Taking a lead!
Look, the positives are few and far between here. The Seattle Sounders have not been playing well as of late, but believe it or not, they actually looked decent in this match. Obviously, they didn’t have anything resembling a first-choice lineup, or even second-choice, for this one. But they played really well for about 70 minutes given the circumstances that they were up against. When Victor Rodriguez scored in the 64th minute, that ended a 334-minute streak in which the Sounders hadn’t been in the lead.
It only lasted for 10 minutes.
Victor Rodriguez’s health
After not even making the lineup for the match on Saturday against FC Dallas, it was really great to see Victor back in the starting lineup against Montreal. The offense flowed through him, and at times he looked like his old self, but he was only able to do so much without the rest of the first choice attack. Brian Schmetzer mentioned in his post game comments that he had probably left Victor out there for too long, given his fitness level. A healthy Victor is a good Victor for Seattle. Long may his hamstrings stay intact.
When the Sounders are playing on fine margins, such as they were given their roster situation, they can not afford silly mistakes from veteran players. After taking the lead, the Sounders were controlling the tempo of the match and looking to force the issue for a second goal. I thought their best stretch of the game came in the five minutes immediately following their goal. Well, it just so happens that their worst five-minute stretch of the game came directly after that. Kelvin Leerdam, an otherwise trustworthy defender, gave away a needless penalty. The Sounders were on the ropes at that point in terms of fitness, and it was the worst moment of the match to give away the equalizer. We know how it finished after that.
MLS matches during huge international breaks
Any time you mention MLS playing through FIFA international breaks, you summon takes from the depths of hell. I’m not so interested in the mechanics of the FIFA calendar and all of that, and I doubt you are, but MLS has to figure out a way where teams don’t have to play games in the state that the Sounders and the Impact found themselves in. The Sounders had 3 DPs and 7 TAM players missing tonight through injury or international duty and the quality of the match suffered greatly.
Don Garber and other MLS higher-ups talk about wanting this league to succeed at the highest levels in the world. I understand geography and why it is impossible for MLS to play through the winter in the US, but they just have to figure this out. They have to for the league, they have to for the fans, and they have to for the players.
Now it’s your turn. What were your Winners & Losers?