Brian Schmetzer knows that when the Sounders open the MLS season on Friday against Minnesota United FC in Lumen Field, Lawns will be disgusted.
The Sounders’ legendary, absolutely shocking comeback came from a 2-0 lead to win the Western Conference title with three late goals in December. And Minnesota bore the brunt of it.
“It was a special moment for Seattle’s sports,” Schmetzer said Thursday. “But you know, Minnesota was on the opposite end of that euphoria.”
Funny joke that he should use that phrase. Sounds know everything about being on the opposite end of the euphoria. They felt it in their next game after the Minnesota bloodshed.
How exciting it was for the Sounders to win the MLS Cup for the fourth time in the last five years, in 2020, in 2020, to reach the extreme edge and then stay short was terribly shocking.
You better believe that the 3-0 defeat to Columbus Crew was stuck in their straw. And so, as the new season unfolds with countless changes ավելին More Seattle intrigue than soundtracks will get their voices from the nurses.
“I think our team is motivated,” said veteran midfielder Christian Rolda. “It simply came to our notice then. Our last game is what was most important շատ, we were short. “So our team is motivated to get back on the pitch, to send a message that we can get there, we can have a really good year, our last game was sad.”
The Sounders will try those efforts, which they hope are the weakening remnants of the COVID-19 epidemic that have disrupted their sport along with everyone else. This game will mark the first time they have released live fans since the early stages of the 2020 season.
They will play without fail in their dynastic run – Jordan Worm Morris, who was transferred to Swansea City on loan and then suffered a devastating knee injury. Due to many related developments, the Sounders will feature two forward strikers who will have a profound impact on their style of play.
“We relied heavily on Jordan last year,” Rolda said. “So the formation changed, didn’t it?” We do not have fast, fast wingers like Jordan. So it’s hard to replace him. “Now what we can do is strategically plan, use the power of our players, who are our bodyguards, have two capable strikers, three capable strikers to put the ball in the goal.”
He means Raul Ruiaz, Will Bruin, the newly acquired Freddie Montero, as a striker. On Friday, however, the team will likely be without the help of Sounders’ all-time leading goal scorer Nico Lodeiro, who suffered an undetected injury during training.
The Sounders are also absent from past stops such as Gustav Swenson, Calvin Liddam և ev in ones ounce, along with Morris. It is expected that the flow of young players above the norm will leave its mark during the season.
But Schmetzer worsens the idea that this is a season of unusual cataclysmic change for the organization. As he said, change in sports is a way of life, in previous years the sounds were defenseless.
“It was quite a big, monumental change, when (former coach Sigi Schmid) left, I took over,” he said. “There have been many players who have come and gone from this privilege. … I mean, there has There have been many changes. But you know, I think that’s just normal. “
What does not change is the expectation of the Sounders in the MLS Cup race. And as long as they have players like Lodeiro, Ruidiaz, Roland և goalkeeper Stephen Frey, that’s realistic despite the turnover.
“I think we’re a playoff team that gets out of bed,” Sounders CEO Garth Lagervin told KJR-AM this week.
How much they get out of it will largely depend on how well the new elements come together. It may take a season for that to happen, but forcing the team to unite at the right time for the playoffs was Schmetzer’s strength.
Of course, last year it all came together in a shocking absurd final against the staff. And that bitter memory will be the background not only for Friday’s opening, but for the whole season.
“As a team athlete, there is a legacy you will leave behind, and that legacy will be how many cups you could help place in your cupboard for your team,” said Frey.
“Not many teams, not many players get a chance to play for cups. So we had a very high standard, it’s something to be proud of. But you know that the standard is not your heritage. There will be cups. “
Frey hopes the disappointing ending reinforces the need for a vital approach to each game. Last year, the Sounders were two points behind Columbus, which meant that the difference between hosting the Cup, as they successfully did in 2019, was playing in a hostile environment in Columbus, Ohio.
“I think the lesson to learn again is that we needed to take maybe three points elsewhere during the season,” Frey said. “We get those three points, we play this final at home. It is a completely different game.
“It’s difficult, but I’m still happy that we had the opportunity. I hope this is something that motivates the boys, makes them have another chance at it. And I hope at home, in front of our fans. “
Something that does not change for Seattle. A multi-year search for the right end of the final euphoria.