Ochoa: We Didn’t Progress This Year



Sammy Ochoa sat in the Sounders FC locker room disconsolately after his side’s aggregate elimination to the LA Galaxy.

He was very honest and self-analytic about what was on his mind, especially his frustration about the similarities to last year’s exit:

“It’s a tough loss. I think we lost the game in LA. The same way we did last year. I think that we should have learned something from  last year. Obviously we didn’t and we’re out. A mistake at the back, maybe a better call. I’m just going to rest, think about what we did and come out next year.”

Most fans and observers feel that going a round further in MLS and breaking the play-off curse was progress in itself.

But not Ochoa who we asked if he thought the side had made progress over 2011:

“I don’t know. I don’t think so. If we’re not champions, I don’t think we succeeded. This organisation deserves a championship and we got to give it to them.  We have to give it more progress to feel good about this because Conference finals.. we don’t care about this. We care about the Championship.

Our goal is the championship. We don’t want t make it to the final and lose.”

Ochoa’s indictment can be taken one of two ways. Firstly, it is proof that this club sets itself very high standards. Secondly, it might be taken as a need to make changes.

What do you think? Did Sounders progress in 2012?



About Author

Steve is the founder and owner of Prost Amerika. He covered the expansion of MLS soccer in Cascadia at first hand. As Editor in Chief of soccerly.com, he was accredited at the 2014 World Cup Final. He is the former President of the North American Soccer Reporters Association/ Originally from Glasgow, he is a supporter of the Great Glasgow Alternative, Partick Thistle.


  1. Yes – Just not enough, the club matured a lot, and if it makes the right choice in the off season it is probably ready to become the actual club its pr machine has painted to be but was not
    for the last 4 years.

    • I think they are in some ways close. Then I look at the league table and the Galaxy roster and take a step back. Then I see RSL needing a year or two to retrench, and San Jose losing the benefits of home advantage as they acclimate to a new stadium and go forward again. Then I see how badly hit FC Dallas was by injuries and see them come roaring back. Then I look at the Whitecaps and decide your guess is as good as mine.

  2. I’d have to agree with Ochoa. It was a pretty mediocre season for the Sounders with no Cups won. But one could not base the progress of a team solely on the number of cups that were won.
    For instance, I thought the quality of passing grossly improved. The addition of Johnson and Gspurning have been tremendous benefit to the team. The mid-field was excellent as usual. The team’s depth was outstanding along with Sigi’s management of that throughout the season (the one exception in the first leg of the semi-finals against LA).
    On the other hand, the offense lacked teeth and the defense were not consistent. There was the nagging injuries with Rosales, Gspurning and some of the defense. And the usual “Blame-it-all-on-the-ref” syndrome is really starting to get old.
    Oh… I foresee changes. Big changes are coming.

    • Craig’s analysis is absolutely spot on in my opinion.

      Is it just me or are our commenters getting cleverer?

      Happy Thanksgiving to all y’all.

  3. I’d like to add something to what Craig has already stated. After “But one could not base the progress of a team solely on the number of cups that were won”…For instance, seeing the slow and steady process/progress of Steve Z coming back from injury and being as successful as he was in his limited time during the playoffs was simply amazing.

    • YES!

      For 3/4 of the season, I believe the most asked question was, “I wonder if Steve will play today?”.

  4. I think Ochoa needs to keep in mind how fit he came back to camp last year. Maybe if he’s truly serious about making it a better 2013 season he can start off on the right foot and come to camp in tip top shape. I like Sammy a lot, but he needs to train more in his off season and come back lean and mean.