Despite playing the final half-hour with a man advantage, the Seattle Sounders were unable to keep the Vancouver Whitecaps from finding a tying goal en route to a 1-1 draw at BC Place in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday. Spaniard Victor Rodriguez impressed in his MLS debut, but was similarly ineffective as Seattle’s attack finished with a 25-8 advantage in shots.
Coach Brian Schmetzer expressed his side’s frustration.
“We are extremely disappointed in that locker room,” Schmetzer said. “They are not pleased that we let this one slip out of our hand. I don’t know if it’s going to take a day or a week or a month (to get over it), but we have to get ready for Portland.
“We had more than enough chances to put them away. Whenever you leave a team that’s playing at home stick around, they are going to make you pay.”
Schmetzer’s choice of lineup reflected a busy week for Seattle (11-7-8, 41 points). Clint Dempsey and Osvaldo Alonso began the match on the bench, while Roman Torres was left out of the 18 in favor of Tony Alfaro to allow the Panamanian rest. Instead, Rodriguez played left wing, while Jordan Morris was shifted to the right outside of Nicolas Lodeiro.
The Sounders dominated possession, setting up shop in the attacking third and sending 38 crosses, but scored only when Rodriguez drew a penalty in the 18th minute after being brought down in the box by Sheanon Williams. Lodeiro sent keeper David Ousted the wrong way to put Seattle on top.
Despite numerous other chances, a second goal was denied. Rodriguez spun one shot just wide of the far post, then forced a diving stop from Ousted from a free kick. Morris hit the crossbar from two yards out through a crowd of defenders.
Still, confidence that a second goal would be forthcoming seemed high when Vancouver’s Tony Tchani picked up two yellow cards in an eight-minute span in the second half. Ex-Sounder Fredy Montero added the goal four minutes after Tchani’s dismissal, converting a cutback cross from Alphonso Davies in the left alley.
The Sounders threw numbers forward in the game’s final minutes, but could not find a game-winner.
“If you see the chances we got, we didn’t execute,” right back Kelvin Leerdam said. “We can only look at ourselves that we didn’t finish the game earlier. We kept them in the game and they were looking for one chance. They got it in the end. We should have won this game.”
Despite the disappointment, the draw extended Seattle’s unbeaten streak to 10 matches in a row, a franchise record.
Asked if the adversity was good for the Western Conference leaders ahead of second-place Portland Sunday (6:30 p.m., FS1), Schmetzer was succinct:
“The pursuit of perfection is insanity. But we’ll try and get there.”
Jones bolts from Sounders without permission
Joevin Jones, who announced earlier that he would leave for SV Darmstadt 98 in Germany’s second division at the end of the season, left Seattle without the club’s permission to join the Trinidad & Tobago national team ahead of schedule for a pair of World Cup qualifiers, The Seattle Times reported Tuesday.
Speaking to media Tuesday, general manager Garth Lagerwey did not give specifics for Jones’ departure.
“Joevin has left the team for personal reasons and he’ll be returning to the national team down in Trinidad,” Lagerwey said. “I would say that we don’t have anything to add to the report, unfortunately. Speculating about what might or might not happen . . . doesn’t hold a lot of weight.”
Jones, who will be absent for Seattle’s home match against Portland Sunday, has 10 assists, most in the league for a defender.