SEATTLE—At halftime of his team’s wild 3-3 draw against the New England Revolution at CenturyLink Field on Saturday, Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei had a simple message for his teammates:
“I [messed] up. Who wants to bail me out? Please step up.”
Frei had allowed the opening tally after a seemingly routine distance shot from Daigo Kobayashi deflected off his hands and into the net. Juan Agudelo quickly added another in the 26th minute to put Seattle in a 2-0 hole.
His teammates collectively answered his call -- in miracle fashion -- after Agudelo added another in the 54th minute to push the score to 3-0.
Nicolas Lodeiro, Will Bruin and Osvaldo Alonso combined for three goals in the game’s final 15 minutes to salvage the draw, moving the Sounders to 2-2-4 on the season ahead of their MLS Cup rematch with Toronto FC on May 6 (3pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes; MLS LIVE in Canada).
“The character we showed to come back is amazing,” Frei said. “That’s the one positive to take from this: The fight, the spirit …It’s a point, so who knows when it’s going to come in handy? We saw it last year -- every point counts.”
Even so, the mood in the Sounders postgame locker room was far from jubilant, reeking more of frustration at the series of events that made the dramatic comeback necessary in the first place.
“At home we’ve got to do a better job of not going down by three goals,” said Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer. “That’s the sting, that’s the hurt, that’s the feeling of frustration.
“The only comment I would make is that the fight and the determination of that group of players is the mentality of champions. That’s what I would say. That’s the only positive.”
Bruin echoed that assessment, saying that any celebratory feelings about the wild comeback should probably be tempered, even given the late theatrics that allowed the Sounders to escape with the point.
“It’s definitely a good feeling coming back and getting a point but at the end of the day we’re at home,” Bruin said. “We can’t be giving up three goals and be down 3-0. That’s collective as a unit being tough to play against and not just focusing on the attack.”
“But credit to all the guys for keeping on grinding and not putting their heads down. There were a few times where we could have put our heads down and said ‘It’s not our night, we’re hitting the post, hitting the crossbar.’ And we put three in after that.”