Photo credit: Bob Levey, Getty Images
It’s been a wild day of soccer, first covering Sounders FC’s 2-1 road loss to the Dynamo and then trying to follow the other games to figure out playoff seeding. While cleaning out the notebook tonight I wanted to pass along some quotes that weren’t included in the official release or used in my game story.
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(On the frustration in the loss) “We know we didn’t play our best today. We didn’t give the best effort we could give and that’s probably what Sigi was most frustrated about. You can lose games, but if you feel you gave everything you had, you have a little bit of respect in that. I think today we didn’t do that, which is probably the most frustrating.”
(Will we see Kasey Keller next season?) “It looks that way. We’re very close to a agreeing on a contract for next year. We’ll see how that goes. I would be surprised if I wasn’t playing one more year.”
(On what there is to gain from the game) “Overall it’s a good test for us for the playoffs. It was a good, physical battle. They’re a team that’s physical every game of the year and all the teams in the playoffs are going to become more physical. In that sense it toughened us up for playoffs.”
(Does how the team played today affect confidence?) “No, because over 30 games we’ve been very good. We’ve been a better team than we were last year. Next week is a new season — it starts again. We’re on a great run and today was tough. It wasn’t the best field, questionable calls, the heat, it all plays into it. I think when they went up 2-1 we had to take a playoff mentality and say, ‘This is how it’s going to be. There are going to be tough times in the playoffs.’ I think we responded pretty well had some chances in the end. It wasn’t our best game, but at the end of the day we’ve lost two league games since July 4th. We’ll take that.”
(Is this a concerning loss?) “Sigi got into us a bit. He was disappointed in the way we competed and battled. We knew it was going to be a physical game. We just have to adjust to that. But we’re glad to get out of here relatively injury free. We’ll have a great week of training and get ready for whoever we play.”
(On what made the loss to disappointing) “I think it’s important for the guys to realize that they have to do more, and they’re capable of more. In this league when you don’t bring that extra 10-percent, the teams are so close, then you lose game. If you play with the emergency brake on, where you don’t want to go into that ball or don’t want to make that extra run because you don’t want to get hurt today, then the other team gains the advantage. They were the deserved winner tonight.”
(On Jeff Parke taken out as an injury precaution) “He took a hit in the jaw. We wanted to make sure he didn’t take another hit in the game and possibly have that result in a concussion.
(On if this affects the team’s confidence) No, that’s my job as a coach to make sure we have that confidence. And it’s the job of the players to remember the things we did well. Sometimes when it goes really well for you, guys start wanting to do a little bit extra — they want to throw in extra touch. When you see Nate Jaqua stepping over the ball and doing back-heels, that’s not what you need a 6-foot-3-inch central forward to do. It’s a matter of guys remembering what they do well and doing that.”