Life, man, it can really get you down. What with the comings and goings of problems that arise and demand our attention, whether it be work, family, or something deeply personal. We do our best, sure, some of the time, but we're not superheroes. We can't just wave a wand and bippity-boppity-boo everything to be magically better. Our days are filled with constant hardships, but inevitably we get to go home, take off our shoes, and relax.
We distract ourselves with things that we love, things that make the doldrums of life bearable. For me the Seattle Sounders are one of those things. Surely the same could be said by most of you who are reading this right now. Soccer is supposed to be our getaway. But Saturday when Seattle traveled down to Frisco, Texas to play the undefeated and dreaded FC Dallas, soccer betrayed us.
It wasn't that the game ended in a draw, because draws happen in soccer all the time. Matter of fact, I'm sure there was a large majority of fans who would have gladly accepted a draw against Dallas if one was offered to us beforehand, especially considering the fact that the Sounders were missing all of Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, Osvaldo Alonso, and Chad Marshall to injury, combined with Marco Pappa representing Guatemala during a FIFA sanctioned international weekend. That's about $10 million in salary right there that the Sounders were missing and a rather absurd percentage of their production.
It was that the Sounders, thanks to an early Red Card to Kellyn Acosta that changed the landscape of the game, had 74% possession in the second half, wracking up 271 passes compared to Dallas' 96, and couldn't somehow turn that advantage into a goal. Seattle had seven shots in the 2nd half, none of them being on target. Four of those seven shots were by Micheal Azira, which is not who we want shooting the ball.
Who knew that 90 minutes could make me never want to see Chad Barrett in a Sounders uniform again? I know that's harsh and a bit hyperbolic, but he has not looked good this entire year, preseason included. He missed a wide open header. He had a one-on-one with the goalie and didn't even put it on target. He also was on the receiving end of a lovely scooped ball and instead of redirecting it with his head, he attempted to play it over his shoulder and hit a volley. Granted, Barrett was in position to make those plays and that's not to be undervalued. But does he currently offer more than Victor Mansaray? How would the game be different had it been Darwin Jones out there instead? Obviously Barrett is not a part of TheFuture, but should he even be a part of TheNow unless absolutely necessary?
Thanks soccer, thanks for nothing. Actually, soccer shouldn't be to blame. Neither should the Sounders, not directly at least. The Stranger got into the blame game a bit with their recent article which assessed the "why" of Saturday's game. But we know the reason: MLS and their insistence on playing through international breaks. We saw it on Saturday and we've seen it in season's prior, most recent examples being last year's egg-laying adventures in all three matches against Vancouver Whitecaps, all three of which fell on international breaks.
I'm not go over all the minutiae of why playing through these international breaks is bad for MLS, as that's a dead horse we've all beaten long ago, but how many more games that are 0-0 draws with 0 shots on goal do we have to sit through before MLS stands up and takes notice of what they're doing to their teams and fans? This wasn't a matchup between two punchless teams who struggle to score goals, these were two teams who were averaging 2.0 and 2.5 Goals Per Match so far this season, one of whom couldn't even suit up a full 18 players.
So if you're feeling extra sluggish this Monday, like you didn't fully recharge this past weekend, blame MLS. They've done a lot of odd things in their day.
So many players out for Seattle. I guess Dallas is in the same boat though.
Let's hope we can make a better showing than whatever that was against San Jose.
A straight red? At least Acosta can claim he got ball(s).
I've never seen the Seattle offense this bad before.
I'm liking this second half dominance though.
C'mon, Barrett. You're nearly there.
Oh yay. A 0-0 draw. When was the last time Seattle had one of those?
Next up, Houston, I guess.