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Sounders trying to learn quickly from recent mistakes

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Brian Schmetzer took the blame, but said the team must perform better to make the playoffs

MLS: Seattle Sounders at Portland Timbers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

TUKWILA, Wash. – The last two outings for the Seattle Sounders have not gone the way the club had hoped. After a freak ending to Seattle’s match against Philadelphia and a dismal outing against the LA Galaxy, the Sounders are looking to rebound quickly before taking on the Colorado Rapids this Saturday.

Still, the mistakes of the LA match sting, fresh in the team’s memory.

“We didn’t like the way we played,” head coach Brian Schmetzer said. “We watched all three goals that we took, because they were uncharacteristically bad goals that we had given up. Not just the singular play, the penalty, the tap-in, or a missed clearance, but the entire sequence and how we could do better. This wasn’t one of my shining moments, but we’re going to correct that. We’re for sure going to correct that.

“It’s a team sport. Did we create enough clear chances? No we did not. If we had gotten out of the half 1-0, would that have been a different game? Yes. That second goal, I think, killed us. And then the third goal happened and you’re chasing the game. It was a little unorganized. We’re going to get back to what we know best and create more chances to score goals.”

The frustrating performance in LA compounded the disappointment of having a historic win streak snapped in a late-match blunder against Philadelphia.

“Out of the two games, that Philly game was a gut punch,” Schmetzer said. “(If we had won), nobody makes a big deal if we lose in LA. It might have been expected. Away games are hard to win, but that Philly game, we should have done a little bit better, could have done a little bit better to collect three points out of that game. That midweek game, that was a tough one to overcome.”

With five matches left to play, the Sounders have a small margin for error despite a soft schedule. Schmetzer hopes that the lessons of last week will steer his team clear of the 6-17-6 Rapids.

“It’s a game where we’re going to have to play up to our potential to win,” Schmetzer said. “You have to prepare that this is the next game that must move us closer. That’s how we’re going to handle it. We will play up tempo. We will try and create chances. We will try and put them under pressure at the right moments. Stuff we’ve done all year. Same game plan.”