It was hard trying to gauge who wanted to talk about the U.S. Open Cup after the game, which is what I had to do with no access to players or coaches until after the U.S. Open Cup. I leave Tuesday and return to Seattle Thursday.
This was a bad result obviously. Sebastien Le Toux should have won this game for Seattle, plain and simple.
At this point, 34 points is good for third in the West and the fifth spot in the playoffs, but Seattle has to root for the LA Galaxy to beat Chivas USA in the SuperClasico tonight or get a draw to stay ahead of or tied with Chivas.
Of course, a Chivas USA win puts them in second place in the West by themselves, and drops Seatle to fourth place.
It would prefer, likely, that Houston beat or draw with Colorado tomorrow to keep the Rapids below Seattle, and for Kansas City to draw with or beat Real Salt Lake to keep them behind the Rave Green in points.
OK, let’s do the quotes:
General Comments: “I thought they dominated the first half. We were lucky to get in at halftime 0-0. We were fortunate we were not down by two or three. I felt the second half was better. We had two changes to steal the game at the end… which would have been nice… Obviously, I’m not pleased and we could have played better. Some guys had to roll up their sleeves and battle a little more than we expected. We got banged up a little bit. It’s not going to make our Top 10 in performances.”
On substitution of Montero: “We felt we needed to get a little more energy, a little more play in there. We didn’t think our balance was good at the time.”
On must-win game: “It’ll be a must-win when we need points to make the playoffs. We’re not at that stage yet. We want to win games at home, so we’re disappointed that we didn’t win. I’m actually a little bit happy that we got a point because I think we could have walked away from this game with nothing.”
On developing team identity and not being a good self-starting team: “We’re an expansion team, so there are still growing pains. We’re still finding our identity when crisis hits. Today we didn’t get off to a good start so it becomes who steps up and who grabs the reins of the team of horses right now and says ‘This is the direction we are going to go.’ For sure that didn’t happen today. I can point to a number of things. There wasn’t anything tin the first half that I would say I was pleased with, with the exception of Keller having made a few saves. It’s important that we sort it out. When we get on the road it’s important that players understand that we need to sort it out within our team better. It’s not about talking to you guys and telling you guys that guys’ jobs are on the line. That’s not a player’s job. A player’s job is to go into the locker room and say that. We didn’t play well today. That’s going to happen. Obviously San Jose was another one of those games…That’s part of growing pains, that’s part of learning. When you have one foot in a hole and one on a banana peel, who’s the one who’s going to bring the rope and make sure you don’t fall in.”
“We’ll go back and we’ll make sure it’s better than before.”
On Ljungberg card: “There had already been a couple occurrences where it appeared they pushed our guys into the boards. That wasn’t dealt with, so it was probably a push from us on them and De Rosario reacted. The rest was what you saw on the field. Freddie Ljungberg getting his fifth yellow card is not a good thing because he misses the next game.”
On lack of scoring: “You’ve got to finish. Goals change games. You need chances and we didn’t really have any chances… You get those opportunities and get pushed to the head of the class when you bury those opportunities.”
On lineup changes: “You try to put the team that you think is the best. We tried something today and let it be a little more free flowing and it didn’t work, so we’ll go back and try something different. It’s a matter if finding the right combination.”
On today’s match: “If we look at some of the positives, we could have very comfortably been down by two or three at halftime. In the second half, we definitely changed some things and looked more dangerous and somehow got a point out of it. There are some positives that come out of this game. But, we want to obviously be an attacking team that makes things exciting for our home fans. That just hasn’t happened the last few games. I heard part of the press conference when Sigi [Schmid] said it’s something we need to truly find what’s going to work and if it is going to hurt some people’s feelings, it’s tough. Everybody is thinking at this time of the year that you got to get your form right to go into playoffs. Right now, we are not even a playoff team. We don’t have that form to even make the playoffs. It’s something we need to change quickly. But, now it’s a great opportunity to win a [U.S Open] Cup game and get into a very cool competition for next season for our fans.”