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May 31, 2012 at 1:03 AM

Sammy Ochoa: “We knew when we (scored) one the rest were going to come.”

ochoa atlanta.jpgPhoto credit: Dean Rutz, The Seattle Times

Here are some postgame quotes and stats for Sounders FC’s 5-1 win Wednesday against the Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup in front of 3,703 at Starfire Stadium.

* * *

SIGI SCHMID, Sounders FC head coach

(Good way to start, huh?) “Definitely. It’s always a lot more fun when you score goals; it makes it a lot easier. Getting the goal early in the second half helped us and then the response when we got the third goal — Caskey’s response to their goal right away — is what I think really finished the game off. Then after that we were a little bit unlucky not to get more. Their keeper came up with some big saves. Cato hits the post; he probably deserved a goal for his effort tonight. But I was pleased with what the guys did and it was good to see them score goals.”

(What happened in the 43 minutes before the first goal?) “Well, we got chances. I think Eddie Johnson had a really good look on a ball cut back by Cato. We had the one that Ozzie hit — the question was whether the goalkeeper touched the ball out of the box or inside the box on that one — but that was definitely going (toward the goal). We had a couple opportunities, as well, where we were around and just our shots or just our final pass weren’t that good. But we were putting pressure on them and definitely you just felt it was a matter of time.”

(On Sammy Ochoa making the most of his minutes tonight…) “Definitely. I don’t know if he can remember the last time he scored two goals with his left foot in a game, because he got them both with his left. They were well-finished, both goals. That’s the way he can play. We just need him to come out like that all the time. It was a good opportunity for him. I thought Cordell did very well. I thought Alex Caskey played very well. Rose continues to do well for us all the time, so it was a good performance by those guys and they took their opportunity well.”

(Did you think after you got the one goal that the rest would come?) “Yeah, you’re hoping so. Sometimes you’re a little hesitant because that one doesn’t seem to come right away. The timing of the one from Andy right before halftime was really important as well for us, so that sort of set things up for the second half.”

(What had been the issue with Ochoa?) “It’s just consistency of training habits. It’s not always fitness. It’s frustrating sometimes when you’re having to train and you don’t always get into games and you haven’t had a lot of reserve games. It gets frustrating and sometimes you’ve got to be a special person to sort of push through that and continue to perform every day at practice. Obviously, Estrada has done well up front and he’s gotten goals and Montero and Eddie Johnson got some goals there, so it was hard to break past those guys as well.”

(On if the Sounders lineup changed tonight based on the many MLS teams that lost their Open Cup games Tuesday…) “No. I mean we didn’t have Ianni. We didn’t have Johansson. We didn’t have Gonzalez. We didn’t play Evans. We didn’t play Fernandez. We didn’t play Rosales. We didn’t play Fredy. So I don’t think anybody can point and say, ‘Oh, they just brought out a heavy team.’ We brought out who we had to play in the back and then of our front six we brought out five guys with fresh legs to get out there and play. Ozzie hadn’t played the last game, so it was an opportunity for him to play. I think it’s a reflection of the depth of this team. And (we were without) Gspurning — we haven’t talked about him. So right there you’re adding up eight players and I think any of those eight could replace those guys that are on the field and we could keep the same rhythm, and that’s the thing that hurt us toward the end of that phase where we struggled a little bit in the league.”

(Any thoughts on what’s going on in Portland right now?) “You guys missed it. Did you see Boyd’s PK? He didn’t put it over the top. He put it well into the Timbers Army … or over their beer garden … I forgot what side he was shooting on. It is what it is. You never know what happens in these games. I watched a lot of the games last night. There were different games streaming. I watched part of Columbus’s game. I saw Dallas’s game in part. I saw Chicago’s game. So I saw a lot of teams and these teams are going to come and battle. If Caskey doesn’t respond with the third goal after they made it 2-1 maybe the game changes a little bit.”

(Was what happened last night a good reminder for your players?) “It was obviously good because we talked about it. We said, ‘Hey, last night 14 MLS teams played and seven went home, and three of them lost at home.’ The guys thought I had forgotten about Salt Lake — but I left Salt Lake for the end — because I said Dallas lost at home and Columbus lost at home. But Salt Lake, their ownership went out and gave them the opportunity to play at home and they had a great crowd and yet they didn’t come through. Obviously, the coach knows better than I, but it’s a game that you can never take too lightly, because the moment you take it lightly, that’s the moment you’re going to get caught.”

ANDY ROSE, Sounders FC midfielder

(On the result…) “That was main thing we wanted. The past four games we haven’t been able to score first, so that was the main thing, get the first goal and then we knew that would open up gaps in the back and obviously we had some great gaps. Sammy comes in and he does a great job and scores two fantastic goals. The main thing we wanted to do was put on a good show for the fans and score some goals.”

