With a victory on Saturday, the Seattle Sounders can tie or set at least a couple different records. Not only would they set a new franchise record for best start, but they would also tie the MLS record for longest winning streak in the post-shootout era (a record they already own after last year’s nine-game winning streak, which tied Sporting KC’s streak that spanned two seasons).
As cool as those anecdotes may be, the Sounders don’t seem too concerned about them.
“This is what Sigi used to say, ‘Three points in March is the same as three points in October’,” Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said on Monday. “So we’re going after points, but as far as significance to this group, I think it’s a pretty senior group, they figure things out on their own and I wouldn’t say 4-0 is the best start in Sounders history. I don’t think anyone is thinking about that. I think we’re thinking about winning, beating our arch rival and then we’ll take the next game.”
Standing in the way of a record start is a new-look Vancouver Whitecaps team that has lost its first three games by one goal each time after turning over almost their entire roster this offseason. The Whitecaps haven’t looked downright awful in any game, but they’ve done just enough to come up short each time.
The Sounders, meanwhile, have picked up right where they left off the 2018 regular season, which they closed out with five straight wins. The Sounders currently lead all of MLS with 10 goals scored and a +7 goal differential, but they need a win in order to remain atop the Supporters’ Shield standings. Six different Sounders have gotten on the score sheet with either a goal or an assist, including defenders Kelvin Leerdam (2 goals) and Brad Smith (1 assist).
“The overall feeling in the team is still very good,” Leerdam said. “Nobody really likes the bye week because we’re in the flow.
“It’s a beautiful team, it’s a beautiful group and the only way to keep a good streak is winning.”