Defensive midfielders rarely get the credit they deserve when things go well. The plaudits go to the goal scorers and the more advanced attackers, the creators freed up by the dirty work behind them.
Defensive midfielders also rarely get saddled with the blame after losses, with the fingers being pointed at the more direct targets on the back line.
Gonzalo Pineda shouldered the responsibility for Seattle’s 3-0 loss to Los Angeles on Monday night anyway.
“My job is to take control of the ball,” Pineda said after training Tuesday at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. “My job is to take control of the midfield, win our 50/50 balls then give the ball to Clint, to Oba, to Pappa so they can create.
“Yesterday, I didn’t do that. That’s my responsibility.”
His partnership with Osvaldo Alonso has been one of the shining lights of Sounders season full of them.
They shield the Sounders back line and work as a link between it and the attack. They help create passing lanes and have been the point of origin for many of Seattle’s league-best 35 goals.
Monday night was a different story. Los Angeles’ Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho were the pairing filling those roles Pineda outlined above.
Galaxy attacker Landon Donovan said afterward that his team won the battle of the midfield.
And Pineda didn’t dispute that on Tuesday.
“I had my responsibility for yesterday and I can accept it and try to work on that,” Pineda said.
“I have to look at video and see what I have to do better the next time.”
By the numbers: 10-0 – The Galaxy’s edge in open-play crosses during the opening 45 minutes.
In their own words: “Situations like that have to be speed bumps, not detours” – Seattle coach Sigi Schmid.
Looking ahead: Sounders at San Jose Earthquakes, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.