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May 22, 2010 at 4:54 PM

Sounders FC 0, S.J. Earthquakes 1 — Seattle player quotes

FREDDIE LJUNGBERG

(On the postgame message) “I think mostly we were a bit not on it in the first 10 minutes and we made a mistake, and it cost us dearly. I think after that, the rest of the eighty minutes, we were on it and we fight and we don’t score a goal. But the main message was we need to switch on from the beginning. We can’t let them get the advantage at 1-0. Like everybody has seen, teams bunker in after they get a lead here and it makes it 10 times harder to play.”

(On frustration of finishing) “That’s just the way it is when you don’t score. Of course you get annoyed when you don’t score. I think we’re creating a lot of chances, but we can’t put the damn ball in the net. It’s a frustrating thing, but that’s how it is with football sometimes. Not meaning to repeat myself, but I think that’s why they got Blaise as well. We’re waiting for him to get back from the World Cup. But that’s his job, is to put the ball in the net. That’s our issue at the moment.”

(On Sigi’s comments on yelling at refs and frustration with teammates) “I’ve played in the biggest teams in the world, you need to get upset if the ref isn’t doing the right thing as you think. If you lose your passion, you won’t play. I don’t agree on that. You need to have your passion to play. And I think that’s what the fans want to see as well, because the people that care have reactions to things that happen.”

(On breaking teams down 90% of the way, but not that final bit to score) “Yeah, that’s probably the hardest thing in football. What we have to look at, is when teams come in here and bunker in, it’s a sign that they show us respect, that we’re a good soccer team. We shouldn’t forget that. If they didn’t think we were very good they would go at us and try to attack. Now they just sit in. It’s the hardest thing, even for big teams like Barcelona or whoever plays that way, Arsenal. That’s how they train all the time, for when people just sit in. We’re not there yet, but we’re working on it. I think the amount of chances we created today, six or seven clear chances, we need to be able to score on one of those. Six or seven is enough. But that’s something we need to work on because it’s quite clear that’s the opponents’ way of playing against us. Like I said, I still think it’s a padlock. In normal soccer you can shift and move, it’s an open game, sometimes when someone is so put in, you want to lure them out a little bit. Almost play a bit slower, hold the ball around to get them to move out of position and then you put it in. It’s a bit different, and it’s a harder way, but I think we’re getting there. Like I said, we created enough chances to score, then the game would’ve opened up.”

KASEY KELLER

(On turning it around…) “This is not something for me to criticize or to make judgments. This is something that, right now, we have to leave in the hands of the coaching staff and the backroom staff to see what direction they want to go with it. They are extremely disappointed. Obviously the players are extremely disappointed. For us individuals, it’s just about getting to training and see if we can work that little bit harder, that little bit smarter. I think I said a while ago that I kept feeling that this corner was going to be turned but at some stage there has to be some accountability. I think Sigi is going to probably say in terms of accountability, that time is here. So like I said, individually, it’s just go. Work as hard as you can. Show the coaching staff, show the administration that you want to be at this football club. That’s about it.”

(On first 10 minutes) “I was very disappointed. We didn’t clear the ball when we needed to clear it. We let them put pressure on us. We let them get themselves into the game. They looked like the home team. That’s what I would do, I’m at home, I’m going to put the ball in their half and put pressure on them. Make something happen. It took us conceding a goal to change. In saying that, we created enough chances to win this game comfortably. It’s not super doom and gloom. I think if you’re going to watch the game on tape you would see that we easily had enough chances to win this game but when things are going wrong, they are going wrong. For myself personally, it’s just get to training on Monday and work hard and prove to the fans, prove to the coaching staff and ownership that you want to be at this club.”

(On just three shots on target out of 18) “Those things happen. Like I said, I’m not here to judge people and say what they need to do better or worse in this situation. Those are questions for Sigi and like I said eventually, you’re judged on scoring goals, you’re judged on stopping goals. Right now, we’re not doing as well as we need to on both ends. I can just look after myself right now and help guys that need to be helped. For the most part it’s about rolling up your sleeves and proving you want to be here.”

STEVE ZAKUANI

(On the game . . .) “I think the game was lost in the first ten minutes. They came out and we gave them too much time. I don’t think we touched the ball in the first ten and then they got their goal and after that we decided to play. When you give a team a goal on the road, it becomes tough. So then we were chasing the whole time. Again, it’s the same story, create chances but didn’t finish. We had some very good chances. I had one in the first half. We had a few in the second half. We just didn’t finish them. Something has to change and I don’t know what it is. You can’t win one week and lose the other week, that’s too inconsistent. We need to go on some sort of run and we need to figure out a way to do that.”

(On scoring troubles . . .) “The hardest thing to do in football is to score. We have to find a way around it. We weren’t very anxious, we were patient. We played our game. Honestly, I don’t think we had a bad performance. Take the first ten away, the last eighty minutes we played well. We moved the ball but if we don’t score, everyone forgets that.”

