Thursday, November 13, 2014

Seattle Sounders Unable to Secure Win Against Real Salt Lake

The Seattle Sounders FC didn't particularly play well against Real Salt Lake on July 4, but they managed to escape with a 0-0 draw against their Western Conference rivals. With the results of the match, the Sounder's remain winless in their last nine MLS games.

"You guys [put] a lot of attention on it," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid told reporters after the match. "I think maybe our winless streak is as long as the Galaxy's one was and I know Dallas' is longer than ours, and so forth. ... But it's a thing that happens and obviously we have to get out of this streak and we have to start winning games. It will help our confidence, as well. You know, we thought we had one last week and if we had gotten away with that one, which we thought we should have, then we'd be okay right now."

Fortunately for the Sounders, they're not the only team in the Western Conference struggling right now. And they remain at the third spot in the conference standings, trailing the first place San Jose Earthquakes - who they eliminated from the 2012 US Open cup on June 26 - by 10 points.

Salt Lake dominated the encounter between the two teams, controlling the ball for the majority of the match. Fortunately for the Sounders, their defense showed up to play on Wednesday, and goalkeeper Bryan Meredith wasn't too shabby either.

The Sounders almost stole three points in the final minutes of the match, but Cordell Cato wasn't able to capitalize on a well-played cross by Mauro Rosales.

"It's simple. We got a counterattack and Mauro was bursting down the left side, so I was trying my best coming from the center of midfield to get there," Cato said after the game. "That's what happens sometimes man. I just got there a little late."

The Sounders inability to win games is certainly a cause for concern at this point, and it's about time they made some adjustments on the offensive end. They'll now get two days off before hosting the Colorado Rapids on July 7.

David has been a fan of the Seattle Sounders for the past 3 years. Follow him on twitter @davidkingwriter.
 
Sources:
Joshua Mayers, "Servando Carrasco: 'We told ourselves we were going to play to zero and we did.'"

Larry Bird Commends LeBron James’ Postseason Performance

Coming into the 2012 NBA season, LeBron James received a lot of criticism for his role in the Miami Heat's loss to the Dallas Mavericks during the 2011 Finals, but it only fired up the Ohio native.

Instead of folding under the pressure, LeBron put up impressive numbers throughout the 2011/12 regular season, leading the Heat to the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoff bracket. His performance was enough to earn him the regular season Most Valuable Player award, but "King James" was far from done.

Given the Heat's struggles against the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls during the regular season, many didn't think they'd be able to win the east. However, the Heat cruised past the New York Knicks in the first round, and they overcame adversity against the Indiana Pacers thanks to James' impressive play. Miami found themselves in some more trouble in their next series against the Celtics, trailing 2-3 after five games, and for a moment, it looked like their season was about to come to an end.

However, LeBron carried the Heat on his shoulders, putting up some historic numbers in the process. He kept up his impressive play during the finals, securing his first NBA title and the Finals MVP award.
Without a doubt, LeBron has earned his place as one of the true greats, and he's clearly the best player in the NBA right now. Even Hall of Famer, Larry Bird, was impressed with LeBron's performance during the postseason.

"He [LeBron] actually carried them all the way through the playoffs," Bird said during an interview with ESPN. "If you go back to the beginning of the playoffs, has anyone ever had a better run? It'd seem like you'd have a bad game once in awhile. He never did have a bad game. He was so focused. You just saw his confidence build and build and build. He should go down in history as one of the top players and maybe he can get close to Michael [Jordan]."

David is a Miami Heat fan that has followed the team for 16 years. Follow him on twitter @davidkingwriter.
 
Sources:
Brian Windhorst, "Bird weighs in on LeBron and the Heat"

Sounders Hope to Snap Winless Streak Against Rapids

The Seattle Sounders FC haven't been playing too well lately, failing to win a single game in their last nine MLS outings.