(On the goal he scored that started the Sounders’ run…) “I was lucky with the bounce. It was a good play from the corner kick. Jeff put it up perfectly for me and I was able to make it come back.”

(On if he can feel the importance of these U.S. Open Cup matches…) “The atmosphere at Starfire is incredible and you really get pumped up with the fans on top of you like that. I still get goose bumps when I walk out at CenturyLink — it’s just incredible. Obviously, three times in a row you understand the importance of (the Open Cup) and we’d love to go on and win a fourth.”

SAMMY OCHOA, Sounders FC forward

(On the team effort in the second half…) “It was that time. We knew they were going to come out strong in the second half, so we just came out with the same mentality we had at the end of the first half. We just came out and got a quick goal and we went from there.”

(On his two goals tonight…) “Ozzie got the ball and I tried to stay onsides. I was onside and he played a great ball through and I got the shot off on time and away. The second goal I saw the ball come to me. Estrada was one-on-one with a defender, the defender blocked him and the ball was coming at me and I decided to hit it with my left foot and it went in.”

(On the atmosphere at Starfire Sports Complex…) “It was good. It was my first game here at Starfire and it’s a nice atmosphere. It’s great. It’s not like CenturyLink, but it’s a good atmosphere. It’s a good place to play.”

(On learning what the U.S. Open Cup means to this franchise…) “Yeah, we’ve won three times in a row, so it’s pretty big. For us, we take everything seriously. It’s good to be out here and enjoy it with all these fans, too.”

(On if they thought they could break the game open after scoring that first goal…) “Yeah, we were just trying to play zero in the back and we knew when we had one the rest were going to come.”

(On capitalizing on the playing time tonight and hoping that play time will continue moving forward in MLS…) “Yeah, he told us this was an opportunity for us to play well. I take whatever. Five minutes, 10 minutes — I take every opportunity. We haven’t been doing well the last four games, but this game is going to help us out a lot.

JEFF PARKE, Sounders FC defender

(On getting the assist on Rose’s goal…) “I got lucky on it. I was going to volley it and then I see Rose lining it up, so I was like, ‘I’ll give him the shot.’ It’d have to be a 1-in-a-100 shot for me to side-volley it. I just took it off the chest and gave it to him. I thought he took too much time on it and then he poked it. It was a good goal for him. Congrats to Rose on his first.”

(So you thought about pulling the trigger?) “Yeah. Oh yeah. I’m never in that position. I wanted to get a little greedy tonight, but he had a better look. He was coming onto it, so I wanted to give him at least a volley. That’s what I thought he was going to do. That would’ve been a nice one. It was nice anyway.”

(On Atlanta coming out to play…) “They tried to open up and come at us. Our quality shined, but hats off to them. They came up here and tried to play instead of just sitting in and bunkering in. Maybe it’s not the right call for them, but it was a good night for us.”

(Did you think the rest would come after the first?) “Yeah. They kept opening themselves up left and right. There could’ve been more. We did well in finally getting some balls in behind and getting late runs in, and guys had some great finishes tonight.”

(Can this result carry over?) “A little bit. You want to take the positives: We scored a lot of goals. Five goals is a good amount for us and you take that, but everything else you’ve got to throw out the door because it’s a team that really wasn’t as organized as they could be. We punished them when we had our chances.”

(On Caskey’s answer after they pulled to within 2-1…) “It was nice because it takes the pressure off us. It definitely deflates them and totally switches the momentum again. Maybe they had a little bit, but the guy that scored had a great goal. I wasn’t really thinking that they had any other chances tonight at all.”

(Did you guys see what happened to MLS team Tuesday?) “I know man, geez. I got up this morning and saw that seven teams went down. You keep thinking to yourself that you know it’s going to be a tough game, but it’s important that we take this tournament seriously. We want to come out here and win and get back in the (Champions League) or win another trophy because this is our tournament and we’re (going) to try and get the trophy again.”

ALEX CASKEY, Sounders FC midfielder

(On the win…) “It was very important, especially seeing some of the other results, some of the other MLS teams losing to some of the teams in lower divisions, who are really motivated to come up and play some of the high-level teams. So it was really good for us to come out and score a couple of goals early and get on top of them, then follow through and get the win.”

(Are you learning the importance of the Open Cup on this team?) “Yeah, for sure. Considering the (legacy of winning) three years in a row, I think it’s important to try to get that fourth one and do something that no one else has done before — four in a row. We’re all really motivated to go out there and get it.”

(On Tuesday’s Open Cup upsets…) “I mean I came from a lower division team last year, and they’re really motivated. The level of competition is pretty good, so you have to bring out your best play to be able to beat them.”

(Do ties to lower division teams help?) “I think so. It helps us at least to not take them for granted as much and make sure that we’re committed and come out with everything that we have so we can make sure we beat them because they are good competition and it’s important that we do that.”

