The evaluation of Sounders FC’s 2012 season was always going to weigh heavily on the team’s success in the MLS Cup playoffs.
But the regular season is important, too, and barring a five-game winning streak to end the year, Seattle will finish with a worse record than it had in 2011.
I asked coach Sigi Schmid about that Friday.
“It doesn’t matter to me in terms of how the record compares to last year,” he said. “We’ve got to make the playoffs, we want to try and get second place (in the West), and then we want to put together a much better playoff run than we did last year. I think that is what’s going to carry the weight of the season, and I know I’m putting pressure on the team and pressure on myself, as well, by saying it that way. But if we have a better record or not a better record than last year, at the end of the day, people aren’t going to remember that nearly as much as they’re going to remember what we did in the playoffs.”
Here’s a look at the past few years:
2012 — 13-7-9 (through 29 games)
2011 — 14-6-9 (through 29 games), 18-7-9 (final)
2010 — 14-9-6 (through 29 games), 14-10-6 (final)
2009 — 11-7-11 (through 29 games), 12-7-11 (final)
It would be easy to place a lot of the blame on a franchise-worst nine-game winless streak earlier in the year, but the Sounders were on record pace just last week. Seattle, which hasn’t played a full strength in over a month, has gone a mediocre 1-1-2 in September to fall behind the 2011 squad.
Through 29 games, this year’s group is actually even on points with the 2010 team.
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Do you think the fact that this regular season won’t be better than last year’s is an indication of something?