Heavy loss has Seattle looking at changes

Schmid rues lack of effort in team, especially from forwards

Changes are coming in the Pacific Northwest. That much was
clear in the aftermath of Seattle’s 4-0 shellacking at the hands of the Los
Angeles Galaxy.

After witnessing his team’s uninspiring effort, Seattle
coach Sigi Schmid made no secret of his disappointment in the post-match press
conference. Which players find themselves in the coach’s crosshairs, however,
is open to interpretation.  

“It’s not time to panic, but time for some people to wake up
and for character to step forward,” Schmid said. “When you’re down 2-0, 3-0, people
have to step up and show their character and show what they’re made of.”

“Some guys we’ve asked repeatedly to do certain things, and it
hasn’t been coming, so there are some changes that will be made as a result of
that.”

Schmid expressed consternation at this team’s lack of effort
all over the field. Seattle’s game plan was to play with a high tempo, but Schmid
didn’t think his players followed through on that. He called the defensive
lapse that led to Los Angeles’ third goal “inexcusable” but reserved his
harshest criticism for the offensive end.

Schmid said he needs players who are willing to sacrifice
their bodies to get on the end of crosses, not “six playmakers.” The comment sounded
like a thinly veiled shot at strikers Freddie Ljungberg and Fredy Montero. Could
it be that one, or both, could lose their spots in the starting lineup when
Seattle travel to New York next weekend?

It’s possible. Although Ljungberg missed time last season
due to injury only, Schmid benched Montero in 2009 in an attempt to refocus the
talented Colombian. Neither played well today. Schmid seemed especially unhappy
with Montero, yanking the striker in the 57th minute and saying the
offense looked better with Brad Evans playing center forward.

 “We compete for
spots every week,” Schmid said. “I’ve given some guys a longer leash than
others. That leash just tore today.”

Seattle were unable to deal with the Galaxy’s offside trap
and was whistled 10 times for that infraction, including eight times in the
first half. Evans, Steve Zakuani, and Montero were each called offside three
times.

“A couple times we got called because guys were lazy coming
back,” Schmid said. “A couple offsides weren’t offsides [but] bad calls by the
linesman.”

Of all the teams in MLS, a loss to the Galaxy hurts the
most. The connections between Seattle and Los Angeles are extensive. Sigi
Schmid coached the Galaxy for a number of years before being forced out. Pete
Vagenas played for Schmid in L.A., as did Tyrone Marshall.

Seattle’s majority owner Joe Roth lives in the Los Angeles
area, and Sounders FC CEO Tod Leiweke’s brother Tim is the chief executive of
AEG, which owns the Galaxy. Add it all up, and it makes the loss even more
embarrassing for Sounders FC.

“Once it was 3-0, they were—as the English would say—taking
the piss,” Schmid said.