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May 5, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Bryan Meredith: “Unfortunately we smacked the crossbar and the post a couple times … but one was enough today.”

meredith philly.jpgPhoto credit: Dean Rutz, The Seattle Times (full gallery here)

Here are some postgame quotes and stats from Saturday’s 1-0 win against the Philadelphia Union.

* * *

SIGI SCHMID, Sounders FC coach

(Opening statement…) “Three games in a week is never an easy task, but we came out with nine points, so that’s something that we’re very happy about. That’s the most you can get, so we are very pleased with that as well as getting some players out on the park for their first extensive experiences, like Andy Rose and Bryan Meredith. I thought Meredith did great in goal and dealt with the things he needed to deal with. I thought our defense did a good job of keeping things away from him. Andy Rose got a little excited and had a couple of tackles there, and we were probably a little fortunate that the referee maintained his composure, as well, and was able to keep Andy on the field. Then Andy settled down; I thought he was much better in the second half. Then another one of the young guys who played today, Alex Caskey, I thought had a very good game. I was pleased overall — another shutout, which was good for our team. I thought we had more chances than just to get one; we were a little bit unlucky not to get more than one. One day those floodgates will open up. It just wasn’t today.”

(That’s five shutouts in eight games. Are you somewhat surprised by that with all the changes in the back?) “No, it’s like when we put the lineup together for today, we said, ‘OK, we’ve got three changes in the back.’ To me, I really think we have seven starters. I have no problems, whether it is the four guys who played today, whether (Jhon Kennedy Hurtado) is out there, where Zach (Scott) is out there, where Leo (Gonzalez) is out there. I think with any of those seven we don’t miss a beat in the back, so I am not surprised by that. Ozzie (Alonso) has done a great job in front of them and the other guys have chipped in. David (Estrada) at different times has come back and defended. Mauro (Rosales) early on in the game did a good job helping out defensively — as he got tired, a little less so. It’s a team effort when you get a shutout. It is not just the defenders; it’s everybody together, and I think we’ve done a good job.”

(Johnson, Montero and Rosales all combined on the goal. How do you continue to see that relationship forming?) “I agree with you. I guess the league doesn’t agree right now that it was Johnson to Montero to Rosales. They think it was just Montero to Rosales. Obviously, as they get more time together they will have a better understanding. I think that everyone who’s seen us over the last couple of seasons knows how important Mauro is to our creative side of the game. Eddie gives us a different dimension up front and Fredy — although he was unlucky today not to get a goal — is a guy who gets around the goal as well and gets those opportunities. Those three, and eventually you add Flaco into that group, those four should be a fun group to watch. We just have to make sure we defend enough behind them.”

(Do you think Andy Rose deserved a second yellow card?) “Some referees might have pulled a second yellow. I think that it could have been a second yellow, but I think Salazar was aware of where it was in the game, how early it was in the game. I think the first challenge, I don’t know how much he got him. I didn’t get to see the replay. He came in high, but I don’t know if he really got him. I think he might have jumped over it. I thought their coach was interesting because he said that’s twice from behind. I thought the first one was from the front, but maybe it looked from behind where he was sitting. But yeah, I think some referees might’ve pulled a second yellow at that stage.”

ANDY ROSE, Sounders FC midfielder

(On nearly getting a second yellow card…) “To be honest, I thought the first yellow was a little bit harsh. I thought I won the ball, so I wasn’t too worried. I think it would’ve been maybe a bit harsh to send me off after half an hour, but definitely my heart skipped a couple of beats there. I think the ref probably made the right decision. The first one was maybe a little bit high, but I definitely won the ball. Definitely just had a little bit of a rush of blood on the second one.”

(What did Salazar tell you?) “He just kind of said, ‘Calm down.’ I think he knew it was my debut and kind of calm down a little bit. Maybe the first one was a little bit harsh, so I kind of let him know that’s what I thought in a way. It was fine after that. I calmed down a little bit.”

(On you and Meredith making first MLS starts…) “It just goes to show the faith the coaches have. Bryan and I really just wanted to repay that faith with a good performance. Obviously getting the win is fantastic and we kind of the keep this ball rolling. That was the main thing that Sigi said to us, was just don’t drop the level that we’ve been able to play at the last few matches. I was just really happy to be able to get out there and get the jitters out of the way early, get a few good touches on the ball. I really enjoyed it — playing in front of that crowd, getting my debut, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

(When did you find out and how do you think it went?) “I found out yesterday at the end of training. I definitely wasn’t expecting it. I’ve been on the bench for the last few matches and I thought I turned in some good performance in the reserves. I thought my debut hopefully wasn’t far off. To start in a match obviously was incredible. I couldn’t ask for anything more. I felt I didn’t get a touch the first few minutes, but once I kind of calmed down I felt I had a decent performance — won some balls, tried to play with a lot of heart and passion in front of the fans. I know fans really get behind those sorts of players. It was incredible. My parents were actually in town, just for this week from England. It just so happened that they were here for this one. Brilliant day for me.”

