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*SHRUGS* BUT THERE IS HOPE

I know it's a bit late on the post game but life happens so in case you forgot what happened on Wednesday here's a quick summary.


San Jose got a penalty to go up 1-0. It was a fair call even if the refereeing was uneven on the day. It wasn't a mistake per se from Yeimar, a collision, probably soft and probably a penalty. What can you do? SJ converts but it was alright, 70 minutes and more to play. The second goal from San Jose was a worldie, a Goal of the Week volley. What can you do? The Sounders dominated possession and often looked threatening. There is hope to find an equalizer. Two shots on target but plenty of buildup and half chances. Maybe one goal will lead to a quick second. What can you do? Schmetzer made a bold three substitutions on the 66th minute but somehow a comeback never felt quite on the cards. A theme this year has been substitutions that don't positively impact the game. A handball in the box not called again? What can you do? Ninety minutes pass and hope remains, crazier things occur but the hope is fading. A two nil road defeat. What can you do?


Flashes of brilliance or signs of life? The ephemeral Sounders offense doing its best Big Bad Wolf impersonation. Huffing, puffing, failing at the ultimate test. There is talent there. Good players collaborating everywhere except in the opponent's penalty box. We have been in all kinds of interesting conversations on Twitter. Identifying the key to unlocking a consistent winning formula. Notably, there isn't a clear consensus. Circumstances, lineups, schedules, coaching, individual errors and even old-fashioned bad luck. What can you do when all those factors are working against you?


The Sounders sit in third place and will stay in the playoff spots entering the Leagues Cup. This is a good thing, making the playoffs is the standard in Seattle. But I'm still conflicted. I want to reframe my own perspective on how I've been looking at the season.


So far, the majority of Sounders games this year have been incredibly frustrating to watch. But I am grateful for the frustration. When I step back, the frustration points me towards how good I think this team can be. I see a team that can compete for the Supporters Shield. A squad that can challenge for the MLS Cup. The defense is one of the best in the league. Remarkably, it's still growing in experience and getting better all the time. Having young players like Ragen and Baker playing defense at top levels is something special and under appreciated. Vargas, Atencio and Tevez have bright futures. Leo Chu is a season away from becoming a MLS All-Star.


Top goal scorer Jordan Morris is coming back from international duty. Ruidiaz is almost back to full health. And one of the most underrated players in the league Cristian Roldan will definitely add something spicy to this Sounders lineup. Joao Paolo is gracing us with elite defensive midfield play. Did we all forget the ability and capability of Captain Nico Lodiero? Don't tell me he's old or washed up he still runs more than everyone else on the field and find key passes.


There are other players I didn't mention and that no slight (nothing about Nouhou? How could you Spicy Teriyaki??) and for every player on the roster I think there is another level they can unlock. The results haven't been ideal. But there is a strong team underneath the sort of blah results. The Leagues Cup this year is something new, different and exciting. Maybe this tournament can be a chance for this team to find themselves. To discover the capabilities of this side playing at their best. It's a beautiful day in Seattle as they prepare to take on Dallas this evening. Until then, you can find me on the sunny side of the street. Hydrated with plenty of sunscreen, eating spicy teriyaki.


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