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July 31, 2010 at 10:54 PM

Sounders FC 1, San Jose ‘Quakes 0 — Sigi Schmid quotes

(This was a big win for you guys) “Definitely, and to win three in a row, second in a row on the road that we’ve won. Defensively I think we’re playing a lot tighter in the back. Today I was very pleased with how we played, I thought our soccer was very good, I thought we moved the ball around very well. I felt we were a little unfortunate not to have more than one. I thought we could’ve had two or three in the first half. Busch made some fine saves, made a great save on Nkufo in the second half, made a good save on a header of Nkufo in the first half. I really thought Blaise was going to get his first goal tonight. But I thought the team was very good.”

(On the recent surge) “I think the guys realized their situation, we realized at the beginning of the year, we were maybe patting ourselves on the back a little too much for what we had accomplished last year. Everybody sort of came to the realization that, ‘Hey we’ve got to put forth the effort.’ I kept telling them, if you put forth the effort, the soccer will show at the end of the day. But you have to match the other teams effort. We’re at that stage where we’re doing that. We won the game against Colorado by rolling up our sleeves a little bit, it wasn’t beautiful football. We’ve also shown that we can play. You got to win different ways and the team is showing the ability to do that and it’s because they realized they have to do it, there’s no tomorrow.

(On the two DPs) “I thought they did well. I thought Blaise had a very good game. I thought his hold-up play for us was very good. Like I said, I thought he was unfortunate not to get a goal, especially on the second-half shot. But he did a really good job. He also helped us out on set pieces, heading some balls clear for us. And Fernandez I thought was solid when he came in. As I told you guys, he’s not a Wow! player where he’s going to knock your socks off, but he can play anywhere in midfield. Tonight we used him on the left and I hadn’t seen him touch the ball with his left foot in practice and right away he beat the guy and crossed it with his left foot. He connects passes. He also got back at defended. He’s very much a two-way player. So we’re going to have a lot of joy on him, he’s only practiced once really with us, so as he gets more time with the team and the team understands him and he understands the team, it will be good.”

(On defending the lead) “I thought we did a good job. I thought Tyrone came in and played well for Jeff Parke. Jeff had a… we weren’t sure, he was a little dizzy and so forth, and we were a little precautionary with him. I thought Tyrone played well. I thought we tried to keep the game in front of us. Bobby Convery and Alvarez got a little more involved in the second half and caused some problems, but overall I thought we did a good job of restricting those two players’ abilities to really get at us.”

(On Ljungberg situation culminated) “It’s a situation where Freddie’s a great player and for us it was just a situation of resolution helped us. But it’s something that really is not affecting us on how we approach the game or what we’re trying to do. So it was just good for resolution, so everybody sort of knew what was happening, but our play right now is contingent upon our effort.”

(Are you pleased with Nkufo’s progress?) “Definitely. Definitely. He’s working, he’s getting fitter. Things like that at practice. I talked to him after our last practice and he was trying some things that weren’t really coming off and I said, ‘Hey, you’re still going to gain your fitness. Just simplify.’ And he did today. He played very simple. There’s still times where, I forget, someone got in on the left and they didn’t realize that he loves to come to the top of the 18. If he would’ve found him at the top of the 18, he loves that shot. So as we get to know him better, we’ll know where he shows up as well. He definitely gave us a presence, definitely gave us hold-up play up front, which is what we needed.”

(On winning the Heritage Cup, did you know how you did it?) “I’m not quite sure how we won it. I thought we each won a game and the total score was 1-1. But I thought we deserved it last year, so we’ll take it this year.”

(On Montero’s continued hot streak) “I thought the goal was as good a goal we’ve scored this year, just in terms of the combination play that led to it. It was a great goal, but besides his goal, Fredy has just given us a tremendous work rate off the ball. His willingness to hold up the ball for us as well, his willingness to pop up in different spaces. When they changed to a 3-5-2 in the second half, at the end of the game in the last 15 minutes, his willingness to come back and help us defend. Those are all things, I think Fredy is maturing and growing as a player. He’s bringing out the different aspects in his game.”

(How important was that assist for Nyassi?) “It was good. We talked to Sanna about picking out a target when he gets in those situations and I think Sanna looked up and he found the target. He found the ball as well to someone else, I can’t remember who. He was looking up from the start and so we’ll continue to work on that. Sanna’s another player, he’s still young and still maturing right now. I think people forget how young a team we are. We’ve got a couple of old geezers, but overall we’re a young, young team. One of the old guys, Kasey Keller, is a guy who always comes up with key plays for us and keeps us in games. And Tyrone, one of our old guys today, came in and played tremendously as well. And Nkufo also.”

(On feeling like good things are still ahead) “We felt like we were turning it around like three weeks ago. Part of it was Open Cup play, which people sometimes don’t value as highly. But now we’re showing it in league play. The ability to be consistent, the ability to make one-goal leads stand up, is something that’s very important to be successful.”

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