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Fatigue plays factor in Sounders draw with Earthquakes

For the Seattle Sounders — similar to all the teams playing in the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando — this week marks their first match in almost four months, and it showed Friday night.

Despite an eight-save performance from Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei, fatigue played a factor during Friday’s 0-0 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

“I was not good, I’m not gonna lie,” Frei told reporters post-game via Zoom. “I know it’s difficult, these conditions will be tough even if you are in midseason form and so the comeback and playing something like this after such a long break, it makes it difficult so even more reason to try to find more possession. I think that’s where we needed to be a bit better towards. The second half was okay, which is some patience, and having the ball around in the opponent is going to go a long way in these conditions.”

Frei expressed the challenges fatigue brought to the game, especially in the second half when the goalkeeper was forced to produce a man-of-the-match performance to split the points with the Earthquakes.

“It was difficult because when you get fatigued, it’s difficult to do the extra work,” said Frei. “And by extra work I mean flowing up and down, especially when the opponent starts going negative, you have to take those extra steps forward.”

Cristian Roldan, who played the complete 90 minutes for Seattle, was also on board with Frei.

“For me, it was a bit of both. It was hard to play 90 minutes of this despite of the five changes, we had to play with a factor of the heat and also because we haven’t been playing for a while,” said Roldan.

Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer didn’t want to put the blame on Friday’s result to lack of fitness.

“I just think it’s normal,” said Schmetzer. “I mean, look, the weather was not the issue, fitness level of all the teams, you saw the first couple of games, the players are going to get fatigued. First few games of a normal MLS season you have some of that same type of play, guys not quite as sharp.”

Schmetzer added: “If they’re in midseason form maybe they make those goals. Maybe they finish those plays, so you know I wouldn’t use any excuses. Nine o’clock kickoff. it wasn’t it wasn’t that bad.”


  1. Sorry, but the headline is a bit pathetic…. Only Seattle had fatigue?? They got outplayed by supposedly a lesser team. Media is no different than the actual MLS website, always homering towards the “better” teams.

  2. While the match commentators kept talking about San Jose’s defense of strict man marking, I was impressed with their offense. They broke down in the last 20 minutes or so because of fatigue, but especially in the first half their passing was sharp–quick and on target. Also, their spacing is very good. Since the Sounders didn’t closely mark, the Earthquakes always had a man open to pass to. This allowed them to control the ball and the game and create most of the chances.

  3. Even with their number one cheerleader in attendance, Roldan and Morris did not impress. It would be nice to think GB is checking out others, besides the ones he’s zeroed in on pre-virus cause they aren’t going to cut it. Trapp is another one that did little in his game while Lee Nguyen impressed with his passing and ball control. Are you listening GB? There are others that you havent called in that are better than the ones you are calling. Tomorrow we get to see how MB and JA (Toronto) look in the Florida heat. Be interesting to see.

    • First, it’s ridiculous to come to conclusions based on one game like this. Given the long lay off, this is like a pre-season game when it comes to fitness and team play. I’m not a fan of Roldan. He’s okay if he plays against a lesser team in CONCACAF, but he hasn’t shown any more than that. Morris, however, has shown he can play at a pretty high level. As for Nguyen, he’s had some chances in the past. The main problem now is his age. He will be 34 in October. We have other midfielders who are both better and much younger.


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