First off, tomorrow’s practice is a reserve game for those players who didn’t get into tonight’s game. It’s Sounders FC vs. Seattle Wolves at Qwest. I would think Steve Zakuani will play…he wasn’t in the starting lineup tonight.
Here are the quotes, courtesy of the team:
(On today’s performance) “It’s good because we are able to push guys. The majority of the team went 90 minutes with the exception of (Nathan) Sturgis and (Brad) Evans. That was a positive. I thought we carried the game for most of the time. We gave up a bad goal. It was a bad foul in the box, one that we didn’t need to give away. And outside of that, I don’t think we gave up a whole lot of chances. I felt we were around their goal. I thought we had a lot of good opportunities. I thought Sebastien (Le Toux) was very dangerous for us on his free kicks that he put in from the flanks. I thought those were good opportunities. We were close. Nate (Jaqua) just missed Sanna’s (Nyassi) cross on a diving header in the box. I think we were right around there. They cleared Tyrone’s (Marshall) header back up the line. From that standpoint, I was pleased. I felt we held on to possession for the majority of the game.”
(On first time players pushed to 90 minutes) “I was pretty happy with the fitness. We’ll see how they feel tomorrow. They’ll probably be pretty sore tomorrow, but that was one of the objectives of this week was to make sure that first 90 wasn’t next week. We wanted to make sure the first 90 was now if we could. We had to make some adjustments without (Fredy) Montero here today. Stephen King played a position that he played for the first time all preseason. I thought he looked rather well in that position. I thought Nate Sturgis was very good in the first half, and he had to come out with a quad. So we want to be careful with that.”
(Did a couple of guys solidify their place in the starting lineup?) “We’ve got to wait until tomorrow, and wait until the reserve guys play. There’s guys that are going to get that opportunity to show what they can do tomorrow. Obviously I thought the defensive pairing in the middle was okay. I thought they played fairly well together. The central midfielder pairing we’ve kept together pretty much the whole preseason, so I think their understanding continues to grow. But there is still the odd man that can play himself into the position.”
(On the central defenders) “I thought Tyrone got better as the game went on. And for Jhon Kennedy Hurtado this was really first test against MLS forwards. Obviously Conor Casey has been a good forward, not only here in MLS, but also overseas, and is a national team guy. He’s been on the national team and the Olympic team. You’ve got Omar Cummings, who is one of the fastest forwards in the league. I don’t think you saw Omar’s speed was a problem for us all night. I thought we did a pretty good job of bottling up Conor. It was good for Hurtado to get that test this week, so it gives him a better idea. He knows who Juan Pablo Angel is, so I’m sure he’ll be ready for that next week.”
(On having a rehearsal for the home opener) “I want people in the stands now. It was good for the logistics and also for the organization because it’s our first game. For me, I’m watching the game and I’m making my mental notes of what’s going on in the game, but I’m also making mental notes of, ‘Wait a second, we can’t do this next week. This has got to change in the organization. People can’t be standing here.’ Things like that. But those are things the first time through. Seattle hasn’t hosted an MLS game before. There were some things, and people standing in places that there’s no way they’ll be able to stand there next week. Off the field. That’s my only side comment.”
DEFENDER JAMES RILEY
(On tonight’s game) “It was a good showing. I thought we had a bit more of the game. We only really gave up one good chance late in the second half, minus the PK. We’ll take the good with the bad and learn from it and be confident next week.”
(On scoring for an expansion team) “We’re still trying to fine-tune different things. Scoring goals will be difficult, especially for an expansion but I think we’re definitely further than where we were last year in terms of scoring goals.”
Note: Riley also said he’d like to see the turf watered down a bit more before games.
GOALKEEPER KASEY KELLER
(On if it felt like a real MLS game) “It felt a little weird tonight to be honest. The game against Vancouver felt like a training game, kind of like a good practice. This felt really odd because there was enough stuff going on where you maybe think it was a game, but at the same time there’s nobody in the stadium. It was really odd. I think we feel really comfortable with our surroundings. That’s important. But at the same time it’s about going out and performing and winning games. It is what it is tonight.”
(On if this game gives an idea of what next week will be like) “Yes. But at the same time, it feels so foreign with nobody in the stadium and knowing that there’s going to be 30 plus thousand people here, and you’re here today and it’s echoing.”