Seattle Sounders, MLS
This is Seattle's worst start to an MLS season since 2018, when they collected just 1 point from their opening four games Seattle Sounders FC communications

SEATTLE - Things haven't been great for the Seattle Sounders five weeks into the 2024 MLS season. Still winless after four games played, the Rave Green find themselves at the bottom of the Western Conference standings, having collected just two points out of a possible 12.

A franchise used to being one of the most consistent teams in MLS year after year has started the season without a win in their opening four games, an event that's only happened three previous times since Seattle joined Major League Soccer in 2009.

For the first time in six years, Brian Schmetzer's team find themselves in a tough spot a month into the season. Only in 2013 and 2018 have they collected less points from their opening four matches than this year. But as concerning as it sounds, Seattle has found a way to bounce back each time when things are not up to the franchise's standards.

In their 15 seasons in MLS prior to 2024, the Sounders have only missed the playoffs once. During the 2022 season, two losses in their opening two games set a trend for the entire season as they finished just a couple of points away from a playoff berth. The previous three instances in which Seattle has been against the ropes early on, they managed to finish among the four best teams in the West, with two 2nd-place finishes in 2011 and 2018 and a 4th-place finish in 2013.

When asked about some of the positives the team could take from this tough start, Seattle Sounders defender Alex Roldán told The Latin Times that, although it hasn't been great, the team has looked good defensively. "I think our defense is back to where it was. We are not really giving up a lot of chances and our expected goals against has been considerably low so that's always a positive," he said. "The positives are there, we have a strong defensive unit and now it's just about getting goals."

Caption: Only one of Seattle's four MLS goals this season has come from open play

And that's where Seattle has struggled so far this campaign. Out of their four goals scored in 2024, three of them came from the penalty spot. In terms of offensive metrics, the team is underperforming massively.

Their accuracy on goal has been one of the worst among all MLS teams this season, as only 27% of their shots end up on target, the third-lowest in MLS. Their non-penalty expected goals is also one of the lowest at 3.2, compared to teams such as Inter Miami, who have shown a brand of free-flowing offense that has amassed a value of 10.1 in this metric.

As the Sounders try to overcome their offensive flaws, they will have to rely on their defense to keep them on games. Even though they are currently bottom in the Western Conference standings, 15 teams have conceded more goals than the Rave Green so far this season. One of those teams are the LA Galaxy, Seattle's next opponent.

In five games played so far this season, the LA Galaxy has conceded nine goals, second most by any team in the West only behind San José (11). If the Sounders were looking for an opportunity to bounce back, this weekend could probe to be the perfect chance for their offense to start clicking. They have recent history on their side too, since they haven't lost any of their last six visits to LA Galaxy in league play (3-0-3).

A win over the weekend could give Brian Schmetzer's team a breath of fresh air, but anything other than a victory would mean that, for the first time in franchise history, Seattle starts an MLS season without a win in their first five games.

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