One point through three matches was not how the Seattle Sounders were hoping to start their 2013 campaign.
But after losing 1-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, that’s exactly where they stand. It matches the worst start in franchise history and doesn’t promise to get any easier, as the Sounders will visit Real Salt Lake next week.
“It’s not the start we want, but we know there are positives to take from what we’ve done so far,” Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning told reporters postgame. “We continue to play well. We have to find a way to fix the problem of conceding the late goals. The only way to solve this problem is to battle through and train hard for the next week.”
In somewhat similar fashion as last week when the Sounders allowed a 90th-minute equalizer, they allowed Chris Wondolowski to score in the final minute of the first half, rendering a solid half of play all but wasted.
Wondolowski’s strike proved especially problematic because it forced them to chase a goal while missing several of their top attacking players.
“I thought the spirit we played with was very good,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid told reporters. “I thought our effort was good. I thought we controlled possession for the most part. A little bit of quality at the right moments, better service at the right moments, would have made a difference.”
As much as having the likes of Eddie Johnson, Obafemi Martins and Mario Martínez may have helped, Schmid refused to use their absence as an excuse. Those three are all likely to miss more games this season while playing for their national teams and the Sounders will have to figure out how to score without them.
“I don’t want to talk about the guys that were gone because because they weren’t here and there’s nothing they could have done,” Schmid said. “The guys who played in their places did a good job and worked hard.”
While clearly unhappy with the results, no one seems to be pushing the panic button just yet.
“It doesn’t of course look good when you look on the standings and you’re the last team in the table,” Gspurning said. “If we stay calm and work together, we know we can gain the points and victories in the tough schedule coming up.”