(And you had that shot off the crossbar…) “Yeah, obviously it would’ve been nice it was a couple inches. … Those happen. Hopefully the next time it goes in.”

BRYAN MEREDITH, Sounders FC goalkeeper

(Was it like starting this time instead of coming off the bench?) “It’s more time to think about it and prepare, but again, I wasn’t really too nervous. It was a relatively easy game for me. The back four really didn’t allow much through and I don’t think I saw any shots on target. I think it was a good way to start my first game.”

(You did get yourself a save though?) “(laughs) I think I stole that one. I might’ve stole that one a little bit. I’ll take it.”

(Doing that intentionally?) “(laughs) I don’t know. I’m just making it doesn’t go in the back of the net.”

(Are you ready for extended time if Gspurning’s out a while?) “Yeah, I don’t really know how long or how short Michael’s going to be out. But I’ll be ready for FC Dallas, for sure.”

(You were coming out on crosses a few times, like Gspurning. Is that part of your game?) “I think that’s always been part of my game. I like to, especially on early crosses if I can come out and collect the ball. I think they were trying to test my range today — try to put it on me because I’m a young goalie making my first start. I’m glad that I was able to come out and collect a few balls and let them know that it’s not just going to be me sitting on my line and letting my defenders try to head it away. I’m able to come out and collect a few balls.”

(Three of the four defenders were different was Wednesday. Does that affect you?) “No. The lineup’s been changing a lot so far. In training you play with everybody, so it didn’t really change anything to be honest.”

(What were the last few minutes like?) “They were just throwing everybody forward, all 11 guys, trying to get a goal in the dying seconds. But we did our best to keep it out of the goal, for sure. You did what you have to do.”

(Surprised to see MacMath up there at the end?) “No, not at all. Down 1-0, you have to try and get a goal, you know? You have to do whatever you have to do.”

(Did it mean anything to you to beat him, a guy drafted earlier than you in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft?) “No, no. It’s nice to beat anybody who’s on the other side of the goal from me. It was good to see him. He had a good game. Unfortunately we smacked the crossbar and the post a couple times and we couldn’t put more away, but one was enough today.”

(On getting your first start…) “It was a lot of fun, very exciting. I didn’t have too much to do today. I came out on a couple crosses, they shot high. … Other than that, the defense really held it down. They just didn’t really even let them in the 18.”

(On what the defense was doing well…) “They were just organizing. Playing really well together as a whole. Especially in the second half, the whole team was just really clicking and had good possession, for sure.”

MAURO ROSALES, Sounders FC midfielder

(On the goal…) “I think the best part was a great pass from Fredy. It was my chance in the game and I tried to finish it the best way. I was lucky it was a goal and we got the three points.”

(On coming back from injury…) “I’ve been working very hard to get my fitness and (get over the) pain that I had in my knee and my ankle. These last two games I felt very good and we have to keep going like that. When we win a victory like that it helps us to get confidence from everybody. Today was … a lot changing and we were very concentrated. This was the way to win the game.”

(Are you surprised you’ve started three games in the past eight days?) “No, I’m not surprised. We talk a lot with the coach about how I feel. I always want to play. I don’t want to be out or in the bench or looking at the game from the (press box). If can play, I will be there and ready for any game. We’re going to see know in a few games how it goes.”

(On getting a lot of chances…) “I think we did a very good job today and we should have scored in the first half at least one goal. They were fresher than us to play. They didn’t play midweek and we felt it a little bit in the last part of the game — that we were tired and they were much less tired than us. We talked before we came out at halftime that we wanted to score before they could get that energy.”

(Do you guys expect to win all three games in eight days?) “It’s the expectation and what we want. We’ve played against tough teams in the last three games and we always want to win. We always work for that victory and today we got it. This is important.”

MARC BURCH, Sounders FC defender

(Did you think coming in that you at Leo Gonzalez were share so much time on the left flank?) “It’s great. It’s great to get time no matter what. If Sigi thinks it’s the best option to win a game, I’m happy to do it. Coming it at left midfield I can still get my crosses off and still play people in and I can help them defend. I think it’s a really good option for closing out games.”

(How do you handle the rotating defense?) “I think you can tell. How many different lineups have we had? If we’re not leading the league in shutouts, we’re getting close now. Keeping zeros is important and I think everyone’s doing their job when they’re in, no matter who it is. No matter what players are out there, everybody’s working together and working hard. I think that shows how deep our team is. It’s something that will help going on for a long season.”

(On Bryan Meredith’s play…) “Bryan’s good on crosses. He came out and had a couple good punches, caught a couple. I don’t how many times they tested him with shots, but if they did he saved it. … Bryan’s done well in practice. He did well in our last game and came in and did great today.”

(Have these last two scores been reflective of how you’ve played?) “I think we should have more goals. We’ve had a lot of chances, a lot of good shots. Keepers have made a lot of saves. I think we’re creating a lot of chances. I’d love to be seeing 4-0 or 5-0 halfway through the second half, but if you win 1-0, you win. Three points. That’s all that matters.”

