FIVE DAYS later and it still stings. And it should.
Union assistant John Hackworth, the interim boss while Peter Nowak serves the second of a two-match ban, told reporters during the Union's weekly conference Wednesday that Saturday's 2-1 loss to San Jose in the waning minutes was "unjust," a decision no one with the club has forgotten.
"When you lose the way we lost on Saturday, everybody [in our locker room] believes that was an unjust result," Hackworth said. "And really, all you want to do is play again so you can right the wrong."
That chance comes this Saturday against Seattle at CenturyLink Field (4 p.m., NBCSN), against a Sounders team playing on short rest after hosting David Beckham and the defending MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday night. But Hackworth said playing the Sounders - even when they are on short rest - isn't going to be a breeze.
"It's going to be interesting to see what they do [against the Galaxy]," Hackworth said of Seattle's game plan. "This is a crucial stretch for Seattle; hard to manage these games in a short amount of time; we'll see how they handle it. It's good to have [Wednesday's] game to look at because how Seattle comes out [against LA], will really dictate our approach on Saturday."
Of course the focus will be on a rising Seattle team, but as much concern needs to go toward mending an anemic offensive Union front. The fix? Simple, really. It's all about taking advantage of chances, which Hackworth agreed his team has been reluctant to do at times. He said this group may be starting to see the light, thanks to a few "excellent training sessions" and an eye-opening loss.
On the injury front, defensive midfielder Brian Carroll is still listed as questionable with a strained right hamstring. However, Hackworth was diplomatic in reference to any ailments, saying only that the Union "will have a full selection to choose from" against Seattle.
Hackworth instead focused on a desire to see his players make the most of their individual opportunities.
"We [as a club] always talk about when we get the goal can we get the next one to kill the game, [but] it just hasn't happened for us this year," Hackworth said. "Whether you are a 10-year-old or you're a seasoned pro, you get wide-eyed and you want that chance. We reiterate to these guys that when you get that chance you need to take it. We need to get back a little of that chip, a little bit of that edge and start putting some of these chances in the back of the net."
And Hackworth's thoughts on chance after chance going asunder?
"It's unfortunate," he said. "Saturday [against San Jose] I thought it was unacceptable. It was hard to swallow that defeat. The guys know it, it's not like we have to tell them. We expect them to come out and fire away against a very good Seattle team in a hostile environment."