Here’s a look ahead to the U.S. Open Cup final on Wednesday. (And some on Ljungberg’s card.)
And a look at yesterday’s MLS action, and today’s.
Sounders postgame: No one called it a good draw. Everyone admitted they were lucky not to be three goals down in the first half, and that if they would have actually finished one of their late opportunities that this would have been a stolen three points.
Schmid kept the team behind closed doors for more than a half hour after the game, but he seemed to imply that his yelling needs to be complemented by more locker room leadership.
Ljungberg seemed not to make of the team following what he considered maybe its best games of the season last week in Houston with this clunker today.
Montero said he was disappointed to have been pulled so early. Schmid said he was looking for someone to provide more energy.
Tyrone Marshall said he has a hamstring injury and is probably no better than 50-50 for the Open Cup final on Wednesday.
Here’s Kasey Keller’s take, which touches on a whole lot of the postgame themes at once:
“It’s been a little bit of a theme in the last few home games, which we’re obviously disappointed about. But I think if we look at some of the positives, we very comfortably could have been down two or three at halftime. The second half we definitely changed some things and looked more dangerous and somehow got a point out of it. We definitely had chances to steal it at the end, so there are some positives out of this game. But we want to be obviously an attacking team that makes things exciting for our home fans, and it just hasn’t happened the last few games. I heard part of the press conference where Sigi said it’s something we truly have to find what’s going to work and if it hurts some people’s feelings, it’s tough. It’s a time of the year when you have to get your form right to go into the playoffs and right now we’re not even a playoff team. We don’t have that form to even make the playoffs. It’s something we have to change quickly. But now it’s a great opportunity to win a cup game and get into a very cool competition for next season for our fans, so we need to focus on that right now and when this gets out of the way we have a little break and then we have to be truly focused on getting back into the form we need. We only have two home games left, now we’re putting a little more emphasis on what we have to do on the road as well. But we’re very disappointed over our last three or four homes games, that’s for sure.”
Toronto dominated the first half, Seattle the second. In that way the draw is a fair result, but it also has to be seen as a disappointing one for the Sounders … both as an individual result and in terms of what it might mean for their playoff chances.
I’ll be back with notes and quotes from what has to be a disappointed locker room.
86th minute: Toronto playing now like they’ll be happy to get out of here with a point.
84th minute: Sounders back at 11 men as Evans and Jaqua return.
80th minute: Brad Evans limps off after a pileup in front of the Toronto goal. Seattle with have to play with 10 men unless/until he returns because three subs have already been used.
And now Nate Jaqua is down and being tended to…
72nd minute: Game close to getting out of hand with a pushing and shoving scrum on one touchline. One yellow issued to each team, but Seattle’s went to Freddie Ljungberg, meaning he’ll have to sit out the next league game due to yellow-card accumulation.
66th minute: Sounders playing far better so far, and getting the best chances. However, interesting substitution: Vagenas for Montero.
Second half: No lineup changes to start. Here we go.
Halftime: This is striking me as one of those scoreless routs that you get sometimes in soccer. Especially over the first half-hour Toronto dominated. They could easily be up two or three goals, but they didn’t finish several one-on-one chances at Keller.
The Sounders, meanwhile, have apparently decided not to discriminate based on jersey color. About half their passes are going to the guys in green, half to the guys in red.
The stats back it up: Toronto leads 7-2 in shots, 5-1 in corners, and even 10-4 on fouls, which at least implies some interest.
19th minute: Patrick Ianni is in for Tyrone Marshall, who suffered a hard tackle and had to come out.
Kickoff: Sounders in green/blue; Reds in red/red. (Hence the nickname.)
Toronto captain Jim Brennan seemed to give a pretty animated talk to his team in the pregame huddle.
Here we go.
Golden scarf: Today it goes to U.S. soccer legend Michelle Akers.
Keller bobbleheads: Btw, I heard not a peep of publicity in advance, but fans entering the stadium today are being handed Kasey Keller bobbleheads.
Lineup: For Seattle: GK Kasey Keller; D James Riley, Hurtado, Marshall, Gonzalez; M Ljungberg, Alonso, Evans, Zakuani; F Jaqua, Montero.
SSFC reserves: Boss, Ianni, Le Toux, Levesque, Nyassi, Vagenas, Wahl.
For Toronto: GK Frei,D Gomez, Attakora, Garcia, Wynne; M Cronin, Guevara, Sanyang, Brennan; F Barrett, De Rosario.
Pregame: The sun is breaking through a little more now on what has been an otherwise cloudy day at Qwest.
As I write this, the Sounders are on the pitch, but no sign of the Reds yet.
Normal gameday blogging plan: lineups and other pregame news as I get it, in-game reports, and postgame notes and quotes, all wrapped around your comments about what seems to be a game where three points is a good result and anything else isn’t.
It will also be very interesting to see what lineup Schmid sends out there, because for the first time in a very long while, almost the whole roster is available to him. (Stephen King probably the only possible exception.) I’ll pop in as soon as the lineups arrive… any minute now.