Bad result was a one-off for Seattle, or sign of larger trouble?

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There seem to be schools of thought on the Seattle Sounders latest collapse at the Home Depot Center, a “house of horrors,” as they say for the team from

On the one hand, this Southern California suffering has become pretty routine stuff for the Sounders. Sigi Schmid’s team is 0-5-1 at the Home Depot Center against the Galaxy since 2010, not on the wrong side of a pretty hideous minus 11 goal difference (13-2).

Besides, Bruce Arena’s team is good at home, now 4-1-1 in Carson and holders of a salty 12-2 goal advantage. So, it’s not just the Sounders who struggle there.

So, it’s a hiccup, right? Schmid seems to believe so, saying more or less that his team played like pooh and indicating a faith in the one-off-ness of Sunday’s 4-0 loss. Said the only MLS coach the Sounders have had:

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, it’s not going to say you’re going to lose every game 4-0. You have to evaluate a body of work. You can’t react to an individual game or an individual 10 minutes or a half or whatever. There’s got to be some accountability, and we’ll address that. The guys know they’re a better team than that, than what they showed in the first half.

So the previously high-flying Sounders, who had won three in a row and were unbeaten in six before traveling south for Sunday’s late match, will get right back into the clobbering business, right.

Well…

There is another school of thinking that says … well, our very own Richard Farley put summed it up nicely within those 140-character parameters:

source:

Osvaldo Alonso sat out with a groin strain – and he is clearly a central element in every Seattle arrangement. Brad Evans, Shalrie Joseph and Servando Carrasco all have their strengths, but none of them is Alonso.

But can that be it? Is the whole thing so rickety that one man’s absence – granted an important one, but still – can cause things to unravel so spectacularly?

And what of the discipline issues increasingly creeping into the Sounders’ effort? Eddie Johnson was lucky to escape a suspension two weeks ago, and Shalrie  Joseph was  correctly ejected late Sunday.

Either way, they’ll need to sort it out fast. Seattle plays Tampa Bay on Wednesday in Florida in U.S. Open Cup play, and then travel right back into Carson for a match against Chivas USA.

PODCAST: Bob Bradley talks MLS past, USMNT

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Scott Nicholls and Otis Earle welcomed Bob Bradley to their “Beyond The Pitch” podcast to discuss his time coaching the Chicago Fire, the Fire’s current squad, how MLS has evolved, the new generation of players coming into the USMNT and more.

Perhaps most interesting is Bradley talking about previous losses with stinging emotion that sounds like they happened yesterday, including the 2000 MLS Cup.

[ MORE: Latest Men In Blazers pod ]

Since being fired from Swansea City after less than 100 days, Bradley has been linked with the Norway national team gig as well as a return to Los Angeles. Keep up with the U.S. coach here, and check it out:

U.S. Open Cup preview: Which underdog has best odds?

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Every dog has its day, and the three lower-tier clubs remaining in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are hoping for a second.

Miami FC, Sacramento Republic, and FC Cincinnati enjoyed wins over Major League Soccer sides in the fourth round, and now get further MLS tests in this week’s fifth round.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Once FC Dallas and Colorado Rapids tangle on Tuesday, attention turns to the underdogs on Wednesday. Who has the best chance to advance?

  1. Miami FC vs. Atlanta United — Playing an MLS expansion side at Riccardo Silva Stadium will give Miami a bit of confidence, and this is also a side with some good experience in pressure spots. Whether it’s manager Alessandro Nesta or MLS vets Michel, Gabriel Farfan, and Michael Lahoud, MFC won’t shy away. Upset chance: Solid.
  2. FC Cincinnati vs. Chicago Fire — The visitors are having a heck of a season in MLS and don’t have a group which will be worried by a huge crowd, but there’s no debating that 25,000-plus in Southern Ohio give FCC more than a puncher’s chance. Upset chance: Improbable, but possible
  3. LA Galaxy vs. Sacramento Republic — If LA puts something close to its best side out there, Sacramento will struggle to stop its attack.  Upset chance: Long shot.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, New England hosts DC United, Philadelphia visits the Red Bulls, Seattle is off to San Jose, and Houston hosts Sporting KC.

WATCH: Spain’s Saul smashes a shot past Italy’s Donnarumma

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Since returning from a loan at Rayo Vallecano, Saul Niguez has been a somewhat under the radar star at Atletico Madrid.

Coming off his best season with Atleti, the 22-year-old Saul is making an even bigger name for himself at the U-21 EURO this summer.

Spain’s Saul scored a hat trick past Gianluigi Donnarumma and Italy on Tuesday, and the second goal was laced with venom.

Getting onto the ball from 30-plus yards out, Saul smashed his shot with enough power that the ball barely had occasion to rotate.

Saul is under contract at the Vicente Calderon through 2022, and has three caps for Spain’s senior team, too. He was rated Atleti’s third-best performer by WhoScored this season.

Men in Blazers podcast: Transfer window, USMNT at Gold Cup, RBNY-NYCFC

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Men In Blazers are back with their latest podcast, and the boys are hitting club soccer here and abroad as well as Bruce Arena’s men in the red, white, and blue.

Rog and Davo break down transfer window activity, rumored and real; get a heat check on the USMNT heading into the Gold Cup; and recap the (Ray) Hudson River Derby.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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