Peter Nowak is well-known for his candor. If he has something to say, he will say it, and he'll say it at the start of his press conferences without any prompting.
But it was still surprising to hear Nowak single out Chris Seitz almost immediately for being the cause of the Union's 1-1 draw against the Kansas City Wizards.
"Chris made a huge mistake," Nowak said in what was, by my count, the third sentence of his postgame remarks. "When it comes to the crucial moment, then he needs to be there for this team. We're going to look at the tape and decide what to do with it."
Seitz was at fault for the Wizards' goal in a few ways. His positioning as Davy Arnaud's free kick floated towards the net was a problem, and he also did not do a good job setting his defensive wall at the edge of the 18-yard box. Setting the wall is the goalkeeper's responsibility, both in terms of who stands in the wall and where they position themselves. It looked like Roger Torres wasn't clear on where to stand, and he was definitely signaling for help before Justin Mapp ran over to join him. Surely Seitz could have told some other players to be there.
Even with all that, I did not expect Nowak to put the burden so directly on one player in his public remarks. That has never struck me of being Nowak's way of dealing with individual players' struggles.
There was no escaping it, though.
"He was in a position, 40-something yards from the sideline, to make a catch," Nowak said. "This is footwork, this is the goalkeeper's ABCs - you've got to make the save, and we as a team in front of him did everying to keep this clean [sheet]... I don't care, really, if it was the sun or the shadow or the ball moving. This was easy and a very saveable goal."
Seitz did not hide from his responsibility.
"I've obviously got to raise my hand and say, 'My bad,'" Seitz said.
But he added that he does not care about the fact that he has yet to record a shutout this season.
"I'm not focused on a shutout," he said. "If we get a shutout that's great, but for me, I'm looking for three points. My goal is to come out every game and give our team a chance to win. If we win 3-1 or tie 0-0, I'd take the 3-1 result any day of the week."
This should have been the Union's first shutout of the season, and the club's first winning streak of the season. It was neither.
I know that many of you gave up on Chris Seitz some time ago. Nowak has given Seitz a lot of time and space to grow this season, but now it seems that the manager's patience is running out.