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April 14, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Zach Scott: “We wanted to basically honor Steve with a win.” (postgame quotes)

scott colorado.jpgPhoto credit: Dean Rutz, The Seattle Times (full gallery here)

Here are the full quotes from Saturday’s 1-0 win against Colorado.

* * *

SIGI SCHMID, Sounders FC head coach

(Opening statement…) “Obviously we’re pleased with the 1-0 win, another shutout for our defense, which is a good thing. Especially in the second half, I thought we created a number of chances. Our finishing we’re still struggling to find it a little bit, so sometimes you’ve just got to take a game like this. But overall, I thought we were more dangerous. Overall, I thought a lot of their possession was in their deep end of the field. It was possession that didn’t concern us too much and I thought we did a good job when they came forward. I thought we did a good job of contesting the ball, winning the ball in midfield and being able to turn those into attacking sequences for us.”

(On if he was tempted to pull Zach Scott out of the game with a minute to go…) “No, no. He’s lucky because he plays defense. If he had been a forward we might have done that so that he could listen to the applause.”

(On Zach Scott’s goal…) “It’s great (for it being his) first MLS goal and being one of the original Sounders guys. Sometimes people say this or that but the thing is he gives everything he has every time he steps on the field and his energy level is great. He competes for everything and he makes the guys around him compete.”

(On getting a win before going into a break in the schedule…) “It was great because obviously when you’re going into the break, you’d rather go into the break with a win underneath you as your last game because you don’t want to stew on your last result. It’s like what Houston had to go through when they played here and then didn’t have a game for a while, so from that aspect it was important. It was good for us to get a goal. Again, like I said, we had chances. Sammy Ochoa had two good chances, two good looks in the second half. Fredy Montero had a couple of good looks, a couple of free kicks that were close, as well, in the first half — Evans’ header off the set piece, so I thought we had some good looks and eventually those things will start going in for us as well, as long as we continue to create them.”

(On attacking the Colorado defense…) “They sat pretty deep defensively and so then after we scored that forced them to come out a little bit. It opened up a little bit of space for us to attack into. In games like this, these are games where we miss Mauro Rosales and obviously not having [Alvaro] Fernandez today as well because those are the two guys that serve our play-making type of players and breaking down a defense that bunkers in is something what Mauro is very good at. So for us, once we got the goal it forced them to come forward a little bit and then the spaces were there for us to be able to attack.”

(On if there is anyone that he thinks would have been more unlikely to score a goal tonight than Zach Scott…) “Michael Gspurning. I think he’d probably be a little more unlikely. Zach’s forward, he’s one of the better headers of the ball and we try and get good set pieces in. I thought Alex Caskey, who we gave a lot of responsibility to in his first game, not only was he out there on the field, but we said, ‘Hit the corners for us.’ He hits a very good corner, drives the ball very well and it was just a well-timed run. I’m just very happy for Zach.”

(On Eddie Johnson’s first start for the Sounders…) “It was good. I thought we got a good 60 minutes out of him, which is important because now we can start building in-game fitness. I think his ability to hold the ball, there were times when he was really close to breaking in, a little bit of that is going to take timing, a little bit of that is understanding his teammates as well. If he would of maybe had a couple of those chances late that Ochoa had, when he’s 90 minutes fit I think Eddie’s pace will allow him to finish those situations. I was pleased with what he did.”

(On if he has a concern that Fredy Montero has not got in on the scoring yet this season…) “Well, he’s ending up dropping deep a little bit for us and part of that is because Mauro [Rosales] is not on the field, so he’s taking a little more of that playmaking on to his shoulders. There’s times where I think he could save himself some punishment by just getting rid of the ball maybe a step sooner, but as a result of holding it he ends up getting beat up a lot by the opponent. He drew some fouls for us in dangerous situations that set up free kicks for us that allowed us to be dangerous, too. So overall, I think his impact on the game was a positive one and his role ends up being a little bit different, especially without Flaco out there and without Mauro. The guys are still not sure how much Caskey is going to provide. I think as he plays a little more, guys are going to understand that he can play-make a little bit, too, and do some things. He [Caskey] had a good left-footed effort that if it doesn’t get blocked it might be dangerous.”

