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The Review: Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy

What the Sounders must do in the near-, medium- and long-term.

Last Updated
3 min read
Steve Bisig - USA Today

Sunday was yet another disappointing home match for the Seattle Sounders, as they drew 0-0 with a depleted LA Galaxy side that seemed perfectly happy to split the points. The Galaxy sit third in the Western Conference and have built up a healthy points total and can afford to play for a draw on theorad. The Sounders, on the other hand, have dug a hole so deep for themselves that there’s desperation setting in before the spring flowers even bloom.

Is there much value in dissecting the result? No, not really. It’s the same boring and lackluster performance we’ve come accustom to this season. The mojo is gone. The vibes are bad. Time is running out. So, what happens next? Let’s discuss the near, medium, and long term future of this team.

What Happens Next?

Near Term

The en vogue chatter around these pages and elsewhere in Soundersland is that this roster is deeply flawed. Replace the bad players with good players and the Sounders will be better. However, the problems this team are experiencing can’t necessarily be fixed by transfers alone. Nor should they. And they can’t be, at least not over the next several weeks.

The few bright spots that Seattle has experienced this season have come on the back of the younger players in the squad. To compound this, the worst mistakes have been sins committed by the experience veteran leaders in the squad. Brian Schmetzer has been reluctant to “bench” any “First XI” players, citing patience and overall displeasure in execution, however, things do have to change. Soon.

Obviously, there’s still at least six games remaining in the month of May. Every squad member will be needed if Seattle are going to turn this month around. But the coach needs to be sending a message to his squad — and perhaps more importantly — the fans that no one is safe. It is not a coincidence that the most dangerous the Sounders looked on Sunday was when the young guns were subbed on.

Medium Term

Now, this is where we talk transfers. The Sounders are obviously more than one addition away from being the elite MLS team we thought they were a few months ago. It's extremely hard to completely rebuild a squad in one transfer window, but even more so mid-season. Thus, I present you with my favorite aphorism: "Do not let perfect be the enemy of good."

The goal of this summer should be to make this team better. I understand that sounds like John Madden-esque analysis, but I promise it’s a bit deeper than that. This past offseason, the Sounders made a statement signing of Pedro de la Vega as the heir to Nicolas Lodeiro. It is obviously unfair to a 23-year-old to expect him to be that good this soon, and even more apparent with the injuries he’s dealt with. However, this summer they don’t need to necessarily make another statement- signing like that. They just need to make the squad better than it is when the window opens. That’s how you rebuild a squad.

Long Term

The goal for the remainder of this season should be about answering hard questions, regardless of what sort of success may come. MLS is a very fickle league and tides change quickly. The Sounders have struggled with keeping up with the Joneses since winning the Concacaf Champions League/Cup in 2022. Part of the reason for that is in order to do that, they sort of had to go "all-in" to make that happen. But broadly speaking, the larger issues have stemmed from the decision makers.

Losing Garth Lagerwey wasn’t in the plans, obviously, and there’s grace to be offered to Seattle brass for having to deal with that. However, we’re in this mess now and they’ve got to figure out how to get us out. Between now and the end of the season they need to find out what to do with several looming questions about the long-term health of the on field product.

There may be some extremely difficult decisions to be made about the coach and the players if the level of performance doesn't rise to the self-proclaimed standard of The Sounders Way.

After all, the cure to bad vibes is winning games.