Despite Toronto FC fielding a Giovinco-less team at CenturyLink Field on Saturday, their stalwart defending and a little help from referee Jair Marrufo helped them to a 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders. There would be no epic comeback on Saturday like last week against the New England Revolution, and the Sounders have a lot of questions to answer as they finish their two-match home stand with just a single point.
Like I said last week, the scoreline is the most important number in soccer—but here are a few other stats that help paint the picture of this match.
Number of points the Sounders currently have right now, putting them in 7th place after 9 games (1.11 points per game). This is compared to 13 points after 9 games in 2016. Not the end of the world, but clearly not ideal.
The number of crosses the Sounders attempted in this match. Not as many as they had against New England (36) but still a representation of the team’s frustration in attack. The Sounders lead the league in average crosses per match with 25, often because they resort to just pumping the ball into the penalty box when their initial gameplan doesn’t work.
Number of touches by Will Bruin, the fewest of all starters and three fewer than Tony Alfaro, who only played for 15 minutes. Bruin stayed high to occupy the center backs, but his teammates failed to either take advantage of the space opened up or get the ball to Bruin in the box.
Amount of possession the Sounders had against Toronto. Same story, different match. They continued to hold the ball and work it up the pitch, but yet again they found it too difficult to break down Toronto’s defense in the box. They were forced wide again and again, and they resorted to the reckless crossing game they’ve turned to so often this season.
Shots on target, out of all shots taken by Seattle. Another familiar sight, the Sounders found places from which to shoot quite often. Somehow, eight of those shots were even from inside the penalty box! But despite finding opportunities to shoot, the Sounders couldn’t direct any of those into the net.
Quote of the day:
“I think overall there’s a lot of frustration in that locker room. We’re tired of the same storyline of extended possession and getting a bunch of chances...that storyline is growing old very fast.” -Brian Schmetzer
Bonus (depressing) factoid:
This match was Schmetzer’s first loss at home since taking over as head coach of the Sounders midway through last season. It also ended a 14-game unbeaten run at CenturyLink Field across all competitions.