Fortunately for the Sounders, they always seem to snap out of their funk when it's time for US Open Cup play, but they'll want to have a little momentum going into their July 11 semi-final match against Chivas USA.
For now, the Sounders are focused on their next game against the Colorado Rapids on July 7. Colorado is right behind fourth place Seattle in the MLS Western Conference table, and it should be a very competitive match.

"Yeah, definitely. We'd like to win, for sure," Sounders coach Sigi Schmid told reporters when asked about snapping their current winless streak. "We want to be a tough team to beat and I think we've gotten back to that. I think we lost that for a couple of games and we've gotten back to that, which is very important. Now it's a matter of the soccer catching up and us playing better and walking away with a win."

Even though Seattle's defense has had its share of problems during their winless streak, they've turned things around in their recent outings, holding their last three opponents to only two goals. Unfortunately for the Sounders, they continue to struggle on the offensive end, blowing multiple goal scoring opportunities in their last few games.

"We know we have very good players who can turn this around," Sounders forward Fredy Montero told reporters about their upcoming contest against the Rapids. "We know what we need to do for the next game at home. We need to get three points; doesn't matter how we play. If we play good or bad, the most important thing is the three points."

Given how well the Sounders started off the 2012 MLS season, it's a little disheartening to see them struggle. However, it's not too late for them to salvage their season, but their forwards will have to step it up a notch.

David has been a fan of the Seattle Sounders for the past 3 years. Follow him on twitter @davidkingwriter.
 
Sources:
Joshua Mayers, "Servando Carrasco: 'We told ourselves we were going to play to zero and we did.'"

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Seattle Sounders Snap Nine-game Winless Streak Against Rapids

The Seattle Sounders FC snapped their nine-game winless streak on July 7, defeating the Colorado Rapids 2-1 at CenturyLink Field. With the victory, the Sounders hold on to the third spot in the MLS Western Conference table, trailing the first place San Jose Earthquakes by only seven points.

"It's nice to get three points," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid told reporters after the match. "I guess the rumors of our demise were maybe a little bit premature, but I thought for at times today we played some good soccer. The soccer caught up a little bit, which is what I had been saying. As long as we keep fighting and battling and become a tough team to beat our soccer will get back to where it was and tonight for good stretches of time I thought our soccer was good."

Both teams started off slow on Saturday, with neither team scoring any goals in the first half. The Sounders finally opened up the scoreboard in the second half, thanks to Alvaro Fernandez, who nodded in a Mauro Rosales corner-kick in the 52nd minute. The Sounders doubled their advantage eight minutes later when Eddie Johnson headed in a cross from Rosales.

The Rapids didn't go down without a fight, and they cut the Sounders' lead down to a goal in the 79th minute. Omar Cummings capitalized on a nice cross by Luis Zapata, tapping the ball past Seattle goalkeeper Bryan Meredith. The Rapids gave the Sounders a serious scare in the 85th minute when Jeff Larentowicz fired a shot past Meredith, but he ended up being ruled offside.

After being sidelined for over a year, Seattle midfielder Steve Zakuani made his long awaited return in the 86th minute. The 24 year-old received a standing ovation from the Seattle faithful, and he even shared an embrace with Colorado midfielder Brian Mullan - who broke Zakuani's leg with an unnecessary rough tackle during the 2011 MLS season - after the match.

"I tried to kind of take it in and just compose myself, thinking, 'Just enjoy the moment,'" Zakuani said. "There honestly was a time when I thought I would never play football again. Honestly. ... To be back there was, for me, the biggest achievement. I just took it in. I just said, 'No matter how it goes ... just enjoy yourself.' Tonight was just about crossing that white line and being happy that you did it, and taking it in."

The Sounders will now return to US Open Cup play, where they'll face Chivas USA in the semifinals of the tournament on July 11.

David has been a fan of the Seattle Sounders for the past 3 years. Follow him on twitter @davidkingwriter.
 
Sources:
Joshua Mayers, "Sigi Schmid: 'I guess the rumors of our demise were maybe a little bit premature.'"
SeatteTimes.com, "Sounders' Steve Zakuani thankful to be back in game action"