The pressure is building on Seattle coach Sigi Schmid and the Sounders after they concluded a three-game home stand with just four points by losing, 1-0, to FC Dallas Wednesday at Qwest Field.
Lacking winger Steve Zakuani, midfielder Brad Evans, and forward O'Brian White, Seattle outshot FCD 19-7 but failed to score, and Schmid aimed some of his post-game criticism at Fredy Montero.
"He needs to score. End of story," said Schmid of Montero, who has two goals and three assists in 10 games. "He needs to score. That's what he's paid to do.
He needs to score. He's a good enough player. He knows that."
The Sounders (4-4-5) lost for only the second time in the last 11 league matches. They are locked in a four-team logjam at 17 points behind Western Conference leader Los Angeles (26) and second-place FCD (21) heading into a Saturday match at Real Salt Lake (5-1-2), which also has 17 points yet has played five fewer games.