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March 26, 2011 at 12:08 AM

Sounders FC 1, Houston Dynamo 1 — postgame quotes, stats

zak houston.jpgPhoto credit: John Lok, The Seattle Times

* * *

SIGI SCHMID, Sounders FC coach

(General comments) I think we deserved more tonight than a tie. I’m very proud of the team. I’m very proud of the effort they put in. I thought we had a PK; still think it’s a PK after seeing the replay. Right now we can’t get anything to break our way sometimes. So I’m happy that we fought back and got the equalizer. Like I said, we deserved more on the day.”

(On Leo Gonzalez’s fall in the box, resulting in a yellow card) “If a guy slide tackles me, do I leave my leg in there to be broken? Or if I have to jump over his tackle, then I lose my balance by jumping over the tackle. Isn’t that still a foul? The referees don’t call a foul. If you leave a leg in thereto get broken, then they call a foul. But for sure the guy came through. He got part of Leo. Leo tried to jump the tackle as well — I’m not going to say he didn’t try to jump the tackle — but what’s he supposed to do? Leave his leg there and make sure he gets hammered, and make sure he’s got a broken ankle and is out for 5-6 months? I think that’s the part that doesn’t get taken into consideration on that particular play.”

(On the caution to Houston’s Hunter Freeman in the second minute) “Again, the referee decided to not give a red card there. I guess he thought there were additional defenders between Friberg and the goal. I thought if the guy doesn’t pull Friberg, he’s in one-on-one on goal. But I’m sitting on the bench, he’s closer to the play. Sure looked like he was in to me.”

(On whether the team is experiencing bad luck or poor finishing) “You tell me. You saw it. What can you do? You continue at practice. You try and put them in situations where they’re in front of goal. You try to put them in situations where they’ve got to score goals in all the different games that we play. We play a lot of directional soccer so they’ve got to cover and balance — so they’re going forward as a unit. I think we did all of those things. A little bit of it has been bad luck and a little bit has been not good finishing. You look at their goal and was that good finishing? Was the guy trying to put in upper-V, far post. I don’t think so. He just hit it and it went there. Right now we’re hitting it and it’s going straight at goalkeepers and just not going the way we want it to go. All we can do is continue to work. All I can continue to do is ask them to create chances. Eventually if guys don’t put it in the back of the net, then we’ve got to find guys who will put it in the back of the net. Right now I think we’re a little snake bit.”

(On Evans/Jaqua debuts and Riley being out) “I thought Evans played very well. We had to take him out because he was obviously fatigued at that stage. It wasn’t because he wasn’t playing well. We wanted to make sure he didn’t suffer a relapse. But I thought that his size in the middle of midfield helped us win some headers, win some tackles. I thought he was good with the ball. Jaqua I think helped us as well up front. He got on the end of some crosses and caused some problems. Hit a couple of 1-2s with people. He’s a big body and won a number of flick-ons, so he did well. But I take nothing away from O’Brian White, who I thought had a good game tonight too. He showed his speed and was much busier. Riley at practice yesterday cleared a couple headers and after practice later he felt fine, but afterwards he got a headache. So obviously then there’s always the concern of a possible concussion. He still woke up this morning with a little bit of a headache so the decision with the concussion protocol was that he couldn’t play tonight.”

(On the officiating) “You’re trying to get me fined, aren’t you? I think it should’ve been a red card. It was so early in the game. If that same foul happens in the 30th minute or in the 60th minute, he probably red cards the player. But it happened so soon, nobody’s settled into the game so he doesn’t. And I think it’s a penalty kick. I think those two calls are very influential calls onto the game.”

(On Ianni starting for Hurtado) “It’s just situation of form a little bit. Kennedy has done well and he’s coming off an injury. I always say coming off a long-term injury like that you have a period of time where everything goes really good, then you slip off a little bit, and then you catch yourself again. I just felt right now that he’s in that area. I thought Ianni had been training well and played well. Houston is his old team so just like Parke last week, who had a very good game against New York, you think that’s going to give a little boost to his performance, and I thought he played well tonight.”

(Did Alvaro play his way out of the lineup or was it a matter of Evans being healthy and coming back in?) “Brad Evans being healthy and being able to get into the starting lineup and we thought Friberg has played well in the games he’s appeared so we felt that was our strongest midfield.”

(On whether fortunes are beginning to turn) “I always think we’re close to busting loose. What I’m proud of is our fans want us to come out every game and battle and fight and give everything we have on the field. I think anybody that was at the game tonight knows we left everything on that field of play. We gave everything we have. Nobody wants to win more than we do and we’re disappointed that we only got a tie, but we’re happy that we fought back. Maybe this is the first step. At least we’re heading in the right direction. Right now we’ll take a point and look to go down to San Jose and score some goals.”

