As the Seattle Sounders’ winless streak continues to stretch on, they seem to find new and more painful ways to extend it.
Following up their heart-wrenching loss to the Portland Timbers last week, the Sounders had three points snatched away on Saturday night when Diego Fagundez nodded home a 94th-minute equalizer on what proved to be the final play of their 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution. The result stretched Seattle’s franchise-record league winless run to eight games.
“Any time you can steal three points you’ve got to take the three points,” said Sounders forward Eddie Johnson, who scored both his team’s goals. “It’s just that mentality within our team. We got to find ways to win games. We’re not finding ways to win games, you know? We just keep putting pressure on ourselves; it’s frustrating. You look around the locker room at the guys and it hurts. We’re going out and putting everything in and we’re just making mistakes at the end.”
The Sounders’ mistakes came mostly on the defensive end.
HIGHLIGHTS: NE 2, SEA 2
Although the Revolution’s first goal appeared to be offside, the Sounders didn’t help themselves by failing to clear their lines, allowing Blake Brettschneider to slide the ball to a wide open Saer Sene. On the equalizer, Fagundez was able to find some space about six yards out despite being surrounded by three Sounders defenders.
The Sounders were also hard done by when a groin injury to Andrew Weber forced head coach Sigi Schmid to burn a substitute at halftime.
“You don't expect to have to make a goalkeeper sub so that would have given me one more field sub,” Schmid said. “We could have brought on fresh legs. I think you saw a lot of tired people out there at the end. Andy Rose played 90 minutes on Tuesday in a very hard-fought game, when [Alex] Caskey got out, he was pretty tired as well. Mauro [Rosales] was tired. Eddie Johnson was pretty tired at the end. So if we had one more sub that could have made a difference for us, as well.”
Yet despite the setbacks, Seattle to have their first MLS win since May 9 in the bag. Johnson had managed to score a pair of goals and generally looked like the player the Sounders hoped to get when they traded for him before the start of the season.
Johnson’s first goal was a product of a solid run, in which he managed to slip between a pair of defenders for a wide-open header off a perfect feed from Mauro Rosales that tied the score. Later in the first half, Johnson was able to out-jump Revolution defender A.J. Soares and goalkeeper Matt Reis to score his seventh goal of the season. It was his third goal in two games and gave the Sounders their first lead during this winless run.
Johnson also came close to picking up an assist when he crossed a ball to Osvaldo Alonso, whose header went just high of the crossbar.
“We’re all just fighting right now,” Johnson said. “We know it’s not going to be pretty soccer anymore. We got to go away from the style that this team’s known to play and win games scrapping, and fighting and battling. We showed character coming from behind, but at the same time, a draw doesn’t mean anything if your 20 seconds away, leading 2-1. It doesn’t mean anything, not really.”
Jeremiah Oshan covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com and SB Nation.