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

February 29, 2012 at 11:58 PM

Sounders FC 2, Jaguares 0, quotes and stats

montero jaguares.jpgPhoto credit: Erika Schultz, The Seattle Times

* * *

SIGI SCHMID, Sounders FC coach

(Opening statement…) “We’re happy with the win. Any time you can play a game and win a game, it’s good because it establishes that rhythm and establishes that confidence for you. At halftime we told our team to be confident that we’d be able to get goals. I felt we were close a couple times in the first half. We got two, I thought, rather quality goals in the second half and I thought we had a couple of chances to get some more — a little bit better passing on the final balls and so forth. (Christian) Sivebaek was in at one time and (Sammy) Ochoa was in the other time and we could have had more. We did well to get a shutout. I thought we gave them a couple chances at the end of the first half and we gave them a good chance in sort of the last five minutes of the game, so we have to make sure that we manage the game over those last five minutes because it’s a two-game series (against Santos) and the first game is going to be here. So in preparation for next week we’ve got to make sure that we do well in the last five minutes of the game because away goals can hurt you.”

(On Michael Gspurning’s play…) “I thought he did well. He was solid. I thought his communication was good to the guys. When the balls got played back to him he cleared them when he had to clear them, when he could find people he found people, but I thought he was solid. I didn’t think they had a lot of great looks at him. He came up with one decent save. He didn’t really get tested that much, but if you organize well hopefully you can avoid that.”

(On David Estrada’s play at forward…) “I thought David did well. I thought it took him about 10 minutes or 15 minutes to settle into the game — probably a little bit of nerves. It was a big occasion for him in terms of the first time really starting up front for us. But then I really thought in the first 20 minutes of the second half he was very good. He stretches the defense; his work rate is so good about that that he’s always active. He was much better in the last 15 minutes of the first half and for sure the second half in terms of connecting his passes. Him and Mauro (Rosales) combined a couple of times — he got in the ball, the run where Mauro played him the ball through was a great run. He played Mauro in on one. I thought he did very well.”

(Will this make his more comfortable if he plays next week?) “Yeah, definitely. Today was a good test for him. Today was a good test because we played a good team. Our crowd was out here, so you could feel the atmosphere and the noise and it was the first time. When you put the uniform on and the lights go on, that’s already something that settles your nerves. So for him, next week is going to be easier than this week.”

(On if Mauro Rosales will remain a captain going forward…) “He was our captain tonight. You guys like that captain thing. I think we have five or six leaders on this team and Mauro is wearing the armband, but there are different guys that can step up and lead and we want different guys to (speak up). But Mauro, certainly he’ll be a captain next week, as well.”

(On the fitness level of the club tonight…) “I thought it was good. I think playing the game last week in Atlante where we really pushed some guys to 90 minutes (was good). The game against Columbus, where we pushed our guys 75 or 80 minutes, was good. So from that standpoint we’ve tried to establish that weekly rhythm, so I thought fitness-wise we were good. There was a run, I think in the 83rd minute or so, where Jeff Parke had to track back where he got caught forward and he showed a good level of fitness still being able to get back, so I was pleased.”

(And you were pleased with how serious Jaguares took the game?) “Like I said, they’re going to be professional about it. They were a great opponent and I have a lot of respect for their club and for their coach by putting out the team that they put out. That showed a lot of class. Obviously we’d be happy to return the favor any time we can for them, but they were very good about their approach and demeanor to the game.”

(On if he saw everything he had hoped to see tonight in terms of their preparation for next week’s match against Santos…) “Yeah, I think tonight was very good. I think for us it was a good test. Overall, it was a good test in the way they try and build out of the back very similar to Santos, so it gave us some exposure to that. Now it’s a more realistic discussion when I talk to the team about it as to how we’re going to defend that.”

(On the new FieldTurf at CenturyLink Field…) “I think you can ask the guys. The surface is good. It plays a lot more like natural grass would because all the blades are up, so they ball slows down. If you notice — I don’t know if it’s true or not — but it seemed like the ball was out of bounds less. You saw more combinations, you saw fewer balls roll over the end line or skip away from people, and you saw people being able to chase balls down before they got to the end-line — much like the goal where (Adam) Johansson chases that ball down. I think on last year’s field that ball is over the end-line, it’s out of bounds. So it definitely makes a difference.”

