TUKWILA, Wash. — With a quick turnaround, the Seattle Sounders didn’t have much time to bask in the glow of their historic 6-2 victory over the Portland Timbers. So Tuesday morning over a smoky Starfire, head coach Brian Schmetzer ran his team through a short training session before departing for a Wednesday clash with FC Dallas.
They did allow themselves some time to reflect, however. And for good reason.
The buzz was still all about Sunday night’s epic beatdown of their hated rivals. And two of the main principles — Fredy Montero and Jimmy Medranda — were in understandably good spirits after training as they answered questions about the victory. Medranda, not surprisingly, said his 17-yard volley was the best goal he’s ever scored. Montero, historically a Timbers tormenter, said it was especially satisfying to play well in Portland in front of the Timbers supporters.
“It was a great feeling, a great result,” Montero said. “It’s good to score goals against Portland. But especially when I score goals in front of them [Timbers Army], they are all quiet.”
Still, the memory of the disappointing home result against Dallas lingers, and Montero said the team is now focused on the next part of the arduous three-game, seven-day road trip.
“The day after, we are focused on the next game. We know that we lost some points here,” Montero said. “We are thinking of going in and grabbing those points we lost.”
To do so, Schmetzer said he will rely on a somewhat rotated lineup, not surprising given the short turnaround and succession of games.
“We’re going to put a good lineup out there, there will be a couple of changes,” Schmetzer said. “It’s the old coaches saying: the next game is the most important.”
Focused as he was on moving forward, Schmetzer still allowed himself a chance to find teachable moments from the Timbers game.
“There were some moments during the game when they were on top of us and caused us problems,” Schmetzer said. “We did a little bit on what we did well, a little bit about what we could have done better. And I think I ended on Jimmy’s goal, because all the guys thought that was the best one.”
While FC Dallas poses a challenge — especially in the summer Texas heat — it isn’t an insurmountable one, even if the Sounders are riding a 10-game winless streak there. Though they did manage a last-minute result in Seattle, FC Dallas have been up and down this year and are coming off a loss to Sporting Kansas City that was their first home loss in 19 games.
“Sporting KC went there and got a result,” Schmetzer said. “We’ve played them very recently. We’ll show them what happened here in Seattle. We’ll take some from the Sporting KC game. But the messaging is we feel we can go down there and get points.”
The Sounders continue to inch toward a healthy roster, with Nouhou involved in full training. The Sounders hoped that the Cameroonian center back would make the bench against Portland, but he was held out. Schmetzer said that the team will be taking both Nouhou and Stefan Frei on the road trip, indicating that the goalkeeper’s return to the team is getting tantalizingly close. Frei had previously indicated that he was likely to be ready for action at the end of the month, but may be ahead of even that schedule. Schmetzer once again tried to tamp down expectations on the return of Jordan Morris — who was out at training working on shooting and agility — with a varying degree of success.