Sounders suffer 2nd straight home loss

CREW 2, SOUNDERS FC 0: Seattle outplays Columbus but can’t take advantage of several scoring chances

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.comMay 24, 2012 

Sounders FC dominated the run of play Wednesday but lost to the Columbus Crew, 2-0.

It’s soccer. It happens.

But what concerns Sounders coach Sigi Schmid is that it’s happening a little too regularly for a once-sizzling club that now hasn’t won since May 9.

The latest loss, before a crowd of 38,311 at CenturyLink Field, marked Columbus’ first win in eight tries against the Sounders. And combined with a 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake on May 12, it marked the first back-to-back home losses for Seattle since 2010.

“Not happy,” Schmid said. “It doesn’t matter how much possession we have or how much we dominate that part or how much possession we have in their end of the field, it’s the final quality of what you do.

“Right now we’re just making individual errors, and those individual errors are costing us, and people are punishing us for them.”

Schmid wasn’t talking only about Wednesday. The defeat dropped the Sounders to 0-2-1 over their last three matches. And Schmid thinks he has seen a recurring problem through the slump.

“Individual mistakes,” he said. “It’s individual mistakes of people just doing the wrong reaction. We’re also hurting ourselves because we’re also turning the ball over at times. It’s just right now we seem to be not on the same page at times when we’re doing things. That’s my job, and I’ve got to make sure we get on the same page.”

Schmid had no problem noting the individual mistakes that cost his club on Wednesday: defensive failure by defender Adam Johansson on the first goal and by goalkeeper Bryan Meredith on the second – along with missed chances by Alvaro Fernandez, Fredy Montero and others.

Seattle took 21 shots to Columbus’ five, and put six shots on goal to Columbus’ two. However, both the Crew’s went it, and Schmid was clear neither should have.

The first came in the 15th minute, when Justin Meram darted in front of Johansson and headed a cross past Meredith.

The second came in the 76th minute, when Emilio Renteria unleashed a looping strike from 30 yards. Meredith got fingers to it, but couldn’t coax it over the crossbar.

“Definitely not a good day for me; not a good day for the team,” Meredith said. “I think right now we’re in a bit of a slump, and (we) just have to find our way out of it.”

Still, Seattle had chances to match those two goals and more. One of the best came late in the first half, when Fernandez headed the ball wide of an open goal. He stood with his head in his hands as the final seconds of the half ticked away.

In the second half for Columbus (4-4-3), keeper Andy Gruenebaum sprawled to knock away a Montero strike from point-blank range.

“Credit Columbus,” Seattle forward Eddie Johnson said. “We had a lot of chances. Their keeper made some good saves on Fredy’s opportunities. But on another day those shots go in.”

The Sounders (7-3-2) return to MLS play Saturday at Chivas USA.

“The good thing is that we’ve got a quick turnaround so we don’t have a long time to dwell on this loss,” Johnson said. “We’ve got a tough game coming up … and we’ve just got to be prepared to go out there and get a result.”

OPEN CUP

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. today for the Sounders’ third-round U.S. Open Cup match against the NASL Atlanta Silverbacks, which will be played at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila.

Tickets are available at the CenturyLink Field box office, by calling 1-800-745-3000 or visiting www.ticketmaster.com. General admission seats are $16 for covered grandstand and $12 for uncovered bleachers.

Meanwhile, U.S. Soccer has announced possible pairings for the fourth-round of U.S. Open Cup.

If the Sounders advance, they will visit the Portland Timbers, or host Cal FC of the United States Adult Soccer Association at Starfire. In either case, the game would be played at 7:30 p.m. on June 5.

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com 253-597-8808 blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer @donruiztnt

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