TORREÓN, Mexico – The disappointment was there for the Seattle Sounders, but so too was reason for optimism.
The Sounders tied Santos Laguna 1-1 in the decisive leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series on Tuesday night at Estadio Corona, and while the result was not enough to push Seattle through to the tournament final, they were encouraged with the performance they put forth.
After all, it’s the type of performance that has eluded them for much of this year in MLS play, where they are still winless more than a month into the season.
“We have to take the form, the character and the effort into our league matches because we have not started league play very well,” Sigi Schmid said in his postgame press conference. “But it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish and we now have to build upon our performance today in our league games.”
The positives for Seattle were that they dug deep to try and mount a comeback, created a number of good goalscoring chances against a quality side and showed some of their trademark panache that has been MIA in recent weeks.
The Sounders know that this type of outing must now translate into league play and they will have a chance to show if that’s the case as soon as this weekend. Seattle host fellow strugglers, the New England Revolution, on Saturday, and the Sounders will be using this performance against Santos Laguna as a building block for that upcoming match at CenturyLink Field and beyond.
“If we can play like that week in and week out back home, we’ll get some good results,” Steve Zakuani told MLSsoccer.com. “Obviously, it’s not been a great start to our season but we showed we’re a quality team and we can turn it around. We have to work hard like this, take every game with this attitude and I think we’ll be okay.
“Tonight the result was bad but the performance is very encouraging.”