Defense keys Sounders’ four-game win streak
May 8, 2012, 9:13 AM | Updated: 10:24 am
If the other guys don’t score, you can’t lose a soccer game. Seattle Sounders FC are playing sensational defense the first two months of the MLS season. The “rave green” have five shutouts and have allowed just three goals in eight matches.
“It’s just a life-or-death attitude,” midfielder Brad Evans said. “Once you get these shutouts, you get hungrier for more.”
Seattle’s stout defense is certainly a credit to the back four, but coach Sigi Schmid points to the forwards’ hard work as well.
“We always talk how the team plays out a certain direction,” Schmid said during our Coach’s Corner show. “We want to force the ball to a certain player and that’s where the forwards come into play.”
Another key to the Sounders’ success is the relentless pursuit of holding midfielder Osvaldo Alonso. He just flat out wins every 50-50 ball on the pitch.
Schmid said there’s a chance Alonso will rest Wednesday night at FC Dallas. He has played a full 90 minutes in almost every Seattle match this spring. Schmid might use 22-year-old Andy Rose at Alonso’s position.
Seattle’s defense and four-game win streak will both get a stern test against Dallas. While that club is only 3-4-3 in MLS competition, it has plenty of firepower.
“Yeah, they have Brek Shea and still have [Fabian] Castillo, who’s got a ton of speed,” Schmid said. “They’re a little hard to play against because they’re aggressive offensively and rely on speed a lot.”
Dallas, though, is without Daniel Hernandez and Blas Perez, who drew red cards in a 2-nil loss at Colorado.
The Sounders hope to get Alvaro Fernandez some playing time Wednesday. If not, then at home Saturday against Real Salt Lake. “Flaco” has missed the past two games while nursing a quad injury.
Seattle once again has Bryan Meredith in goal while Michael Gspurning recovers from a hip injury. Veteran Andrew Weber is the backup keeper.