SEATTLE — DeAndre Yedlin quietly dressed, his trademark hair still undone, no smile crossing his lips as he answered questions in a hushed tone.
This was not the look of someone who had just become the youngest player in Seattle Sounders history to score a goal, especially one that salvaged a point for a team on a two-game losing skid.
Was Saturday's 1-1 result at home against the Colorado Rapids an example of a tie feeling more like a loss?
"Definitely," the 20-year-old said, almost apologetically. "I've been in a slump a little bit recently. This game definitely gives me confidence, the goal and the performance. But I wish we could have gotten the win."
Yedlin, who was recently named to the MLS All-Star team, was a major reason the Sounders didn't drop all three points. Not only did he score -- a goal that came when hit a header off a rebound from his own shot -- but he also helped shut down the left side of the Rapids' attack, limiting Atiba Harris to just a single harmless shot.
"I thought he struggled a little bit the last time out, but I thought today was better," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. "It looked more like the DeAndre that was playing for us at the beginning of the year—using his quickness and speed getting in there, making things happen.”
But Yedlin wasn't able to make enough things happen for the team to get the win. And such are the expectations surrounding the Sounders as they head into the second half of their season with ground to make up in the playoff race.
Although the Sounders still have at least two games in hand -- and as many as four -- on every team ahead of them in the Western Conference standings, they are still languishing in 7th place in the West, below the playoff line. The match with Colorado, the first of a three-game homestand, was one they anticipated could jumpstart a run of good results.
And, coming off two straight losses, there were signs of progress. The Sounders boasted a 17-9 advantage in shots, 7-2 for shots on goal. They outpossessed the Rapids, 54% to 46%. They limited the Rapids' chances in the run of play, with virtually all their danger coming on set pieces.
"It's good to have better play and look like a better squad, but you have to win," Sounders midfielder Marc Burch said. "We didn't lose but we expect to win when we're at home."