(On answering their goal almost immediately…) “They got that goal against the run of play, and seeing some of the results from yesterday — (MLS) teams went up and then let up a little bit and let the (lower-division) teams come back — it was lucky that we were able to score a couple right away and kind of demoralize them a little bit, especially on the road.”

ALEX PINEDA CHACON, Silverbacks head coach

(On the game…) “I think Seattle played an amazing game, especially the second half. The second half was the difference; they played with more speed up top. They changed their rhythm more than us. I would like to say the first half for us was wonderful. We played so good. Tactically, we played the game very well and we were very disciplined. Unfortunately, they scored a goal in the 44th minute, and it changed a little bit in the second half because they scored an early goal. Even after that, we scored the goal to make it 2-1, but again they came back and scored the third one. So we started to really play again like we did (in the first half), but after that they played much better than us in the last 25-30 minutes.”

(On what they were doing well in the first half…) “We tried to stretch the team a little bit more. That way the fullbacks never went forward, except for one time. So we tried to keep the fullbacks really busy with three on top, and we had success. We got a lot of people in the final third. We had five players in the final third and we created some opportunities. Unfortunately we didn’t put it in.”

(On playing a team from a higher division and gauging his team’s success…) “I think it was a good experience for the younger players that we have. Obviously we have some experienced players like Tucois and Navia, but overall for the whole I think we learned a lot. We are going to get this form and compete in our league, in NASL. We have to get some points over there, we have to focus over there, and with this experience I think we won more than lose.”

CIARAN O’BRIEN, Silverbacks midfielder

(On the game…) “It was a bummer to give up a goal right before halftime. I think that killed us. And then right away, right when we came back in (they scored again). To be fair, they’re better. They’re better on the ball. They’re more organized, touch, passing, every aspect they were better, and they definitely deserve it. They deserved to win 5-1. It wasn’t like the score line didn’t show what the game was like. Hats off to them. That’s a different level than us and we couldn’t handle it in the second half.”

(On playing in front of home fans…) “It was amazing. I’m definitely jealous of these guys. I grew up around the team, and the fan support is unbelievable. It’s probably some of the best in the world even I think. They have something special going on. To come back and play in front of family and friends, and even that crowd, it was amazing.”

(On being familiar with some of the players out there…) “I grew up with Roger and Zach, with (Brian Schmetzer) coaching. It was great to play against them, great to see those guys. Like I’ve said before, they’ve paved my way to where I am today. They helped me along the way; they were huge role models for me when I was growing up. It was cool to come back and play against them. Maybe someday we’ll be back on the same team again.”

* * *

SOUNDERS FC 5, ATLANTA SILVERBACKS 1

Scoring summary:

SEA – Andy Rose (Marc Burch) 44′

SEA – Osvaldo Alonso (Cordell Cato) 46′

ATL – Reinaldo Navia (Shane Moroney) 53′

SEA – Alex Caskey 54′

SEA – Sammy Ochoa (Osvaldo Alonso) 62′

SEA – Sammy Ochoa 66′

Seattle Sounders FC: Bryan Meredith, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch, Cordell Cato, Osvaldo Alonso (Servando Carrasco 72), Andy Rose, Alex Caskey, Sammy Ochoa (Roger Levesque 70), Eddie Johnson (David Estrada 46).

Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Weber, Brad Evans, Fredy Montero, Christian Sivebaek.

TOTAL SHOTS: 24 (Caskey, Ochoa 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 14 (Caskey, Ochoa 3); FOULS: 8 (eight tied with 1); OFFSIDE: 4 (Estrada 2); CORNER KICKS: 10 (Caskey 10); SAVES: 2 (Meredith 2).

Atlanta Silverbacks: Joe Nasco, Shane Moroney, Martyn Lancaster, Jose Burciaga Jr., Rafael Cox, Tony McManus (Jordan Davis 84), Ciaran O’Brien, Danilo Turcois, Borfor Carr (David Santamaria 72), Matt Horth, Reinaldo Navia.

Substitutes Not Used: Daniel Illyes, Lucas Paulini, Willie Hunt, Nico Colaluca, Lindemar Ferreira.

TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (eight tied with 1); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (three tied with 1); FOULS: 11 (Navia 4); OFFSIDE: 4 (Navia 3); CORNER KICKS: 2 (O’Brien 2); SAVES: 9 (Nasco 9).

Misconduct summary:

ATL – Reinaldo Navia (caution) 60′

SEA – Marc Burch (caution) 60′

ATL – Jordan Davis (caution) 88′

Referee: Josh Wilkins

Referee’s Assistants: Ron Lagraff, Jeremy Hanson

4th Official: Chipalo Street

Attendance: 3,703

Time of Game: 2:09

Weather: Partly cloudy and 64 degrees

All statistics contained in the box score are unofficial.

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