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Sounders lose, as midfield only plays second half

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Jermaine Defoe pounced on two Seattle turnovers lead to goals against the run-of-play. A second half goal by Clint Dempsey would pull Sounders FC a touch closer.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The 2-1 loss is defined by a failure of Seattle Sounders FC's midfield to maintain possession. Both goals in the first half came off of turnovers while Seattle was transitioning from defense to attack. Jermaine Defoe looks hard enough for MLS defenders to contain when the defense is settled, giving him free space to attack goal doomed the Sounders.

Midfield turnovers plagued Seattle in the first half. Marco Pappa's gifts were especially harmful as they led to Defoe's goal in the 17th and 24th minute.

"They had some corners too, but nothing too fancy," Stefan Frei said postgame. "We kind of gifted them two goals a little bit, some breakdowns and quick turnovers."

An injury to Brad Evans reduced Seattle's effectiveness for about 10 minutes after the first goal through the 29th minute. He was replaced by Gonzalo Pineda. Outside of those two punishing goals and the Evans injury the first forty-five were relatively even. Even play isn't good enough when down two goals.

In the second half that changed. Play went to Seattle. That was most evident when Obafemi Martins sped down the right side and slipped Clint Dempsey a ball. Clint netted his first goal of 2014. The two forwards did not see much of the ball in dangerous spaces, but when they combined chances were created.

"I think we just have to play more forward. That's what we need," Martins declared. "Like I said in the preseason, they changed almost half of the players so we're getting to know each other. It'll be better soon."

Pushing forward late and subbing on attacking players Seattle created more chances, but would not convert in their many late chances. The result puts Seattle at 1-1-0 on the season.

Gah. Seriously. Losing to Toronto because of turnovers. And can the referee thing be over now?