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August 1, 2010 at 12:28 AM

Sounders FC 1, San Jose ‘Quakes 0 — Seattle player quotes

FREDY MONTERO, forward, via translator

(On the goal) “It started in the middle with the ball, and Sanna had space out wide and the ball was played out wide to him. He kept his run going in the middle of the box, it was a good service and I just got my head on it.”

(On result) “These points are vital. This win is vital for us, especially fighting for the playoff spot. As a team we’re doing well right now and we want to get working with that.”

(On the week) “Obviously winning is great, but what we’re doing right now is we’re growing as a club. We’re growing as Seattle Sounders together and we’re being rewarded in the games from the hard work we’re putting in everyday.”

(On recent form personally) “It’s everybody, not just (me). It’s everybody working together, everybody on the field like it was tonight. Everyone is working together and everyone stepping up their game collectively.”

(On new teammates) “Blaise is a very big presence, he’s very strong and he’s always in the box. He’s always in the area, so that creates spaces for (me) to come and get the ball in other spaced because (I) now exactly where he’s going to be, which is right in front of the goal.

KASEY KELLER, goalkeeper

(Once a last-place team, look at you now) “The thing about this league is you have so much parity that you get yourself on a good run like we are have now — 10 points in fours games — you find yourself shooting up the table regardless of where your position is. We said for weeks, that all we needed to do was get on a good run, and the good run is here. Long may it continue for the rest of the season, but regardless, I think what you’re is you’re seeing a spirit within this team that you didn’t see for about 10 games, you know, 10-12 games. Once again, because this league is so close, if you’re lacking that 5-10 percent you’re going to suffer from it. If you can work hard and match that determination and that effort and then let your quality show through, then you’re going to do well. That’s what we’ve done in the last eight games or so. Maybe it started in Portland. Maybe that was what we needed, we needed that good rivalry and get that good win and maybe that’s kick-started us. Regardless of what the reasoning behind it is, I’m glad it’s came and lets ride it to the end of the year.”

(On new guys fitting in) “You saw Blaise, today he played 85 minutes. He’s still trying to work himself into full match-fitness, but you saw him tracking back and holding the ball up for us. You saw Alvaro came in and looked like he didn’t skip a beat. He looked like he had been playing with us all year. You bring in quality players. There’s no such thing as taking time off in a game. The top players around the world, the reason why they’re top players is they have something, but they also give you everything they have. You can’t let that ever go. Maybe your body won’t let you, but you can’t let it go mentally. We stopped, I think, doing that for a little while and now it’s back and it’s set the standard. You see what Fredy Montero’s done. I don’t know who lit a fire under him, but I’m going to keep stoking that fire. I’m happy for him. Sanna Nyassi’s come in and did a great job. Zakuani is doing a fantastic job. It’s a new team. Then you slide in. Jeff Parke comes out at halftime with a little bit of dizziness and Tyrone steps in and does a tremendous job in 45 minutes. And that’s what we have. We have a good squad with good players, and when we give the effort and the determination, we’re going to be a tough, tough team to beat.”

(On your game, making just two saves but having to stay focused) “That’s where experience comes in. When people say, ‘Oh, you had an easy day.’ The problem is, you’re concentrating the whole time. The whole time you’re on that edge. You’re always thinking, ‘Is it now? Is it coming though? Do I have to make that decision? No. Not now.’ You find sometimes keepers wander and then they makes mistakes, and I was trying just to make sure that I kept in tune and kept myself in the game because I just didn’t know maybe when I was going to have to make a split-second decision. Like I said, I was extremely happy with the way the guys fought in front of me and the way they ran and tackled. It was a great team effort tonight.”

(On Ljungberg situation, good that it’s over to move forward?) “You got to talk to someone else. That’s not my position. I just want to wish Freddie the best of luck in Chicago, except for when he plays us. And you know we move on, and we just keep going with what we’re doing right now.”

BLAISE NKUFO, forward

(On the game) “I felt tonight it was important that the team won and I’m happy we did. Personally I’m still working to get at my level.”

(On meshing with the team better) “Yes of course. We are training very hard during the week and I hope every game will be better. That’s why we need to talk and work during the training sessions. This will be hard, tough. But we have to because we want to play better.”

(On the team’s turnaround being a new injection) “I don’t have absolutely anything to do with that. The players responded well and take responsibly. If you want to be successful as they were last year, they have to be take responsibility.”

(On protecting the lead) “We saw they changed a few things, played more directly, more aggressive. We knew we could win this game if we played better, maybe more simple. Always when you play, it’s never easy. But we had the possibility to score more.”

(On his first goal coming) “Yes, I think I’m in good shape. I think tonight I got the ball off Fredy, off Steve too. What can I say? The keeper made a good save. But of course I expect my first goal for the Sounders.”

(Have you had time to reflect on coming to MLS as a good decision?) “Of course, for me many things didn’t have to do with soccer. It’s about our choice, our choice of life. I’m still fit, if I can help the Sounders, I’m really happy about that.”

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