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Lessons, character building no longer enough for MLS

Apr 10, 2013, 11:20 AM EDT

There is a lot of talk about character and learning lessons today coming out of the Seattle Sounders camp. Fair enough.

Lessons were surely learned. Character was surely built. Battles were surely battled.

But the bottom line is unchanged for the Sounders after last night’s 1-1 draw with Santos in Torreon, Mexico. And not everyone is OK with this ongoing marching parade of lessons and character building. (Nor should they be.)

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He has a point. There are plenty of soccer fans out there, many who support a Liga MX team, who would bury their superiority complex over MLS if the LA Galaxy, the Sounders, Real Salt Lake and all their league brethren could get into a few more CONCACAF Champions League finals, at very least. A place in the FIFA Club World Cup would go a long ways to establishing greater credibility, too.

Here’s what Sounders manager Sigi Schmid said about Wednesday’s match in Torreon, the latest exercise in MLS character-building and lesson-learning.

Obviously we learned from last year, and that’s an important thing. You have to continue to learn and improve. We put ourselves in a position to advance, which was also very good. I think the character that we showed tonight and that we played with, being down at halftime 1-0 was no different than our situation was against Tigres. We knew we needed to score just two goals to advance, not three, and the guys battled. We put ourselves in a position where we could have advanced and won it. Our finishing needed to be better, but I’m proud of our quality and the effort we put in tonight.”

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