I'm upset. Were you to ask me why I'm upset, I could list you a number of reasons, but I'm pretty sure you are all equally upset about the same issues. Thankfully for our nerves, after Seattle Sounders shit the bed against Vancouver Whitecaps, FC Dallas won a crucial, playoff-clinching game against haughty LA Galaxy. The scenarios for the Sounders to win the Supporter's Shield were pointed out: win one and Seattle gets their first MLS hardware. It's a big deal.
But I'm still upset. Seattle should beat a maybe-playoff-team from the West, especially at home. Had they won, and considering LA's loss, Seattle would've just needed 1 point to secure the Shield. That seems much easier. But no, that's not what happened. Instead Seattle couldn't break the high line, they couldn't break the heavy pressure, they couldn't break the bunker. Instead Seattle settled for lofting crosses into Vancouver's inhumanly tall centerbacks. To Vancouver's credit, they put their dignity aside, they tucked their pride away and played a negative game the likes we haven't seen since Frank Yallop was coaching the San Jose Earthquakes. I didn't think the Whitecaps had it in them, but they did, and they won. They came into Seattle needed a win to secure the Cascadia Cup, to leapfrog Portland Timbers in the playoff hunt, and that's exactly what they got. Making a chump out of me in the process probably was icing on the cake.
For the first time since starting this series, I didn't want to write one. I had nothing to say other than a few choice curse words over and over. For the first time since the beginning of the summer I was actually able to set aside time to rewatch this game and take notes and write a comprehensive in depth article about the game. But after watching Friday's loss in person, I wanted nothing to do with watching that game again. It wasn't fun. It wasn't an escape from the doldrums of my day to day. I once saw a kid in a park sitting cross-cross-applesauce, two sticks in each hand, and he was drumming on his crotch so ferociously it was as if he was performing the greatest drum solo ever. He was having so much fun. It seems like a simple recipe for fun, one that escaped 55,000+ in person Friday night.
Seeing the Vancouver players and staff run onto the field and celebrate was sickening. They had a gameplan and it worked, "Play like assholes and we'll probably get a tie; if we're lucky: a win." Sadly, it works against Seattle, and if the Sounders have any hopes of winning the MLS Cup, they're going to have to overcome strategies like negative football, high lines, and bunkering. The game is over, it's done with and past us, but in its wake left a blueprint for success against one of the purported best MLS teams ever. Sigi Schmid has his work cut out for him over these next two months. He needs to get the Sounders ready to get results against another MLS Best Ever club, against a coach who's seemingly had his number for a while. If the Sounders tie their way to the Supporter's Shield, then I'll be ecstatic.
But it won't fill me with confidence. I want to see Seattle beat LA. I want to know Seattle can go up against the best MLS has to offer and win a game. So far, against the four Western Conference teams in playoff position, Seattle has earned 13 points in 10 matches, with 4 wins, 5 losses, and 1 draw. In those 10 matches the Sounders have scored 15 goals, but they've allowed 16 goals. So again, I want to see Seattle win. I want to read post game comments by Bruce Arena and shake my head at how stupid and deluded a man can be while at the same time be an incredible coach.
A win against LA Galaxy will help to erase the bad feelings I had about Friday's game. I would've loved to have the Cascadia Cup, to see the players celebrate a trophy in front of their home supporters. Sadly, it didn't happen. They have two more chances though.
There's no crying in GIFS
Alright, I'm ready for this game.
Are you ready for this game?
Are the Sounders ready for this game?
So this is how it's gonna be?
This is just not going according to the plan.
Oh. Nice goal, Marrufo and Manneh. Good job. Thumbs up.
We're not impressed.
I'm not sure how this could get any worse.
This game is just appalling.
It's like I'm in a nightmare where everybody is my nemesis, out to get me.
Okay, yeah, we kinda messed this one up.
Just unceremoniously defeated at home.
I'm just gonna go home and have a quiet weekend.
And somehow I need to write an article about this game that nobody wants to relive.
Next up, a date with the Galaxy.