CARSON, Calif. — An early pattern has developed into a disturbing trend.
The Sounders are getting fouled — a lot. And not just the stars.
Coming into the year, Seattle had never been fouled more than 23 times in a game over five MLS seasons. Seven weeks in, the team has already eclipsed that number three times in 2014, none more than the 26 suffered in Saturday’s 2-1 comeback win against Chivas USA.
Midfielder Brad Evans said the realization has painfully set in that the behavior looks likely to last.
“It’s going to be part of the game,” he said, “and we have to play through it. I thought that we handled it pretty well. ... We kept our composure, kept our heads.”
Clint Dempsey had been a popular target in previous weeks, but it was Obafemi Martins in the opposition’s crosshairs at the StubHub Center. Martins was hacked down in seven instances, which tied a franchise record and equaled the amount of fouls received by the entire Chivas USA team.
Coach Sigi Schmid said such repetitive fouling should have led to a red card for the hosts, perhaps more so than the ejection that was given in the second half to Marco Delgado for a dangerous tackle.