A 15 -day road trip will eventually catch up with even the strongest and most disciplined team. That is exactly what happened to the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night.
When addressing the team’s obvious fatigue, Bryan Meredith put it best when he stated: ” It’s tough when you have 5 games in however many days like we did.” The back up goalie explained that “a lot of the guys have played most of the minutes so eventually fatigue will wear in no matter how good the trainers are.”
Despite the encouragement of a season high crowd of 39,312, the few scoring opportunities yielded no goals for the Sounders. Real Salt Lake outshot Seattle FC 10-8. The only goal of the match came in the 51st minute. New father Fabian Espindola credited the birth of his son with his inspired performance. At least, his wife will be having a happy mother’s day today.
A victory could have moved the Sounders to first place in the Western Conference. Instead, it is Real Salt Lake who will be leading the standings with a 8-3-2 record. Seattle’s own 7-2-1 puts them in 3rd place behind the San Jose Earthquakes. The Sounders will have some time to rest and regroup before traveling North to visit 4th place in the standings and rival, Vancouver White Caps on May 19th.
Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid summed up his team’s game in the postgame press conference. In addressing the media, he stated: “We had enough chances in the first half that we needed to get a goal. I think a tie would have been a fair result tonight, probably, because they maybe had a little bit more in terms of possession in the second half. Overall, I can’t fault our guys for what they’ve done over the last five games.”
Rest and preparation will be in order for the Sounders to properly regroup, and, continue to climb the standings. Per Schmid: “When top teams meet, there’s sometimes not a lot that separates the two.” Let’s hope that he can make the adjustments necessary for the Sounders to come out on top next time.