Sounders Notes: Defensive errors costly, Dempsey focuses on World Cup

DeAndre Yedlin

By TIM FONTENAULT

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Like most players in the Seattle Sounders’ lineup Sunday night at New England, DeAndre Yedlin started hot. His blistering pace had him all over the pitch and nearly produced a fourth-minute goal. It looked like Major League Soccer’s top club had been off for a week, not three used for traveling.

Yedlin only lasted 60 minutes, however, with Sigi Schmid electing to take out his young right back in favor of Leonardo Gonzalez at the hour mark. It was not an issue of stamina, nor was it because Yedlin could be called into the pre-World Cup camp for the United States.

“He was playing poorly,” Schmid said.

Though he was talking about Yedlin specifically in that instance, Schmid expressed his displeasure with everyone on the pitch for Seattle during a 5-0 loss to the Revolution at Gillette Stadium. The Sounders had 60.7 percent of the possession and looked prime to strike first in the match — especially when Obafemi Martins had a wide-open header in the goalmouth — but mental mistakes and bad turnovers gave New England chance after chance, never needing to build possession up over a stretch of time. They went right at Seattle and punished every mishap.

“I know what happened,” Seattle full back Brad Evans said, “just a couple defensive errors, and yea, I don’t know.”

Seattle did have an unforgiving schedule this week. After a come-from-behind win at CenturyLink Field over FC Dallas on Wednesday, the Sounders had to fly across the country for a Sunday night showdown with one of the league’s hottest teams. The Sounders, however, do not see that as an excuse. Schmid preferred to criticize his team sending too many players forward, leaving them prone to counter attacks, like the one that allowed Diego Fagundez to get on the end of a lobbed through ball over the middle from Teal Bunbury and walk in on a helpless Stefan Frei for the Revolution’s fourth goal just before halftime.

“Psychologically maybe we weren’t as alert as we needed to be on certain occasions around the box and maybe defensively as well,” Schmid said. “But even defensively, our positional defense was not good.”

New England’s win moves them back into a tie with Sporting Kansas City for first place in the Eastern Conference with 17 points, five points behind the Sounders, who remain at the top of the overall table.

The Revolution are on fire since taking one point from their first three matches. In their last seven matches, they have taken 16 out of 21 points and now demoralized the league’s top side, although Schmid does not see this one result as an indication of where either team is or will be later in the year.

“You can’t get too high, you can’t get too low,” Schmid said. “Obviously, the Revolution had a great win today. It’s for their coaching staff to determine if they’re five goals better than us. I don’t think they’re five goals better than us, but today they were five goals better than us and we have to accept it. That pain will sit with us, and hopefully we’ll meet again in MLS Cup.”

DEMPSEY TURNS FOCUS TO WORLD CUP

After Sunday’s loss in his return to the stadium where he began his professional soccer career in 2004, Sounders forward Clint Dempsey must now set his sights on Brazil, where he will captain the United States in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Dempsey, who will presumably be joined by Evans on the final 23-man roster, will enter World Cup camp on the back of a red-hot start to the MLS campaign this year. After a slow start to his Sounders’ career following a move from Tottenham Hotspur last summer, Dempsey has eight goals on 36 shots and has added three assists.

A veteran of two World Cups – and a goalscorer in each of those tournaments – Dempsey is eager to get to camp given his current form.

“It’s important for everybody that if you want to do well that you’ve got to be playing with a good run of form,” Dempsey said. “You want to be confident, you want to get in a rhythm, and I’ve done that.”

Depending on how far the United States go, Sunday could be the last time Dempsey (and potentially Brad Evans) wear the rave green until July. To lose 5-0 is one thing, but for a team to lose 5-0 and then lose its captain and its leading scorer can be tough to overcome.

“It’s not ideal, but that’s the way things go,” Dempsey said.

Dempsey has bigger fish to fry now, however, as the Americans are in what is considered the most difficult group at the World Cup, with Ghana, Portugal and Germany all on the schedule for the United States when they arrive in Brazil.

The opener against Ghana will offer a chance at revenge for Dempsey, who has been on the field for the Americans in both World Cup losses to Ghana, in 2006 and 2010.

“It doesn’t matter who you play, you want to win,” Dempsey said. “But yes, we are due a win against them because we’ve been unlucky. It’s been two close games both times we’ve played them, and we’ll be looking to try and win as many games as possible, and that starts with them.”

