SEATTLE — Falling behind at home to the worst team in the Western Conference in a game they needed to win was hardly part of the Seattle Sounders' plan.
But if that's what it takes to give their season a kick-start, no one seems to be complaining.
The Sounders managed to score their first win of the season after giving up the first goal, beating Chivas USA 2-1 on Sunday and giving them a crucial three points as they try to get back into playoff position.
"I’m happy with the character we showed," head coach Sigi Schmid said. "I thought we created more chances today again, so it was good. I thought our possession was a little better as well. I thought we knocked the ball around fairly well.
"I’m pleased with our performance. I thought it was an upgrade over how we played last week and we have got to continue to concentrate on just playing good soccer.”
The Sounders have given up the first goal in nine matches this season, including each of the past three and four of their past five. In past games, that spelled doom with the best result they had previously managed was a tie, which coincidentally came in last week's game against the Colorado Rapids.
Whether it was the quality of the opponent or the knowledge that they absolutely needed all three points, something was different this time.
"We had confidence," said forward Lamar Neagle, who tied a career high with his fifth goal of the season. "We knew as a group right away that we could get it back. We had a lot of play and we knew that we could get a couple goals."
Starting with Brad Evans' goal in the 23rd minute, that's exactly what they did. From there, they continued to pressure the Chivas USA defense and pepper Dan Kennedy with shots.
Although the scoreline didn't necessarily suggest a dominant performance, the 20 shots were a season-high for Seattle. Their eight shots on goal were also a season-high. Neagle's goal made sure those numbers weren't in vain.
“I think it’s good for us," goalkeeper Andrew Weber said. "We got three points, we need to keep building on our performance. I think the momentum is returning a bit, I think the guys are getting energized again, and I think we’re going to have a great second half of the season.”