With two losses and a draw that felt like a loss the standings are a not a pleasant image for Seattle Sounders FC staff, players or fans. Fans may be on the edge of panic if you read MLSSoccer.com.
Two of those sides, Chicago and Seattle, are not only winless but also practically goalless, and their fans are starting to worry while their detractors (especially Seattle's) are starting to gloat.
Now, they do mention five teams that are winless. One of those gloaty fanbases is in fact winless. There are causes for concern (this week we'll break down each of them and possible solutions), but results are not the reason for concern. Results are already in the past. And they aren't that worrisome really.
One point in three played is not a unique circumstance in Seattle. Even with the second or third best record in MLS from 2009 to the present the Sounders put up poor stretches in the past - even at the start of the season.
That 2011 wound up as a strong season, quite possibly the best yet. But if you look at that results map four teams started with one point in three played. Over the entire year only one team, eventual Supporters Shield winner LA, did not have a three match stretch with one point or less.
2012 saw three teams without that 1 point in 3 played stretch (Chicago, Red Bulls and San Jose). Seattle would have several of them and still finished with a decent year that only three teams can say they were definitively better (LA, KC and Houston - no overlap).
Bad stretches happen in every sport, to every team. Panicking over results is a mistake. And that's why here at Sounder at Heart we're going to look at the processes that lead to the results. The two one-nil losses do not have the same cause. This week will lead to a deep dive into filling the creative space emptied when Montero was loaned, recognizing the identity of the 2012 roster and figuring out the best use of the tiny bit of cap space and that #3 Allocation Ranking.
Don't panic and bring your scarf - there's a full season left.