The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
The slim chances of topping the table are gone, and second place in the league and the West seem likely.
Sigi Schmid would have loved to bring Seattle its first Supporters Shield this season. Those chances are officially over.
“It always hurts. But at the end of the day what’s most important is to win the MLS Cup,” rationalized the gaffer last night at the post-match press meeting. “You look at who won the MLS Cup last year, Colorado. Did they win the Supporter’s Shield? No. Who won MLS Cup the year before? Salt Lake. Did they win Supporter’s Shield? No. So maybe winning the Supporter’s Shield isn’t all that necessary to win the MLS Cup and at the end of the day that’s our goal.”
The loss for Sounders FC (16-7-9, 57 points) snapped a three-game MLS winning streak and eliminates them from contention for the Supporters’ Shield. With two regular season matches remaining Seattle sits second in the Western Conference, seven points behind the L.A. Galaxy.
Philadelphia’s win (11-7-14, 47 points) propels it into first place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of Sporting Kansas City. The Union are now unbeaten in their last seven MLS games.
Seattle played without its top three point producers: forward Fredy Montero and midfielders Alvaro Fernandez and Mauro Rosales. Montero was serving a suspension for yellow card accumulation. Rosales has been out since September 17 with an MCL sprain and Fernandez was on the bench after sustaining a mild concussion in Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup final.
Sounders FC central defender Jeff Parke was removed from the match at halftime with a concussion.
Part of Sigi Schmid’s post-match press conference via CenturyLink closed circuit TV (thanks to Joseph Armand):
On the Union’s opening goal, Gabriel Farfan dribbled to the end line and rolled a pass to Adu whose first-time shot went over the shoulder of a helpless Kasey Keller and into the roof of the net.
In the 70th minute, the visitors doubled their lead on a counterattack following a Seattle corner kick. Former Sounders FC forward Sebastian Le Toux took possession and ran at the defense before slipping the ball to the right side for a charging Carroll to shoot past Keller. It was Carroll’s first goal of the year.
Team Captain Kasey Keller earns honesty points for another straight set of quotes.
“As a professional, you have to be ready for stuff like this. You have to be able to compartmentalize your season. You have to say, ‘Tuesday night was great, now I have to get ready for Saturday.’ You’re going to have a lot of time in November, December, January to go celebrate or commiserate on what you did for the last eight months, so it’s frustrating for everybody. Obviously we had a lot of fans go home that weren’t happy, everybody leaving this locker room isn’t going to be happy. We can’t, I think, just push it under the rug and say, ‘OK, that’s a bad day and a bad thing or whatever.’ We have to still accept that it’s not good enough and be ready for next weekend and the weekend after that and then get ready for the playoffs. Looking at what some teams have done below us and maybe chucked it in a little bit, but other teams are fighting for their playoff positions. We’re too good for that. We have too good of individuals, too good of a team as a collective to just say, ‘Alright, don’t worry about it, we’re in the playoffs,’ because we’re better than we are today.”