Greetings Sounder at Heart readers and welcome to a new column here on the site. Most of you probably know me -- or you're at least aware of me -- but just in case you're unfamiliar with my work, here's a quick introduction. I'm Zach Woosley, also know as the Ginge, and I'm the engineer/third voice on Nos Audietes, the Sounder at Heart podcast. I'm also the La Liga editor and a writer for SBNation Soccer.
This new column, called Audietis Amplius -- You will hear more (I hope...or at least close enough) -- will be an extension of the discussions we have on Nos Audietis. Often times I might have more to say that we either don't have time for or it's just too wordy to get into on the show. So I'll use this new column to expand my thoughts and observations about the Seattle Sounders.
Hopefully you enjoy my contributions and I look forward to interacting with everyone. With that, lets get to the good stuff.
This week's Nos Audietis was the 100th episode and a very busy show with three big guest. Audio issues aside -- I'M SORRY, I'M STILL ANGRY ABOUT THAT -- it was a great show but we really didn't have much time to get into the Sounders victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday. I had some thoughts about the game and more specifically, the defense and Sigi Schmid's adjustments.
I want to begin though with a quick thought about Andy Rose's opening goal. I, and many of you I expect, watch a fair amount of soccer and while we're often amazed by some of the patently ridiculous stuff we see from some of the world's best players, it's easy to gloss over perfectly executed runs and through balls. Lamar Neagle's pass was sublime, trumped only by Rose's vision to find the pocket of space created by Whitecaps defender Andy O'Brien stepping inside. Nigel Reo-Coker's failure to match Rose's run also helped immensely but that was just a simple and lovely play.
Those first two goals by the Whitecaps were disappointing but not simply from the stand point that it gave Vancouver a lead after the early opening goal.
Camilo's opener was nothing special and came about purely from a defensive lapse when DeAndre Yedlin inexplicably drifted way too far inside, giving Camilo a ton of space at the back post. What was special was Russell Teibert's run that caught Leo Gonzalez out of place and the precise cross he made from right on the end line. Despite that, it's a ball that Yedlin should be able to deal with if he's in the right position.
Camilo's second, the diving header in the 26th minute was again caused by a defensive positioning error. Credit to Teibert for finding Camilo cutting across the box but the Sounders' back line was far too deep on the set piece, allowing Camilo a relative huge amount of space to run into. It also didn't help that Lamar Neagle didn't read the run and failed to close down on Camilo and challenge for the ball.
That stuff happens though and while the goals hurt at the time, positional mistakes like those from Yedlin and Neagle are correctable. The Sounders coaches will show them the tape and they'll learn from the mistakes, especially Yedlin who is already proving to be a serious rising talent and a future contender for a right fullback spot at the international level alongside Kofi Sarkodie.
Fortunately for the Sounders they came back with the help of a ridiculously ill advised tackle by Greg Klazura -- setting up Servando Carrasco's penalty -- and an excellent assist and finish from Obafemi Martins and Lamar Neagle.
While all that was great what really changed the game in my eyes was Sigi bringing on Marc Burch in the 61st minute in place of Alex Caskey. Caskey had a rough night and couldn't deal defensively with the Whitecaps attack and did not impress anyone with his performance. Burch is not flashy and he's not really an every game type player but when Sigi needed a veteran to play on the outside and just do the little defensive things that Caskey wasn't, Burch came to the rescue.
He helped solidify the defensive structure of the Sounders and helped open the attack up by allowing guys like Martins, Rose and Carrasco to not have to be so concerned with dropping back deeper all the time. I was not alone in shaking my head when Burch was brought in, but it's another example of why head coaches make good money and how a good one, like Sigi, can save a result with the right, but not necessarily obvious move.
The results however were obvious and it sent most of the nearly 55,000 soccer fans in attendance home happy.
Until next time, thanks for reading and remember to listen to Nos Audietes every week!