Photo credit: Bettina Hansen, The Seattle Times
Back in July, just after the summer transfer window opened, Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid indicated a lack of goal scoring in midfield was a concern and something that could be addressed. Seattle went on to sign two offensive-minded midfielders before the window closed: Christian Tiffert and Mario Martinez.
So how bad was it early on?
Well, in the first 18 games of the MLS regular season, Seattle got one goal from a midfielder in the run of play: Mauro Rosales‘ winner in 1-0 home win against Philadelphia on May 5. Brad Evans had a goal on March 23 against Houston, but it was a penalty kick.
So how good has it been in the eight games since?
Well, six different midfielders have accounted for seven goals. Take a look:
*Note: I know Rosales could technically be considered a forward in Sunday’s 1-1 tie in Dallas since the formation was officially called a 4-3-3, but I’d argue it played more like a 4-5-1 as Fredy Montero was up front on his own for most of it.
*Note: And, yes, it’s probably worth mention that the only multi-goal scorer of the group, Alvaro Fernandez, is no longer with the team.
July 7 — 2-1 win vs. Colorado, Alvaro Fernandez scored
July 15 — 2-2 tie at New York, Alvaro Fernandez scored
July 28 — 2-1 win at Colorado, Osvaldo Alonso scored
Aug. 5 — 4-0 win vs. LA Galaxy, Alex Caskey/Andy Rose scored
Aug. 11 — 2-1 loss at San Jose, N/A
Aug. 18 — 2-0 win vs. Vancouver, N/A
Aug. 25 — 6-2 win at Chivas USA, Brad Evans scored
Sept. 2 — 1-1 tie at FC Dallas, Mauro Rosales scored
* * *
You’ll also notice that the Sounders haven’t been shut out in the last eight games. Seattle had been held without a goal five times in the first 18 games.
With such balance, to go alongside the stellar form of Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson, it should be no surprise that Sounders FC’s offense is playing at its best.
Seattle is scoring 1.58 goals per game and catching up with last year’s pace of 1.65, which was the best in MLS in 2011.