The Seattle Sounders made history in 2022 as the first MLS team to win the Concacaf Champions League, but their failure to make the Playoffs still left a sour taste for some.
It’s the first time in the club’s 14-year illustrious history that they’ve failed to at least advance to the post-season. However, despite never really showing it on the pitch, midfielder Albert Rusnak believes Seattle should’ve been capable of fighting on two fronts.
“This team is good enough to win both MLS and the Champions League in the same year,” Rusnak said (via the Seattle Times). “That’s sports, you know, it didn’t happen for us in MLS. Since we won Champions League, we never looked the same — as confident, as together like we did in the Champions League (but) one out of two trophies is not the worst.”
Such are the standards set by Seattle – who made the MLS Cup final in four of the six seasons prior to this one, winning the title twice – just making the Playoffs isn’t enough to find satisfaction.
This is a club that expects success in every competition, every single year. Regardless of whether or not the Rave Green were part of the post-season shuffle, it’s the failure to reach another MLS Cup showdown that grates most.
“I don’t look at it as making Playoffs. I look at it as going to MLS Cup,” said Rusnak, who notched four goals and one assist during his first season with the Sounders.
“You make Playoffs and go out in the first round, great. You made Playoffs and your season was four days longer. Congratulations. But at the end of the day, you’ve done nothing.
“Making Playoffs is the first step to be able to play in MLS Cup and then to win it. We haven’t done that, so we’re disappointed and whatever critique we get from the fans and the people inside the football club, it’s deserved, and we have to accept that as players.”
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