Saturday, May 21

Brian Schmetzer urges Seattle Sounders to rectify ‘disturbing’ defensive errors

Brian Schmetzer has urged his Seattle Sounders team to correct the “disturbing” defending that saw them go 1-0 down in the first half against the LA Galaxy on Monday.

The Sounders were able to recover with Raul Ruidiaz scoring a ‘Panenka’ penalty in the second half.

But the defending for the Galaxy‘s opener left much to be desired, with three Sounders defenders being drawn to Derrick Williams at the near post as Sebastian Lletget whipped in a corner. Williams flicked the ball on to Chicharito, who had subsequently been left free inside the six-yard box to flick the ball home.

Seattle are now winless in five games with the MLS Cup Playoffs right around the corner. If they’re to be a threat in the post-season, things need to improve.

“That one was disturbing,” Schmetzer said of Chicharito’s goal (via the Seattle Times). “Believe it or not, the last couple of weeks we’ve tweaked our defending on our set-pieces. How that goal happened with Chicharito by himself in the box, we’ll look at that and try and correct that.

“But we did a lot of work on defending our corner kicks and then we give up an early goal. … It wasn’t horrible, the performance, but there are certainly areas of improvement that need to happen before going into the playoffs — set pieces, defending, and our attacking rhythm to the game. There was no rhythm to the game.”

Attention now turns to the Sounders’ final game of the regular season, away at the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday. Midfielder Kelyn Rowe says Seattle will be using that match as a confidence-booster ahead of the Playoffs, admitting his side have been “lucky” to suffer this slump before the post-season, not during.

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“I said this a few weeks ago, but we’re lucky this isn’t the playoffs,” Rowe said. “We have another game to go into where we can rectify these events and make sure we’re on the front foot going into the playoffs. We know we’re going to be there, so once the playoffs hit, we need to make sure our mindset is correct as well as our tactics.”

The Sounders are top of the Western Conference, but only hold a single-point lead over Sporting KC, who have played a game less.

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