Sigi Schmid gives Sounders a C-plus or B-minus at mid-season

Jun 16, 2011, 10:31 AM | Updated: 12:22 pm


Sounders FC general manager Adrian Hanauer, pictured speaking with coach Sigi Schmid, hinted recently that Seattle will likely add some scoring help this summer, but said the team won't make "knee-jerk decisions." (AP)


Injuries, mistakes, and a few bad breaks have afflicted the Seattle Sounders FC in the first half of their Major League Soccer season. Yet, they’re still squarely in the playoff picture, and have their championship goal within reach.

General manager Adrian Hanauer gave us his assessment during a media gathering after Wednesday’s practice.

“I don’t think it’s been an atrocious first half of the season,” said Hanauer. “But again, I don’t think it has been what we had hoped.”

Injuries have been a major story for the Sounders and their constantly changing roster. Seattle lost fleet-footed winger Steve Zakuani with a season-ending broken leg. Promising forward O’Brian White has missed several weeks after doctors removed a blood clot from his leg.

Starters Erik Friberg, Mauro Rosales and Brad Evans have been in and out with various strains and pains. Fredy Montero has not been the same explosive player following surgery to repair his cracked wrist.

Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller has been consistently solid, and gave us his take on the season to this mid-point.

“I think we’re in decent shape, but unfortunately we’ve played a few more games than other teams,” Keller said. “We’ll have to see how that shakes out. I’m not too disappointed considering all the things we’ve gone through so far. It’ll get good.”

The Sounders were able to turn it on in the second half of last season. They were also able to add Swiss striker Blaise Nkufo to boost their scoring punch.

Hanauer hinted Seattle is likely to add some scoring help this summer.

“We’re not going to take risks, or be desperate,” Hanauer said. “We won’t make knee-jerk decisions maybe because we get shut out two games in a row, or give up several goals in a couple matches. That player has to make us a better team and fit into our organization.”

“C-plus or a B-minus is the grade I would give the first half of our season,” head coach Sigi Schmid said. “I think we’ve done some things well, and point-wise we’re a little bit ahead of where we were last year at this stage. We’ve been above average compared to some teams, but I don’t think we’ve reached our potential yet.”

Schmid went on to say, “If the playoffs were to start today we would be in. There aren’t many teams who’ve been to the MLS playoffs three years in a row. That’s good as well, but we want to get more. We’re greedy.”

Seattle is coming off a disappointing 2-2 home field draw with the rival Vancouver Whitecaps. Sounders FC should be able to bring home three points with a victory at Toronto on Saturday. Seattle dominated the same Toronto club with a 3-0-victory in late April at Qwest Field.

Saturday’s pre-game coverage starts at 3:30 with a 4 p.m. kickoff on Newstalk 97.3 KIRO FM.

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