When the autopsy on the 2022 season is written, the Seattle Sounders will revel in two unique chapters. Well, one will probably be extra stress-free than the different, as after lackluster 1-0 defeat to fellow also-rans Sporting Kansas City, the e book has closed on the aggressive portion of the season. Of direction, they have got another fit to wrap up, however the defeat Sunday approach the finishing to the tale is already written.
Not that the majority fanatics may well be blamed for in need of to skip forward to the finish at this level. Results somewhere else as soon as once more equipped a existence preserver to the Sounders to avoid wasting themselves, however the extra they fought, the extra they flailed. And in the finish, they ran out of breath, after which out of time.
It was once no doubt painful to observe the Sounders wilt below the drive over again, or even towards a resurgent SKC, the Sounders have been a long way from out of the fit. But in many ways weren’t totally in it, a stunning construction for a crew combating for his or her playoff lives. Aside from the accidents and suspensions and fatigue, one thing was once missing for the Sounders, and on this fit — like a lot of the remainder of the season — they couldn’t in finding it.
Now they’ll have extra time than they sought after to check out to seek out it once more.
At the post-game presser, Sounders captain Nicolas Lodeiro demurred when requested about the have an effect on of this fit on the season, announcing that the failure to qualify for the playoffs came about lengthy earlier than the curtain after all closed. The Sounders trudged via a summer time malaise — Summer with the Champs turns out a far off reminiscence — through which they time and again dropped issues from profitable positions, or attempted and didn’t battle again from early deficits. It was once all an excessive amount of to conquer in the end, and the loss to SKC simply showed what maximum already knew.
For a crew that was once apparently determined to stay its vaunted playoff streak alive, the Sounders have been interestingly mundane for a lot of the fit Sunday afternoon. Having long past down early, the Sounders have been in a position to mount one thing of an offensive after the halftime damage. But then it was once simply … long past, with Sporting Kansas City the much more likely so as to add a 2d purpose than the Sounders discovering an equalizer. In the ultimate moments of the fit when their destiny was once all however sealed, the Sounders regarded extra resigned than resilient, one thing hardly ever noticed in the Sounders historical past in MLS.
It’s a 2d season in a row the place the Sounders had been not able to get wholesome at the industry finish of the season. Whereas ultimate 12 months the Sounders have been desperately seeking to get their injured avid gamers have compatibility for the playoff run, in 2022 there was once no such gentle at the finish of the tunnel, with the likes of Joao Paulo and Obed Vargas lengthy since carried out, and Raul Ruidiaz in a similar way dominated out upfront of the must-win fit. The Sounders have been just too wounded this time round to mount a sustained rate to the playoffs.
It was once a close to stand-on-your-head efficiency from Stefan Frei, who did what he may just to a minimum of give the Sounders a combating likelihood. It was once a difficult 12 months for Frei, sufferer to any collection of lapses in focus, mistakes and defensive breakdowns which left him stranded extra steadily that he would have favored. Sounders fanatics aren’t used to seeing one of these fragile protection that was once punished for apparently each mistake they made.
While few outdoor the fanatics in attendance will probably be paying consideration, the Sounders’ first true “dead-rubber” fit in membership historical past will probably be fascinating in a minimum of a method. The Sounders have all the time had one thing to battle for in the ultimate fit of the season, whether or not or not it’s seeding or making the playoffs. Next Sunday, with fellow has-beens San Jose Earthquakes coming to the town, fanatics will see how the Sounders carry out when the drive is off. Jobs — and the worry of being yanked off the box if the effort isn’t there — will supply a captivating window into how a proud franchise offers with the unhappiness of the finish of a season that ends with unfulfilled promise.