Sounders turn to depth in US Open Cup clash, but "we found a way to lose"

CARSON, Calif. -- There may be questions about the lineup fielded by the Seattle Sounders in their US Open Cup quarterfinal match on Wednesday.

But that's not an excuse for the result as far as the head coach is concerned.

Despite the 4-2 loss to the LA Galaxy, knocking them out of the tournament, head coach Sigi Schmid felt that the team he fielded gave his coaching staff food for thought ahead of Seattle’s trip to Sporting Kansas City in league play on Sunday (3 pm ET, ESPN).

“There are some guys tonight who played well, who deserve maybe some playing time as we go against KC,” Schmid said after the match. “It’s a situation that we’ve got to start putting those players on the field.” 

The Sounders' starting lineup contained four players who had appeared in 10 or more MLS games this season, but players like Michael Farfan -- returning from injury -- and Sounders 2 call-up Zach Mathers showcased the depth of the Rave Green.

“We put a team out there that was capable of winning the game and we were in a position to win the game,” Schmid remarked.

“That’s what you want your team always to be as you prepare them, but as I said at the end of the day we found a way to lose it and we shouldn't have.”

Mathers, who was brought up from the Sounders' USL side S2 on a short-term contract for this particular game, looked dangerous, especially early on when he ran right at the heart of the Galaxy defense and turned his marker inside-out before firing a shot straight at the 'keeper.

The former Duke star came in for praise from Sounders forward Herculez Gomez.

“There was one guy from S2 who played very well for us tonight,” quipped the scorer of the game's second goal. “Zach Mathers. He had a very good play in the first half and was very involved in the second. I thought he did very well.”

With a 2-1 lead heading into the final quarter-hour, Seattle looked the more likely side to advance, but stars Gyasi Zardes and Giovani Dos Santos came on for LA and changed the complexion of the game, igniting a three-goal burst in the space of eleven minutes.

Asked if he wished he had made any changes sooner, Schmid said he had no regrets.

“We were in control of the game. We were leading 2-1. I wanted to see what they were going to do and then we were going to react to that,” Schmid replied. “Obviously, once we went down it changed a little bit what we were going to do, because I might not have brought on [Jordan] Morris. I might have brought on Joevin Jones to close it out on the left-hand side a little bit more, but when we went down it made more sense to go the other way.”