After going 7-0-1 in three August competitions, Sounders FC returned to training Monday hoping its hot streak extends into September and beyond.
“August was a pretty good month,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “As we told them, we’ve got to now bring August through to September and carry it with us for the rest of the time. We know what we can accomplish, and when you know that it makes it easier for you to go forward. I’m excited about September, October and November, because that means there’s championship games coming up on the line, and that’s something that we’re looking forward to.”
During August, Seattle went 3-0 in the CONCACAF Champions League, 1-0 in U.S. Open Cup including advancing to their third straight season final, and 3-0-1 in MLS play, with the only blemish an Aug. 13 scoreless home draw with Chivas USA. The Sounders’ MLS run has moved them to within four points of the top-ranked Los Angeles Galaxy, which played to a 2-2 draw at Kansas City on Monday.
“We’re still a young franchise. Based on our youth, yeah, it’s the best month we’ve had,” Schmid said. “Hopefully we’ll have better months. Anytime you win a championship that always makes the month a good month. So, October (when the Sounders became 2010 Open Cup champions) was a good month, too. When you look at all competitions across all the lines, we hit a lot of our targets, a lot of our goals.”
The Sounders had been off since Wednesday, when they defeated Dallas in the Open Cup semifinal. They return to competition at 1 p.m. Saturday when Real Salt Lake visits CenturyLink Field.
That will ignite another flurry of games: three MLS matches and three Champions League matches in an 18-day stretch.
Consequently, it makes the current lull valuable for rest, but there’s also a potential danger it will cool a scorching hot team.
“We had a good run, a good month of August,” forward Mike Fucito said. “But now that’s done and over with, and it’s almost like a fresh start and we can’t rest on what we’ve done. Now it’s get a little bit of time away, refocus, back to work, and hopefully we can continue the momentum we left off with.”
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. today for the U.S. Open Cup final, pairing Seattle and Chicago. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 4 at CenturyLink. … Fucito was one of two Sounders to report to training with a new look Monday. Fucito practiced with nine stitches under his right eye after taking an elbow from Dallas’ Daniel Hernandez late in the Open Cup semifinal. Meanwhile, the normally shaggy Roger Levesque showed up clean shaven, drawing no shortage of comments from coaches and teammates. … Mike Seamon (ankle) was the only player held out of training Monday. … Portland’s draw with Los Angeles last week clinched the MLS reserve division Western title for Sounders FC (7-1). ... Due to the light MLS schedule, no player-of-the-week award was given this week.
Don Ruiz, 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org twitter/donruiztnt blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer