rave Green when he came on for Neagle and looked strong. His passing was solid, particularly from distance. Better performances from the forwards might have made that sub useful.
With so many fouls and throws in dangerous areas Sigi slotted Cam Weaver as the next sub. Kenny Cooper came out. Weaver's body mass wasn't enough to win balls and threaten, and unlike at Starfire working the line wasn't enough.
Aaron Kovar came in as the final sub with Leo leaving. Crossing into the box was not enough.
In the Seattle fell to a team that managed to hold an early lead and absorb a bulk and cross attack that demanded reserve players to perform at MLS level. It was close. Vancouver is a fringe Playoff side. Sounders FC are still in a seven-point lead for the Shield with Cascadiapocalypse upon us. Dempsey, Yedlin and probably Martins all come back for the home game.
A cushion is nice. It enables results management for a match or two. But eventually those matches disappear. The cushion gets so thin it is just a thinsulate pad on a bunch of rocks and no longer suitable. Seattle Sounders FC is not yet at that point in their Shield quest.
May the never reach the point where the must win.
The Reserve side can manage games. They can not dominate. Gaining some space by August 16th is possible, but it needs to happen from the dynamic players that fuel the success of the team. From now until then there are matches against Portland, LA, San Jose and Houston. Then they face Salt Lake.
Dominance is still in reach.
It's time to regrow a head or two. The hydra is coming.