(On Johansson…) “He has an ability to come forward. At the end of the game with five minutes to go I said, ‘Adam, you can sort of stay.’ What we like about him and the reason we thought he’d be a good addition was his ability to finish off plays when he got forward. Obviously, the cross for the goal was evidence for that. He had a couple of other opportunities where he gets to the final phase and certainly helps. Him and Rosales, you can see there’s already a little bit of an understanding there. We have to be good about making sure we cover when he goes forward so we don’t get caught on the counter, because I’m sure Santos watched the game today and they’re going to see an opportunity to counter on that side.”

(On how much weight there is on finishing 5-0-2 in preseason and winning five straight…) “It doesn’t matter. Preseason is preseason. What I put more value on is the quality of play, and I think our quality of play is pretty good. Obviously a team like Chiapas today or Santos, they’re seven of eight games into their season, so there’s a little more sharpness. You could tell that our sharpness at times was off, but what we were trying to do were good things. The way we’re trying to play, the connecting of the ball, I think you saw today, our defenders were more involved. They don’t have to all go forward, but you saw how we knocked the ball around the back better than we did last year. The way we’re playing is good. From that standpoint the preseason has been good because we’re playing the way I want us to play.”

(On clearances from center backs…) “We’ll work on that. Some of that was maybe mistimed or mis-kicked the ball a little bit. Overall, I thought our center backs did well because we left them a lot of times 1v1 or 2v2. I thought they did a pretty good job defensively and I think the missed clearances, with maybe one exception, weren’t things that got us in big trouble.”

(On Montero’s play in preseason with five goals…) “He’s a goal-scorer. The only thing I said to Fredy is that there were times in the second half early on where he was hanging too much on the left. I said, ‘I want you closer to the goal because you can score goals.’ But his work rate and instincts are better than they have been. His timing of when to get in the box is good, especially on the first goal, on the header. I think he’s had a much stronger preseason than last year and I think he’s ready to go.”

FREDY MONTERO, Sounders FC forward

(On if he thinks the team is ready for the season…) “After you win, you feel confident. We are looking forward to making as little mistakes as possible. We are working hard to be a strong team.”

(On his second goal…) “It was a good ball by Ozzie through the defense. I just got the ball right on the top of the box and I chipped the goalie. It was (a split-second) decision and it was a good goal.”

(One of your favorites?) “I don’t want to say that, but I hope to score more like that in the season. I’m very happy. I scored two goals and I helped the team win.”

(On Adam Johansson assisting his goal and the players coming together…) “Well, that’s why we’re working. That’s why we’re in the preseason, trying to connect all those pieces together and go into the field and make that play. It was a really good cross.”

(How about that goal celebration? You been practicing that one?) “Yeah, Flaco told me like a week before if he or I score a goal, we had to do that.” Ed note: Montero said he didn’t know how to say it in English, but called the celebration “La Flecha del Indio.”

MAURO ROSALES, Sounders FC midfielder, to The Seattle Times

(On the game being a final tuneup before playing Santos Laguna…) “This was the last game before we play one of the most important games in Sounders history. We talked about how we have to be ready as if it was as important as the Santos game. I think we did a good job and we have to keep in this way. We are very proud to win our first game in front of our fans. We hope we can get another victory next Wednesday.”

(What’d you think of Fredy’s second goal?) “Amazing. … Amazing. He can do this kind of stuff. He shows us in training that he can do it. I’m not surprised about that because he’s a tremendous player. He has to keep growing and keep learning, but in this year he can become a very important player for us.”

ALVARO FERNANDEZ, Sounders FC midfielder via interpreter, to The Seattle Times

(On the starting group coming together…) “It was a good game both for our attack and our defense, and we created some opportunities, but we know the game against Santos will be very different.”

(On finally playing a game at home…) “It’s great to get back at home again and playing in front of our home crowd. It’s even better to get a result and a good win. It was spectacular.”

(On his goal celebration with Montero…) “We’ve been talking about doing something different this season. The opportunity came and it seems like it looked alright.”

(On Montero’s second goal…) “It’s a very ‘a-la-Fredy’ goal. He’s someone with that kind of quality, vision and technique. Many other players would have done something completely different, but he can do that and hopefully there will be more.”

DAVID ESTRADA, Sounders FC forward

(On starting…) “Yeah in the beginning I was a little nervous, being the first start at CenturyLink. A little nervous, no way around it, but once I connected my first pass, that’s when everything just kind of went away and just focused on the game. I felt comfortable out there once I connected that first pass and settled down.”

(On getting comfortable passing with the other players…) “One of the things we have to get used to is the surface. We’ve been playing on grass this whole preseason, so you have to measure your passes. Connecting with Rosales is something that comes really easy, I guess. At the end of the game we had a few good combinations and that comes with getting used to the grass and getting used to each other, as well.”

MICHAEL GSPURNING, Sounders FC goalkeeper

(On the strong play of the defense and the win…) “It’s a good feeling to start now with this result. The other team was a good team, so it wasn’t the same as what happened to us in Cancun, so it was a good last test. But it was a test, and now next week we have to win.”

JOSE GUADALUPE, Jaguares coach

(On the game…) “This was a good training match and we took it seriously. We are disappointed in not winning, but this definitely this will not affect our preparation for Sunday.”

(On the cold weather…) “The temperature can definitely affect game-play; these are conditions we are not used to playing in.”

ISRAEL VILLASENOR, Jaguares goalkeeper

(On the game…) “Very good support for a local team. The first thing that caught my attention was the crowd; it also reflects how the U.S. has raised its level of soccer playing. They don’t just give big kicks to the front. They really try to get many players to touch the ball. They played us really closely to stop our play. It was a good match for both teams.”

EDGAR HERNANDEZ, Jaguares goalkeeper

(On the game…) “Well, it’s a team that plays really well in Seattle. I had not seen it before so it surprised me a little bit — they are a dynamic team. The big change was the first goal; with the first goal they opened the spaces and changed the game. Our team had an opportunity before, but it was a good game for the crowd.”

(On the season…) “We are in competition and next Sunday we have a tough game against America so it’s not just to come up and play… but it’s also an opportunity to learn and try to win.”

FRANCO ARIZALA, Jaguares forward

(On CONCACAF…) “We have a good team and good players. We need to repeat the good things we did today and take advantage of our opportunities.”

(On the game…) “It was a good and demanding game. We didn’t get the result we wanted, but Sunday is another opportunity.”

* * *

SOUNDERS FC 2, JAGUARES DE CHIAPAS

Scoring Summary:

SEA — Montero (Johansson, Parke) 61′

SEA — Montero (Alonso, Rosales) 73′

JAGUARES DE CHIAPAS — Edgar Hernandez (Israel Villasenor, 74′), George Carral, Miguel Martinez (Omar Flores, 80′), Ismael Fuentes (Cap.), Luis Esqueda (Jesus Castillo, 88′), Jorge Rodriguez (Yasser Corona, 80′), Luis Noriega (Armando Zamorano, 68′), Gerardo Espinoza (Jorge Hernandez, 59′), Edgar Andrade (Hibert Ruiz, 74′), Luis Gabriel Ray, Franco Arizala

Substitutes Not Used: Adrian Ruelas, Reynaldo Diaz, David Andrade.

TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Arizala, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL 1 (Arizala, 1); FOULS: 17 (Fuentes, 4); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 1

Seattle Sounders — Michael Gspurning, Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Mauro Rosales (Cap.) (Roger Levesque, 85′), Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Alvaro Fernandez (Christian Sivebaek, 66′), David Estrada (Sammy Ochoa, 76′), Fredy Montero.

Substitutes Not Used: Patrick Ianni, Marc Burch, Michael Tetteh, Babayele Sodade, Zach Scott, Cordell Cato, Michael Seamon, Servando Carrasco, Amadou Sanyang, Andrew Weber, Bryan Meredith, Andy Rose, Alex Caskey, Andrew Duran.

TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Montero, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Montero, 3); FOULS: 13 (Alonso, 4); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 1

Misconduct Summary:

JAG: Fuentes, 73′

SEA: Gonzalez, 76′

Referee: Allen Chapman

Referee’s Assistants: Jeff Hosking; Mike Rottersman

4th Official: William Niccolls

Attendance: 11,140

Time of Game: 1:46

Weather: Cloudy-and-39-degrees

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