TUKWILA, Wash. — The mood around Seattle Sounders training on Monday was a positive one.
It’s easy to understand why. Not only had they won a league match for the first time in nearly two months on Saturday, but they had done it while applying attractive, attacking soccer in a 2-1 victory over Colorado.
“When we really got into the streak, we had to break it down and analyze it and the first thing we hit upon is we have to get tougher,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. “I was saying, we have to get our mentality right and then the soccer will catch up. I think on Saturday, the soccer caught up and now we have to continue to work.”
After nine games in which the Sounders never completed more than 76 percent of their passes, they managed to connect on 80 percent against the Rapids. That helped contribute to the Sounders taking 15 shots, seven of which were on frame.
“I thought this was the best we played in a long time, that’s just as much a part of it as winning,” Sounders defender Patrick Ianni said. “We hadn’t moved the ball like that since last season. The way we moved the ball was really good for the first 20 to 25 minutes. Everyone wanting the ball, everyone playing one-two touches, if we play like that, we have the players to do that. When we decide to, it’s good stuff.”
Although the statistics show the Sounders only held about 45 percent of the possession, the fact that they were able to string passes together in ways they haven’t shown previously had some benefits beyond the offense.
“When you start about keeping the ball, people forget that it’s not about rushing forward and going at them every time,” Sounders center back Jeff Parke said. “It’s just keeping it and knocking it around a little bit and taking some pressure off the backline.
“We slowed it up at times and we went at them at times. It was a good balance. I think in games past, we do a little too much of the dumping the balls into the corners or even to our forwards and hope they can keep the ball. We were patient this game and it showed.”
Jeremiah Oshan covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com and SB Nation.