After knocking off monkeys the Seattle Sounders FC decided that one playoff series win was enough. That may be a bit harsh. Against the team to which they can be measured the Sounders failed in the playoffs again, for the fourth time. in this case the deficit may be too big to mount a come back.
Robbie Keane, Sean Franklin (right back or right wing?) and Landon Donovan owned the Sounders on Sunday night. Sometimes via counter-attack, others because of great build-up the LA Galaxy hammered Seattle. They owned attempts on goal while failing in duels and possession. But in the final third it was the Galaxy that showed their strength. Seattle's possession was the nearly useless passing along the backline type and failed to generate enough chances.
Using an unconventional lineup, including two nearly forgotten players in the regular season, Sigi Schmid's side failed in attempts to bunker, attempts to counter, attempts to generate flank chances and attempts at set-play success. It was as bad as Santos Laguna away, Real Salt Lake away, the refund game and San Jose away. In the playoffs a lineup forced by injury and suspension could not handle one of the best teams in MLS history.
That is not necessarily the problem.
The problem is that this feels systemic. It feels as if Sounders players do not show up in "big games." If feels as if the a team from SoCal is clearly better than the Rave Green. It isn't about DPs, or coaches, or depth. It is about that feeling in your gut that says 'we don't have enough.'
It is not the players that feel that way. It is the fans that feel that way. Maybe not all, maybe not most, but enough. It is a problem. It can not be corrected by firings or signings. It can only be corrected by play on the field.
The Seattle Sounders have one last chance to correct that feeling. It would take a performance that goes down in history, a performance they have yet to show they are capable of doing.
Yes, they've beaten a talent laden LA Galaxy squad by enough goals to advance to the MLS Cup.
No, no one thinks they can.
It is almost certain that the top lineup will be available on Sunday the 18th. Can the top lineup of the Sounders beat the best of any team in MLS by three goals? Only if they want to go down in history.
Write history. That's your only choice Seattle. Write your own history. It can be legendary, or you will be disappointing. Write your own history and create the tale that your children will share forever.