I taped a segment this morning with Garrett Cleverly, co-host of “MLS in 30” of the North American Soccer Network, and he closed with an interesting question: What record might the Sounders hope to have at the end of March?
I said maybe 1-1-2; but in retrospect, even that would take some doing, considering the 0-1 start and the schedule ahead.
The remainder of the Sounders’ MLS schedule this month is home to Portland on March 16, away to San Jose on March 23, and away to Real Salt Lake on March 30. Going 1-1-1 over those three might be a more reasonable over-under. And 1-1-1 over those three would add up to 1-2-1 after the first month of the season.
On the other hand, did the first week of the MLS season teach us anything meaningful, or did it deceive us?
Portland, I thought, looked greatly improved in Week One. But is a draw at home really an indicator of great improvement?
Meanwhile, San Jose couldn’t even manage that, losing its home opener to RSL, 2-0. I assume fans in the Bay Area were every bit as disappointed in that result as fans around Puget Sound were disappointed in the Sounders’ opening loss to Montreal.
Salt Lake is the only one of these teams that clearly exceeded expectations in Week One. But will that really project forward to Week Two?
The bottom line, I guess, is just a reminder that we’ll learn more about all these clubs every week. But with very small samples, some of what we think we’re learning simply won’t prove out to be true.
For now it makes more sense to look at the long-term history of the roster rather than the short-term results from a game or two. Last week at this time I thought the Sounders had as good a chance at MLS Cup as anyone, and there’s no real reason to come off of that now.
But that slow start that some projected could be playing out. And it sure wouldn’t hurt to bring in a DP goal-scorer.