Brian Schmetzer has full confidence that the Seattle Sounders will bounce back from a surprise defeat to the Houston Dynamo when they take on Colorado Rapids on Wednesday.
Seattle lead the way in the Western Conference by five points, though go up against a top-three rival when they travel to Denver.
A four-match winning streak was snapped by the 2-1 reverse at the hands of Houston last time out, and Schmetzer knows his team have to return to form as the end of the regular season draws in.
“I don’t think that group of players took Houston lightly,” he said. “We understand that every point is vital for us to stay ahead of Colorado and Sporting Kansas City. So, I don’t think that was the issue.
It’s a setback, but this team has shown that they can rebound from sub-par performances and still keep their eye on the prize. It’s not going to be easy going to Colorado. It’s not going to be easy at home to Sporting KC. It’s not going to be easy to go down to LAFC. None of the remaining games are going to be easy. We get it. We understand it.”
The Rapids are also looking to get back to winning ways after a loss to rivals Real Salt Lake over the weekend.
“Really strange game, for some reason I don’t think we got into a rhythm, it wasn’t our best game,” said Robin Fraser.
“We had some moments, but not enough and not in the right moments. There are positives to take away, some good performances.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Colorado Rapids – Younes Namli
Younes Namli scored his first goal of the season when he netted against RSL, and Fraser is hoping the strike sparks a strong run for the Dane. “It’s great for him to get in and score, good for us and good for him. He’s incredibly talented, he just needs to get back into playing more and more competition, more minutes. We wanted to get something special out of him and obviously we did,” Fraser said.
Seattle Sounders – Fredy Montero
Fredy Montero had five attempts in the defeat to Houston, but only got one on target, and he will be looking to improve on that performance on Wednesday.
KEY OPTA FACTS
●The Sounders beat Colorado, 3-0, when the sides met in Seattle on October 3, the Sounders fifth straight home win over Colorado (including playoffs). It’s been a different story in Colorado, however, where the Rapids haven’t lost any of the last three meetings (W2 D1).
●The Rapids are unbeaten in 13 straight at home (W7 D6) dating back to April, the club’s longest run without a home defeat since going 18 straight from March to November 2016 (including playoffs), a streak ended by Seattle in the playoffs.
●Seattle’s four-match winning streak ended with a 2-1 defeat at Houston on Saturday. The Sounders haven’t lost consecutive away matches in over two years, since defeats at Colorado and D.C. United in September 2019.
●The Rapids conceded twice in the second half against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, just the third time this season Colorado has allowed more than one goal after halftime. Colorado has allowed an MLS-low 11 goals in the second half this season.
●Seattle conceded twice in the first half against Houston on Saturday, just the second time this season the Sounders have allowed more than one goal before halftime. Seattle has allowed just nine first-half goals this season, tied with Atlanta for fewest in MLS in 2021.