Based on the run of play, the Seattle Sounders were the dominant side against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday; they had over 60% of the possession, allowed just one corner, completed 325 passes to Vancouver's 204 and spent a great deal of time in the Whitecaps final third. For the majority of the day, Kasey Keller had very little to do while Joe Cannon saw quite a few shots whiz just past the bar. Unfortunately the Sounders were not able to dominate the one area of the game which ultimately matters, and Seattle were once again forced to accept a disappointing result in a game where they were the better side by a fair margin. Vancouver might have knicked the result thanks to a borderline (but fair) penalty and one of the best goals in MLS history, but as one of the worst teams in the league (and quite possibly the worst on the road) they really shouldn't have been in any position to do so.
The Sounders have had a tremendous amount of bad luck this season and it's important not to minimize the impact injuries have had on the strength of the team. But the Sounders have shown that they are still capable of putting together solid performances and to draw at home to Vancouver is quite simply not acceptable. Were the Sounders unlucky to a large extent? Certainly. But at a certain point, after enough 'unlucky' results, you begin to lose the benefit of the doubt to some extent. Seattle are likely to bring in an impact striker when the transfer window opens, but there are five games between then and now. Things need to improve with the players in-house.
That's a difficult task, and no one should envy Sigi Schmid or the players. It's not a question of effort or attitude, because these players want to win and work as hard as any team in the league. Even with all of the attrition the Sounders have been forced to deal with, they've still shown that they are capable of competing with any team in MLS. But when the time comes for them to send a message and dominate a clearly inferior opponent, they've tended to come up short. Only in the 3-0 win over Toronto FC have the Sounders appeared a class above the opposition, and while it's unreasonable to expect every game against the lesser teams in MLS to be a walk in the park, the Sounders are susceptible to playing down to the level of their competition. That's something good teams can't do.
Fredy Montero can't run the attack all by himself; he's just not that kind of player. Osvaldo Alonso should be able to have a sub-par outing without it being disastrous. The domination of the run of play needs to be reflected in the score. The Sounders do a great deal right, and at times they look like they belong in the discussion for best team in the league, but in the end they aren't getting it done. And while it's folly to analyze based solely on results, it's been a pattern with this team. There aren't any easy answers, especially when it's difficult to diagnose the problem. But the Sounders haven't been good enough, and it's a frustrating thing to watch week in, week out.