Sounders look forward to U.S. Open Cup game

Seattle moves on from 4-0 drubbing at L.A. with match at NASL’s Tampa Bay.

By Don Ruiz

The News Tribune

The Seattle Sounders catch a break this week in their eagerness to wash away the stain of one of the worst losses in franchise history: a 4-0 drubbing at Los Angeles on Sunday.

“For us, the next game can’t be soon enough,” goalkeeper Michael Gspurning said. “I think most of the guys would want to play (Monday) because that’s the only way you can make changes for the future.”

Now, the Sounders have only one more day to wait before getting back onto the pitch, this time in the U.S. Open Cup against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. That game will be played at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Open Cup is a loser-out tournament, so the Sounders cannot survive another performance like the one they provided Sunday before a national television audience.

“We have to forget about what we did tonight,” Sounders captain Mauro Rosales said Sunday. “Tonight, we did everything wrong. (Before that) we were in rhythm, and this is how we have to play. Not today, not in the first half and not in the second half did we control the game; but at least in the second we did it more together as a group. We faced the second half with a different mentality and we needed this mentality in the first half before the goals.”

All four Galaxy goals were clustered from the 12th to 44th minutes in the first half. Three came from designated player Robbie Keane, and two of those came on penalty kicks.

The first PK came after a foul in the penalty area was called on Djimi Traore, and the next came 10 minutes later on a Brad Evans foul that also drew a yellow card.

“I didn’t think the first one was a penalty,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “I thought it was a good tackle by Djimi Traore. I thought the second one was a penalty; but I didn’t think the first one was.”

The four-goal margin matched the largest defeat ever for the Sounders in an MLS game. But Schmid tried to balance that against the three-game winning streak and six-game unbeaten streak that preceded it.

“When you beat San Jose 4-0, that’s not going to say you’re going to win every game 4-0; and when you lose here 4-0, that’s not going to say you’re going to lose every game 4-0,” he said. “You have to evaluate a body of work. You can’t react to an individual game or individual 10 minutes or a half or whatever. There’s got to be some accountability, and we’ll address that.”

Most of the team traveled directly to Florida on Monday. However, some players not in Schmid’s plans for the Open Cup match were expected to return to Seattle, while others who didn’t travel to L.A. were expected to join the team in Florida.

Schmid had said last week that he would evaluate which of his players could handle two games in four days, while also planning for another league match back in Southern California on Saturday against Chivas USA.

Sounders who played the full 90 minutes Sunday were Gspurning, Traore, DeAndre Yedlin, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Brad Evans and Obafemi Martins. Eddie Johnson played 72 minutes, Rosales and Servando Carrasco played 65, Lamar Neagle and David Estrada played 25, and Mario Martinez played 18.

Shalrie Joseph played 87 minutes before drawing a red card. That does not affect his Open Cup availability but makes him ineligible for the next MLS match at Chivas.

The Sounders fell to 4-4-3 in MLS. The Rowdies are 3-2-2 in the second-division North American Soccer League.

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