SEATTLE – Five times this season, the Seattle Sounders have allowed the first goal. Four times, they’ve managed to win the game anyway.
That’s 12 points, which is ironically more than the 10 they’ve claimed in the five games in which they’ve scored first.
It’s a counter-intuitive statistic, to be sure, but one the Sounders don’t seem worried about.
“Not at all,” Sounders midfielder Lamar Neagle said after helping lead his team back from a 1-0 deficit to beat FC Dallas 2-1 on Wednesday. “At halftime, we talked about being in this position before. I feel like I said the exact same thing the last game, we know we can score goals and are confident in our ability.
“We’re not worried about it, but it is getting kind of old to have to come from behind. Hopefully we can change the tune the next game.”
Avoiding an early deficit would probably be advisable on Sunday at the New England Revolution (6 pm ET; MLS Live), a team that has yet to surrender a goal in three matches at Gillette Stadium and has gone 3-0-1 in its last four overall.
“They are a team that started slowly but they are on a good run lately,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. “They’re a team that plays with a lot of midfield options, a packed midfield, really only one forward up top.”
FC Dallas employed a similar tactic, in that they effectively used four central midfielders and tried to keep the Sounders from playing through the middle.
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Just like the early deficit, the tactics didn’t seem to faze a Sounders team that has scored multiple goals in six straight games and is averaging 2.2 per contest.
“That’s how teams have to try to deal with us because of our link-up play, they think that’s how they are going to stop us,” Sounders forward Clint Dempsey said. “But eventually teams get tired and we always find a way to get back into games or take the game more to them. It’s a credit to our team with the way we play, we’re always on the front foot, always try to play in the right way and we get rewarded for that.
“That’s the standard we have to set in order to win a MLS Cup. If we keep playing the way that we’re doing, keep showing the character that we have, we’ll be fine.”