(On moving forward from this game . . .) “We are not going to panic. We won last week and lost this week. It’s just the inconsistency is bothering us. Once you find consistency, it will be OK. Honestly, we aren’t even half way through the season yet and a lot can happen between now and October and November when the playoffs come around. We just got to stay in there. We would’ve gone into second (place) today with a win. We know that a couple wins in this league and the season’s turned around. We just have to stay patient.”

(Just three shots on goal out of 18 attempts, is that an issue?) “To an extent, but I think we created enough chances, that wasn’t the problem. I wouldn’t even say it was bad finishing, it’s just being more calm and composed in front of the goal. What it came down to is we lost the game in the first 10 minutes. I don’t know what we were doing. They came out and we let them have the ball and as a team we just didn’t look ready. Once they get the goal, if you give a team on the road something to protect, something to defend, then it becomes very difficult, and that’s what happened. At the same time, it wasn’t a bad performance. We created chances and moved the ball. We didn’t panic. We kept believing we’re going to get back into this, but a break here and a break there maybe we get that goal. But it wasn’t meant to be. He (Cannon) kind of made a couple good saves and on other ones we probably should have put them away. So, it’s one of those things.”

(Just 12 points at the one-third mark. Concerned about playoffs?) “Oh no. If we didn’t (think we are a playoff team) then we wouldn’t be disappointed. The reason we’re disappointed is because we know how good we can be and where we should be. And we’re not there right now. But at the same time, I was saying to someone, it’s a long season. We’re not halfway through the season yet. No one here is going to panic or start getting worried. We have to fine tune one or two things. You don’t go to New York and win if you’re a bad team. At the same time, we can’t win one week and lose the next week. You can’t do that. And what’s bothering me is at home. Last year we were very good at home. That has to stop where teams come in here and think they’re going to win. We don’t like that. We’ve lost too many at home already. Too be successful in any league in the world, I don’t care where you watch it, the best teams are the teams that dominate at home. And we did that last year. We have to change that somehow, but I don’t know what to do. That falls on the coach to get us to do things the way we need to do. He’s someone that’s been around for a long time, and when you have that kind of coach, you’re confidence doesn’t waver. He’s going to find the right balance. We have to be a team now. Individual pride goes out the window, no one cares about that here. We have to be a team. We have to ride it together and find a way to get our season consistent.”

(On concentration being an issue) “I would say yeah. A lot of the goals we’ve given up have been crosses and second balls just bouncing around and I think falls on the whole team. We have to cut those out. We’ve shown we can defend. I think we did a pretty good job against Columbus here, except that one play. It’s just very small things. It’s not a big thing where we’re in a crisis and we have to change this and that. We have to fine tune one or two things, which makes it more frustrating because you know you’re so close. You win one week and take a step back. It’s a case where if we had won today, we would’ve jumped into second place most likely. So we’re not too far off. But as a team we have to really play with more pride and really refuse to lose. Last year it was defend first and we’ll get a goal, I think we have to get back to that.”

TYRONE MARSHALL

(On offense not picking up defense) “It does get frustrating sometimes, but at the end of the day we need to make sure we don’t give up goals. One goal or whatever it may be. Not all the time can we play to zero, but we can limit them. They scored pretty early tonight and we had a lot of opportunities to score, especially being at home. We have to put them under the gun from the get go, and we didn’t do that. It took us for the first 10 minutes before we finally got in a rhythm. At the end of the day we need to put the chances away when we do get them and prevent guys from scoring as well. You can see it from both sides. Don’t let ’em score, and we score and everyone’s happy. That’s what we got to get back to now. We have a game midweek so let’s get back to work again, and refocus, and bring our energy and attitude on Monday and let’s go again.”

(On the slow start) “I think we weren’t getting any breaks at the get-go. I went over to Alex, the referee, and said, ‘Hey listen man, we’re not getting one call so far.’ They were pouncing on us, we’re trying to get the ball, we didn’t cleared a ball probably, and all that stuff. They seem to just be on top of us. Coming with a lot of energy. We’re trying to play as well. When you don’t get the calls sometimes they get the advantage. So they were on top of us, and that’s what it was in the first 10 minutes I thought. They were getting calls that we weren’t getting and the guys were getting a little frustrated. The guys were saying, ‘This is our place. We’re not in San Jose.’ That’s how it is. At the same time we have to forget about it and keep playing and keep digging away until we get control again. That’s what happened, they scored and we were behind the eight-ball trying to get back in the game and opportunities were there, but it’s been the theme so far this year is not being able to score at home. Hopefully we get that sorted out and get that changed, because we have quality players who can finish. Sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way, and it hasn’t lately. We can get back into a good groove. Once we start scoring man, I think the floodgates are going to open up. With the boys we have here we’re definitely going to get it done.”

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