Seattle Sounders FC hasn't had an ideal start to the season. Two tight losses have put the team at 0-2 for just the second time since joining MLS. But head coach Sigi Schmid isn't worried, as he's seen far more positives than negatives in those losses. "I know we've played reasonably well. It's a matter of us making sure nothing goes in at the back and getting our own goals at the other end."
The stats sheet might not look ideal from those matches, but Schmid insists those numbers don't tell the whole story. As he sees it, mere inches have separated the Sounders from their opponents this season. But those inches-wide gaps have to be closed if they're to have any success going forward. "Sometimes we get hung up on stats, like how many shots we had. Shots don't necessarily equate chances. We think we've been inches away from some very good chances. If you look at the goal that got called back for offsides on Ivanschitz, that was offside by like six inches or a foot. The one where Jordan Morris is offside by the same amount. I think we're getting very close."
Heading into the weekend, Schmid knows that the fans are growing restless with the Sounders' results thus far. But he stresses patience, because the players are doing all the right things and it'll eventually pay off. "More than points, you want a happier confidence and more belief. The guys believe in what we're doing. It's a matter of us knowing that the process is working and just making sure that we get some confidence."
Preparing for Cascadia
Regarding Saturday's opponent, the Vancouver Whitecaps, Schmid pointed out the speed at which they can play, and how dangerous midfielder Pedro Morales can be. "Obviously they've got a lot of speed up front, they can be direct at times. [Pedro] Morales in midfield, when he has a little time and space is a very good passer of the ball. He becomes very dangerous because he's very good at picking out those targets." Schmid also sees a striking similarity between how Seattle and Vancouver use their fullbacks: "They like to get their outside backs forward just like we do, so it'll be an interesting game from that perspective."
In terms of injuries, Schmid said that Brad Evans is "doing much better. Getting more comfortable with the ball so he was doing a lot more of the ball work today. We just need him to still avoid contact for a little bit. But with the bye week after this week, we think by the time we play Montreal he should be ready to go." Evans was in good spirits kicking the ball around on the field, but the team is obviously treating him lightly until he's ready to get back to match fitness.
Stefan Frei was in full practice today after elbow inflammation kept him out of last weekend's road match at Real Salt Lake.
Goalkeeper Tally Hall was practicing with the Sounders again today, but Schmid reiterated that it was just part of the player's rehab and that the club aren't looking to sign him.
Herc on trial
Schmid spoke for the first time on Herculez Gomez training with the Sounders, saying that "Herculez is just a good pro. It gives us a chance to look at him. He's gonna come out and train hard. The other guys look around and say 'oops, maybe I need to up my game if they're looking at him.' He's a good pro and a good guy in the locker room and he brings a good attitude onto the field."