Losing Obafemi Martins to Shanghai Shenua was a debilitating blow that quite literally left the Seattle Sounders offense grasping at straws. They started out the season with three straight losses as a clearly makeshift offense continued to struggle to consistently threaten the goal. What once was Neagle-Dempsey-Martins was now Dempsey-sometimes Ivanschitz-sometimes Morris.
There were a lot of moving pieces and naturally so. Losing someone like Martins isn’t something a team can just overcome.
However, all things considered, the Sounders look to have overcome the loss of the Nigerian incredibly quickly. Since that initial shock, the Seattle side has only lost one of their last six, winning four. While the goals aren’t as flowing as they were last year, Jordan Morris is doing his best to fill the gap, and they have accumulated eight goals in those six matches, with six coming in their four wins.
With Dempsey not getting any younger, the struggles of the Seattle offense are completely understandable. Therefore they deserve tremendous credit for what they have been able to do lately. Since they won their first game this year, Seattle has notched 13 points in six matches. That is good for third in the table when all the other Western Conference teams are put on the same timeline.
They sit only behind LA Galaxy on goal differential and Colorado by six points. However, they would also have a game in hand on LA and two in hand on Colorado, meaning that they are right on par with the best of the West.
Seattle’s four victories this year have come against teams that are far from pushovers. In fact, they are rather dangerous teams. San Jose, Columbus, Philadelphia and Montreal have all fallen to the Sounders’ sword. Those teams encompass the top two teams in the East, the defending runner-ups and fourth place in the West.
Like I said, no pushovers.
I’ll admit, earlier in the year I was less than convinced that Seattle had what it took to overcome the loss of someone who accounted for as many goals as Martins did. But it looks like I was wrong, as Seattle is right back on track to continue business as usual.
In fact, it could even be said that Seattle has overcome the separation a heck of a lot quicker than Martins has. Martins has made just seven substitute appearances for Shanghai and he has yet to score a goal. By this time last year, he had six goals with Seattle.