TUKWILA, Wash. – When discussing the strong suits of his team, Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid often cites the levelheaded nature and veteran pedigree of the locker room.
These Sounders, Schmid says, are not a “rah-rah” chest-bumping type of group that fire each other up with animated pregame speeches, nor are they the type of team that reads too much into an individual stretch of negative results.
So, it should came as no surprise that as Seattle look to rebound from their 0-3 start to the season against the Montreal Impact at CenturyLink Field on Saturday (10 pm ET, MLS LIVE), the word “panic” isn’t on their radar.
“It’s going to take time,” right back Tyrone Mears said this week. “I know the fans are desperate for us to win the MLS Cup but it’s a long season. If we were losing and playing badly, then you’d start to worry. But I think we’re playing really well.”
Throughout their week of training at Starfire Soccer Complex, the Sounders largely echoed that assessment, maintaining that they have been victimized by poor luck more than poor play during this opening three-game stretch.
“I’m not worried,” said goalkeeper Stefan Frei. “We’ve been in games. We’ve been unfortunate. We’ve made a couple of individual mistakes and unfortunately they were costly. For us, they happened at the wrong time and we got punished for it.”
Schmid also answered in the affirmative when asked this week if he thinks a poor three-game stretch gets magnified when it happens to start the season as opposed to somewhere else down the line.
“Yeah, because you’ve got zero points,” Schmid said. “You’ve got a big goose-egg next to your name. If you start off and you’re 2-2 and then you go 0-3, it’s not a big thing. Everything evens out at the end of the day. It’s like flipping a coin. If it comes up tails three times, it doesn’t mean it won’t come up heads three times in a row after that.”
Seattle’s famously-demanding fanbase doesn’t seem to have reached for the panic button quite yet either.
Following last weekend’s loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps, most of the vitriol among fans and on social media was reserved for referee Mark Geiger and his two controversial penalty kick calls more than the way the Sounders played. The media coverage surrounding the team has also been relatively measured, with little handwringing over Schmid’s job security or the state of the roster that has sometimes followed tough stretches for the Sounders in the past.
But if Seattle can’t manage to get on track against Montreal on Saturday, the tone of those conversations might just change.