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Ship’s Log, May 13: D.I.Y.

Sometimes it's ok to be selfish. The job needs doing.

Last Updated
4 min read
Mike Fiechtner / Sounders FC Communications

The Seattle Sounders’ opening goal against the Portland Timbers could reasonably be deemed a DIY effort. The same could be said for the first goal against the Philadelphia Union.

Team goals are fun, long build-ups that stretch a highlight video past the time TikTok and Stories allow are things that impress tacticians and coaches. They take teamwork and are repeatable. Two great things!

They’re also hard.

Not as hard as scoring from 50 yards though.

And not as hard as interrupting a developing horseshoe of death and insisting that the Seattle Sounders don’t do that – we do this now. Cristian Roldan saw the same pattern developing, a pattern of patience, intent and struggle.

Cristian wasn’t here for any of that.

Facing the Portland Timbers isn’t about patience or intent. It certainly shouldn’t be about struggle.

It’s about being the Seattle frickin’ Sounders.

No offense to Stefan Frei, but Roldan displayed the verve that made him an occasional captain in the past. Stepping through a casual pass about 30 yards out Roldan the Elder burst from offscreen, taking a pass meant for someone else. He then dribble, lined up and shot.

He did it himself.

“There are times where we hesitate to make a final decision,” Roldan said in the postgame press-conference. “Raúl definitely had that in the back of his mind as soon as he got it and I definitely had that with my first touch. It wasn’t the cleanest but if you don’t shoot, you don’t score.”

Many of the Sounders seem ponderous in the attack. They look for the coached patterns, the expected movements.

What made Cristian’s goal work was instinct and desire.

One of the blessings of the compressed schedule is the lack of time to think about the last loss. Instead these players who were once great only have time to be what they are.

At their core, the Sounders have two recent MVP candidates, players that appear in Best XIs, All-Star selections, transfer fee earners, and prodigies.

This year they haven’t looked like that.

Yes, there are exceptions – Cristian v. Portland, Raúl v. Philly, Jordan’s goal against Montreal, Cody Line-Baker v. Louisville, Andrew ‘The Lion’ Thomas v. Louisville.

Seattle needs more of those exceptions. The Sounders need more people to take control of their own selves and power the team. In some ways the attacking struggle can be an over-reliance on the team.

They aren't going to forget that.

Even in these individual statements of self they still center the team as soon as the success occurs. No one is ever going to doubt what Cristian Roldan thinks about team.

Succeeding on a DIY project once in a while can help inspire the team to do that team stuff – like shut down a Timbers attack that is quite good.

Will the instincts and selfishness continue in a way that can keep a decent pace of 1.57 ppm over the last seven matches going (that’s 10th in the league over the past five weeks)? I’d love to have that answer, but I’ll find out when you do.

– Dave Clark

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Catching up on Sounder at Heart

Midweek play is coming for Sounders, again. Here's how the weekend went.


Next match: Wednesday May 15 Seattle travels to Sandy, Utah to face Real Salt Lake at 6:30 pm PDT on MLS Season Pass.

Reviewing the 2-1 win over Portland Timbers



Reviewing the 4-0 loss to Portland Thorns


Velocity earned a 3-2 USL Jägermeister Cup win over Union Omaha. They return to league play on Sunday.

Looking back at the news

Everything else you need to know

The Seattle Pride Parade will be lead by the perfect royal couple – Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe.

Jesse Marsch is taking over as the Canadian Men's National Team Coach. The position is now sponsored by Canada's three MLS teams. Yes, that's weird.

Washington, D.C. will have two pro women's soccer teams, both playing at Audi Field. One is Michelle Kang's Spirit, who are not owned by D.C. United, but who have invented multi-team international soccer club ownership, just ask her. The other is partially owned by DCU. This is also weird.

Peter Vermes is talking about cutting players after their loss to Houston. Sporting last won a home game on March 17.

Messi doesn't like the new rule about leaving the field if you're not really injured, probably because it shouldn't have applied in his case.

Toronto and NYCFC had heat after the match. It may have included a coach punching a player in the tunnel.

Are the types of cleats players wear hurting them? Possibly yes, according to one study.

Before the Sounders beat Portland Brian Schmetzer told Charles Boehm that Seattle was 'trying to fix it.' Then they beat Portland. ASA did the basic math to show that he has the fourth-most points of any coach with 100 or more matches in the regular season.

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