The beauty of three-game weeks is that there isn’t much time to dwell on the results, as another game is just around the corner.
That may not be much consolation for the Seattle Sounders, but after a disappointing 2-1 home loss to CF Montreal, they’ll have to take the positives where they can get them. Unfortunately, the positives during the match itself were early, and not often.
After a brilliant start in which the Sounders easily exploited Montreal’s high pressure, they suddenly couldn’t, and for the rest of the first half, gave up possession to the visitors, couldn’t recover the ball and returned it when they did. The lead was also relatively short, when Jackson Ragen was taken into possession, leading to a 2-on-1 break.
Things got a bit better to start the second half until they didn’t…again. And while possession stats improved, the Sounders were seemingly chasing shadows, and often Montreal forwards who had little trouble getting into dangerous positions. The visitors were eventually rewarded with a second goal in the 62nd when Mason Toye salvaged the end of a pass from Kei Kamara and beat Nouhou to the ball to give Montreal the winning margin. The Sounders mounted a late charge, but eventually ran out of time.
It might be necessary to have a stock watch from the Jordan Morris 2022 World Cup. Only a few weeks ago the chatter was that he was outside watching the World Cup team USMNT 2022. With a handful of goals – including the Nations League equalizer – things are looking up for Morris, who was a one-man wrecker against Impact. Granted, playing a high line with a scoring defender Morris seems like a questionable way to go through life, but Morris still has to convert his opportunities, and in the 3rd minute he did so with aplomb. Morris now has four goals in his last five appearances for club and country.
Moments after Morris upset Montreal and opened the scoring, he had an almost identical chance. Although it was eventually flagged offside, it seemed like a tactic the Sounders could exploit at will. But other than a few half chances, they never really got to capitalize for the rest of the game. Given the Sounders’ inability to sustain attacks throughout the game, a lane 1 football might have been the way to go, but it wasn’t something they were able to use consistently during the game.
With the win, Montreal climbed to the top of the Eastern Conference standings, likely a surprise to those who haven’t seen them play up close or haven’t paid much attention to the other side of the game. the league. It’s easy to see why they’re having a successful season: their offense is quite dangerous, even if a key element or two is missing. While Kai Kamara is at the end of his career, he still caused all kinds of problems for the Sounders, collecting two assists. With players like Romell Quioto and Djordje Mihailovic having solid seasons, it’s not hard to see why they’ve had an attacking resurgence.
Whether it was the inability to hold onto the ball or turning the ball over in bad positions, the Sounders were, overall, the architects of their own demise. Montreal’s high press caused all sorts of problems for the Sounders, and aside from the opportunities when they were able to release Morris in dangerous positions, it was a disappointing team performance. Rare is the time someone gets the better of Nouhou, and when that happens, you know the Sounders are going to have a tough day at the office.
To be sure, 3-1-1 isn’t an unreasonable performance in a five-game streak. As coach Brian Schmetzer noted, 10 points out of 15 extrapolated over an MLS season will leave you in contention for the Supporters Shield. But only half of those games are at home, and as Schmetzer also pointed out, you have to win your home games. The Sounders will therefore have to find places to make up for lost points at home, with their next opportunity in less than 72 hours in Toronto, on short rest, with a significantly reduced roster. Nobody said it would be easy.