Photo credit: Victor Decolongon, Getty Images (full gallery here)
Here are some postgame quotes and stats from Sounders FC’s 1-1 road tie Saturday against Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center.
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SIGI SCHMID, Sounders FC head coach
(On measuring the pros and cons from the tie…) “We’ve played a lot of games, and for us to be able to come back from being 1-0 down is a good thing. I thought we had some chances at the end of the game that were pretty good chances — Rose on his header, Rose on his shot from distance that gets cleared off the line, Eddie Johnson gets in one time on the end line — so I was pleased with our ability to come back in tonight’s game.”
(On the substitutions…) “We were trying to get some fresh legs on the field. Certainly Caskey had an impact right away by getting the assist, but he was quicker; he hasn’t played nearly that amount of the minutes that the other guys have played. We wanted to get some speed on with Cato, get him a chance to go at some people. Fredy Montero has played a lot of minutes — I don’t think we’ve pulled him in this whole stretch of game — so I just felt he was tired and we needed to make that change with Eddie. We thought we’d get speed on, as well. So we wanted to get some fresh legs and speed on toward the end of the game to help us win the game.”
(Did you earn a point tonight or let a couple slip?) “We always like to get three — every team wants to go out there and get three — but right now, where we’re at, I was happy with the fact that we came back and tied. It would’ve been nice if we could’ve stolen the one, but it would’ve been a little bit of steal. I thought Chivas at times played very well. They had good possession. We tried to keep their possession in front of us and at their end of the field, so it really didn’t relate into a lot of dangerous opportunities per se. There were time where Smith isolated us on the wing and caused us some problems. We gave Riley way, way, way too much space on that cross. That was Flaco, tired, tucked in way too far. But that’s just the way it’s been. Our defenders right now, because we have all the injuries in the back, I think some of those guys are playing on fumes. I was amazed. We actually might’ve done our third sub earlier, but we were concerned that someone in the back might go down, so we wanted to hold it a little bit. But then we decided we’d go for the win as it was.”
(On David Estrada’s play…) “It was good. I think he worked hard — I mean David always works hard and gives you that. We wanted to play David up high and have Montero play underneath a little more. Montero early on decided he’d play high and let David play underneath, mainly because of fatigue I think. David covered a lot of ground because he ended up on Peter Vagenas at times, but then he made some good hard runs in the box. He had some opportunities in the first half, the one where he got in behind and didn’t quite get the ball of his feet — he got tackled back from behind. He did well. I thought the one where Montero gets in late in the first half, he needed to come across near post and he might’ve had a goal earlier.”
(Things opened up in the second half. What changed?) “Again, I think the fresh legs helped us. I think we also resolved ourselves in terms not allowing them to hit that big switching ball that they hit in the first half, so you didn’t see a lot of changing balls anymore to Smith. We did a better job of cutting that out, as well.”
(How big was this for Estrada?) “Anybody who scores a goal gets happy when they score a goal. So it was good for him because he hasn’t scored since the second game of the season. But it’s also been a while since he’s played up as a center forward, as well.”
(On a new look Chivas USA…) “I think they are an improved team. Obviously Califf gives them a veteran influence in the back, gives them a little bit of steel in the back, as well. And Agudelo is obviously the future and the hope. He’s a talented kid that wasn’t getting enough time in New York, so now he’s getting an opportunity to play. The more games he plays, the better I think he’ll become. I think those two additions have enthused their club, and they are playing with a little more confidence.”
(On 10-game road unbeaten streak…) “We feel very confident on the road. We feel we’re going to do well on the road. Chivas has done well on the road this year also, but it’s something we always try. We don’t change how we play all that much. Today we changed a little more than normal. I think we played a little more defensive than we normally play on the road, just because it was the only option really for us. We needed to keep the ball in front of us and we knew we’d give away some possession. But we always feel very confident on the road.”
(On having to play from behind all the time…) “It’s always more difficult to play from behind. I thought tonight we did good job in the first half coming out at zeros and we thought we could maybe get that lead in the second half. We almost got the lead at the end of the first half with a couple opportunities. It’s just harder when you’re playing from behind — the other team doesn’t have to open up, they can bunker in a little bit more, they can make life a little bit difficult for you. When you’re a little bit fatigued and you’re not quite as sharp as normal, then it just makes the game harder.”
