Without the results of the past few weeks a draw on the road to the newly revamped Chivas USA could be a positive, particularly a come-from-behind draw. In light of the slump that the Seattle Sounders FC are in, is a road draw enough? In some cases 1-1 is a positive. In others it feels like a loss. Tonight it was probably the "deserved" result from the play of the match.
But, in the larger context of a season tonight's result is disappointing. Heading into a large break in MLS play Sigi Schmid has the opportunity to see his team get to health, focus on their finishing issues and combination play. Each had an issue in the draw on a Memorial Day Weekend. And, after one more game Osvaldo Alonso will be back.
There were some intricate movements. Balls were played in ways that drop jaws. In basketball there would be dimes galore.Alvaro Fernandez, Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson all had their moments where their ability with the ball at the feet caused any viewer to gape, to pause, to wonder "what if."
David Estrada's goal was in some ways similar. It was one touch magic, a hockey redirect that simply went in the net, but the action to make it happen was not simple. Others on the team may be more capable of that goal, but Estrada converted it. Mauro Rosales had two chances where he could have put in simpler goals, but fortune wasn't with the Argentine this evening.
Seattle's defense did not make the individual mistakes that allow easy goals. Instead they were beaten on plays, rather than granting them. Juan Agudelo is that good. James Riley provided a solid ball and the USMNT player put it away. Tighter defense may have prevented that opportunity, but on the night it was a decent performance.
Maybe that's the thing. The Sounders have raised our expectations. Average isn't good enough. Heading into a long break the team is one of the five best in the league. In light of all of the injuries, fitness issues and compact schedule that is likely enough.
Three weeks ago though the target was clearly to be the best. There's enough work to be done that the Open Cup run and training will be put to great use. Teeth will be gnashed and debates will be waged. The Seattle Sounders are a good but not great team. Like all MLS sides they are in their stretch of average performance and poor results. It happens to every club, but due to the high expectations of 2012 it doesn't feel like enough.
Maybe that's what this team needs. That glimmer of knowledge that they are better than the results to date measure shows what they need to work on in training. That glimmer also shows the fan base that being merely good is no longer enough. We want more. A road draw against a poor but rebuilding Western Conference team isn't satisfying anymore.
Tonight was both enough and not enough. It was a come from behind draw. It was fair.
It is disappointing.
It has no relationship to the future.