November 8, 2013 at 6:21 PM
October 30, 2013 at 3:53 PM
October 27, 2013 at 11:01 PM
Sigi Schmid couldn’t have been more clear regarding his confidence in the Sounders going into the playoffs.
Moments after the team settled for a 1-1 tie Sunday against the Los Angeles Galaxy, amid Fan Appreciation Day festivities on the field, the coach, microphone in hand, said: “We’re going to defeat Colorado.”
So how would you rate your own confidence?
* * *
October 24, 2013 at 3:20 PM
October 10, 2013 at 2:48 PM
Here is part of what Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid had to say after Wednesday’s 4-1 home loss to Vancouver:
“We’ve taken nine goals in two games. Our defense has been porous. … Our goalkeeping hasn’t been good. Our central defending hasn’t been good.”
There is something that stands out in that statement (expanded comments here), and that was mentioning the goalkeeping.
Goalkeeper, of course, is a position unlike any in soccer — only one can play at a time — so when the coach says the starter hasn’t played well, it leads to a follow-up question: Is it time to consider a change?
Schmid was asked as much in his postgame press conference as it relates to Michael Gspurning (starter) and Marcus Hahnemann (backup).
“I think we have to look at everything,” the coach said. “I think we have to look at goalkeeper, I think we have to look at defenders, we have to look at midfielders, we have to look at attackers, because the performance of the team hasn’t been good enough. There’s nobody that’s a given right now.”
Schmid, asked later about Gspurning’s struggles, said he wasn’t going to single Gspurning out, and that no one on the team is making plays right now.
Afterward, Gspurning was relayed the sentiment that all positions are up for grabs, including his own, and here was his response when asked about his own performance: “Well, I feel like the rest of the team — horrible. I’m sorry (to my) teammates about the last goal because this was clearly my fault. But it was a not game-changer. It wasn’t fun, the last two games, always 10 or 12 one-on-one situations and the striker can decide where he wants the ball. OK, if you’re lucky, you make some saves. This happens, and, yeah, I can’t say anything more. My mind is empty.”
For context, Gspurning was arguably the best goalkeeper in MLS last season and had one of the best goals-against averages in league history. Before these last two games, he might have been considered another Goalkeeper of the Year finalist; this season he is one shutout short of tying Kasey Keller‘s record for clean sheets in a season (11).
Ultimately, goalkeeper is unique again in that it is a position hard to evaluate by statistics, where bad figures don’t always reflect bad performance, and vice versa. There are certain intangibles, also, that can’t be categorized in stats, like decision making in coming out for crosses and coming off your line or even things like communication and organization of the defense.
So weighing all of that, what do you think?
* * *
October 4, 2013 at 2:01 PM
As we enter the final weeks of the MLS regular season, it’s about time to consider postseason awards.
One of the races that has been particularly popular is Coach of the Year, and here are links to discussion from Soccer America, Soccer by Ives, ProSoccerTalk, and ESPN analysts Alexi Lalas and Taylor Twellman.
Sounders FC’s Sigi Schmid isn’t mentioned as a finalist in the first two and comes in as the sixth coach mentioned in the latter two (with only Twellman saying Schmid deserves the title if Seattle wins the Supporters’ Shield).
It is something that has certainly caught my eye, particularly as the Sounders have essentially the best record in the league (15-8-6, 1.76 points per game). Not to mention Schmid has had to use 33 different lineups in 34 games this season in all competitions due to extensive injuries and national team call-ups.
I asked the coach after practice Friday if not being mentioned much is particularly bothersome or motivating.
“No, it doesn’t bother me,” Schmid said. “It doesn’t bother me at all. All I’m concerned about is our team doing well. If we can win trophies, I don’t care about the other side of it, the individual awards. It doesn’t matter.”
So is it just a matter of everyone expecting success from the Sounders (not to mention a $9 million payroll)?
“You just go out there and you play,” he said. “There’s an expectation that we do well and then there’s doubt when we struggle a little bit all of a sudden. It can’t be both ways. It has to be one way or the other. I think for us, it’s just a matter of we have to concentrate on what we’re doing as a team, concentrate on the next game, and leave everything else behind. We don’t have to worry about Coach of the Year awards. We don’t have to worry about MVP awards. We don’t worry about Defender of the Year. We don’t have to worry about any of that stuff. We just have to do our job.”
What do you think?
* * *
September 30, 2013 at 11:03 AM
This is the first time the Sounders have had three players with at least eight goals in a season, an honor shared by Eddie Johnson, Obafemi Martins and Lamar Neagle.
In fact, the team had never had three players with even six or more goals.
Here is a year-by-year look:
2009 — Fredy Montero (12), Nate Jaqua (9), Steve Zakuani (4)
2010 — Fredy Montero (10), Steve Zakuani (10), Blaise Nkufo (5)
2011 — Fredy Montero (12), Alvaro Fernandez (9) Mauro Rosales/Brad Evans/Lamar Neagle (5)
2012 — Eddie Johnson (14), Fredy Montero (13), David Estrada (5)
So how do you think this year will play out in the final five games. Remember, there is always a chance Johnson could be called up by the U.S. men’s national for World Cup qualifiers in October.
* * *
September 19, 2013 at 8:58 PM
September 17, 2013 at 12:48 PM
Statistics only tell part of the story, but so far Clint Dempsey‘s don’t look so good with the Sounders.
355 minutes. 0 goals. 0 assists. Just three of his 18 shots have been on goal.
Dempsey, for one, isn’t concerned.
“I’m liking the touches that I’m getting, the chances that I’m creating,” he said. “I like the way in which I’m playing the game, but yeah, I’d like to be scoring goals and getting assists. I think that’s something that will eventually come. I’ve done that with every team that I’ve been on before, and those are the things that are lacking at the moment.”
Coach Sigi Schmid said after practice Tuesday that the lack of production is not something to worry about.
“I think his goals will come,” the coach added. “If he saves all his goals for the playoffs, I’m OK with that, too, because I think he’ll get his goals. He wants to do well, and anybody who is used to scoring goals, the pressure builds a little bit, but sometimes you just have to let the steam off a little bit and just relax. Somehow when you least expect it, all of a sudden it happens for you.”
Dempsey was asked if he feels like he’s been pressing to get that first goal or assist, and how he’s gone about trying to stay patient. Of course, one would expect the team going 7-1 since his signing and taking over first place helps.
“They’ll just come when they come,” Dempsey said. “All you can do is work hard. That’s all you can control. If I’m putting in a good shift every time I’m on the field, that’s all I can control. As long as you’re getting chances and creating chances for other people, those are the only ways that those things are going to happen for you. I feel like I’ve been doing that in games and it’s just a matter of time.”
You would expect optimism from the Sounders in a situation like this, and 355 minutes isn’t a large sample size, but what do you think?
* * *
September 14, 2013 at 11:38 PM
About the author
Trending with readers