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March 31, 2012 at 11:40 PM

Burch: “Sometimes the ref buys into it and sometimes he doesn’t.” (postgame quotes)

ochoa san jose.jpgPhoto credit: John Lok, The Seattle Times

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SIGI SCHMID, Sounders FC head coach

(Opening comments…) “Sometimes games go like that a little bit. I didn’t think our first half was outstanding. I thought they were a little better than us in the first half. From my angle, I didn’t necessarily think it was a PK. I thought it was sort of what they say in basketball when you initiate the contact, (that) kind of thing. I thought in the second half we were better. I thought we created more chances in the second half. Busch comes up with a big save on that one shot and it just wouldn’t fall for us today.”

(When were you aware of Hurtado’s injury?) “He came in at halftime and said he felt a little sore, but felt he could go. So what the medical staff said was that he should be able to go, but we should have somebody ready in case he feels that he can’t go as he gets into the half. When he started jogging on the field for the second half he said he couldn’t go at all. So it was difficult for Jeff Parke because he didn’t really have an appropriate warm-up, but I thought he did all right. He came in and did all right.”

(On how he thinks his team responded after the penalty kick…) “I think what resulted in the PK was us reacting to get a hit before the PK. There was contact made by I think Lenhart before and so it was a little bit of, ‘OK, I’ll show you. I can stand my ground, too.’ … But I thought our reaction was OK. We tried to come out and play soccer and score a goal. I thought we put pressure on them in the second half.”

(Were you disappointed that Lenhart might’ve baited you into something after talking about that earlier in the week?) “Yeah, he might’ve. When look at their two big forwards — Lenhart and Gordon — they committed seven fouls between the two of them. That’s a ton of fouls to commit out of that one position. But for the most part I thought we handled it fairly well. Obviously they got the better of us in that particular circumstance.”

(On the play of Alex Caskey on his MLS debut…) “I thought Alex did well for his first game out there, and he didn’t show nerves. He was composed on the ball, sent over a good cross, connected and I thought he helped us create some pressure and increase the pressure we were putting on them.”

(On the depth players performing today…) “Again, I think our depth is OK. When you’re looking at it, Sivebaek played instead of Rosales. Zach Scott playing instead of Johansson and you’ve got Servando playing instead of Evans. Those three guys are very important to our possession game, but I thought we were OK. I didn’t think it was a situation where the game was one-sided, or that they dominated the game over the 90 minutes. So I thought the guys did alright.”

(On starting Christian Sivebaek over Roger Levesque…) “Just we felt that Sivebaek could present more problems to Corrales on the defensive end of the field because of his speed. I thought early on in the game he definitely created some good situations for us. He’s in and out of the game a little bit, so you have to deal with that, as well, as a team. But I thought offensively he created some good moments for us. He got in behind, got to the end line, hit some good crosses and I just thought his one-on-one abilities would help us better than Roger’s out there today.”

(On the San Jose defense limiting Montero and Estrada…) “Cronin played deep and sort of played in front of the back two and I thought their backs did a good job of marking up on them, too. But I thought it was more us not holding onto the ball and maybe that was a result of their pressure, as well. We talked about it at halftime, we talked about being confident and just possessing the ball on their end of the field. I think there were certain players that had a lot of turnovers in the first half that you don’t expect to have those turnovers. In the second half, once that settled down, I thought our possession was much better in their end of the field. Then all of the sudden you saw Fredy and you saw Estrada get into the game.”

(It seemed Estrada saw more of the ball on the wing. What was the difference there?) “Obviously they were going to pack the middle a little bit more as the game goes on and there was space out there. Sivebaek had seen the ball quite a bit in the first half out there and so we knew Estrada is fit enough to go 90 minutes, so we moved him outside and told him to stay a little bit wider. So them pinching in a little bit and our right wing saw a lot of the ball in the first half as well.”

(On what he said to the referees after the game…) “I just thanked him for the game and told him he needed to watch the replay of the PK.”

(On if he thought there should have been a PK called when Estrada went down in the box…) “I heard Estrada slipped. I never saw the replay. The linesman on the side told me that Estrada slipped and that it wasn’t a PK, so I said, ‘OK, fair enough. But then how can you call that one in the first half?’ So it’s the same thing. We picked up a couple of yellow cards on tackles and there were tackles that went the other way, like Zach Scott’s tackle. I was upset with that because they gave Zach a yellow card. I think it was a yellow card. I think Zach’s tackle was a yellow-card tackle, but I was upset because I think there had been comparable tackles earlier that hadn’t been yellow carded.”

(On the feelings at halftime…) “It was OK. We always believe we’re going to score. We’re a team that’s confident in our offensive abilities and tonight I thought we created chances. If we hadn’t created anything in the second half I’d be a lot more worried, or a lot more disappointed, but we just talked about keeping better possession in their half of the field, making sure that we did a better job of making them defend. We felt that we turned the ball over so quickly in the first half that that allowed them to counter and their guys never really had to recover and defend. So when they lost the ball we would lose the ball too quickly and they didn’t have to chase back and they would gain good positions to attack us again. So we said lets hold on to the ball, let’s make them defend and I thought that turned the game for us in the second half.”

(On Lenhart…) “That’s Steven’s game. That’s what he does all the time. He does that all the time and then afterwards he apologizes. That’s his thing.”

MARC BURCH, Sounders FC defender

(On the foul leading to the penalty shot…) “It was my fault, 100 percent. I went up for a header and he gave me a little elbow in the back, so he started running around the far post and I just tried to jump into his path, and he sold it pretty well. I don’t think I swung, I don’t think I kicked him, and I don’t think that I tried to take him down on purpose, but I jumped in his path and I shouldn’t have.”

(Have you seen a replay?) “No.”

(On if the foul that led to the penalty shot was warranted…) “I think that the foul before that was warranted. I think that me going up in the air and getting pushed in the back on a goal-scoring opportunity is a little worse than him running by me and me jumping in his path. I don’t know and I will have to watch the replay — maybe it looked a lot worse. He sells fouls pretty well and I am sure he sold that one as well as he could. Sometimes the ref buys into it and sometimes he doesn’t.”

(If it is frustrating trying not to let the stuff before that play get to you?) “Yeah it is. I mean it’s 100-percent my fault, because I should be bigger than that, better than that. But he’s the type of player that that’s exactly what he looks for the entire season, and he got one. I should be better than that. I mean I’ve watched him enough and it is the same tricks every single game he plays. I don’t think it is the best soccer, but that’s his game. That’s what he does.”

(On the better play of the Sounders in the second half…) “I think that’s how we should have been playing the whole game. The first half was pretty bad from all of us, me especially. The second half we started clicking, we started moving the ball, pressured them when we needed to pressure, and working the ball when we needed to work it, and playing the long ones when we needed to and got in behind. Sammy came in and did a great job and Fredy did really well in the second half. Flaco was making great runs. I think the second half was really good. We were unfortunate not to get one. Busch made some big saves.”

(What was Lenhart doing?) “It’s just his mind games. That’s his thing; that’s what he does. I don’t think he got in my head, I just think I made a play and he dove.”

MICHAEL GSPURNING, Sounders FC goalkeeper

(You pushed forward late in the game on a free kick. Have you scored on something lie that before?) “I have not scored one, but years ago in Austria I made an assist. We didn’t have anything to lose, and I know America is a country of statistics, but I don’t care if it was me who scored I just wanted us to tie the game. It is great in a situation when the other defense can’t handle it, but I think in this situation Sammy Ochoa might have been in a better position and I took the ball. Everyone was just trying to put the ball in the net.”

(On the play of the Sounder defense…) ” I have to say that I still needed a shower after the game so I think they were dangerous, also on counterattacks. It was not that we dominated the whole game, but the second half was much better of course and we created a lot of chances. I thought the other keeper did well and today the ball just didn’t want to go in.”

(On bouncing back from this loss…) “Of course we all wanted (to start) the season 3-0. … We just have to keep working and keep our heads up high. It’s one loss and it’s important to start again with good games in the future.”

(What did you think about the PK decision?) “I haven’t seen the decision because I was looking on the other side. For a referee, it’s never easy. It was a goal, but this is not the only reason why we lost. In this situation there was the cross from the other side and Lenhart gave Marc a punch in the back, so maybe you can also call the foul there.”

ALEX CASKEY, Sounders FC midfielder

(On the game…) “I came in around the 75th minute and was just trying to have an impact, just trying to get that goal back. It was just unfortunate we couldn’t get one.”

(On making his Sounders FC debut…) “I was extremely excited. It’s what I’ve worked so hard throughout the year to get to. I’ll just keep working and hopefully with more and more time I’ll get another one.”

(On San Jose…) “After the first goal they were dropping in pretty deep, just trying to hold off the lead, especially on the road. … This was a good result for them.”

CHRISTIAN SIVEBAEK, Sounders FC midfielder

(On the game…) “A little bit of a difficult game. We started all right. We kept possession well and we were good at spreading out the balls wide, but then after the goal we struggled a little bit I think. We had a difficult time getting back into the game and from then on we just tried to score that goal to tie everything up, but we didn’t have the luck today unfortunately.”

(On the difficulty to score…) “We started to lose the ball every time we came in to the last part of the field on their half. We didn’t keep possession as well as we did the first 20 minutes, so I think that’s why we struggled in the last part of the first half. I think we were better in the second half. We were better at picking balls up and getting the ball into the penalty area, still we didn’t have the luck. Sometimes it’s like that, but we just need to keep our heads up and we’ll get three points against D.C. next week.”

FRANK YALLOP, Earthquakes head coach

(On the result…) “Well obviously a great result for our team and very happy with the performance of our players. We deserved the points.”

(On Seattle…) “They’ll put you under pressure here; they’re a good team. It’s a difficult place to play and get a result, so we feel that we that we’ve played a good game. The game plan was to get at them as much as we could when they were pushing forward and I feel that we did a good job at that — just needed that second goal. We had chances and we didn’t which made it hairy at the end. but I’m very happy with the points.”

(On playing in Seattle…) “They’re a quality team no matter who’s on the field. They’ve got quite a few injuries at the moment; they’re a very good team. We have to be the best at the back. The whole team deserves credit for the win because they all put the work in for the club.”

(On last time the teams met…) “The other time we won 1-0, Seattle should have won that game. They outplayed us in every department and we came out with a 1-0 victory. I think tonight we deserved a victory. It’s not often you can say that — Seattle had its moments but we had some good moments too. I think it was well earned, especially here.”

(On team mentality…) “We have a different team and mentality to our unit. Even if Seattle were to score, I feel that we would have gotten a second one. I think the team is mentally stronger this year. Seattle has their moments and are a good team, I’m just proud that we shore the game out at the end and put it all on the line with good head shots and blocking shots.”

(On three shutouts in four games…) “We said we needed to get better at seeing games out and defending as a unit. I think Victor Bernardez has made a big difference at the back line. Jon Busch, you can go on and on but the team is determined not to give goals up. … I think the only goal we’ve given up was a penalty kick. It’s early, four games, we have a long way to go but the signs are good. If we can get up to a good start and maintain it we can play with anyone and that’s the thing for me. Seattle is going to be right up there to the end and I think we went toe-to-toe with them tonight.”

(On forward Steven Lenhart’s yellow card…) “All of our players play with aggression and patience that I ask them to do … but he’s a fair player. He doesn’t foul people and goes for the ball. I think (Chris Wondolowski) was great. I can’t say enough about those two. They like playing with each other and they work hard. I think that they showed that tonight.”

CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI, Earthquakes forward

(On the result…) “It’s a great win, Seattle is a tough place to play it took eleven of us to battle and fight.”

(On it being similar to the last game…) “To be honest, it reminds me of the last couple of years. In 2010 we did the same thing, scored in the first 10 minutes and held on 1-0 to win. Last year we lost 2-1, but it’s a tough place to play. We tried to go in, tried to battle and it’s nice to get one and take the lead. Our defense played unbelievable, credit to them.”

(On his team’s defense…) “It’s unreal. Busch commands it; he’s done a great job with a couple great saves. You have Bernardez winning almost every head ball and Jason coming in at center back. … It’s a very tough thing to do against Estrada and Montero. Credit to all of our defenders, it’s a pleasure to play with them and I’m proud to be apart of it.”

(On the penalty kick…) “It’s a shot from 12 yards away. I’m a forward, I should make it and it doesn’t matter what keeper is in there. Anytime I take a PK, I play to myself and try to stay away from playing the keeper as much as possible. He’s a big guy and it’s a bit intimidating; I always try to put my laces through it and put it in a corner.”

(On people taking the team more seriously…) “Don’t know, don’t care honestly. They can take us seriously or not, all I know is that we’re going to battle and try to get three points every week.”

JON BUSCH, Earthquakes goalkeeper

(On playing a bigger spending team…) “You know what, we go about our business. We talk about it in the preseason. … We’re here for one job. We know we’re deep enough to win the cup this year and it’s one game at a time. There are 34 games in the season and then playoffs; we aren’t getting carried away. At the end of the day this is just Game 4 and we need to keep moving forward. It’s a big win and we’re going to enjoy it but at the end of the day, come Monday, we start preparing for the next one.”

(On the save at the end…) “Montero brought it down and tried to bring it to my right and I was able to get a hand on it and push it away.”

(On playing in Seattle…) “I enjoy playing here; it’s a great atmosphere. It’s one that you can get up for. If you can’t get up for such a great atmosphere, then you’re in the wrong business. The fans are tremendous; they have a good team up here. It’s always nice to play up here because you know it’s going to be a great game with a good atmosphere.”

(On three shutouts in four games…) “With these boys in front of me, nothing surprises me. These guys are tremendous. We have so much depth on this team now.”

(On conceding no goals in open play this year…) “The only thing I care about is wins at the end of my career and championships, that’s all that matters. Stats are for you guys to pick apart. At the end of the day, I just want trophies.”

* * *

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES 1, SOUNDERS FC 0

Scoring summary:

SJ – Chris Wondolowski (penalty) 24′

Seattle Sounders FC: Michael Gspurning, Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Jeff Parke 46′), Marc Burch, Christian Sivebaek (Sammy Ochoa 62′), Osvaldo Alonso, Servando Carrasco (Alex Caskey 74′), Alvaro Fernandez, Fredy Montero, David Estrada.

Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Weber, Leo Gonzalez, Roger Levesque, Mike Seamon.

Shots: 18 (Montero 6); Shots on Goal: 6 (Montero 2); Fouls: 12 (Sivebaek 3); Offside: 0; Corner Kicks: 7 (Fernandez 7); Saves: 4 (Gspurning 4).

San Jose Earthquakes: Jon Busch, Steven Beitashour, Victor Bernardez, Justin Morrow, Ramiro Corrales (Jason Hernandez 46′), Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Marvin Chavez (Simon Dawkins 89′), Shea Salinas, Chris Wondolowski, Steven Lenhart (Alan Gordon 67′).

Substitutes Not Used: David Bingham, Tressor Moreno, Ike Opara, Khari Stephenson.

Shots: 12 (Wondolowski 6); Shots on Goal: 5 (Wondolowski 3); Fouls: 15 (Gordon 4); Offside: 1 (Wondolowski); Corner Kicks: 1 (Chavez); Saves: 6 (Busch 6).

Misconduct summary:

SEA: Osvaldo Alonso 6′ (yellow card, foul)

SEA: Christian Sivebaek 45+2′ (yellow card, persistent infringement)

SJ: Steven Lenhart 64′ (yellow card, time wasting)

SJ: Rafaek Baca 64′ (yellow card, foul)

SEA: Zach Scott 79′ (yellow card, foul)

SJ: Alan Gordon 81′ (yellow card, foul)

Referee: Mark Kadlecik

Referee’s Assistants: Ian Anderson, James Conlee

4th Official: Ramon Hernandez

Attendance: 38,458

Time of Game: 1:56

Weather: 50 degrees and partly cloudy

All statistics contained in the box score are unofficial.

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