It's a tough loss, and so much of it rests on the choices Mark Geiger made Saturday night. Rather than focus on that, these observations focus on what Sigi Schmid and his players control. Seattle Sounders fell, again. But they found a new path to loss, and still have yet to find a run of play goal from a forward. The defense remains stout in general, but flawed in specific moments.
Someone saw the heavy amount of contact from Vancouver while chasing players with their back turned. In the first half Clint Dempsey, Andreas Ivanshitz and Nelson Haedo Valdez ignored the contact and tried to make the best of things. This lead to a few flawed passes and off-balanced shots. Early in the second half they went down. Going down signaled that the fouls were there. They got that call and it lead to Ivanschitz amazing goal, as well as a few other attempts. It was a good adjustment.
Dempsey was involved
Sure, he still dropped deep quite often, but Saturday night that didn't mean he didn't get the touches in the attack. He had nine shots, as many in the area as Vancouver had on non-PKs. Clint had 15 touches in the final third and his key pass on the night was from just inside the centerline. If Clint Dempsey is this involved in most games it's going to be a great year from him. Putting a few more shots on goal would be great, like more than zero, but overall Clint had a good night despite two square balls in the first half that resulted in turnovers.
Oalex Anderson looks to goal, every single time
Where Morris, Valdez and Dempsey often look to drop it off, or take a moment to think about their process and shot, Oalex is something different. He is direct. He's got that same attitude that Barrett and Neagle had - run towards the goal and shoot when you get the ball. Not a single one of his five touches in the final third counted as a success. All were towards the goal. That's great energy to have off the bench.
Cross until you die
There's something to be about persistence. While noble, eventually you have to be successful. Repeating failure sucks. And tonight, going against a team that has demonstrated they will not be beat by the cross, Seattle still went cross happy. It was horrible.
It may be hard to see the single successful cross on that chalkboard from MLSsoccer.com. There is one. There are also 19 that failed. It's kind of like the story of David and Goliath. We often forget that there were dozens of guys not named David. There stories are unknown because Waston kicked their ass.
High risk defense
It's not just that Joevin and Tyrone get forward often. It's not that the support from Roldan and Alonso isn't always there because they both get involved in setting up the attack. There's another issue that leads to a high risk defense that enables the second PK call to be made - neither Marshall nor Scott are fast or quick. They have to leave their feet fairly often. When it works it is beautiful. When it doesn't the man is in on goal or you get Geigered. Stefan Frei is a good keeper. The CBs need to show confidence in him and not go to ground quite as much.