Brian Schmetzer's message to Seattle Sounders: "Enjoy the moment"

SEATTLE – Before Saturday’s Western Conference clash between the Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City at CenturyLink Field, no MLS team had ever won eight straight matches in a single season.

That stat is now history thanks to Seattle’s 3-1 win over SKC that gave the Sounders the record-breaking eighth straight victory – the longest streak in a single season in the post-shootout era. The tear is part of an overall run of 11 consecutive unbeaten matches for the Sounders, who have vaulted all the way to fourth on the Western Conference table with 41 points from their 26 matches.

“Number one, congratulations [to the team],” Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said of the milestone victory after the match. “It takes an entire group to make this accomplishment. They need to enjoy this moment because this is pretty special. In a league filled with parity, this is a pretty big accomplishment. It’s going to get harder and harder and harder as more teams come into the league to do this. So, I’m very proud of the group in there. Enjoy the moment.”

The improved playoff positioning is the most important outcome, and Schmetzer said during the practice week leading up to the match that his team’s focus was more geared toward continuing to make up the ground they lost during their slow start to the season, as opposed to thinking about the history on the line.

With the record now officially in the books, however, Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei acknowledged the significance of the milestone – saying a team record such as this is “even sweeter” than an individual accolade.

“Very excited,” Frei said. “I think we can keep it going and extend it a little bit more. It’s always nice to be in the history books. That’s what we’re here for. Winning trophies and team streaks and franchise records and things like that are awesome. I think we can extend it a bit more. That’s what we’re going to be trying to do and make it harder for others to catch up to this one.”

Schmetzer echoed that sentiment, saying that Seattle’s focus once it returns from its upcoming bye week for the FIFA international break will be on figuring out how to maximize the points they can squeeze out of the current run. It might seem improbable considering how slow Seattle started the season, but following Saturday’s victory, the Sounders find themselves just five points away from FC Dallas, which currently leads the West with 46 points.

“It’s not over yet,” Schmetzer said. “We must be able to close out this season in the best way possible. We understand that it’s pro sports, I don’t expect us to go all the way undefeated, but that certainly is our goal. Every game means something. We need to collect points in every single game, home and away.”