Follow us:

Sounders FC

Daily coverage of Seattle Sounders FC, MLS and world soccer.

October 1, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Hitting the Sounders on the break and the ‘counter-counter’

The two goals Chivas USA scored in the first half Saturday afternoon at CenturyLink were the eighth and ninth the Sounders had allowed in their last three games alone. And both came against the run of play with Seattle caught in transition between attack and defense, both in midfield and in the back.

Those spaces were closed down in the second half, as the Sounders were able to batten down the hatches and squeeze out a 4-2 win behind their offensive firepower.

“Obviously, the first half wasn’t our best half, but we sorted some things out tactically at halftime and I think we executed those things well in the second half,” said Jalil Anibaba, who played center back on Saturday. “… Just not being exposed on counters. In the first half, we were a little bit too exposed. We threw a few too many times forward when we didn’t need to.”

It’s an issue the Sounders are likely to confront again, first of all in Colorado this weekend and perhaps most pressingly in a potential playoff series against Dallas, which hit Seattle on the break for the eventual game-winning goal in last week’s meeting in Frisco.

“Almost any team looks to counter on us, simply because we have so many guys that are so good at attacking,” Anibaba said. “The way to hit us is to be on counters.”

It’s also an issue that Jonathan Wilson touched on today in the Guardian in his typically informative breakdown of Manchester City’s 1-1 Champions League draw with Roma yesterday. City have similarly struggled at the European level to find a counter to opponent’s counterattacks — to master that transition between going forward and tracking back — and it has so far limited its ceiling in the competition.

The team dynamics and the stakes may be different, but it’s a part of the game that could similarly limit Seattle’s ambitions come November and December unless they’re sorted out.

You can find Wilson’s story in its entirety — and I’d highly recommend it in its entirety — here.

| More in Good soccer reads, MLS, Sounders FC

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►