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

8 Comments

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.

USMNT: Brooks out with hip strain; World Cup qualifiers loom

AP Photo/Michael Sohn
Leave a comment

John Brooks is out of Hertha Berlin’s lineup “for the time being” after scans revealed a hip strain suffered in this weekend’s win over Wolfsburg.

That’s all Hertha has said, and that makes it hard to imagine whether American fans should be a little concerned or very concerned ahead of the USMNT’s World Cup qualifiers against Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago in early June.

Brooks was unavailable for two weeks with an adductor strain in September, missing a month before returning to the starting lineup.

The U.S. center back pool isn’t teeming after Brooks and Geoff Cameron. Matt Besler, Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, and Walker Zimmerman were called up for the last World Cup qualifiers, and Gonzalez struggled but is a Bruce Arena favorite from their time in L.A.

WATCH: Snazzy Sargent goal leads U.S. U-17s past Mexico

twitter.com/_joshsargent_
Leave a comment

Josh Sargent scored a pretty goal as the United States Soccer program had another banner day against Mexico.

Nearly two months to the day after the U.S. U-20 side beat Mexico for the first time in 31 years, the U.S. U-17 topped El Tri for the first time ever. That win snapped Mexico’s 25-match unbeaten streak.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

The goal is the first of Sargent’s two goals, as the 16-year-old latched onto a long diagonal ball and used his right foot and head to move the ball into position for a strong shot.

The U.S. clinches a spot in the next round of U-17 World Cup qualifying with one match remaining in group play.

Sargent is from St. Louis and plays with Scott Gallagher-Missouri. Former Philadelphia Union coach John Hackworth coaches the U.S. U-17s.

Heads of South American soccer sent $128M in bank transfers

AP Photo/Esteban Felix
Leave a comment

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) The leaders of South America’s soccer confederation transferred $128.6 million between 2000 and 2015 to personal accounts, suspicious accounts, or unauthorized third-party accounts, according to an audit released Wednesday by Ernst & Young.

According to the audit presented to the annual CONMEBOL congress in the Chilean capital, the confederation’s former president Nicolas Leoz transferred $26.9 million to his personal accounts. Leoz was the president for 27 years until resigning in 2013 for what he said were health reasons.

The audit also found $58 million in payments “to third parties without adequate documentation,” payments of $33.3 million to “unidentified accounts,” and $10.4 million to “suspicious third-parties.”

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

“We had said that we would have four pillars, and the first two pillars were clear accounts and accountability,” said Alejandro Dominguez, the president of CONMEBOL who commissioned the audit last year. “Today we are accountable to the leaders and the whole world of football.”

Leoz, 88, is one of three ex-presidents of CONMEBOL accused on corruption charges by the United States Department of Justice. He is in Paraguay fighting extradition to the United States.

The South American body has been plagued by corruption, which was exposed two years ago during the FIFA scandal. Leoz’s two successors, Eugenio Figueredo and Juan Angel Napout, were both arrested on corruption charges.

“I’m here, I’m the manager” – Moyes will not quit Sunderland

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Leave a comment

This has been one horrible stretch for David Moyes.

The Sunderland manager probably thought he’d been through the worst once he left Real Sociedad, where he went 12-15-15.

But he’s managed just seven wins and seven draws in 38 matches in charge of the Black Cats — an 18 percent win mark. He’s also been charged for threatening to slap a female journalist.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

And after Wednesday, Moyes has lost both of his derby matches against Middlesbrough.

Sunderland is 12 points back of safety with five matches left. The odds the Black Cats are headed for the Championship are somewhere north of 99 percent, and fans are calling for his job.

Well, he isn’t quitting. From the BBC:

“No, I’m here, I’m the manager, you take it on the chin. … I’m a football supporter, I know what it’s like. You don’t like seeing your team lose.

“There is nobody who wants to win more than me. I am used to winning, I’m not used to losing and I don’t want to get used to it either.”