JOHN HACKWORTH, Union assistant coach

(On the match and lack of second yellow card on Seattle Sounders FC Midfielder Andy Rose…) “I can’t really comment on why Rose didn’t get the second yellow, it’s a tough thing to swallow. Probably the game should have been 10 versus 11. For our side, we didn’t do enough to make Seattle defend us well. We have to be more dangerous in the final third; we didn’t do a great job at that.”

(On MacMath’s performance…) “Week in and week out Zac does a great job for us.”

(On the final third and lack of offensive performance…) “We talked about it during the week and our guys are a little hesitant to pull the trigger right now. We had some opportunities, especially in the first half, where we’re 20 yards away from goal and you have an open window to let a shot ride. All we can do is continue to ask our players to have to courage to take those shots and hopefully it will happen. It didn’t happen and we talked about it at halftime. Came back out with a couple of weak attempts on goal, not exactly what we wanted. We’re putting a lot of pressure on our team overall, in particular our midfield and defensive line. We don’t do a good enough job stretching the opponent and we’re not being dangerous in the final third.”

(On the season overall…) “We’re a little disappointed, it’s the second week in a row we lose the game by a goal against two of the best teams in the league right now so we don’t feel like we’re not there. We know we can play better, we know we have to fix this problem we have of being more dangerous and opening teams up a little more, creating some chances and taking some more. We’ll just have to continue to work on that. I think we all believe that we are a good team, we’ve put our back against the wall and we have to play out of it. It’s still very early here so no need to hit the panic button at all. We have a lot of young guys in our locker room, a lot of new guys in our locker room we just need to give ourselves time and come out next week against New York. That will be huge for us.”

(On finding positives…) “It’s not like it was a terrible performance by us. I don’t think we executed very well throughout the game yet we were still in a position to hold Seattle. We gave ourselves a chance up to the last whistle to get a result here and that’s a tough thing to do.”

FREDDY ADU, Union midfielder

(On the result…) “We had a couple of good plays to break them down in the middle. When we got to the final third we ran out of ideas sometimes. Sometimes we were trying to do too much rather than just obviously find an open man and move. When we get down there we’re all thinking about scoring goals and we are caught in two minds, so to speak, and then we end up making a pass too late or losing the ball. We have to do better. That’s an area that we’ve had problems with all season long and we have to get better at that.”

(On team scoring this season…) “Obviously for us offensive players we want to score more goals and create more chances. We just got to put the ball in the back of the net. We have to be better. Today was another game where we didn’t test the goalkeeper enough. He’s a new goalkeeper and we got to test him, shoot the ball more. … That’s how soccer is, somebody makes a brilliant play and then the floodgates open. Then goals start pouring in, that’s just how it is. We’ve got to keep going. We’ve got to keep doing the things we’re doing. This is a tough place to play and we only lost 1-0 here. We still lost, but I thought we fought hard and at the end of the day they got a goal and we didn’t. We have to be better at that.”

(On Rose avoiding the second yellow…) “I was through and gone and got taken out from behind. In the rules of the game if a player tackles you from behind, that’s a card. The referee made the decision and we had to live with it. It would have been nice to have an extra man in there at that point.”

ZAC MACMATH, Union goalkeeper

(On the result…) “Tough loss. I thought the guys worked really hard and played well for 90 minutes. There was a little lapse on that throw-in and unfortunately Rosales had a good shot at the back post.”

(On offensive performance…) “Everyone’s trying to gel together up front and we’re just going to go back to Philly and work on that more and hopefully take it into our next game.”

* * *


Scoring summary:

SEA – Mauro Rosales (Fredy Montero) 63′

Seattle Sounders FC — Bryan Meredith, Adam Johansson, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke, Marc Burch, Mauro Rosales (Leo Gonzalez 82), Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose (Edde Johnson 61), Alex Caskey (Servando Carrasco 90+), Fredy Montero, David Estrada.

Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Weber, Cordell Cato, Sammy Ochoa, Zach Scott.

TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (Montero 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Montero 3); FOULS: 15 (Monter 3); OFFSIDE: 5 (Johnson, Montero 2); CORNER KICKS: 6 (Rosales 5); SAVES: 1 (Meredith 1).

Philadelphia Union — Zac MacMath, Carlos Valdes, Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Raymon Gaddis, Gabriel Gomez (Josue Martinez, 83), Michael Farfan (Danny Mwanga 76), Keon Daniel, Kai Herdling (Brian Carroll 61), Freddy Adu, Lionard Pajoy.

Substitutes Not Used: Chase Harrison, Cristhian Hernandez, Porfirio Lopez, Amobi Okugo.

TOTAL SHOTS: 6 (Farfan 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Pajoy 1); FOULS: 15 (Gomez 3); OFFSIDE: 1 (Pajoy 1); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Adu 4); SAVES: 4 (MacMath 4).

Misconduct summary:

SEA – Andy Rose (caution) 18′

PHI – Gabriel Gomez (caution) 78′

Referee: Ricardo Salazar

Referee’s Assistants: Claudio Badea, Jeff Muschik

4th Official: Ismail Elfath

Attendance: 38,399

Time of Game: 1:50

Weather: Clear and 54 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.


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