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

May 21, 2011 at 11:17 PM

Sounders FC 1, Sporting Kansas City 0, quotes and stats

parke kc.jpgPhoto credit: Otto Greule Jr., Getty Images

* * *

SIGI SCHMID, Sounders FC head coach

(Opening statement…) “It seems like every time we play these guys we get a last-minute goal here at home. We’ll take it. One minute, one moment like that changes everybody’s mood in a hurry. Today, with us trying to play a little bit of a different system, I thought at times we held the ball well, but at other times I thought we were a little bit disjointed. We wanted to come, obviously, with some offensive players at the end to try and get the goal. I thought we put a little more pressure on them in the second half in that regard. Can we play better? Yes. Do we like the three points? Yes.”

(Can this have a bigger impact on the team than just the two points?) “Definitely. It’s one of the things we talked about before the game. Before the game we talked about how we wanted to get goals off corners and free kicks. Those things change games. When games are tight it makes a difference. Over a season’s time, between free kicks, corner and penalties if you can get 6-10 goals then all of sudden you swing a game here or there. We actually pointed out a couple guys and said, ‘When was the last time you scored off a header, off a free kick?’ And he goes, ‘A couple seasons ago. I think two or three years ago, maybe longer.’ That was the guy who scored the goal, so maybe I should pick someone else for the next game and we’ll come up with the goal. Those things tip the scale in tight games.”

(Did you think there was a letdown from last week?) “No, not really. I don’t think we’re emotionally flat or anything like that. I think Omar Bravo coming back into their team helped their team. Omar did a good job not only offensively, but also trying to bottle up Ozzie in the midfield. And Carrasco and Fernandez with the slightly different roles didn’t come to grips with it right away. I don’t think emotionally we were below par. I thought we were there.”

(What went behind the lineup changes, Parke for Ianni, Levesque for Jaqua?) “It’s a situation where we have three very good center backs in Parke and Ianni and Hurtado. We have three games here in a week, so we’ll probably play each of them a couple games. We got a shutout tonight, so that was good. They each bring something slightly different to the table. It’s more rotation than anything else. Roger has been playing well at practice. Nate is maybe at a little bit of a physical low right now, trying to get fit and trying to get in shape and it’s causing his touch to be off, so we decided to switch it around.”

(Was pushing Servando out wide something by design?) “Yeah, he was playing on the right side of the midfield and he was supposed to pinch in a little bit, but he really went out wide all the time it seemed like and that brought Flaco in all the time. We need better balance there sometimes. Carrasco’s outside and sometimes he’s inside, but he’s a rookie and he’s still learning, but he always gives you everything he has when he’s steps on the field and he makes more good decisions than bad ones.”

(What was it like having White and Zakuani here?) “OB was in the locker room before the game. Steve, because of his arrival and so forth, wasn’t in there before the game because by the time he got here it was a little later and he didn’t want to take away from our preparation.”

(Did their presence give the guys a lift?) “Yeah, they had some time with O’Brian and I know they want to spend some time with Steve and talk to him. It’s definitely a lift because it’s like having a family member who’s sick. You want to see him healthy again.”

(Were you impressed with your center backs against K.C.’s forwards?) “I thought they played alright. I thought Kennedy was good. I thought Tyson did well with Kamara because that’s a difficult matchup as well. And Ozzie at times had Bravo, so I thought he did a good job. Our center backs overall did a good job of containing the two, especially when Smith got behind people on the wings crossing balls and things like that. I thought we matched up with them fairly well. In the first half I thought there were two or three that dropped into the box that we could have done better with, but in the second half, I didn’t think there was that much.”

(Why wasn’t the offense able to create more shots?) “As I said at the beginning, I thought we were still a little disjointed in terms of how we were playing in the diamond in midfield. We were a little bit cockeyed with Servando wide on the right side. As a result of that, our cohesion wasn’t there. We had some good looks, but didn’t put the shots on goal. Ozzie’s shot goes over the goal by two feet. If that’s on goal then it forces a save. You can’t always (look at) shots on goal. Obviously you want to make goalkeepers make saves, so that’s something we have to do better at.”

(Is there much time to celebrate with a tough week coming up?) “We wanted to get three points tonight and that was important. It was important for our confidence as well. We’ll look at Dallas and Salt Lake tomorrow, those are our next two opponents, and we’ll get after it.”

JEFF PARKE, Sounders FC defender

(It’s been a while since your last goal…) “Almost five and a half, six (years). I score a lot of goals during preseason matches and stuff like that, of course, and I’ve had my chances, but tonight was finally the back of the net.”

(How did the play work out?) “It took a little bit because the guys were grabbing me all night. Both of them, either Kamara or whoever the kid was at the end there. Finally I was just like, ‘Ref, man, take a look at this guy.’ Then he started mouthing off to me and it kind of got me fired up because he’s saying he’s not holding me, and he was holding me all night. Finally when he wasn’t grabbing onto me I was able to get up and get my head on something. ”

(On the defensive performance…) “It is good to see two players (Bunbury and Bravo) get taken off. They’re good players and they can come at you at anytime of the game. It’s important for us to be solid and those guys are good players. Tonight I thought the defense and the back four, back five, did well. Kasey did well and as a team I think we deserved the points.”

(Offensively it had been a frustrating night until then, but how does a late goal change how you view the game?) “It’s (been) frustrating on all accounts. We give up goals, we score goals. We don’t score goals, we give up goals. It’s important that we didn’t give up any and we got one. We got the win and we move on from here. We got a game Wednesday against a quality team. We can watch them a little bit tomorrow and see how they’re playing. Next game now. We got to move on. We can enjoy it tonight but Wednesday is more important now.”

(Any extra motivation in getting back into the lineup?) “It’s nice to be back. I don’t know if it’s extra. It’s good to get the points and the goal, obviously.”

(What was your reaction when the ball went in?) “It took a little bit. I kind of looked over and I was watching it, and it kind of skipped and I was like, ‘Come on, get in there!’ It was definitely a little bit of an out-of-body experience because I don’t score that often. Once it hit the net I was like, ‘Now what do I do?’ ”

(What about a celebration?) “No, everything left the head. I just looked and saw my guys on the sideline there and just took off after them.”

(Nothing in the back pocket?) “Yeah, right? For the last six years I should have something in the back pocket, right? That would’ve been cool. Once it goes in everything leaves the mind and you’re too excited.”

(Is this something a defender never forgets?) “A little bit, yeah. Unfortunately my family and fiance weren’t here tonight so I’ll go home tonight by myself. I’ll have to talk to then on the phone or something. It was cool.”

(Remember your last goal?) “In was in San Jose in their old stadium. A deflection came back to me and I headed it in. Tonight’s goal was way better. It’s different when it’s in the 90th minute and everything is riding on it and you go home with the points.”

MIKE FUCITO, Sounders FC forward

(On the importance of Jeff Parke’s winning goal…) “It was great. We had talked before the game about how free kick goals are important and we’re a team that is capable of capitalizing on chances like that. Parke was able to get up and get one finally and whether it’s the first minute or the 90th minute, we can always take advantage of those. Parke did great on that.”

(Did you think you were going to get one?) “I was close. I hit that one off the corner pretty well that got blocked and then the other one on my right foot. But they’ll come, they’ll come.”

(On if there’s any thought in his head about beating Kansas City in the final minutes like last year…) “I mean, a little bit but it’s a game and we just wanted the three points and wanted to score that goal.”

(How’d it feel to get out there?) “It felt great. It felt good. I thought Nate and I came on and did pretty well. Fredy moved underneath and I thought he did well there. We were able to cause them some problems in the last 20 minutes.”

(On not getting more chances throughout the game…) “In games like that sometimes it takes a little bit longer to break down defenses. I thought there were a couple times we did create some good chances and in the end we almost got in behind. We came away with the goal but sometimes games are like that.”

MAURO ROSALES, Sounders FC midfielder

(How did you feel?) “Better. Very good. I felt like I was 100-percent. In the last part I think the coach was thinking of the next game and that’s why I came out. But I feel OK.”

(What made getting a goal difficult?) “I think they were afraid that they might have the same game like they had in Los Angeles. They came here and they were OK with one point. They played for draw and made it difficult for us to play without space.”

(On coming back from the injury…) “It was OK. I felt very good during the week and I talked with the coach and I said, ‘I want to play because I feel like I can.’ It was a good chance to play against this team and to prove that I’m OK. It was fine. I felt OK.”

TYSON WAHL, Sounders FC defender

(On the goal…) “It was really just a great finish by Jeff. He got up super high, had some good hangtime and skipped it off to the far post. (I was) just really focusing on getting some ball in there that could cause some chaos. I think I put it in a good spot and Jeff had a great finish on it, so kudos to him.”

(On getting a shutout…) “They have a lot of threatening offensive players, a lot of speed. So we were just making sure that we didn’t get countered, because they have a lot of breakout speed. I think we did a pretty good job of limiting their chances. We had a couple, but not many. I don’t think it was the prettiest game. I don’t think we had a lot of chances either. But I’ll take the three points and keep this momentum hopefully into Wednesday.”

(Is there a more unlikely scorer on this team than Parke?) “Maybe myself. Or Kasey.”

KASEY KELLER, Sounders FC goalkeeper

(On the win…) “That’s why you play 90 minutes and you don’t leave the stadium early. You just keep going and put the ball in the back (of the net) and that’s what will happen. It was obviously a great ball from Tyson and Jeff–I’m sure you’ve all heard, Sigi called him out and asked when the last time he had scored–and now he’s scored. It’s great for Jeff, great for the team and obviously the fans. Everybody gets to leave now all excited. It’s good for us. It was nice to get that late goal.”

(On the game…) “You got a team that’s struggling a little bit, finding ways not to get results. It thought they played well. They came with a purpose and executed that. Teams that can score goals off free kicks always give themselves an opportunity to win games. I always want to be on a team that’s in that plus category.”

(On the team’s play…) “We’re a tough team to beat. We’ve lost one game in 10, nothing wrong with that. Obviously we need to start maybe consistently putting the ball in the back of the net better, but I’ll take (being) a hard team to beat any day over (being) a team that wins big, loses big. I just like to be a team that you know you’re going to be in every game. And right now we’re there.”

PETER VERMES, Sporting KC head coach

(On his impression from the match…) “I think we played a very good match tonight. We’re very organized and disciplined and didn’t give anything away. It is very disappointing to walk away from here tonight without a point.”

(On his reaction to the goal by Seattle…) “I will have to wait til I see the replay. I really haven’t had a chance to see it yet. I’m not sure if [Jeff] Parke was wide open or not. It may have been someone missing their assignment but I have to go back and watch it.”

(On hoping for a draw tonight…) “Absolutely, hundred percent. They had one chance in the second half and our guy made a great tackle. Easily should have been a draw, especially since we are playing away from home. We were organized in the way we played and disciplined in our assignments and worked very hard.”

(On playing so many road games to start the season…) “It is always difficult but even more so when you play games like this. To lose a game like this when you work so hard for 90-plus minutes is difficult.”

(On his players being fatigued from playing so many road game…) “I don’t necessarily think so. It would be nice to play at home every once in a while but that is not going to happen for a couple of more games. When you travel you lose a day on preparation and recovery.”

(On his reaction to the crowd…) “Excellent, this is a great place to play. The crowd is always a big factor in the game. I think our team did a great job not letting it affect them in the way the game was played.”

DAVY ARNAUD, Sporting KC midfielder

(On his impression of the match…) “I thought we deserved something out of the game today. We defended well, we didn’t give them any legitimate chances, and anything they got was on set pieces. We worked so hard for each other defensively and stuck to our game plan and we deserved to get a point out of this game. It hurts to give up a goal like that. The worked we put in we deserved something out of it.”

* * *

SOUNDERS FC 1, SPORTING KC 0

Scoring Summary:

SEA — Jeff Parke 1 (Tyson Wahl 1) 93+

Sporting KC— Jimmy Nielsen, Michael Harrington, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Roger Espinoza, Craig Rocastle, Ryan Smith (Chance Myers 86), Kei Kamara, Davy Arnaud, Omar Bravo (Graham Zusi 76), Teal Bunbury (C.J. Sapong 73).

Substitutes Not Used: Birahim Diop, Julio Cesar, Luke Sassano, Eric Kronberg.

TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Davy Arnaud 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 tied with 1); FOULS: 15 (Teal Bunbury 3, Craig Rocastle 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 4 (Omar Bravo 2, Graham Zusi 2); SAVES: 1 (Jimmy Nielsen 1)

Seattle Sounders — Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl, Servando Carrasco (Nate Jaqua 55), Osvaldo Alonso, Alvaro Fernandez, Mauro Rosales (Mike Fucito 69), Fredy Montero (Patrick Ianni 89), Roger Levesque.

Substitutes Not Used: Erik Friberg, Lamar Neagle, Zach Scott, Terry Boss.

TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Mike Fucito 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Alvaro Fernandez 1, Jeff Parke 1); FOULS: 14 (4 tied with 2); OFFSIDES: 1 (Fredy Montero 1); CORNER KICKS: 8 (Mauro Rosales 3, Tyson Wahl 3); SAVES: 3 (Kasey Keller 3)

Misconduct Summary:

SEA — Alvaro Fernandez (caution; Delaying a Restart) 44

KC — Ryan Smith (caution; Dissent) 49

SEA — Servando Carrasco (caution; Tactical Foul) 51

SEA — Mauro Rosales (caution; Reckless Tackle) 64

SEA — Osvaldo Alonso (caution; Tactical Foul) 84

Referee: Geoff Gamble

Referee’s Assistants:-Corey Rockwell; Eric Proctor

4th Official: Drew Fischer

Attendance: 36,098

Time of Game: 1:53

Weather: Cloudy-and-53-degrees

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