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20 Responses to Sounders Notes: Defensive errors costly, Dempsey focuses on World Cup

  1. Cairo says:

    Sounders fan here. Bad day, but can Lee Nguyen get a call up for the WC camp? If Klinsmann were to choose a total newbie, i’d want it to be Nguyen. Great player, would love to try him next to Bradley.

    • Barrett says:

      Hear, Hear!

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      A lot of SBI posters asking for Nguyen. I haven’t seen much of him, so I was looking forward to this match so I could see what all the fuss is about.

      Granted, it’s just one match, but I didn’t see anything that made me think he’s better than any of the other dozen of options we’ve already seen for the USMNT. That’s not a knock against him, just an observation that I don’t see the point of calling him up.

    • bizzy says:

      Thank you cairo. We need play makers on the USMNT roster not a bunch of Defensive midfielders. we should select the best 2 among Bradley, Jones, Beckerman and Edu. Currently Feihaber and Nyugen are game changers on their respective teams and playing good technical football, orchestrating plays, running at defenses, creating openings…everything that is needed on the USMNT.

  2. crparke says:

    Do people really want Deandre Yedlin to go to Brazil? What’s the point of having a defender who’s biggest weakness is defending?

    • Cairo says:

      I don’t know if we do, but if we are behind late in a WC game and facing elimination, we will need something from a late game sub who will get in the attack and make things happen. For the USMNT that might be Yedlin. High risk, high reward. Only as a late game sub, but worth considering as the 23rd guy on the roster

      • skyman says:

        You are spot on. He’s really got a lot to learn though. I didn’t see this game, but he overcommits so much that I wonder about his soccer IQ, hate to say it. .

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          I don’t worry about his “soccer IQ.” He is young and trying to learn a very difficult field position.

          • Increase says:

            You can tell that he is being told to push up really high though. Even saying that he did let himself get pulled forward of position in the defensive half to a man that someone else was already moving to mark. It allowed an easy cross and goal. Clearly needs experience.

            • KingGoogleyEye says:

              Exactly.

              This is, by the way, why I have been saying all season that Remick impresses me more than Yedlin. He offers almost as good service going forward, but without the defensive errors.

              • Increase says:

                I went and check which goal it was. Look at goal #1. It’s not a breakaway or a result of tactics. He just steps up and leaves tons of space behind him for no particular reason.

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                Increase: I have noticed Yedlin getting worse as the season progresses. I hope this was due to the USMNT call-up distracting him and that when he doesn’t make the 30-man camp (or 23-man roster) he will be more focused—and even more motivated.

      • TheFrenchOne says:

        Those kinds of substitutions you are talking about don’t usually come from an outside back. you’re basically describing Brek Shea. if you’re advocating pulling a defender to add a offense threat and change the formation to a 3-5-2, i still don’t think Yedlin is that sub

    • John says:

      Do we really want to see Beasley or Evans at full back either? Lots to sort out.

    • JayAre says:

      This isn’t about Yedlin its about the coach and tactics everyone knows Seattle’s coach isn’t the best tactician. You can’t have a player with as much quality going forward as Yedlin and not have someone capable of covering for him consistently. People consistently over hype young players when they so something good and bash them into the ground when the do something wrong. Yedlin has national team talent now but he’s very young and a coach must take that into account, something sigi schmid is not doing. Cameron, Beasler and Gonzalez were not a advanced at 20 as Yedlin is now. Seattle needs a new Goalie and coach. The attacking part of the team is completely out of sync with the defensive part thats why the only player that transitions between attack and defense struggles so much.

  3. Dc says:

    Did anyone else see Dempsey just stand there and stare at the ball when he lost it? Effing lame. Can’t have that in Brazil.

  4. KingGoogleyEye says:

    Crazy that this thread has so many mentions of Yedlin and not one (until now) of Traore. One of these defensive liabilities has an excuse….

  5. beachbum says:

    my take on Yedlin: he’s trying to do too much and so losing focus on what he actually needs to do. I think he’ll be fine but he’s a bit out of sorts obviously right now.

    Schmid seems to think Alonso is Superman since all of his other midfielders, and defenders even, push forward with reckless abandon and abandon him to do all the defending when Seattle loses the ball; yes, they create chances like this but wow, they made the Revs counter look like Real Madrid’s yesterday