TUKWILA, Wash. — As Christian Tiffert has proven, simple does not have to be mutually exclusive from spectacular.
Take the Seattle Sounders’ fifth goal in Saturday’s romp over Chivas USA as Exhibit A. At the end of a nine-pass sequence in which no Sounders player took more than two touches on the ball, Tiffert controlled a cross-field switch from Brad Evans. With his next touch, Tiffert sent in a curling cross to Sammy Ochoa, who blasted his header into the back of the net.
Nothing flashy, just ruthlessly efficient.
GOAL: Tiffert picks out Ochoa with simple ball
“He’s a player that knows what the game needs at any moment,” said Mauro Rosales, the Sounder who perhaps stands to benefit the most as opposing teams can no longer focus on shutting down his deliveries. “We just have to be with him and try to do the best for the team. We know what’s happening in the game and we have to follow the players that are trying to help the team. He’s one of them.”
Since joining the Sounders just before the close of the transfer window, Tiffert’s relatively simple style has helped lead an offensive surge that has seen the Sounders score 13 goals in the four games in which he’s played. To put that in context, the Sounders never scored more than 11 goals in any four consecutive games in 2011 while leading MLS in scoring.
That surge is even more pronounced when Tiffert is on the field with Rosales, Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson. In about 112 minutes with those four on the field together, the Sounders have scored seven times.
“What’s good about that group is that it’s a good mix of complication and simple,” Schmid said. “What I mean is that when you look at a guy like Tiffert is how many times do you see him just play one- and two-touch and just lay balls off? He has that simplicity that allows someone else to be more complicated at certain times. You have good balance. You have speed in that group, good technical ability, you’ve got vision, simplicity of play, you’ve got quality of passing. So that’s a good group.”
Although it’s nearly impossible for the Sounders to maintain that statistical pace, it’s worth pointing out that the Tiffert and his new teammates are still getting to know one another.
“I have three games of 90 minutes,” Tiffert told MLSsoccer.com. “I’m happy about it. You can always say you can play better or more offensive, but it takes time. For the moment, I’m happy.”
Jeremiah Oshan covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com and SB Nation.