(On moving David Estrada to the midfield…) “Well, we felt Eddie [Johnson] was ready to come; we felt that David could play on the outside of midfield — that’s where he played at the end of last season for us, and I thought he had an effective game out there. There’s about 15 minutes there where I thought he lost his impact a little bit, but then he found it again and was unlucky maybe not to get a goal — it got deflected and went sort of long on the shot, but he can run the line. He helps us out there defensively, but he’s also a guy who can get in at the back post and that’s something – changing the point of attack, finding the runners at the deep post – is something that we’ve got to get better at.”

ZACH SCOTT, Sounders FC defender

(On the goal…) “Something I pride myself on is getting a piece of headers. My wife and mom have been on my case lately about putting one of those away. Hopefully I made them proud. Obviously we practice it a lot, trying to find the right spots, swinging in good balls. Caskey just put it right in my path. I really didn’t have to do much other than run in the right area and get the tiniest bit of a deflection on it and put it away. It was exciting. It’s great to put the team up on the right foot going into this break, getting the win and more importantly getting the shutout.”

(On breaking his own long drought…) “It’d be a relief if I knew that stat. I had no idea. I can’t even remember the last time I scored a goal. It’s got to be five or six years with the lower division team. Obviously, good to get off to a good start this year.”

(Defenders don’t care about that stuff?) “Good golly, no. We’re thinking about shutouts and we’re thinking about keeping teams from scoring. That’s it.”

(Wives and moms do?) “Wives and moms, absolutely. That’s the first thing on their minds: What can you do better?”

(So you have more goals than Montero and Johnson…) “Oh, good golly. I’ve got to take a picture of that. Never in my career would I have thought that.”

(On getting another shutout…) “It’s great. I feel like we’ve been playing pretty well defensively. When it breaks down, Mike has been huge for us. It’s important to have that communication between the back four and obviously Ozzie picking up pieces, as well. It’s been a great team effort.”

(What’s different about the defense this year?) “I think all the pieces were there, obviously, with the other teams, it was just a matter of just getting a bit more comfortable, knowing where each other is going to be at all times, and I think we’re at that point. You make a mistake and you know for sure there’s going to be cover in there. Nobody’s ever left 1v1, basically.”

(On having seven different defenders start and 19 on the team this season…) “That’s an impressive stat, but you can see that from years past. The guys we put in reserve games, the guys we put in Open Cups, Champions League — this team is deep. The front office does a great job of finding guys who can start on other teams basically. We got two starting groups.”

(Did you see Mullan as just another player today…) “Other than the crowd, hearing them boo him every time he touched the ball, I don’t think anybody else thought twice about it. It’s not like we were out there looking for someway to retaliate or something. We wanted to basically honor Steve with a win, and that’s what we did.”

(Were emotions heightened during that 87th-minute scuffle?) “A little bit. Obviously I was on a yellow card, so there’s no way I was going to get involved in that. But obviously it’s emotional. Steve was a big part of our team, losing him for a year is huge. It’s not something we’re going to forget, but it’s definitely something we’re going to move on from.”

MICHAEL GSPURNING, Sounders FC goalkeeper

(Thoughts on another shutout?) “It’s not that that counts now. The three points are much more important. I think we had a good game; just one thing was we have to finish the game earlier. We have to score the second time. It was unnecessary to give them life until the last minute. The game was OK, three points and we’re now above them in the standings. It’s good.”

(Nice only facing one shot in the second half?) “Yeah. I don’t have to be always the focus of every game because that means we’re not playing very well. I like these games. We can win every game 1-0, that’s OK. I’ll take it.”

