hawkfan68 wrote:Sounders are down 2-0 already. Starting Alex Roldan and Nouhou over Leerdam and Smith is puzzling. Not having their best 11 lineup out there is not a good strategy,
I missed the 1st half, but my son-in-law-to-be says that both goals were on Alex Roldan playing more like a winger and less like a back. If Leerdam was in fact healthy and available, baffling that Schmetzer wouldn't have him holding down that outside back spot.
Both first half goals seemed a little "soft" to me, both from a similar type of setup, not the type of goals the Sounders generally concede, and Frei uncharacteristically allowing in that first goal.
The second half looked more like Sounders soccer, but Ledeiro put his golden chance just wide, Jordan Morris' Jozy Altidore-esque header got saved, Svensson didn't find the mark with his header, and Columbus just played our corners very well. Their third goal was simply a result of us pressing up, taking risks to get a score and getting caught.
Congratulations to Columbus for a very well-played game and a well-deserved victory on their part. They came to play and it was truly their night.
Possibly this will be the game that causes Schmetzer to re-evaluate his philosophy on lineups. I don't necessarily have a huge problem with Nouhou and Smith splitting time, and bringing Smith in for the 2nd half to have a fresh Brad Smith against tired opponents has worked fine, but leaving a proven defender like Leerdam on the bench in favor of Alex Roldan is a head-scratcher. Not quite on par with Greg Ryan starting Brianna Scurry over Hope Solo against Brazil, but maybe enough to cause Schmetzer to re-evaluate.
Also, I don't think Schmetzer had quite as good a read on the Columbus to have a good game plan, and only a few days to prepare, and one less day of rest than Columbus. That's the game, though. One of Schmetzer's finest moments as a coach, IMO, was defeating a juggernaut LAFC club last year in the playoffs in that remarkable 3-1 Sounders win. The MLS Cup 3-1 win vs Toronto was a thing of beauty as well. In both cases, Schmetzer knew the opponent well enough to come up with solid game plans and know the matchups and which players to play where and in general come in very prepared. The Sounders didn't look well-prepared vs Columbus.