Sounders Notebook: Seattle down, but not out
TUKWILA, Wash. — The Seattle Sounders aren’t ready to wave a white flag just yet.
While no one on the team is disputing that it will be a difficult feat, the players and coaching staff know it’s not out of the question entirely for the Sounders to somehow rally from a 3-0 hole in the second leg of their Western Conference Semifinal series against Real Salt Lake (Wednesday, 10 pm ET, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes, TSN2).
“Everything sets up an opportunity so we have an opportunity here on Wednesday to come up with a great result,” head coach Sigi Schmid said at training on Monday. “Hopefully, if we have a result that we want to have, it will be a game that people will remember for a long, long time.
“So that’s our objective—to create a game that you’re not going to forget for a long time.”
Captain Kasey Keller also still believes they have a shot. The veteran goalkeeper was fully aware that the day’s session could be his second-to-last as a professional athlete, and vowed to do his part to make sure that’s not the case.
“The funny thing about this league with the parity is yeah, you can get beat three-nil and the next game you can win three-nil,” Keller said. “We’re all extremely disappointed in the score line and the mountain we have to climb, but it’s definitely a climbable mountain as opposed to something that’s insurmountable.”
Monday’s workout also included a film session of Saturday night’s game tape. According to Keller, a few players might be a little more down after having watched the tape, but Schmid was able to see the bright side.
Looking at the match again didn’t change Schmid’s earlier assessments of the match, however — specifically those issues regarding possession.
“We turned the ball over far too easily,” Schmid reiterated. “There were too many times where we won the ball and we gave the ball away, so that forces our shape to be to their offensive shape, which gives them the advantage.”
Monday’s training session was a short one, especially for the starting unit. Schmid thought his players went about their business with little fanfare after the shock defeat at Rio Tinto.
“Obviously they don’t feel good about what happened on Saturday, so it’s pretty quiet,” Schmid said. “Quiet is good — calm before the storm. So we’ll be ready.”
Fernández Not Injured
Schmid confirmed that Álvaro Fernández escaped serious injury on a tackle from RSL right back Robbie Russell this past Saturday. Although Russell got the ball cleanly, the player’s trailing leg caused Fernández to go down awkwardly.
“That tackle was just a reflection that they were … a little hungrier in the game than we were,” Schmid said.
Andrew Winner covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com.