After being down 2-0 late in the second half, the Seattle Sounders FC (0-1-1,1 point) earned a 2-2 tie with the Montreal Impact(0-1-1,1 point) on a goal by Will Bruin in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
The good news for the Seattle Sounders is that after two road games they have shown a resilience to come from behind and have a point to show for one of those never say day die efforts. After being down 2-0 in Houston versus the Dynamo, the Sounders scored a goal to get back in the game but never found the equalizer and lost 2-1. Saturday night against the Montreal Impact, the Sounders were down 2-0 once again but were able to score two late goals, a Nicolas Lodeiro penalty kick in the 83rd minute and the point stealing Will Bruin stoppage time goal to end the game at 2-2.
The Sounders are showing an inexplicable habit of giving up early goals. While the Rave Greens early offensive efforts were better against the Impact, (the Sounders had chances to score in the 5th and 37th minute) the Sounders gave up goals in the 17th and 51st minute. The grim reality is that the Sounders are playing poor defense.
Goalkeeper Stefan Frei is having to make too many saves, due to a lack of cohesion in the backline. The issue is not talent but communication, center backs Chad Marshall and Roman Torres are two of the best cornerbacks in the game. Left back Joevin Jones continues to improve his man marking while Right back Gustav Svensson is an able replacement for the injured Brad Evans.
The Sounders need to improve their communication so it is clear who is covering the runners that are coming into the box, and how high upfield the team’s defensive line should be. If the Sounders play a high line, Midfielder Cristina Roldan and Ozzie Alonso have to track their players all the way back to the goal. If they fail to do so, the backline will be overmatched in the goal mouth.
If the Sounders defense plays a deep line, that is pack players in the middle and closer to the goal, the backline line will have help with players that a closer to their goal. The drawback is that there will be a lot of players around the goal and anything can happen with so many players around the goal box.
The Sounders next three games are at home starting with the MLS trophy roll out celebration next Sunday, March 19th against the New York Red Bulls. While the mere fact of playing at home won’t cure the team’s defensive woes, it will coach Brian Schmetzer and his staff more practice time to build some cohesion between the backline, and the midfielders.