Sunday, March 6, 2011

SOUNDERS FC: Weekend recap

Friday: Timbers: 2 Sounders: 0

The good news for the Sounders is that there were many positives during the match. The Sounders controlled the ball for much of the time, however gave up two goals on counter attacks.

The play defensively seemed a bit out of sync at times, which proved costly on the two Timbers goals. The midfield was solid enough to get the ball forward to create chances, but was slow getting back on defense, which led to an advantage for Portland. The play up front was very lackluster. There were limited opportunities, and the ones that were available were squandered.

To Continue...The theme of the match seemed to be the lack of finishing which has been absent throughout the preseason. In nine pre-season matches the group labeled “The Big Four,” Blaise Nkufo, Fredy Montero, Steve Zakuani, and Alvaro Fernandez have scored zero in match goals. Montero only scoring on two penalty kicks.

The lack of finishing seemed to be a problem in many matches last year, and is already surfacing as an issue for the upcoming season. While it is a concern for head coach Sigi Schmid, he is not panicking yet.

“They want to get goals, we want them to get goals, so it's not a situation of people not wanting it to happen. I think we're around it, we're close to it, but that front four hasn't scored yet,” head coach Sigi Schmid said.

Sunday: Whitecaps: 3 Sounders: 2

The match featured Sounders reserves, which for most was their first crack at the starting 11. It was good to see some of the new players get some time, and for the most part they impressed. Recently signed Swedish midfielder Erik Friberg was very impressive in the center. Michael Tetteh, who was given the start at left-mid, showed great touch and was able to create space between him and his defender.

Just as in Friday’s match, the Sounders seemed to be the ones in control of the game, but mental lapses led to two early goals for Vancouver. Roger Levesque managed to put one in just before half to cut the deficit to one.

After giving up a goal just as the second half began, Miguel Montano scored on a cross that again cut the margin to one. Though the Sounders had some great chances at an equalizer, the score stood, giving the Whitecaps the win.

The Sounders will host the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday in the final tune-up before the regular season gets underway. Match time is scheduled for 7:00 P.M.

Reach Ryan Kinney at