Some games teach you something. They give you an idea of a team’s quality, what they’re capable of, which direction they’re heading. Some games are 3-0 drubbings that are best forgotten with a stiff drink.
Gin and tonic, please. Wait, no. No tonic.
Before drinking this one away, let’s at least try to make some sense of it.
We’ll start with what became abundantly clear as soon as Gyasi Zardes scored before the eight-minute mark: The Sounders need Chad Marshall. They were without him in this loss, due to a freakish car accident that left him with back spasms.
Wouldn’t want to be the driver of that vehicle when Sounders fans find out who rear-ended the player holding the back line together.
It was easy to think even after that goal that the match was still up for grabs. There was still 82 minutes left to get two back, right?
Landon Donovan and Stefan Ishizaki each added another in short order, and by minute 36, it was 3-0, with no miracle comeback in the offing.
Sure, you can look at the stat sheet and see 13 shots, but only 4 of them were on target and they were all in what was essentially second-half garbage time.
Did any Sounder play well? Not really. The midfield was a mess, and didn’t do the back line any favors – Donovan and company had all the space they could ever want, and it exposed the defense to such a degree that it really feels that the balance of the season could rest on the small of Marshall’s back.
A reality: The Galaxy owned this one from the opening minutes, and administered an ass-whupping of epic proportions. No Sounder acquitted themselves well, as witnessed by the second-half emergence of Angry Dempsey, who vented his frustrations on both Omar Gonzalez and referee Hilario Grajeda.
Another reality: It’s a long season. Even the best teams will occasionally soil the bedsheets, to use a polite version of the phrase.
It really is just one game. The same team that got throttled 5-0 by the New England Revolution not too long ago is also the team that still sits atop the Supporters’ Shield race, tied with Sporting KC, with two games in hand.
It’s still the team that features an otherwise otherworldly scoring duo in Dempsey and Obafemi Martins.
Hopefully it’s also still the team with a defense that’s anchored by a healthy Chad Marshall.
There is still every reason to think this is one of, if not the best team in MLS.
And that’s not just the gin talking.
(image courtesy of Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times)