(On his thoughts after the first half) “I think we got motivated because Josh Mayers put the shot statistics in the paper from ’09 and ’10 and ’11 — although our shots on goal were pretty consistent. We talked before the game about going out there and that we’re better than an 0-2 team, and we needed to go out there and show it, and leave everything we have on the field. I thought the guys went after it. I thought we were aggressive and made it difficult for them to play. I thought we kept Brad Davis out of the game. He didn’t have any impact tonight and he’s usually a very important player for them and difficult to handle. I thought we were good in terms of going forward. We were aggressive around the goal. At halftime, when we came in, we were like, ‘Let’s continue to do what we’re doing. Let’s be a little more patient at times and get them a chance to be unbalanced.’ I thought we did a better job in the second half of being patient and knocking the ball around. We talked about certain things on set pieces … and just corrected minor things. In the end we said let’s keep doing what we’re doing because we’re playing well.”

(On the influence of Mauro Rosales) “You saw that (Mauro) Rosales has some energy. There were a couple balls he went to slide tackle for and saw his skill. He’s played right wing for a lot of years and you saw him get in positions he didn’t necessarily have to beat his man to get the cross over. That’s a skill you learn when you’ve played there a little bit. He knows how to get his body around it. A couple of the crosses, as he trains more, those crosses that ended up being in Tally Hall’s reach, I think in the next two weeks, those aren’t going to be in the goalkeeper’s reach anymore. I thought he brought good energy; he brought something we needed at the time.”

(On Zach Scott) “I thought Zach played well and it’s a big tribute to him that Brad Davis was not involved in the game offensively.”

STEVE ZAKUANI, midfielder

(Not the result you wanted probably…) “But the performance we wanted, for sure. We can’t fault the effort. I think a lot of guys are knackered and very tired right now because what more can you do really? I heard we had 15 shots in the first half, absolutely was on top of Houston. Credit to them, they got their goal, but we kept plugging away. Not the best result, but like I said, if it was a dry, drab 1-1 game then that’s a different story. We played well enough to win 3-1, 4-1. We didn’t do that and that’s the issue we have to focus on, but in terms of our passing, our movement, creating opportunities — it was first class today. We managed to not lose the game which is important and hopefully we can build on this now.”

(On halftime…) “Lots of passion in here. Guys were very passionate. Positive, but we came in here. I think I kicked a chair over or something because we were frustrated. We said, ‘What are we going to do? We’ve made chance after chance and the ball just won’t go in.’ And Houston had one really clear shot, two deflections, underside of the crossbar and the ball goes in the goal. That takes a lot out of you. But we came in here, we regrouped, rejuvenated and came out in the second half where we left off — chance after chance. I think the keeper made some pretty good saves at times and at times we had some bad misses. Overall, we put enough pressure on them to where they had to break in the end. We got the goal and then time ran out on us and we couldn’t get the second.”

(Did the goal take off the weight of all those scoreless minutes and missed chances?) “Yeah, to an extent. But even when we scored, the first thing I did was look to the clock because we still had about 10-15 minutes, and I felt we could go for No. 2. That’s what the guys were going for. We didn’t really settle for 1-1 because we knew we should’ve scored more than just one today. All the guys were thinking about a second goal and we were really pushing. We did manage to get it and now that the first one is out there we can stop talking about how they haven’t scored yet this year. We’ve done it now and what we got to do now is get a win — then everybody will stop talking.”

(Did the missed chances weigh on you guys until then?) “To an extent, in the back of our minds. We came in here in halftime and were thinking we had chances in the run of play, we had chances on set pieces, we had scrambles in the box and the ball won’t go in any way. What can we do? In the end, we did manage to get one. It wasn’t the prettiest goal, but they all count the same. I think once we’ve got that we had that monkey off our back. It’s a case of keep playing how we’re playing. I think we can’t fault the guys. Everyone’s effort was great. We played great. You can watch the game back, it was great football. At the end of the day we didn’t get the result we wanted. We’re definitely going in the right direction. Three games, the season is still young, but we do need to get a win and we’re confident it’s coming soon.”

NATE JAQUA, Sounders FC forward

(On the debut) “It’s a fun one to come into; we were really pushing, trying to get a goal. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t get that second one, but it’s fun to be out there — fun to be running around again. Still trying to get my fitness back a little bit but I tried to keep it simple, just keep the ball moving, and I thought I did an OK job doing that. It’s just one of those ones where it’s going to take a little bit to get back in the flow of things but it was fun being out there.”

(On the physical nature of the game) “I expected that right away from Houston. We know each other and we battle a little bit. I tried to give it to them a little bit. They gave it to me. It’s part of it.”

(On how the team feels after the result) “We definitely wanted more, but I thought we played well and definitely did enough to win the game. Just got to finish those chances. It’s one where we can’t get our heads down at this point. I think we played some very good soccer and we just got to keep it going. If we play like that, things are going to go in. We’re going to win games.”

