Wild, sobering stats to wake up to

We know about close games and one goal losses, but at this point, there is at least one other thing that needs to be discussed. I went through all of the Schmetzer era matches in all competitions, sorting the games by whether we scored first or conceded first.

And here's the first stat:

From Schmetzer's appointment in July 2016 through the end of 2021, Seattle was 86-6-17 (2.52ppg) when scoring first. In 2022, Seattle is now 10-4-4 (1.89ppg) when scoring first.

Their winning percentage when scoring first this season is just 55.6%, compared to 78.9% prior to 2022. The Sounders had lost just 6 games when scoring first in the 64 months following Schmetzer's appointment. In 2022, this has happened 4 times in 6 months.

These games have been:

10/16/16 @ FCD

6/17/17 @ NYC

2/22/18 @ TEC

11/4/18 @ POR

6/5/19 @ MTL

9/22/21 vs LEO (neutral site)

4/23/22 @ SJ

6/29/22 vs MTL

7/29/22 @ LAFC

8/26/22 @ POR

This is staggering to me. Here is the second string of wild stats:

-We've lost as many games in which we've scored first in the last 4 months as we had in the last 4 SEASONS prior to 2022.

-If you only include MLS games, we had gone 2.5 seasons without losing a single game in which we had scored first prior to 2022.

-And if you only include MLS regular season games, we've lost more games when scoring first in 2022 than we have in Schmetzer's first 5.5 seasons combined.

-Prior to 2022, the only regular season game we had lost when scoring first since Ruidiaz signed (3.5 seasons) was a game where the Sounders were missing their entire first team in Montreal.

The Sounders have actually been as good at coming from behind in 2022 as they have been since 2016. In games where Seattle conceded first between Schmetzer's appointment and the end of 2021, Seattle was 18-50-16 (0.83ppg), and in 2022, they are 4-10-3 (0.88ppg).

Seattle is not struggling to come from behind any more than usual (and I doubt they're worse at it than most other teams). They have just been historically bad (by their standards anyway) at holding onto leads when scoring first.

We've also struggled in the last 15 minutes in 2022. In terms of points gained/lost in that time, by season:

Schmetzer era 2016: Gained 8, Lost 5

2017: Gained 8, Lost 5

2018: Gained 12, Lost 6

2019: Gained 13, Lost 3

2020: Gained 8, Lost 8

2021: Gained 8, Lost 7

2022: Gained 6, Lost 9

We've lost more points in 2022 late in games than in any other Schmetzer season (though if you throw out the garbage time goal for Leon which got them 1-1 draw when way behind on aggregate, this decreases to 7, which is still a lot for this point in the season, but not worse than 2020 or 2021). If you only include regular season games, we still have a net loss of 3 points this season from goals after the 75th minute, which isn't terrible, but it's worse than we've ever been in that stretch of the game.

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