(On coming back from deficits three separate times now when you combine Chivas with Vancouver…) “I think it’s the attitude of the team. The team has a great desire to get results. You sort of pull yourself up by the bootstraps, you concentrate a little bit better, a little more and go after it. We want to go ahead in games, which makes things easier, and I think that’s going to start to happen as we move forward. We were unlucky against Columbus at home. Against Salt Lake I thought we had more of the play. I don’t think it’s been so much anything that we’ve changed (during the games).”
(We’ve always talked about Servando Carrasco being in the Osvaldo Alonso mold. Is there something that has kept him from playing more?) “Servando has played well and trained well, but I think it’s a situation where Caskey and Rose have really stepped up their games. Caskey now has three assists in limited minutes. Andy Rose was presented with a couple opportunities. We look at him more as a replacement for Evans, but we felt those two together would be a good combination today. And Andy seems to do a good job of finding the ball — getting little nicks and pieces of the ball defensively. It’s more that they’ve played well than that the other guys have not played well.”
DAVID ESTRADA, Sounders FC forward
(How much were you itching for another goal?) “It’s always nice for a forward to score goals, but I’m mainly trying to open up space and try to have Fredy be the one that scores. Luckily the ball bounced to me; I think it was a mis-clearance by the defender. I was just there at the right time. Some people say it’s luck, but I’m always looking to get myself in the right spots.”
(How does this team feel about a tie?) “You always want to get points, especially playing away. I think (Chivas USA is) a motivated team, a deep team. They have Agudelo and they have Califf in the back. This was a difficult point to earn coming into their house. Before, they were a bad team at home, but I think they’re motivated now. Whenever you get to add a point to the overall table, I think that’s good.”
(It’s been a while since you started up top with Fredy. Just like riding a bike?) “I think one of the things we try to do is have constant communication throughout the game — not only with Fredy, but with the center mids. I think we do a good job of that. I’m trying to open up spaces for the midfielders like Mauro and Alvaro, and also Fredy, who likes a lot of space. I’m more than willing to do that.”
ALEX CASKEY, Sounders FC midfielder
(What were you looking to do coming in as a sub?) “I was just hoping to come off the bench and bring some energy, use my freshness to hopefully make an impact. Luckily I was able to (help set up) a goal pretty quickly.”
(You’re a co-leader on the team with three assists. How do you account for that?) “I don’t know, just some of my teammates being in good spots and luckily being able to find them at the right times. It’s happened to work out really well.”
(Are things much different when you move around the midfield like you have?) “A little bit. I think one my assets is I can hopefully play a couple positions depending on wherever they need me. I hope to be able to just fill in wherever the team is lacking in that particular moment and bring whatever I can to help win.”
(How is the team looking at this tie?) “I think it was kind of tough to do down. We actually created quite a few chances after we equalized and I thought we easily could’ve (scored) one after that. But at least we got the tie in a tough game on the road.”
BRYAN MEREDITH, Sounders FC goalkeeper
(What did you see on that goal?) “I saw a good, early cross coming inside the six-yard box. I felt I had to come out for it. When you come out, you’re expected to win the ball, for sure. He just got in front of me and got in front of his defender and put it home — there’s not really much else to say. … I thought I had it all the way. I didn’t even see him until the last second.”
(On having to play from behind all the time?) “It changes your mindset for sure. When you go down a goal, you start pushing up a lot more. You play a little bit quicker, rather than when you’re up a goal and you can sit back, relax and possess the ball a bit more.”
ROBIN FRASER, Chivas USA head coach
(On the overall team performance…) “I felt like we came out and we did pretty well throughout the first half. We were able to create some opportunities. We talked about some things to get some of our wide players in 1v1 situations in the second half. I felt like in moments leading up to the goal, and on the goal, we did really well in terms of moving the ball quickly and isolating our wide players. And we were able to get a service and score a goal. I felt like after we scored the goal, we got away a little bit from that and obviously gave up a goal that seemed to be a bit of a soft goal. At the end of the day, a draw is probably a fair result.”
