Seattle Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer says defense had a bad night, but attack also has to step up

Where does the blame lie for a 2-1 loss at home to the Portland Timbers Sunday night? Is it the Seattle Sounders defense for conceding late? The attack for not creating enough chances?

Both, said coach Brian Schmetzer.

Defensively, he said the Sounders were caught flat-footed on both goals conceded.

“Those were not our best defensive moments in this season, I think we could have done better on both goals," Schmetzer said, adding later, "I think the defense gave up a couple of goals that normally they wouldn’t."

Of course, Felipe Mora’s 83rd-minute winner was a “dagger” where again Seattle’s center backs were caught flat-footed.

“They got the ball out in the middle part of the field where our guys were flat-footed on their entry pass,” Schmetzer said. “Credit to the Timbers, but we’ll work on that to make sure we’re a little bit stronger defensively.”

But Schmetzer said the blame should be also distributed to the attacking side of the field as well. Seattle outshot Portland, 15-8, and had 65.3 percent of possession, but only managed Kelvin Leerdam’s equalizer late in the first half.

"Games like this are challenging to write about, to think about, to assess because when you look at the two goals [conceded], I might say those were goals that are uncharacteristic of a good Sounders defensive team," he said. "But the other half of the equation, and the thing we have to also discuss, is did we do enough in the attacking half of the field. Because look, sometimes your defense is not going to have a good night and so you have to have the other guys that are playing in front of them do the job in the attacking half of the field."

Through all of that, midfielder Cristian Roldan said, a defeat is inexcusable.

“Not putting away the chances certainly sucks and we feel really unfortunate,” Roldan said. "But in that case we should still never lose that game.”

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