Sounders FC has scored more goals this season than any other team in Major League Soccer.
And the Sounders have done it without any player among the top 20 individual goal-scorers in the league.
“I think what we’re doing really well is we’re making goals all over the field,” midfielder Alvaro Fernandez said through an interpreter after training Tuesday. “They’re coming from midfield, coming from the forwards, too. I think we have a lot of options, and that’s what’s helping us at this point.”
Seattle has 42 goals, one more than the second-place New York Red Bulls, who have played one fewer game.
The Sounders also are second in the 18-team league in assists (38), fifth in shots on goal (121) and seventh in shots (342).
Fourteen players have scored for the Sounders, led by Fernandez and Fredy Montero, with six each.
“It’s important to get anybody hot, and if Fredy’s the guy that goes hot for us, that’s all the better,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “Whenever you’ve got anybody who plays close to the goal that’s scoring goals, that makes it easier for your team. He knows there’s other weapons on the team, so the pressure is not on him in that regard. But he also puts pressure on himself: He wants to score goals.”
Montero is the club’s career goals leader. He led Seattle with 12 goals in 2009 and shared the team lead with Steve Zakuani last season, with 10 each.
This season, Zakuani scored two goals in six games before suffering season-ending leg injuries April 22. O’Brian White also contributed two goals before being lost to blood clots in his leg. Blaise Nkufo, who projected as a top goal-scorer coming into this season, retired before contributing a goal.
The absences of Zakuani, White and Nkufo have been eased by the contributions of Lamar Neagle, who has scored all five of his career goals since May 28; and Mauro Rosales, who has contributed to 14 goals: scoring five and assisting on nine.
“We’re doing a better job of holding the ball on the final third of the field – I think that’s helped us,” Schmid said. “We’re certainly getting goals from different places on the field – I think that helps as well. But I think the main things (are) we’re doing a better job of holding the ball in the final third of the field, connecting our passes, and just being a little bit patient at the right time.”
Reserve goalkeeper Terry Boss could be lost for the season due to concussion symptoms.
Boss has a history of concussions and apparently suffered another late last week while on duty with the Puerto Rican national team.
“He’ll be out for our game on Saturday (against Real Salt Lake at CenturyLink Field), as we see it right now,” Schmid said. “… For sure it’s a thing that could threaten the rest of the season at this stage, with the amount that it’s been. And then whether it goes beyond that as to the career, that’s something that you have to see.”
The other goalkeepers on the roster are starter Kasey Keller and rookie Josh Ford. Schmid said the club is considering whether to add a goalkeeper to the roster or to use a keeper from an MLS emergency pool.
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org twitter/donruiztnt blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer