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Sounders FC

Daily coverage of Seattle Sounders FC, MLS and world soccer.

May 15, 2011 at 12:20 AM

Sounders FC 1, Portland Timbers 1, postgame quotes/stats

portland tifo.jpg

SIGI SCHMID, Sounders FC head coach

(General comments…) “Obviously we’re not pleased from the standpoint that we had the lead and we gave them a goal back. Their game, as we talked about earlier in the week, is predicated around free kicks and set pieces. That’s what their danger is. That’s what they live for. The referee gave them quite a few. It seemed like our fouls were happening for us on our end of the field and theirs happened on their end of the field. At the end of the day, we have to defend those things and we have to take care of that business.”

(Opening statement continued…) “Losing a player like Evans changes it. Losing (Erik) Friberg as we prepare for the game certainly changes things as well for us. When you add it up and you have Friberg, you have (Brad) Evans, you have O’Brian White, you have (Mauro) Rosales, you have (Steve) Zakuani, that’s a lot of pieces to be missing. They’re not really missing any pieces. So I’m proud of what the guys did. I thought we scored a good goal. I thought at the beginning of the second half we got hold of the game based upon what we talked about, settling the game down a little bit, which was hard in this weather. I think the weather suited them a little bit more in the sense that they just try and go direct anyway to a certain extent and knock it up to their big men and they were a bit better at that game than we were. At the start of the second half I thought we did a decent job. That’s the reason I thought we got the goal and we were around it a couple of times, but we need to finish it off.”

(On game atmosphere…) “I thought the atmosphere was great. You had their fans, which is something you normally don’t have, a loud group from the opposing team, so that added to the pageantry of the game. But at the end of the day, we’re at home and we need to get three points when we’re at home.”

(On injuries…) “Friberg has a sprained ankle. We’ll have to see. It’s sort of a day-to-day thing. Evans just pulled a groin muscle, so we’ll have to see how that comes along.”

(On Flaco’s goal…) “Roger Levesque hit the ball across and into the middle, and Fredy did a good job flicking on the header. Alvaro’s first touch was very good and he finished it, so it was a good goal.”

(On first half…) “It was a hit-and-miss, patchy game. For us, the big problem in the first half was having (Servando) Carrasco and (Osvaldo) Alonso in midfield together. They both sat back too deep, so it was very tough for our forward s to have a connection for someone to play back to. That’s what we talked about at halftime — that one of the two of them needed to push up more. That was something we talked about before the game, but in the heat of the game they forgot it. And our outside guys needed to pinch in a little bit so we get guys underneath our forwards. But it was pretty helter-skelter in the first half.”

(On Carrasco…) “He’s a rookie and he’s going to make some good things and he’s going to make some things that maybe aren’t as good. Overall, he’s a good player and has a good future. Sometimes him and Alonso, the pairing of the two of them is maybe not the best pairing because they both like to look for the ball in the same spaces. You’re trying to get one to play off the other one a little more. That’s something that we talked about before the game and talked about again at halftime. It got better for periods of time, but it wasn’t as good as it needed to be. If they have more time together, playing together, that will get better.”

(On physicality of play…) “I don’t know if it’s a rivalry on the pitch that make it physical. I think it was physical because that’s the nature of their game. You don’t see their goalkeeper throw the ball out and they’re not going to build. Everything is either a punt or a goal kick. As a result, the ball’s in the air, and they run guys outside in. Maybe I saw wrong, but you have guys on their team sometimes jumping and not even seeing where the ball is, just jumping in the air against our guys. So that was the physical side of the game tonight. It was a lot of contesting balls in the air. It’s a lot of headers, it’s a lot of knockdowns, it’s a lot of second balls. I don’t think that was because of the rivalry, it was because of the way they play.”

(On Danso’s defensive headers…) “Well, you should win a lot of headers if you’re going against Montero. I would hope so.”

(What’d you think of Danso’s play overall?) “If the ball’s up in the air, he’s obviously a good player. If we could have gotten the ball on the ground more and taken him that way, then we would have forced him to defend a little bit more. Overall, he did what he needed to do today. He was OK. At a crucial moment, we won a header and flicked a ball ahead in the box against Brunner, who is probably better in the air than Danso, so those two guys are obviously difficult guys in the air.”

(What did you think of Nagbe’s performance?) “I thought did he all right. I think you have to ask John, their coach, in terms of what he thought of it.”

NATE JAQUA, Sounders FC forward

(On the match and if it felt like a rivalry…) “Yeah, there was definitely a little bit more to it. I think everybody was kind of flying around a little bit more. I think they did a good job the first half of letting us not get into a good rhythm. In the second half I thought we started playing well. We got the goal. We were kind of getting after them and had a couple of pretty good chances to put it away. We weren’t able to do that and they were able to get a little bit of momentum. They’re dangerous on free kicks.”

KASEY KELLER, Sounders FC goalkeeper

(On the match…) “Yeah, it’s a little disappointing. The first half was pretty even. They had some shots, we had some shots. I agree with what Nate (Jaqua) said; I thought the first 10 or 15 minutes of the second half we came out and played some good stuff. Got the reward, got the goal. Then we just kind of messed it up a little bit, which is frustrating. We know they’re a dangerous team on set pieces. We talked about it all week. They started winning a few more set pieces in dangerous positions and Jewsbury hits a great ball in and they have some big bodies in there. We’re a little frustrated because we all thought we dropped our line a little bit too quick and let them get on top of us. You get a big kid like Danso in there, he’s going to win stuff. Unfortunately he kind of just beat me to the ball. I couldn’t get there quite quick enough, which was frustrating.”

(On if the draw is more frustrating because of the rivalry factor…) “It’s a combo. Of course we would have loved 500 fans to drive home disappointed and wet and frustrated. We would love for our fans to be celebrating into the night. It’s hard to say, but overall through merit, it was probably a draw. At the same, I agree with what Nate (Jaqua) said. You get the 1-0 lead, and can we fight like hell to keep that? Unfortunately, like I said, they are very dangerous on set pieces. They’ve scored over 70 percent of their goals on set pieces and there’s a reason for that.”

ROGER LEVESQUE, Sounders FC forward/midfielder

(On the match…) “Having that one goal lead and the excitement that created, and keeping the pressure on after we scored the goal. We had a few chances to put it out of reach and we didn’t do that. We know they’re strong on set pieces. A lucky bounce or whatever it was. A good goal by their center back. The atmosphere was great. The fans were great. There’s no question about that. It was electric. The best atmosphere that I think we’ve had. That’s definitely something to feed off of. Now I’m just looking forward to going down there and playing down at their place.”

(On the supporter’s group pre-game display…) “I’m definitely honored to be in that group of players who was honored as part of the rivalry between the Timbers and Sounders dating back to the NASL days. I thought there were a lot of good players up there. It was pretty amazing to be a part of that.”

(Do you think it looked like you?) “It could’ve used a little more facial hair I think. (laughs) No, it was great.”

ALVARO FERNANDEZ, Sounders FC midfielder, via translator

(On the goal…) “When I saw the play shaping up I started yelling and calling (for the ball), especially when I saw the two defenders going after Fredy. After the flick I was one on one in front of the ‘keeper and I was able to finalize.”

(On if it felt any different going up against a rival in Portland…) “It was a derby. I’m lucky that I’ve had the chance to play many of those in my career. They are sort of similar. Sometimes the teams don’t start playing that well, but it’s not only about that. It’s also about the will and how much you really want it and how much effort you put in it. Thankfully we started ahead, but unfortunately we wound up giving up the lead.”

BRAD EVANS, Sounders FC midfielder

(On the injury…) “I don’t know why, but for some reason on that cross, I don’t know if I caught it on my toe a little bit too much or what, but I just felt a twinge in my groin. I tried to come back on but my body said no.”

(So it wasn’t on the play with contact?) “No, it was on the cross.”

(Have you been told how long you’re looking at or if it’s a day-to-day thing?) “Day to day, but hopefully only a week, week and a half at most. Hopefully.”

(It’s got to be frustrating…) “Extremely. I felt great before the game. Didn’t feel the other quad or anything. Just a disappointment all-around.”

(On conceding a set-piece goal…) “That’s something that we talked about before the game is that they’ve scored three-quarters of their goals on set pieces. That was something we talked about eliminating. I saw from behind the other goal so I don’t know exactly what happened. If we eliminate those and finish a couple chances we come out the victor, but you concede a late goal and give them a little momentum. Then it’s trying to play catch up from there.”

(On the patchy first half…) “We just couldn’t get good control of the ball. There was a gap in the midfield. The linkage just wasn’t there. It was just too wet. Balls from James to me, it seemed like nine out of 10 were sliding out of bounds. That’s our game is getting it to James, getting it forward, play it back, kind of build up, look for that ball in behind. Tonight that ball wasn’t on. When we went to build it kind of shut down on us.”

JOHN SPENCER, Portland head coach

(On Sounders FC pressing to start the second half…) “Obviously they are going to start and go after it. We were ready for it to start the first half but got complacent. I gave them a good positive team talk at halftime. I told them how happy I was with them and the effort they were giving. The good thing we regrouped being a goal down. I felt they were terrified with us during every set piece. They were worried about giving up a goal.”

(On his impressions of the Timbers’ goal…) “Jack Jewsbury has been fantastic for us, that is why we brought him here and made him captain. He has lived up to everything and more. Jorge Perlaza has to be given credit. The runs he makes are on par with some of the top strikers of the world. We need to try to get him some more service throughout the match.”

(On the environment surrounding the match…) “It is always great to come up here. Everybody will realize when they leave JELD-WEN that it is more authentic. This environment is more close and connected to the team and the playing field. To be fair it is two great experiences. It is wonderful for MLS soccer to have two great setups first in Portland and second the Seattle Sounders.”

(On his view of the Seattle goal…) “It hit the back of the net. I can’t really remember the goal. A couple of times the ball got into the box that we didn’t pick up properly. Eric [Brunner] and [Jeremy] Hall challenged for the ball but Fernandez was able to find it in the back and finished it well. He is a high quality player. We showed a lot for coming back tonight.”

(On leaving this match with a tie…) “We take a lot of confidence with us. Sigi Schmid has done a tremendous job here and the whole organization is fantastic. They are a good team and we have come up here four months old and played well. We have to start showing that belief we have at home on to the road. I think we should that tonight.”

TROY PERKINS, Portland goalkeeper

(On coming up to Seattle and matching their performance…) “We wanted to come on up here and prove we belonged. I think all the guys were committed to do that.”

(On the goal Seattle scored…) “Both defenders went for the same ball, a little bit of a miss communication. The ball just fell right to him and he made a good play.”

(On the weather causing any problems during the match…) “Typical Northwest weather. A little bit of rain, the field played incredibly fast. Our FieldTurf is a little bit different. It doesn’t play as fast when it is wet.”

MAMADOU “FUTTY” DANSO, Portland defender

(On being satisfied with the draw…) “We came here for the win. We didn’t come here for the tie.”

(On coming through with a goal…) “I’m very excited to get the goal. I have been here for two seasons and I understand the rivalry. We just wanted to win here and it is really an over the top feeling. We have been practicing free kicks all week. The ball was really just a fifty-fifty ball and I was able to make a play on it.”

KENNY COOPER, Portland forward

(On the importance of getting a draw in Seattle…) “I think some teams find it difficult to come on up here and play. They get amazing support and the crowds support them really well. To be down and come back I think we should great character. It was a great point for us.”

(On the game living up to the hype…) “I think this is a game that fans have starting circling their calendars when the schedule comes out. The lead up to the game was a lot fun. As a player you crave to play in these games.

* * *

SOUNDERS FC 1, PORTLAND TIMBERS 1

Scoring Summary:

SEA — Alvaro Fernandez 3 (Fredy Montero 3, Roger Levesque 1) 52

POR — Mamadou Danso 2 (Jack Jewsbury 4) 65

Portland Timbers — Troy Perkins, Jeremy Hall, Eric Brunner, Mamadou Danso, Rodney Wallace, Darlington Nagbe (Sal Zizzo 61), Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, Kalif Alhassan, Kenny Cooper, Jorge Perlaza (Ryan Pore 84).

Substitutes Not Used: David Horst, James Marcelin, Adam Moffat, Steve Purdy, Jake Gleeson.

TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Mamadou Danso 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Kenny Cooper 2, Mamadou Danso 2); FOULS: 9 (Jack Jewsbury 3); OFFSIDES: 1 (Kenny Cooper 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Jack Jewsbury 2); SAVES: 1 (Troy Perkins 1)

Seattle Sounders — Kasey Keller, James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl, Brad Evans (Roger Levesque 42), Osvaldo Alonso, Servando Carrasco, Alvaro Fernandez, Fredy Montero, Nate Jaqua (Lamar Neagle 79).

Substitutes Not Used: Mike Fucito, Leo Gonzalez, Jeff Parke, Zach Scott, Terry Boss.

TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Fredy Montero 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Alvaro Fernandez 1, Fredy Montero 1); FOULS: 10 (Jhon Kennedy Hurtado 3); OFFSIDES: 1 (Roger Levesque 1); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Tyson Wahl 4); SAVES: 4 (Kasey Keller 4)

Misconduct Summary:

None

Referee: Jair Marrufo

Referee’s Assistants: Fabio Tovar; Corey Rockwell

4th Official: Tyler Ploeger

Attendance: 36,593

Time of Game: 1:50

Weather: Rain-and-55-degrees

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