SEATTLE – If the mood in the Seattle locker room after the game was any indication, Wednesday night’s 1-1 tie against the San Jose Earthquakes sure felt like a loss.
The Sounders did notch a point with the draw and reasserted themselves into a three-way deadlock for first place in both the Western Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings. Even so, the end result was more missed opportunity than rejuvenating purpose statement.
“Some draws you come out feeling pretty good about it and some you feel just a bit depleted,” midfielder Andy Rose told reporters after the game. “Unfortunately tonight we probably let two points slip and it falls into [the depleted] category.”
Forward Chad Barrett, who knocked in his 50th career goal in the 46th minute to give Seattle the lead, echoed the sentiment.
“Definitely,” said Barrett when asked if the game felt like a loss. “You use home games in this league to really get out of slumps, help yourself get started...Once we got the lead I thought we were going to carry it out for three points. Definitely two points dropped.”
A victory against a San Jose squad that currently sits at eighth place in the West would have been just what the doctor ordered for a Seattle team that has posted a lackluster 2-4-1 record in its last seven MLS matches.
The Sounders had the lead and the momentum after Barrett’s goal, and seemed primed to vault back over Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake into sole possession of first place in the Supporters’ Shield and Western Conference standings. But a 65th minute tap-in equalizer from San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski would ultimately squash Seattle’s hopes of tallying the victory.
“I think we were probably just not tight enough as a group,” Rose said of Wondolowski’s goal. “At 1-0 up we could have done a better job of pushing for the second goal, overtaking, overrunning them. Credit to them, they kept on going and got the goal back.”
“You just have to stay positive. You’ve got to work for each other, you’ve to bring the right attitude into games and into practice every day,” Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid said. “There’s enough quality there for us to get out of [the slump], you’ve just got to stay positive.”
The Sounders are afforded no time to dwell on the defeat. They hit the road to take on the Portland Timbers in a Cascadia Cup match at Providence Park on Sunday.