(How is a game different with all that booing toward one player?) “Not for me, no. I was just wondering why. During the game it’s not in my mind. I keep focused on the game.”

(Have you seen Mullan’s tackle from last year?) “I just knew that this was the situation with Steve, but I didn’t know it was the tackle of this player. To be honest, thank you for telling me this story. I knew there had been something that happened with Steve, and it’s good that we made the win today, also for Steve because he’s one year out.”

(Any extra pride when a defender scores?) “Yeah, of course. I mean my roommate goes into every header like there’s no tomorrow. You just had to say it’s a matter of time before you get success. I’m very happy that he scored today.”

FREDY MONTERO, Sounders FC forward

(On getting the late yellow card…) “(It’s what you feel) when you see that kind of dirty play. It doesn’t matter who was the player. For me, it was more than a yellow card. It was a red card, because it was coming from behind. It was a dirty tackle.”

(More about the tackle than who was making it?) “Yeah, I (didn’t) see his last name, I didn’t see his face, I just came and (supported) my teammate.”

(On playing with Johnson up front…) “Eddie’s a great player. He’s very smart. You can see out there how he was running off the ball. It’s going to help the team. We just need to score the first goal and we’ll keep scoring for this team.”

(In your head you haven’t scored in five games?) “I’m worrying because I love to play and score goals. … Right now I’m worried about the team. I’m playing another position and coming from the back with the ball and trying to play it forward. You saw it when I was looking for Sammy Ochoa or for Eddie Johnson, or sometimes when Estrada is playing up front with me. Right now, I’m happy because the team won this game. It’s always a very nice feeling in our house, winning with 38,000 people.”

(Are you showcasing different talents playing deeper?) “Sure. For me it’s whatever the teams needs. If the team needs that I’m going to do it. … I’m going to keep trying — that’s it. I’m going to work hard in practice and the next game. I’m always hungry to score goals.”

OSVALDO ALONSO, Sounders FC midfielder (via translator)

(What happened on that 87th minute tackle?) “It’s not a big deal. He came from behind and kicked me from the back. I reacted a little bit aggressively, but it’s a normal football thing and nothing to worry about.”

(So you were not upset with him, specifically, but more about the foul?) “It was just the foul. It could have been anybody. It was just a chance of life that it was precisely him, but nothing specific.”

(On the defensive effort and posting a shutout…) “I’m very happy about us being able to keep the zero throughout the game and I think we did a very good job defensively.”

ALEX CASKEY, Sounders FC midfielder

(On his first MLS assist…) “That was extremely exciting. I found out later that that was Zach’s first goal so it made me feel even better. And then, of course, it was great to get the win at home.”

(On how he found out he would get the start today, his first in MLS…) “We were waiting to see how Flaco was feeling. They told me yesterday just, ‘Be ready, and if he’s not ready to go, then we’ll put you in there.’ So I found out today when I got here.”

(On his thoughts when he found out he’d get the start…) “I’ve just got to get mentally prepared and ready to go, start thinking about who I’m playing against and where I’m playing and just get ready to go.”

(On how he felt about how he played…) “That was what I was hoping to bring was my energy and work rate and then hopefully just use that intensity to try to make something happen for the team.”

(On his skill set and handling the corners for the team today…) “That’s something I can bring to the team would be deliveries from the wings or free kicks and just having a high work-rate.”

(On what the first few minutes of the game were like…) “Pretty fast. It takes a little getting used to the speed of play and the intensity of the MLS game.”

(Did playing in the reserve game help?) “It did, yeah. There just making sure I’m comfortable everywhere, just in case, depending on where I’d be needed in the game. It was good to get some time in the reserve game to be ready for this game.”

OSCAR PAREJA, Colorado Rapids head coach

(On the game…) “I liked the first half; we looked very solid. I was trying to get a better performance in the first half this game and I saw it. It was very positive. In the second half we weren’t as consistent as we were in the first half going forward and being dangerous. I saw a lot of intensity and courage in the first half. We need to be more dangerous and create more options to score. At the end of the day that’s going to give you points.”

(On the Brian Mullan situation…) “I think he is a great professional — nothing happened. This is part of the game. I guess people keep dragging things from last year. The people who really know Brian … know he’s such a good professional and person. I was very proud of Brian today and to be honest with you we didn’t even think about that. We didn’t talk with Brian at any point in the week about that. We were worried about the game.”

(And it was a normal game for him?) “I thought it was one of the best games that he’s had so far.”

(Why?) “Because he was a good player.”

(On goalkeeper Matt Pickens…) “Matt had a couple of saves that shows he is a good player.”

(On the corner kick that led to the goal…) “Disappointed. At this level we can’t afford those mistakes. We need to reflect, that was the game.”

DREW MOOR, Colorado Rapids defender

(On the fans’ response to Brian Mullan…) “To be honest I thought the fans were great and they did exactly what we expected. We did not expect them to be nice to him but I had forgotten about it for the most part. You heard the boos whenever he touched the ball. That is part of the game sometimes and I thought the fans were great.”

(Thoughts coming into the week…) “The main focus was winning the game. We’re all Brian’s family here but we do not put it behind us either. The focus was points and we’re disappointed to leave with nothing. We always supported him and there were no issues.

(General comments on the game…) “I thought we did exactly what we wanted to do in the first half. We came in and matched their intensity. We were better than them at times in the first half, created some chances. Our inability to create and possess in the second half wasn’t good enough today. To give up a set piece goal is a bad goal to give away, we’re leaving here disappointed and have to fix things like that.”

(On being 3-3 so far…) “The last 4 of 5 have been on the road in tough places to play. If you break each game down individually you feel like we should have a better record than we do now, especially after today’s match. We came in the first half and did exactly what we wanted to do and to give up a soft goal… good for them but our record should be better than it is right now.”

(On the upcoming game against LA…) “They’re having a tough go with it right now, they have a big one tonight or tomorrow against Portland. We have to put this one behind us and fix the mistakes that we made. We obviously have to stay focused for 90 minutes whether it’s on a set piece or open play but they’re a dangerous team. It’s a great opportunity to put this one behind us and move forward.”

* * *

SOUNDERS FC 1, COLORADO RAPIDS 0

Scoring summary:

SEA – Zach Scott (Alex Caskey) 63′

Seattle Sounders FC — Michael Gspurning, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez, David Estrada, Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Alex Caskey (Marc Burch 76′), Fredy Montero (Roger Levesque 89′), Eddie Johnson (Sammy Ochoa 67′).

Substitutes Not Used: Bryan Meredith, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Andy Rose, Christian Sivebaek.

TOTAL SHOTS: 18 (Montero 8); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Montero 3); FOULS: 12 (Johnson 4); OFFSIDE: 3 (Johnson 2); CORNER KICKS: 9 (Caskey 7); SAVES: 1 (Gspurning 1).

Colorado Rapids — Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Luis Zapata, Jeff Larentowicz, Jaime Castrillon (Kamani Hill 69′), Martin Rivero, Brian Mullan, Omar Cummings, Tony Cascio (Andre Akpan 83′).

Substitutes Not Used: Steward Ceus, Hunter Freeman, Joseph Nane, Tyrone Marshall, Wells Thompson.

TOTAL SHOTS: 4 (Rivero 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Cummings 1); FOULS: 14 (Wynne, Rivero 3); OFFSIDE: 3 (3 players 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Rivero 2); SAVES: 4 (Pickens 4).

Misconduct summary:

SEA – Eddie Johnson (caution) 47′

SEA – Zach Scott (caution) 49′

COL – Brian Mullan (caution) 87′

SEA – Fredy Montero (caution) 87′

Referee: Baldomero Toledo

Referee’s Assistants: Ian Anderson; Kevin Duliba

4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal

Attendance: 38,360

Time of Game: 1:57

Weather: Clear and 55-degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

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