There is no need to try to read the tea leaves, the evidence is crystal clear. The Seattle Sounders FC (13-7-3, 42pts ) are in a slump. Wednesday's 1-1 home draw to the San Jose Earthquakes(6-9-7,25 points) was exhibit A. The Seatttle Sounders FC are in search of identity and time is running out. With the business end of the season approaching, just twelve games left Seattle needs to get out of second gear and shift into overdrive. To say the season is lost would be overly pessimistic. The Sounders are hanging out with the leagues elite teams but the glass is half empty.
The Sounders are in a three way tie for the Supporters Shield in the league with Sporting Kansas City(12-6-6 42pts) and Real Salt Lake(11-4-9 42pts) with a game in hand. Of the 12 games left five are home games and the rest away. Six of the 12 games are against Western Conference foe's who will be competing for a playoff position as well as the Supporters Shield Trophy. The Sounders are a team that is heavy footed and are in need of some new kicks to put a pep in their step. A uick make over is need. That would be four days and counting.
The Sounders first test at a quick make over will be this Sunday when they take on the Portland Timbers (7-7-10 31pts) in Portland. Seattle is 1-3-1 in it's last four games and in desperate need of a signature win.Okay never mind the signature just a win will do. In wednesdays tie, Seattle out shot San Jose (24-10) had the advatange when it came to corners kicks (9-1), and crossses( 21-9).
Sounders FC took the lead one minute into the second half on Chad Barrett's third consecutive goal in as many games and the 38,909 fans felt delight and relief. San Jose's Cordell Cato crossed a ball under a diving Stefan Frei that found an wide open Chris Wondolowski who taped the ball into a wide open net turning delight and relief into horror and dispair.
When it was all said and done Seattle Sounders FC missed another opportunity to cement there place on pole position for the Supporters Shield. "You know San Jose treats it like a win, so we have to treat it like a loss. You use home games in this league to really get out of slumps, help yourself get started, and it would have been great to win because we have a tough game down in Portland, Chad Barrett said after the game." They had kind of a depleted team and you know they just wanted a tie-that's all they were really going for. The goal was really unlucky in a lot of different parts. Once we got the lead, I thought we were going to carry it out for three points."
If Seattle is to regan it's offensive dominance it will need to use the wide areas of the field and get the ball behind opoosing defenders. "I just don't think we are getting width at the right times. There are teams that are packing in the middle and then we are forced to play into the middle when maybe we don't want to. Sounders Coach Sigi Schmid said after wednesday game,"You've got to get the ball over and behind the defense. Hopefully that is something we will work during training."
SEA - Chad Barrett (Obafemi Martins) 46'
SJ - Chris Wondolowski (Cordell Cato) 65'
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei, DeAndre Yedlin, Chad Marshall, Djimi Traore, Jalil Anibaba, Kenny Cooper (Lamar Neagle 66'), Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose, Marco Pappa (Brad Evans 77') Chad Barrett (Clint Dempsey 71'), Obafemi Martins
Substitutes Not Used: Marcus Hahnemann, Michael Azira, Leo Gonzalez, Zach Scott
TOTAL SHOTS: 24 (Marco Pappa, 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Barrett, 2); FOULS: 14 (3 tied at 3); OFFSIDE: 1 (Obafemi Martins, 1); CORNER KICKS: 9 (Pappa, 4); SAVES: 2 (Frei, 2).
San Jose Earthquakes - Jon Busch, Ty Harden, Victor Bernardez (Shaun Francis 79'), Jason Hernandez, Jordan Stewart, Atiba Harris, Sam Cronin, JJ Koval, Shea Salinas (Cordell Cato 45'), Tommy Thompson (Adam Jahn 87'), Chris Wondolowski
Substitutes Not Used: Bryan Meredith, Brandon Barklage, Adam Jahn, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, Khari Stephenson
TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (5 tied at 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 tied at 1); FOULS: 8 (3 tied at 2); OFFSIDE: 2 (2 tied at 2); CORNER KICKS: 1 (Cronin, 1); SAVES: 6 (Busch, 6) .
SEA- DeAndre Yedlin (caution) 29'
SEA- Obafemi Martins caution) 77'
SJ- JJ Koval (caution) 90'
Referee: Drew Fischer
Referee's Assistants: Fabio Tovar and Marco Arruda
4th Official: Baboucarr Jallow
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Sunny and 72 degrees