Half an hour into their clash with LAFC on Friday night, things were looking pretty good for the Seattle Sounders.
The visitors were 1-0 up thanks to an own goal from Jesus Murillo, but that was luck they’d more than earned after dominating the opening exchanges. However, by half-time, the Sounders trailed 2-1 after Kwadwo Opoku and Carlos Vela netted twice in eight minutes.
While Seattle naturally created more in the second half as they chased the game, they were never truly able to replicate that opening 30 minutes. Head coach Brian Schmetzer was critical of the way his side dropped their levels after taking a precious lead on the road at the current Supporters’ Shield leaders.
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“You expect a good team that’s playing at home like LAFC to raise the intensity of their performance,” he said, adding: “But after we took a lead at 1-0, there were many moments where we just didn’t play like we had those first 20 to 25 minutes.
“They started to get a hold of the game a little bit and yeah, there were some defensive errors that we’ll clean up. But it was down to us not continuing to be on the front foot.”
So much focus has been given to LAFC’s attack this season, especially following the arrival of Gareth Bale. But it was their defense that impressed most on Friday, recovering well after an early setback and frustrating a talented Seattle side.
“Things were just a little bit disjointed,” Sounders forward Jordan Morris said. “We weren’t able to create as much as we wanted, obviously. They definitely made it tough. They’re a good team.”
Morris continued: “We were just trying to get a goal and it’s just frustrating. We’d tried to maybe exploit (LAFC), get our wingbacks high and have more people in the box and it didn’t work out, unfortunately.”