Conceding two goals in the first half and a third in the second, the Sounders stumbled in a 3-0 loss on the road to the Columbus Crew Wednesday. Forced to make six changes to the starting lineup that beat Portland at home 1-0 Saturday, Seattle was outshot 12-6.
Cristian Roldan didn’t put much weight on the altered lineup affecting the outcome.
“We can’t blame anybody but ourselves,” Roldan said. “We didn’t play well enough. We can’t use, ‘We were shorthanded,’ as an excuse. We weren’t dangerous enough. That was a key component. We didn’t take our opportunities when they came to us.”
Schmetzer placed Seyi Adekoya up top in his first MLS start. Joevin Jones, ordinarily a left back, was asked to play on the left wing, while Alvaro Fernandez was tapped for a rare start on the right. Center back Roman Torres remained on the bench, while Chad Marshall did not make the trip to face his former club. Brad Evans watched most of the game from the bench before replacing Oniel Fisher in the 64th minute.
Schmetzer’s hand was forced by national team call-ups for Jordan Morris and Clint Dempsey, sought by USMNT coach Bruce Arena for a pair of World Cup qualifiers against Venezuela Saturday and Mexico June 11, while Will Bruin is recovering from an elbow dislocated in the final seconds of a win against Real Salt Lake.
Out of options on the attacking end, Schmetzer chose to rest his three older defenders, who are recovering from injury.
Columbus (7-7-1, 22 points) took advantage inthe 10th minute. Frederico Higuain found space atop the Sounders’ penalty area, and slotted a low shot to the bottom left corner to beat Stefan Frei. Justin Meram duplicated the goal in the 21st minute after Seattle’s back line failed to close him down.
Schmetzer was unhappy his defense allowed either goal.
“There’s no excuses for us there,” he said. “Guys that come in to the field of play have to be competent, and I think those are two soft goals.”
Just short of the hour mark, Ola Kamara put the matter out of hand by breaking into the left side of the penalty area and bouncing the ball off the far post to close the scoring.
Seattle (5-6-1, 16 points) will be without Dempsey and Morris for Sunday’s contest against the Houston Dynamo (6-5-2, 20 points).