(On getting a goal finally) “Yeah, getting the one is good. It’s a good goal for us. I think we take that momentum. It’s definitely not a win. It’s not the three points we want but we look at it as a momentum-builder. We’ll look to go to next week and get a win down in San Jose.”

(On the first half) “I think it’s one where we got to keep putting the foot down and not let off. I think maybe we let off a little bit at the end of the first half. That’s possibly why they scored the goal; it’s also a good free-kick. Those are going to happen now and again. You’re going to give up free kicks there and if a guy hits it like that, it’s just a tough one. It’s one where you have to keep going. It’s not one that you can get disappointed about. They’re going to fall eventually, that’s just how it is.”

KASEY KELLER, Sounders FC goalkeeper

(On the result…) “I think you could look at it and you say, ‘That could be the most frustrating loss ever.’ I’ve been in those games on both sides and it’s not a lot of fun when you’re on the losing end of that side. So it was great that we got the goal and battled like hell and had chances even to win which would’ve been a great victory to start the season. But in the end, we stopped the rot. We’re ready to move forward from now. If we keep creating the chances we’re creating, we’re going to put a big number on somebody and we’re just looking forward to that day.”

(On this match being a step in the right direction…) “I hope so. I mean, like I said, it was a shame because I thought it would have been great to finish that game off with a massive flurry and I’ve been there a couple times, on the receiving end, where you have one of those games where everything’s going your way and then when they get that goal, you end up losing 3-1. But it just wasn’t going to be all the way for us today but we’ll get there.”

DOMINIC KINNEAR, Houston head coach

(General comments…) “We were fortunate to be up 1-0 at halftime, but we came and played better in the second half. With all of their chances, maybe they were due a goal, but the goal we gave up was very sloppy. This is one of the harder places to play in the league, so one point isn’t terrible. We’re happy with that. We’re not thrilled, but we’re happy with that.”

(On halftime adjustments…) “We held the ball a lot better in the second half, especially the forwards. They gave us possession farther up the field. In the first half we struggled to hold that ball and that’s why we were pinned for the period that we were.”

(On goalkeeper Tally Hall playing well where he grew up…) “Maybe he saves it for his family, but if that’s the case, we’ll be traveling with his family from now on because he was excellent.

TALLY HALL, Houston goalkeeper

(On playing in Seattle…) “I enjoy coming here. I don’t try any harder than I do for any other game. It’s always a dogfight between us and Seattle. This was one of those games that was scrappy. Our goal was kind of a scrappy goal and theirs was a bit of a scrappy goal and that’s what the game dictates.”

* * *

SOUNDERS FC 1, HOUSTON DYNAMO 1

Scoring Summary:

HOU — Geoff Cameron 1 (unassisted) 42

SEA — Steve Zakuani 1 (unassisted) 80

Houston Dynamo — Tally Hall, Kofi Sarkodie, Bobby Boswell, Andre Hainault, Hunter Freeman, Corey Ashe (Danny Cruz 85), Lovel Palmer, Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis, Will Bruin (Brian Ching 75), Jason Garey (Cam Weaver 46).

Substitutes Not Used: Mike Chabala, Alex Dixon, Eddie Robinson, Tyler Deric.

TOTAL SHOTS: 6 (Lovel Palmer 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Geoff Cameron 1, Jason Garey 1); FOULS: 16 (Geoff Cameron 3, Andre Hainault 3); OFFSIDES: 4 (Jason Garey 2); CORNER KICKS: 1 (Brad Davis 1); SAVES: 7 (Tally Hall 7)

Seattle Sounders — Kasey Keller, Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke, Leo Gonzalez, Erik Friberg, Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans (Mauro Rosales 71), Steve Zakuani, O’Brian White (Nate Jaqua 61), Fredy Montero.

Substitutes Not Used: Servando Carrasco, Alvaro Fernandez, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl, Terry Boss.

TOTAL SHOTS: 26 (Fredy Montero 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Fredy Montero 3, O’Brian White 3); FOULS: 15 (Leo Gonzalez 3, Nate Jaqua 3); OFFSIDES: 5 (Steve Zakuani 3); CORNER KICKS: 12 (Erik Friberg 10); SAVES: 1 (Kasey Keller 1)

Misconduct Summary:

HOU — Hunter Freeman (caution; Tactical Foul) 2

HOU — Lovel Palmer (caution; Reckless Foul) 30

SEA — Patrick Ianni (caution; Reckless Foul) 43

HOU — Geoff Cameron (caution; Reckless Tackle) 46

SEA — Leo Gonzalez (caution; Simulation) 73

Referee: Ramon Hernandez

Referee’s Assistants: -Kermit Quisenberry; Bill Dittmar

4th Official: Daniel Fitzgerald

Attendance: 36,204

Time of Game: 1:51

Weather: Cloudy-and-46-degrees

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