Seattle Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer on Monday dismissed the idea there was anything palpable at stake beyond three points when his side return to MLS action against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday (10 pm ET | TSN1, MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US).
“This team, we’ve urged them to try and get off to a fast start,” Schmetzer said. “Three games is three games, four games is four. Talk to me when we’re 10 games in and then there will be some games of significance.”
After a well-documented recent history of slow starts, the Sounders have taken nine points from their first three matches for just the second time in club history, and have never taken 12 out of four. They visit a winless Whitecaps side under first-year coach Marc dos Santos.
Schmetzer said continuing to win is not about history, but about escaping the need for a furious second-half charge up the table, remembering the advice of late former Sounders and LA Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid.
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“That’s what Sigi used to say, three points in March is the same thing as three points in October,” Schmetzer said. “So we’re going after points. But as far as significance to this group, I think this is a pretty senior group. They kind of figure things out on their own. I wouldn’t say, ‘Oh 4-0 is the best start in Sounders history.’ I don’t think anybody is thinking about that. I think we’re thinking about winning, beating our archrival, and then we’ll take the next game.”
Schmetzer is was without a considerable portion of his squad that were called up during the international window. Among them were playmaker Nicolas Lodeiro, who played 151 minutes across two matches for Uruguay as they captured the China Cup, an exhibition tournament, with wins over Uzbekistan and Thailand.
"I know Nico was very keen on showing that he can still play for the national team,” Schmetzer said. “These are certainly early games before major competitions, but if he’s in the mix, if he’s in the group, I’m sure that will make Nico happy.”
“Cristian playing in the pockets, I think he’s done that naturally for us,” Schmetzer said, comparing Roldan’s role between club and country. “Last year he played out right midfield, always pinched in. So I think there’s certain similarities for sure. The expectations, doing the work. Cristian does all that with a lot of enthusiasm.”