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Five things we learned from Sounders losing to Whitecaps

Things are simply not fun right now.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Sounders continued their losing ways on Saturday night as they traveled to take on Cascadia rivals the Vancouver Whitecaps. 2-0 on the scoresheet and second best in most departments all night saw the Sounders lose their third league game in four matches. Here are five things we saw from Saturday night.

Morris isn’t right

With a thinner squad than desired and the third match in a week and sixth in 13 days, the Sounders elected to play Jordan Morris at right wing on Saturday against Vancouver. The logic from the coaching staff to get to this point makes some sense, I guess. Cristian Roldan is hurt. Heber can’t start on short rest, so Fredy Montero needs to play. Léo Chú has never done well on the right, so, you can kind of see how we got to Morris playing there.

The problem is it sucked. Because of how poorly Chú played in the first half and because of how Vancouver was attacking, Morris had to effectively be a third defensive midfielder most of the first half. That meant the Sounders had no outlet in transition and Morris was chasing long balls. It didn’t work well.

Unbalanced everywhere

The Sounders have restructured their tactical setup this season with the hopes of providing more balance and more control. It worked really well earlier in the season, but as injuries have taken their toll, things have gotten bent out of shape.

Two passing maps. Top is from the game against Vancouver, bottom is from the game against St. Louis.
The best of things, the worst of things.

The top passing map is from Saturday night and the bottom passing map is from the match against St. Louis City a little over a month ago. Both of these matches had Seattle control a majority of the possession, but you can see how disconnected they were against Vancouver compared to the St. Louis match.

What’s this all about?

Not really an observation you want to see a former player and current team employee make when things are going poorly. It’s one thing for a fan to think these things, but something has to be glaringly obvious and bad for a former player to come out and say it. The vibes are bleak right now.

Slipping away

A silver lining over the last month of bad form has been Seattle’s league position. They’d managed to stay in first place in the Western Conference and within touching distance of the Supporters’ Shield lead. That’s not the case anymore. Both LAFC and FC Cincinnati won on Saturday. Seattle is now second in the West while LAFC still has two games in hand. Seven points off the Shield lead as things stand. Things are slowly starting to slip away.

Up to them to define the season

It’s definitely not easy to have to talk to the media after a really bad performance, but both Stefan Frei and Albert Rusnak said basically the same thing. However, right now we’re not seeing them do much of the work and we’re not hearing them doing the talking either. We’re at the point of the season where we’re going to have to take their word for it. There’s still a bunch of time left for this team to prove that they’re very good. So, let’s see if they overcome the obstacles.

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