HARRISON, N.J. – It's two games and two shutout losses for the Seattle Sounders. But no one is reaching for the panic button just yet.
In Saturday night's 1-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena, the Sounders registered as many shots on goal as the home team and enjoyed the better of the opportunities in the first half.
“We're sad for the loss but happy because we played well,” midfielder Osvaldo Alonso said. “We created chances but didn’t score. The players have the desire to win which is the most important thing. We’re positive. We know the season is just starting and there’s a long road ahead.”
“We’ve got 32 more games,” captain Kasey Keller said. “I’m not stressed out too much. Two 1-0 losses when we had chances in both games to win the game or at least draw. If we weren’t creating chances, that would scare me a little bit more.”
Fredy Montero was the catalyst for many of Seattle's opportunities on the night, proving a handful for the Red Bulls back line. But New York goalkeeper Greg Sutton or the woodwork foiled the Colombian on every occasion.
“This is soccer,” Montero said. “There is no specific reason. We know it’s not enough to get chances or getting a shot on the goalkeeper. For the next game, we need to do a little more to score goals to win games. It doesn’t stop here.”
The next game for the Sounders comes on Friday night, when they host the Houston Dynamo at Qwest Field. Manager Sigi Schmid says he expects forward Nate Jaqua, who's been sidelined with injury, to see minutes against the Dynamo. Steve Zakuani will also be returning.
“He should be OK for next week," Schmid said of Zakuani. "We didn’t want to aggravate [his hip injury] in this game tonight because he had really pushed through the LA game. We felt that if we pushed him tonight it could have set him back for a little bit of time.”
Forward O'Brian White says he feels it's a matter of getting the first goal and the floodgates will open. Keller, who's in his third season with the club, agrees with the assessment.
“We have seen this before,” Keller said “We score goals in bunches, unfortunately. We’ll go now and win four games in a row because we score seven goals in three games and then we go three games without scoring a goal.”
Schmid says he wants to see players be more ruthless and not take the extra touch near goal. But a break here and there wouldn't hurt.
“Having a little bit of luck," Schmid said. "Not having the goalkeepers save everything and we've got to do a better job finishing. We need to continue to try to find goals. We haven’t found any.”