SEATTLE — One bad result can be called a fluke. Two could be chalked up to coincidence. But now that the Seattle Sounders are sitting on three straight disappointing results, they are hoping it’s not the start of a trend.
The latest was easily the most frustrating. In losing 2-0 to the Columbus Crew at home, the Sounders dominated the run of play but could find neither the scoring touch they needed nor the clamp down defending they showed earlier in the season.
“Right now, we’re just making individual errors and those individual errors are costing us and people are punishing us for them,” Sounders manager Sigi Schmid said. “It’s just right now, we’re not on the same page at times. That’s my job and I have to make sure we get on same page.”
The Sounders are 0-2-1 in the last three and now sit at 7-3-2 for the season. They’ve now allowed five goals in that span after allowing three in their first nine games of the year. They’ve also been shut out twice in the last three, doubling their total for the season.
Deciding which of those damning stats was more frustrating on Wednesday is certainly open for debate.
The goals were both hard to swallow. The first came on a Justin Meram header in the 15th minute after an opening spell in which the Sounders were dominating possession. The second came in the 76th minute when Emilio Rentería first-timed a bouncing ball from about 30 yards, catching goalkeeper Bryan Meredith too far off his line.
“Very disappointed in myself, for sure,” Meredith said. “I think they got three shots on goal and two went in back of the net. Not a good day for me, not a good day for the team. We are just in a slump and need to fight our way out of it.”
Those defensive lapses could have been overlooked if the Sounders had been able to finish some of their numerous chances. Seattle were able to generate 21 shots and put six of them on goal, but Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum came up big each time. Their best chance — a wide-open Álvaro Fernández header late in the first half that he hit wide — didn’t even get on frame.
“I think we created chances,” said Sounders midfielder David Estrada, whose pass set up Fernández’s header. “We had a few good looks. That’s something we can take out of the game. They didn’t have that many chances, they just converted the chances they had. That’s the way we have to look at it.”
While there may have been some positives to find in this result, Schmid was in no mood to look for them yet.
“We need to soul search,” he said. “I need to soul search, our staff needs to figure out what are the things we want to do. We have to have a coming to the mountain and understanding that we need to get on the same page.”
Jeremiah Oshan covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com and SB Nation.
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