(On Agudelo’s goal…) “I thought he worked hard and he presented himself in some dangerous situations tonight and he was close to being dangerous often. It was a good play that freed up James on the right side, and he put a great ball in. Juan made a great run and certainly a very good finish. In terms of what it does for his confidence, I think any time goal scorers score goals, their confidence goes up.”
(On the back line’s performance…) “I think the group is continuing to grow and gel together. Danny has only been here a couple of games but I think he has fit right in. There’s good understanding between all of the defenders. As a result, I think we are able to read each other well, and therefore cover each other well. At the end of the day, that’s what you need to do as a back four.”
(On Riley’s attacking presence…) “He produced a fantastic ball for the goal. He had another very good service late in the game. James is an intelligent player, he’s a very solid defender, but he also recognizes opportunities to get forward. When he hits good serves for us, I think it makes us quite a bit more dangerous.”
DAN KENNEDY, Chivas USA goalkeeper
(On the match…) “It’s always good to take a point, but I thought we deserved the win. We just let one mistake in the back and it cost us a win. Danny made three big plays which those are plays I don’t have to make. James had a great game — Ante, solid.”
(On Juan Agudelo’s goal…) “It was a great goal, great build up, great cross, great finish.”
(On Seattle’s goal…) “Unfortunately the bounce didn’t go our way on that goal. It’s just one of those things where the ball came up a little awkward on him, and he wasn’t able to make a play.”
(On Chivas USA’s four-game unbeaten streak…) “I feel like these games are there for the taking, we don’t have a problem playing the underdog. The biggest thing in this league, I feel, is momentum and when you get it and you get hot you need to take advantage of it. That’s why I feel like maybe we left two points on the table tonight. We really excel on the road, because I feel like we seem to compete a little better when our backs are up against the wall. This is a group that thrives under tough circumstances. What we need to do is not only thrive in those tough times, but in the good moments when we’re home too, that’s our next step.”
JUAN AGUDELO, Chivas USA forward
(On the match…) “It was a hard fought match. We were able to go ahead on the goal and unfortunately they had a really good goal, a good cross, and I think one of our defenders slipped. I thought we’ve been playing really well, maintaining the ball and it was good.”
(On his first goal with Chivas USA…) “It felt great, most importantly to help out the team, to put them ahead. It’s not a personal stand point, but just trying to help out the team.”
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SOUNDERS FC 1, CHIVAS USA 1
CHV – Juan Agudelo (James Riley, Peter Vagenas) 57′
SEA – David Estrada (Alex Caskey, Fredy Montero) 61′
Seattle Sounders FC: Bryan Meredith, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch, Mauro Rosales, Andy Rose, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez (Alex Caskey 61), Fredy Montero (Eddie Johnson 73), David Estrada (Cordell Cato 78).
Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Weber, Servando Carrasco, Roger Levesque, Sammy Ochoa.
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Montero 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Estrada 2); FOULS: 9 (Cato, Montero, Scott 2); OFFSIDE: 2 (Estrada 2); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Rosales 3); SAVES: 1 (Meredith 1).
Chivas USA: Dan Kennedy, James Riley, John Valencia (Rauwshan McKenzie 65), Danny Califf, Ante Jazic, Laurent Courtois, Peter Vagenas, Alejandro Moreno, Ryan Smith (Cesar Romero 88), Juan Agudelo, Jose Erick Correa (Blair Gavin 76).
Substitutes Not Used: Tim Melia, Jorge Villafana, Scott Gordon, Miller Bolanos.
TOTAL SHOTS: 5 (Agudelo 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Agudelo, Valencia 1); FOULS: 7 (Agudelo, Moreno, Vagenas 2); OFFSIDE: 1 (Califf 1); CORNER KICKS: 10 (Courtois 8); SAVES: 2 (Kennedy 2).
SEA – Andy Rose (caution) 20′
Referee: Chris Penso
Referee’s Assistants: Ian Anderson, Colin Arblaster
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Clear and 64 degrees
All statistics contained in the box score are unofficial.