This wasn't a case of bad luck (Los Angeles Galaxy), or poor finishing (Houston Dynamo). This was not a case of the hot striker riding his wave (New York Red Bulls). Nor was it a case of an opposing keeper winning keeper of the week (Houston Dynamo and Toronto FC). This was a case of tactics and substitution patterns that baffles a fan base, leaving Seattle with a lower chance of victory than prior to their implementation.
Against DC United tonight Sigi Schmid was out-coached. His initial lineup and formation left Seattle open to wide play against in the defensive third, and that's where both goals originated. With the narrowness of Alvaro Fernandez and Brad Evans this meant that the fullbacks had to get forward more often than typical. They did, and they were out of position on the counter, vastly out-of-position. In the case of the first goal there was also likely some over-confidence as Jhon Kennedy Hurtado started to enter the attack as he did against TFC. Except Seattle didn't have a lead late in the game.
In the second half things became more baffling due to the substitutions. While the initial sub and formational change to the 3-4-3 with Mauro Rosales made a ton of sense, DC United managed to get a second goal. So the next two subs put in players of a more defensive nature. And while the defense improved the Sounders became the long ball team that we wish to avoid seeing particularly when the forwards are Roger Levesque and Fredy Montero.
Yes, they managed to threaten the goal, and only Bill Hamid stopped them. But that's what he is supposed to do. The biggest learning from tonight is that the diamond can't work at this level, with this personnel and that Saturday night was as much about the Reds being bad, as it was about the Sounders being good. We do our power rankings by Tier here during voting, today was a demonstration that a team one tier down can beat a team one tier up when they are at home.
The good news if there is any is that Rosales and Fucito should be good for 90 against the Columbus Crew, because it is clear that Montero and half the midfield will not be. If four points on the road trip was the goal it has been missed. If four points in the three games in eight days was the goal there is an opportunity for that and more.