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July 25, 2010 at 11:58 PM

Sounders FC 2, Colorado Rapids 1 — Sigi Schmid quotes

SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID

(Opening statement) “Obviously we’re pleased with the three points. I think the team showed a lot of grit and determination. At the beginning of the year we had some games where we played some good soccer and didn’t come out with anything. Right now we need to get points and sometimes that means rolling up your sleeve, and the team certainly did that. We scored two good goals. Obviously they got right back in it after we scored our first one but we came back and got the second one. In the second half we had to dig in a little bit but that’s something that this year we haven’t been as successful at doing and it was good to see the team show that capability. I’m very proud of their determination to win the game.”

(On Nkufo’s debut) “I thought it was good. We need to get used to him a little more, we need to find him. Sometimes early crosses can be a little more effective with him because he finds those spaces, those seams in between the central defenders. So that’s something we’ve got to look for. He did everything I needed from him or wanted from him and gave everything he had. I think we subbed him at the right time. He’s just going to get better as he gets fitter, as he gets stronger. In terms of his fitness, as the understanding with the team grows it will get better. He was right behind Zakuani on the second goal, so if Zakuani doesn’t get it, Blaise has it.”

(On tightening up the defense) “In order to play offense you’ve got to get the ball, and in order to get the ball you have to play good defense. We’ve given up way too many goals this year, that’s one of the big differences between our team this year and last year, and we needed to tighten that up. I think we’ve certainly tightened that up. We continue to work on it. There’s times where it still needs to be better, but obviously today was Alonso’s first game back. He played very well, but himself, Sturgis, Seamon haven’t had a ton of games in that position. We haven’t been able to keep the same unit together. Sanna Nyassi came in today and started, played very well for us on the right hand side. It’s a matter of tightening up that middle — that’s been better — and as the guys get used to each other, get more games with each other as a unit, they’ll become even better.”

(On Steve Zakuani and Fredy Montero leading on offense) “It was good. I think it’s Zakuani’s first multiple goal game in the league, so that was good. The second goal in particular was a great ball by Montero to play Sanna in. Sanna made a great run and deserved the assist there as well. Fredy kept the ball alive on the first goal, kept digging in, digging in, kept it alive and eventually it sprung to Zakuani and he finished it. That’s what you need. We need to score goals that are nice pieces of work, but we also need to score goals where we just scrap for ’em and that’s something we haven’t always been getting either.”

(On Jeff Parke helping keep Conor Casey at bay…) “I think we did a good job with Casey. I think we kept him at bay pretty much. I thought Omar Cummings got around us especially early in the game. We were a little concerned because Zach ended up taking a yellow fairly early. We were actually toying with, do we maybe need to make a change there? So we really talked about our team getting over, making sure they helped on that side of the field, that we doubled. I thought Ozzie did a good job of getting over there to help Zach a little bit and doubling up on Omar. Certainly, they’re a dangerous team because those guys are dangerous players. It was a good win for us.”

(On Pat Noonan) “At the end of practice yesterday felt something a little bit, so then we tried this morning to see if he could go. He felt he could maybe push through it, but he didn’t want to put the team in jeopardy, so that’s the reason we made the change.

(Day to day now for him?) “Yeah.”

(On Keller) “I thought he had a couple of good saves. He saved the one header that he tipped over the bar in the first half and the reaction save coming back his left. That’s just a great save. I guess you don’t want to become used to it but sometimes Kasey is such a fundamentally sound goalkeeper that you’re almost surprised if he doesn’t make the save. He definitely came up with some big saves that kept us in the game, at a big part of the game and that’s what you need your goalkeeper to do.”

(On difference between first matchup with Colorado) “The first matchup was Jeff Parke, I think his first game, first or second game for our team. So his legs weren’t under him at that point. So that was something we felt much better about. We really tried to do a better job of forcing their centerbacks to make the game for them. Early on I think that worked well for us. After that they adjusted a little bit to it. But for us it’s really not so much about the tactical changes, just the grit and determination that we showed, and that we played with. When we come out and do that, then our crowd gets behind us and our crowd was fantastic tonight. When we’re working hard and we’re giving them what they want, which is hard work on the field, and then they respond to that by cheering like they do, it becomes a catharsis that makes us a dangerous team at home. And that’s what we want to get back to as well, becoming that home team. It’s not so much tactical changes, it’s creating that catharsis with our crowd. It was fantastic tonight, and making our home field a place where people don’t want to come to play.”

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