August was a pretty amazing month for the Sounders. It started with a 2-0 win over FC San Francisco of Panama to get into CONCACAF Champions League group play and concluded Tuesday with a 1-0 win over FC Dallas to advance to the U.S. Open Cup final.
In between there was a 2-1 win that gave Sporting Kansas City its first loss in its new stadium, a 4-1 rout of Comuniciaciones, a 1-0 win at Dallas, a 1-0 win at Monterrey, a 6-2 mauling of Columbus. The only imperfection was a scoreless draw against Chivas USA.
Much credit to the players of course, but general manager Adrian Hanauer also had appropriate praise for coach Sigi Schmid’s masterful use of his roster.
“Ridiculously brilliant,” Hanauer said. “I’ve said it before, there’s a reason he has 150-some-odd wins. He gets a lot out of the players. One of the things I love about Sig, he’s pretty even-keeled on his playing squad. You’ve noticed we don’t make a lot of transactions and we don’t push the panic button very often or very hard. I’m a big believer that when you have a good team, they don’t really change overnight. You may get some bad results, they may not be in form, but if you’ve got a good group, because you lose a few games doesn’t mean it’s time to panic. Again: That’s what I love about Sigi. He’s got a group he believes in, they believe in the system, and everybody works together for the common goal.”
Schmid was asked about his take on success in three competitions in a single month.
“It’s been great because, like I said, we’ve won games different ways,” he said. “We’ve won games by scoring goals. We’ve won a game by playing a man down and scoring goals, and we’ve won games by being able to defend with a lot of resolve and win 1-0. Winning in Mexico at Monterrey was certainly a great highlight, as well.”
September will get off to a lazy start with no games until the Sept. 10 home league match against Real Salt Lake. Then the schedule picks up: Sept. 14 at Herediano, Sept. 17 vs. D.C. United, Sept. 20 vs. Herediano, Sept 24 at Vancouver, and Sept. 27 at Comunicaciones.