The Seattle Sounders may be one of MLS' more successful teams, but it seemed like the team was destined for some struggles at the start of 2021. However, the team is unbeaten to start the season, with the Extratime crew taking a look at what has been key to their early success.
Heading into 2021, the Sounders seemingly did little to strengthen their roster while losing some experienced figures and seeing Jordan Morris go down with a likely season-ending injury. Yet the Sounders now sit top of the West with seven points out of nine and may be the league's most impressive team in the early stages of the season.
"I will put my hand up. I was completely wrong about the Sounders," Matt Doyle said. "I was looking at this three game schedule and saying, if they get two points, maybe four points, they'll be sitting pretty. They've gotten seven points. They've been easily the better team in all three games and that includes on the road at a shorthanded LAFC."
Doyle noted that head coach Brian Schmetzer managed to address a number of perceived weaknesses, allowing the team to impress in their first three games.
"The stuff that I have crushed Brian Schmetzer for in the past, which is like lack of tactical diversity, over-reliance on [Nicolas] Lodeiro, not developing young players, not really getting great performances out of his team until the second half of the regular season for the most part — he's answering all of those questions emphatically," he said. "It's resulting in a Sounders team that is not just winning, but they're playing really good, really entertaining soccer that's getting the most out of guys."
Listen to more on the Sounders' strong start to 2021 and the latest in MLS on this week's episode of Extratime.