Laying blame for a loss is not a productive thing to do. But as I reflect on the Sounders in the wake of another disappointing result, I can't help it. What better way to be unproductive than put my thoughts on the interwebs for all to see? Even better, let me focus all of the blame on one man. Here we go!
A coach's job is to put players in the right spot for them to succeed. Coaches can't kick the ball, they can't defend, and they can't score goals. They can motivate, inspire, and put a strategy together that enables their players to do all those things, though. Many coaches are great at doing all of those things, but I am firm believer that players win games, coaches lose games, and refs just screw them up. Last night, the players weren't great (and neither was the ref), but Brian Schmetzer lost that game.
It took me a good night's sleep and some lively banter, but here is my thought process: Svennson is being called out for playing poorly last night. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn't. Either way, I'm not sure it's fair to call out a player that has specifically stated he's much more comfortable playing as a defensive CM. Furthermore, I am not hearing anyone call out Lodeiro for being unproductive as a winger. If we’re going to call Svennson out for being a bad CB, why aren’t we calling Lodeiro out for not producing from the wing? Both have been played out of their preferred positions and both produce at a higher level at their preferred positions. Granted, it’s easier to spot Svennson’s shortcomings because they usually happen when the other team scores, but we seem to give Lodeiro a pass because creating goals is harder than defending goals.
Dempsey is another player I have seen negative comments about lately (full disclosure, I am one of those people calling him out). Some people seem to think he was the guy that could have actually salvaged a draw for the Sounders last night via two great scoring chances. Whether you reside on Dempsey Island or have recently departed, I don't think anyone believes he is a full-game-every-game attacking CM (or supporting forward, or #10, or whatever you want to call his position). And yet, there he was again last night, in that role, being asked to play a part no one really thinks he is capable of anymore.
Asking one or two players to adjust for the team can work. Doing it with three or four (Nouhou shouldn't have been a starter in that big of a game. He's not ready for that role), is too much.
Schmetzer is having some bad luck with injuries, but we’ve been saying for weeks he will need to manage the rotation of players for the Sounders to be successful. Last night was a perfect example of how not to do it. And yet, calling Schmetzer out for it has not made me feel any better.