SEATTLE – By most statistical measures, the Seattle Sounders fared reasonably well in their home game against the Colorado Rapids at CenturyLink Field on Saturday night. Seattle had 65.8 percent of the possession, outshot Colorado 17-9 and won 10 corner kicks to Colorado’s two.
All of it would be rendered a moot point, however, as the Sounders once again struggled to finish off the chances they generated, succumbing to a tough 1-0 home defeat to the current MLS leaders.
It was a continuation of what has become a recurring theme at the outset of 2016 for Seattle (4-6-1, 13 pts), who have now netted a conference-low 10 goals through the first 11 games of the season.
“I thought for the majority of the game, we carried the game,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said postgame. “I thought we created chances. Goals change games and we didn’t finish. Some of the chances that we had would have changed the game around.
“We need to get the ball in the back of the net. At the end of the day, that’s the only stat that counts.”
Despite pressuring the Rapids for much of the first half, the Sounders conceded just before halftime after Colorado defender Axel Sjoberg wiggled free on a corner kick and headed home what wound up being the game-deciding goal.
The sequence that led to the fateful corner kick started after Seattle captain Brad Evans was dispossessed in his own half by Colorado forward Kevin Doyle, a miscue that Evans pointed to after the game as an obvious game-defining moment.
“The first half, we controlled pretty much everything until I gave the ball away,” Evans said. “We gave up two corner kicks and on the second one they scored. Right now, it seems like one mistake, one goal allowed and we’re still losing games. That’s the narrative right now.”
Things don’t figure to get any easier in the coming weeks for the Sounders, as Seattle follow up Saturday’s home loss with a three-game road trip to the East Coast that starts next Saturday against the New England Revolution (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE).
“At any time, we can go on a run here and we can win four or five in a row and we’re well-above the red line,” Evans said. “I don’t think anybody thinks that the season is lost or anything. Guys are still coming in and working extremely hard.
“We’ve got to buckle down, we’ve got to work and we’ve got to right the ship.”