COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The Seattle Sounders’ slow start to the season continued Saturday night, falling to the Colorado Rapids in a 3-1 loss.
Saturday’s result marked the fourth loss notched by Sigi Schmid’s side in 2016, a season which started with a three-match losing streak. But it was the performance in Colorado which Schmid considers the team’s worst through seven games played.
“I felt the first three games of the year, even though we lost, we were unfortunate. We created better chances," Schmid told reporters after the game. “Today, we as a unit, we beat ourselves. I don’t want to take anything away from [Colorado], but we did not play well.”
Having only scored six goals in the six games prior to Saturday’s match, the Sounders’ scoring woes were further compounded by the absences of Clint Dempsey (groin) and Nelson Valdez (hamstring), who did not travel with the team as a precautionary measure. With two of the team’s Designated Players out, Schmid cited a lack of leadership as another factor in the team’s latest stumble.
“There was no leadership on the field,” Schmid said. “I expect more. They need to expect more of each other. It rests on my shoulders at the end of the day. Maybe we didn’t have them prepared enough, but we always prepare for everything.”
Despite holding 58 percent of the game’s possession in the first half, the Sounders found themselves down a goal entering the locker room after Jermaine Jones’ header put Colorado ahead 1-0 in the 20th minute. With Colorado proving dangerous throughout the half on set pieces, Schmid said that controlling possession was an empty statistic.
“Every team that has had less possession this weekend has won," he said. "I think people get caught up in possession because they see Bayern Munich with possession. Bayern Munich and Barcelona can have possession because they have individuals who are able to wiggle out of trouble. It’s not just possession, it’s defending.”
Rookie striker Jordan Morris provided what was perhaps the lone bright spot on the night for Seattle. The 21-year-old US international scored his second goal in as many games, drawing Seattle within a goal at the 63rd minute mark.
“It’s good that he scored,” Schmid said of the goal. “But I’m also tired of the talk of old players and young players. They’re either good players or bad players and let’s forget about everything else.”
All in all, the Sounders manager found few positives to take away from the road loss.
“Just not a good game for us,” he added. “Colorado score their goals and we needed a penalty kick [save] to stay in the game. I thought we didn’t play well at all. I thought it was our worst game of the season.”