Major League Soccer

Kelyn Rowe insists Leagues Cup final didn't steal Seattle Sounders focus vs RSL

Chris Smith
Seattle fell to their second defeat in three MLS games at the weekend.
Seattle fell to their second defeat in three MLS games at the weekend. / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Seattle Sounders midfielder Kelyn Rowe insists his side's Leagues Cup final on Wednesday had nothing to do with their loss to Real Salt Lake over the weekend.

Brian Schmetzer's men beat Santos Laguna 1-0 in midweek to reach the final of the annual competition between MLS and Liga MX sides.

But just days later, the Sounders travelled to Utah to face RSL and came out on the wrong side of a 1-0 scoreline thanks to a second-half Damir Kreilach header.

Seattle failed to find the form which has seen them rise to second in the Western Conference this season, with Salt Lake restricting them to just two shots on target throughout the 90 minutes.

There was a suggestion that Wednesday's Leagues Cup final against Club Leon may have been in the back of the minds of some Seattle players, causing them to take their foot off the gas.

But Rowe dismissed these claims, insisting the Sounders are fully focused on overturning Sporting Kansas City's lead at the top of the West.

“Focus wasn’t any kind of an issue, for us,” Rowe said (via the Seattle Times). “This was a big game for us going into the league. We need to make sure we’re still top of the West going into the playoffs and make sure we get as many home games as possible. We didn’t have any lack of focus. It was just a lack of play.”

Conceding just three minutes after coming out from the half-time break was a hammer blow for the Sounders that they never recovered from.

But taking the heat off his players, head coach Schmetzer said Seattle's lack of sharpness in the second half was his responsibility.

“This game, in particular, I don’t believe that we started off well in the second half,” he said. “The team coming out at halftime not being sharp, that falls on me. That’s my responsibility to make sure we’re clear with instructions, with the subs that we made because they (RSL) made a play in the second half and then they defended, and they made it count.”

Following their Leagues Cup final clash with Leon, Seattle face a huge clash with Western Conference leaders Sporting KC on Sunday night.

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