TUKWILA, Wash. — Someone has to score the goals. With Seattle’s forwards undergoing an unprecedented scoring drought, Seattle’s midfielders have endeavored to pick up the scoring slack.
Against Vancouver, Mauro Rosales and Osvaldo Alonso each scored their first goal of the season in a 2-2 draw. According to coach Sigi Schmid, getting goals from the midfield can only help the confidence of those players.
“It’s always good when you get goals from different parts of the field,” Schmid said. “It was good to see Rosales get his first goal because I think he has played well.
“It was good for Alonso to get a goal because he certainly tries a few shots, so being able to see it hit the back of the net maybe makes the next one a little bit easier to visualize.”
Seattle lost a potential double-digit source of midfield goals when Steve Zakuani went down with a broken leg against Colorado Rapids on April 22. Rebalancing the load has proven to be a chore, especially with the lack of production up front.
As the local press pointed out, no Seattle striker has scored a goal since Fredy Montero tallied May 7 versus the Columbus Crew. Since then, the Sounders’ six goals have come from two defenders (Jeff Parke and Patrick Ianni) and four midfielders (Alvaro Fernández, Lamar Neagle, Rosales and Alonso).
While the easiest tonic would be a handful of goals from Seattle’s strike corps of Montero, Mike Fucito and Nate Jaqua, getting the midfielders on track can only help the team’s cause.
Rosales expressed his pleasure at his goal, but noted that he’s generally the one crossing the ball in and thus is not usually in a goal-scoring position.
"About my goal, I am very happy because it was the first one and [it happened] in Qwest Field,” Rosales said.
Alonso, as well, said he always tries to shoot outside, so getting a goal will motivate him to keep shooting from distance. The Cuban generally sets up a few yards behind the penalty area on free kicks and picks up the scraps, as he did against Vancouver. He’s currently tied for sixth in the league with 33 shots taken, along with Eddie Gaven and Lovel Palmer.
Fortunes may change this weekend as Seattle take on a vulnerable defense in Toronto. The Reds have allowed a league-high 25 goals through 15 games.
Andrew Winner covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewWinnerMLS