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July 1, 2010 at 1:30 AM

Sounders FC v. Portland Timbers — Seattle player quotes

NATE JAQUA, forward

(On the dramatic win) “It was a good night for us. It was a battle. Portland came out and played really well, made it tough on us, but we were able to fight through. It’s great to see some resilience in this team to get the win in the end.

(On your goal) “I think Montano played a real good ball in and Sanna spotted me and was able to cut it back. It was a little far, but he was able to cut it back right onto my head and I was able to put it by Cronin.”

(On Keller’s saves) “I think a real big night for him, and unbelievable on the PKs. That was great to see.”

(On what he’s thinking during the shootout) “I’m nervous. I’m real nervous, it’s tough watching those. But credit our guys to come through in the end. It’s a lift for us and we have to carry it through now to L.A.”

(How you feel on your first competitive start?) “It felt alright. Still getting my legs, still getting my fitness back. But it’s fun to be out there and it’s fun mixing it up and playing. I still have to keep getting to where I want to get. I’m not quite there yet, but I think it was a good step in the right direction.”

(On taking a few hits helping confidence) “Yeah, I’m think I’m fine in that. Some of that is trying to take those hits and still control the ball…I think my touch is alright but when you’re fighting and having to bring balls down, it gets difficult, but it’s almost there.”

(On gaining mental sharpness in games more so than training) “Yeah, definitely. You can’t really get that in training, especially with the atmosphere and the people. It just brings more energy there’s a bit more fight and bite to it. So it’s good for me to be in this atmosphere.”

(Is game awareness at 100% yet?) “No, it’s not. But it’s getting close, getting better everyday.”

ZACH SCOTT, defender

(On taking that final PK) “It’s still butterflies going up there, but yeah, it’s a good feeling.”

(On the thoughts going into that kick) “Just trying to concentrate on repetition. That’s really what PKS are, you know? Just do the same thing every time you get up there. So I knew where I wanted to go the whole time, it was a matter of just following though.”

(On the win lifting spirits a bit) “I think especially in a competition like this, where we’re the defending champs, this is huge. We got to take this as far as we can. This is another stepping stone to really turning our season around, which is not too late to do.”

(Ever envision this game-winning type of moment?) “Not as a defender (laughs). That’s not really a thought that crosses my mind.”

(Or if his brother, who plays for Kitsap, shared some thoughts on defending Bright Dike) “He told me he was a big boy. And it’s something we struggled with all game obviously. He got around us a few times, but in the end Kasey came up with some big saves, the defense stayed together and we got the win and that’s the biggest thing.”

KASEY KELLER, goalkeeper

(On the win) “It’s a big night for the team and our fans. This is the enemy, and you want to beat the enemy. I thought we got off to a good start, we had a bit of an unfortunate pinball goal, but those things happen. And you give them credit, they fought back. You know we dug in, we played 20 minutes with a man down and showed the character to do that. It’s difficult, it wasn’t that kind of a game for someone to get sent off, so that was a little bit unfortunate for Taylor. I thought he had a great game, the guys that stepped in, Zach had a great game, Sanna played fantastic, it was great to have Nate back. I’m just really happy for the team and the fans that made the trip down, and who were watching it on TV back at home, so they can have a nice drive home now.”

(On Portland’s goal) “The ball just kind got played into box, bounced around the guys’ legs. Sometimes you just don’t see stuff and it bounces a different way and you just don’t have time to react. It’s a shame, because I thought we defended tremendous all night and the chances they had, I thought it was from distance or from angles. We battled great on corners and crosses, all in all just a great effort from the guys.”

(On the shootout) “Tommy Dutra almost got red carded from behind the goal because sometimes I like to have somebody who kind of gives me that little bit of an idea of which direction to go. I remember I saved a penalty at Stuttgart one time because one of my defenders was warming up behind the goal and he’s like, ‘Oh this guy goes that way! He goes that way!’ So I go that way and save it. I had that in the back of my head, Tommy saw that. (The refs) saw me over there talking to him, so they kicked him out of the back. And I was upset because on the second one, I said ‘This kid’s going down the middle. He’s going the middle, I know he is. Hold, hold.’ Then I took off and was like ‘Ahh! He went down the middle!’ It’s a dice throw, penalties are. It’s a terrible way to finish a game, but until we figure out something better it’s what we have, and it’s exciting of the fans. For me, there’s no pressure. It’s nice. I can jump around and make some saves hopefully and come out of it well.”

(On the win lifting the team) “We’re obviously disappointed with the inconsistency of our season so far. And anytime you can win a game, home or away, it’s just always that boost, regardless of what’s going on. It’s a hell of a lot better 3-hour drive back after a victory, for our fans and for everyone. We want to retain this cup, we want to do well in the CONCACAF Champions League, we want to do well in the league. Right now in the league we’re faltering a little bit, but anytime we can make it exciting for our fans, and give pride to our club, that’s what we’re trying to do. A win like this in Portland, against the team that our fans want to beat the most, is tremendous.”


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