Go ahead and write down the Seattle Sounders as one of the greatest comeback stories of all times. Sure, their 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls was merely a singular entry on their comeback timeline, but it was a significant one. It proved to the league that even when not playing their best, when their fluid Hydra is not operating at peak Hydraness, that they can overcome the best teams have to offer.
It wasn't just that the Sounders came from behind that made this match memorable. See, it was through adversity and the malevolence of their foes that the Sounders won, sprinkled with a potential incompetence of refereeing that benefited both parties. It was teamwork. It was individual awesomeness. But mostly it was teamwork. And as a team they came back and won.
It was like that time in Avatar when Colonel Quaritch orders the Hometree to be destroyed and you think all hope is lost for the Na'vi. But then Jake connects to the Toruk and becomes the toruk makto, rallying the natives to overthrow RDA and kicks them off Pandora for good. Or it's like in Kung Fury when you think the Kung Fuhrer has defeated our time-traveling hero. Instead, when he reaches heaven and his spirit animal Cobra welcomes him with open arms, just to have Hackerman resurrect him with expert coding, just in time to defeat Kung Fuhrer and his evil army.
There should be Hollywood movies made of the Sounders exploits, much like FIFA had a movie made on their noncorrupt ride. I'd even accept a movie made by Bollywood. Instead I guess we just have to show up and root for Seattle when they play. Instead we have to watch our team win over and over and be in first place again. Will this team win another Supporters Shield? Looks like it.
I have a question though. Actually I have a couple of questions. Is this new possession style hurting the Sounders overall chances? I'm really looking back the past few games of Vancouver, SKC, Colorado Rapids, and now the Red Bulls. The game in Vancouver was an unmitigated success. The game against SKC? Not so much. Rapids? Well, we won, so that was nice, but it definitely wasn't the prettiest game despite the 70% possession. And the Red Bulls? It was a win, so that was nice. I suppose it's hard to argue with 10 points in 4 games, but these new style is inviting teams to pressure the Sounders into too many mistakes in the defense and midfield for my liking.
I'm no tactical genius, well, I am it's just that I don't like to brag about it. But this strategy seems like a tight rope to walk, a fine line that invites other teams to sit back and absorb our attacking pressure, but to pounce in devastating fashion. Whether this style is hurting the Sounders or not (again, 10 points in 4 games, 5 goals scored vs 1 goal allowed), the results, while not pretty, are effective.
Second question, and it's one that's plagued me for a while, does the relative high age of the Sounders make this a make or break season? How large is the window for this iteration of the team? Replacing Leo Gonzalez with Dylan Remick is a step in the youth direction. Andy Rose has shown capable, if not great, as the top CM in the pivot. Cristian Roldan is a more than adequate MLS midfielder at only 19, so his star may continue to rise. Marco Pappa is still youngish, as is Lamar Neagle kind of, but the rest of the roster? Most of the rest of the starters are between 29-32, actually, all the rest of the starters are in that age range unless Zach Scott or Leo starts.
Nimajneb had an excellent piece in January that explored this in depth and age did not have a strong correlation to better play. Does it come with an increased risk of injury, and as a result, increased roster turnover and a lack of continuity in the lineup? I don't have the answers to this now, but it's something that pops up in my head every now and then.
As it is, Seattle may be without world class centerback Brad Evans when they head to Kansas City, Kansas to face Sporting for the second time in two weeks. Here's to hoping the Sounders can replicate their winning ways against a team who has no issue being an antagonist. I suppose they can't all be heroes like in the movies.
Red Bulls gonna be running scared from the Sounders today.
So weird to see Oba fail so badly on a scoring opportunity.
Hard to call that New York goal a thingy of beauty, but it worked.
Gracious! That Pappa goal was an exercise in calculated precision.
That diving save from Frei was pretty great.
Look at Dempsey and Barrett working together to score that final goal.
This Sounders offense hits fast and hard.
It's always nice to end a weekend with a Sounders victory.