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September 29, 2010 at 10:51 PM

Sounders FC 2, C.D. Marathon 0 — both coaches react

SIGI SCHMID, Sounders FC head coach

(On Mike Fucito’s night) “He fights and he battles. He got injured going into a tackle he didn’t need to go into. He scored a good first goal — he got the ball and he finished it well. And then the second goal was a free kick. We were training on that and he’s one of the lefties that has so much spin on the ball that he can get it around the outside of the wall. He finished that well and froze the goalkeeper. So I’m very happy for Mike.”

(Overall impressions) “I thought it was good. The guys came in and played. I thought Marathon came out very defensively in their early posture. They played basically a 5-3-2 and split their forwards wide, so it almost like a 5-4-1 at times. It required us to be a little bit patient. It was good for us to get the first goal because that forced them open up a bit. We’re still disappointed with our overall Champions League performance. There were four MLS teams in the competition. The two MLS teams that had to play three out of their first four away are the ones who are out of the competition. If we would have had this game at home instead of being at Marathon the first time around, maybe there’s a little more confidence that ends up happening. The evenness of the schedule, I don’t know if it’s feasible to do. Hopefully it would be feasible to do, that after two games you would have one home and one away. After four games you would have two home and two away. For a young team like ours, in this competition, getting that confidence is really important.”

(How’s Fucito’s ankle?) “We hope not too bad. We’ll find out for sure tomorrow morning. We’ll get it x-rayed tomorrow morning and make sure. It ballooned up a little, but the initial prognosis was that it’s not as bad as [James] Riley’s was.”

(On strategy on free kicks) “It was Fucito and [Michael] Seamon that we before the game said they’ll be the ones on the free kicks. Montano tried to weasel his way in there and kept touching the ball, but it was Fucito and Seamon that we wanted hitting the ball. Seamon just went a little high on his and Mike buried his.”

(On the free-kick practice immediately paying off in the game) “That happens like once or twice a year. So you feel really good when it happens because it doesn’t happen too often.”

(On team’s performances in CCL) “We felt we should have won in Monterrey when we were leading 2-0 after 75 minutes. We thought we should have won at San Pedro Sula. We felt we could have won at Saprissa if we hadn’t played a man down for 60 minutes. I didn’t think back on it. The only thing that reminded me of San Pedro Sula was when Tyrone let that one long ball get in behind him and he hestitaed. Is Boss getting it? Is he getting it? Is the forward getting it? That was very comparable to what happened on the PK down there.”

(Other than Fucito, who had a pitch for more playing time?) “That’s for me to know and let you know later. Obviously I thought Mike did well. I thought Taylor Graham has done well in games he’s played here. I thought Tyson Wahl had a good game tonight, saw a lot of the ball because of the way we were playing. Hit some good balls in to our forwards. I thought those guys were really solid. It’s always good for Terry Boss to get games and get experience and get his first shutout.”

(Was it weird playing in front of 11K?) “That’s still bigger than a lot of crowds that come to Champions League. I thought the crowd in Monterrey last week was fantastic and our earlier crowds obviously have been great too. There are a lot of teams that would be happy this competition in front of 10,000 fans. We need to happy about that. Is the glass half full or half empty? I think it was half full tonight, not half empty.”

(On upcoming schedule) “It’s exciting. For me, when you get opportunities and you get challenges… You have an opportunity to win the US Open Cup on Tuesday. We’ve got a good game on Saturday because Toronto is going to be desperate and we need to get points at home and then playing at Kansas City — those two really are the two pursuers from behind. So when I think of things like that as a coach and I felt the same way when I played and I try to say this to my players, you’ve got to just smile when you think of those. Because those are opportunities for you to show yourself and stand out — to step away from the crowd and be special. All of us look for opportunities to be special at times. Some teams never get that opportunity. We’re getting that opportunity and I’m excited and I think they’re going to be excited as well.”

(On Terry Boss’ performance) “Terry was OK. I thought he should have came out a little stronger on the one corner where he got clocked. But overall I thought he was good. With him (as a) goalkeeper, it’s just more games, more games, more games always make you better and more confident. Obviously we have a great goalkeeper here in Kasey Keller, but Terry has learned a lot in the day-to-day training and have to take that day-to-day training into games. But I thought he was solid.”

(First goal being a psychological blow to Marathon) “Definitely because like I said they came out in a very defensive posture. They wanted to probably get out of here with a tie if they could, or maybe sneak a goal in the second half. Taking that goal in the first half altered their technical plan and it certainly gave us some relief as well. It was really probably our first clean opportunity of the game. So when you score right away on your first clean opportunity, that’s like a little bit of a danger to the opponent.”

(On Montano’s performance) “It was good at times and at times could’ve been a little better. He’s certainly a player who has capabilities of turning a game. He made a couple of good moves, hit a couple of good crosses, had an opportunity to score a goal in the second half where maybe he needed to go up with that shot because the goalkeeper went down. But when you’re in the situation it’s bang-bang and you have to make a decision. I think he’s a player who’s still got a very bright future here in Seattle. He’s still a young player and still needs to nurture himself along a little bit.”

NICOLAS SUAZO EDWIN PAVON, Marathon head coach via translator

(Quotes were previous attributed to Nicolas Suazo per the team release, but it appears Suazo was replaced by Pavon as head coach earlier this month. Thanks to a reader for pointing this out)

(Opening comments) “First of all good evening. Thank you all for being here. About the match, it’s been a deserved result for the Sounders. Marathon could have gotten more from this game. I would say that this was one of the best games that Marathon played since I joined. Seattle made a lot of changes since the last game against Monterrey. Knowing they didn’t have any mathematical chances any more, they could afford to do those changes. They had played well as a visitor and in home games, and now they finally won a match. Our team made some mistakes but I’m not going to come up with excuses for the result.”

(On the biggest difference between this and first game) “Usually the key to advancing in the Champions League is to win at home. It’s very different to play as a visitor and we know that the ones who qualify are the ones who play strong at home. The Sounders played well, could have even tied the game there (in the first game). But now the game is very different for us. The team [Marathon] started and was imprecise in the beginning. Giving up a goal like that, it was very hard to recover. It was almost like a punch, psychological. It was very hard to come back from that.”

(On advancing to knockout round) “Indeed the one point difference is minimal. But as I mentioned, the history of teams that advance and play strong at home in the Champions League, make it a possibility for us to still advance. We will indeed depend a little bit on the Sounders, but we have no doubt about the level of effort, professionalism and ethics that a great team like the Sounders will put [on the field]. We will not be worried or breaking our heads thinking about what’s happening here. We know that it’s going to cost Saprissa a lot to get a positive result here and we trust the Sounders can win. With that, we just need to do our own part playing at home.”

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