Sounders Insider

Seattle Sounders FC and the Puget Sound soccer scene

Archives: Oct. 2011

Oct.
31st

Sounders look back for hope in challenge just ahead

The Sounders need to make up three goals Wednesday against Real Salt Lake if they are going to have any hope of surviving in the MLS playoffs. Here are some notes from the club on comebacks and survival games:

Playoff Comeback Lore
Since MLS instituted the aggregate goal conference semifinal series in 2003, the team losing the first leg has rallied to win the series 10 times. Three of those clubs went on to lift MLS Cup. Four of those survivors trailed by at least two goals at one point. However the mother of all comebacks to date was pulled off by the San Jose Earthquakes in 2003.

The Quakes were beaten, 2-nil, by the L.A. Galaxy in the first leg, and then they fell behind 2-0 (4-0 on aggregate) after the first 13 minutes of the second leg at home. San Jose (with then-rookie Roger Levesque among those in uniform) began chipping away at the deficit, finally tying the score in 90th minute before winning in extra time, 5-4. The Quakes proceeded to win the conference final and championship game.

Overcoming Adversity is Nothing New
For sure, nothing has come easily for Sounders FC this season, and if overcoming adversity is the mark of a championship team then they have done so in spades. Including matches in the CONCACAF Champions League they have come from a goal down 12 times to win or draw. They trailed their aggregate series with Panama’s San Francisco FC before coming from behind to prevail, 2-1, in extra time. And this finest of three remarkable MLS seasons has been accomplished while two of the club’s most prominent players-Steve Zakuani and O’Brian White-were out for the final seven months of the campaign. Read more »

Oct.
31st

Sounders on pace for eighth-largest MLS playoff crowd?

The Sounders say they are down to “a limited number” of tickets remaining for their Wednesday match with Real Salt Lake. “Limited” isn’t all that precise a term, but if they fill their normal seating capacity of around 36,000 that would represent the eighth-largest playoff crowd in MLS history.

Here’s the list and some additional info from the club:

The two largest crowds for MLS Cup Conference Semifinals or Finals have been produced by Sounders FC fans. However, there might be room for more. In 2009 Seattle attracted 35,807 for its first postseason match and last year, despite playing on

Read more »

Oct.
31st

RSL center backs “questionable” for Wednesday

The Deseret News is reporting that the status of center backs Nat Borchers and Jamison Olave is uncertain for the deciding match of their series with Seattle, at 7 p.m. Wednesday at CenturyLink Field.

“Both of them are still questionable,” said RSL coach Jason Kreis. “We’ll make decisions as we get closer to the match.”

Oct.
31st

Schmid says Sounders objective is “a game you’re not going to forget for a long time”

Schmid

In addition of the individual topics tackled in the posts below, here’s some more of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say today after his club’s training session at Starfire:

On watching the tape of Saturday’s game) “It’s always the same. When you watch the tape, it’s never as bad as you thought it was and it’s never as good as you thought it was when you play well. Obviously, [Alvaro] Saborio scored a great second goal but I thought we fell asleep defensively on the throw in, so my thoughts really didn’t change. Offside—is he off? Is he not off? It’s fairly close. A lot of linesmen would call that offside. They called offside on Saborio in the second half when he was three yards onside. Usually you’d expect the 50/50 calls don’t go the way of the forwards. It happened but watching it I just thought the same thing I felt at the end of the game. We turned the ball over far too easily. There were too many times where we won the ball and we gave the ball away, so that forces our shape to be to their offensive shape, which gives them the advantage. So we have to do a much better job of keeping the ball.”

On how they turn it around in the second leg at home) Read more »

Oct.
31st

Keller understands his career could end Wednesday

Keller

The Sounders had their big farewell to Kasey Keller during the regular season so that the club could concentrate on the matters at hand during the playoffs.

However, Keller admits that he is mentally counting down his moment, and that Wednesday could be the final day of his playing career.

“There’s no question that just training today I thought this could be my second-to-last training session,” he said. “Of course that’s there. That’s part of it. And I’m going to do everything I can on Wednesday to make sure that it wasn’t.”

And if it is?

“Not a problem. That’s the way it works out, then that’s the way it Read more »

Oct.
31st

Keller surprised toughness/effort missing in opener

The Sounders were terrible at connecting passes on Saturday, and they didn’t put a single shot on goal. But those aren’t the kinds of things that seemed particularly frustrating to goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

The Sounders had said all of last week that they hadn’t been tough enough in previous playoff series, and that that would change in Utah. It didn’t.

“No, it wasn’t there Saturday,” Keller said. “There are a whole lot of factors involved, and we could talk here for a long long time. But we didn’t come in for the fight. You thought maybe the first 10-15

Read more »

Oct.
31st

Keller: Sounders ‘dejected,’ but mountain climbable

The Sounders have concluded training at Starfire.

Most of the players chose not to speak to the media today, allowing captain Kasey Keller to speak for them.

Here was Keller’s overview on the state of the team, which needs to make up a three-goal deficit Wednesday when Real Salt Lake visits for the conclusion of their aggregate-score series.

“Obviously there’s a bit of dejection, but you’d expect that,” Keller said. “You’re not going to come in the first day and be all bright and lively. We had a little bit of a video session, which then highlights issues

Read more »

Oct.
31st

“Outside shot” at Rosales return Wednesday

Here’s is coach Sigi Schmid’s glass-half-full/glass-half-empty update on the status of midfielder Mauro Rosales’ knee injury.

“Better. Did more. Worked with the ball a little bit individually today, so we’ll see. I still think it’s more of an outside shot , but at least it’s a shot.”

However, goalkeeper and captain Kasey Keller makes the point that while the Seattle midfield certainly misses Mauro Rosales — to say nothing of Steve Zakuani — that injuries are part of the game this deep into a season.

“Oh sure it hurts,” Keller said. “But you look at what Salt Lake had:

Read more »