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June 20, 2012 at 10:59 PM

Alex Caskey: “It was just a battle — 90 minutes of fighting.” (postgame quotes)

scuffle kc.jpgPhoto credit: Bettina Hansen, The Seattle Times

Here are some quotes following Sounders FC’s 1-1 tie at home against Sporting Kansas City. Seattle’s winless streak has reached six games. Quote sheet updated with more from Patrick Ianni and Andrew Weber.

* * *

Sigi Schmid – Sounders FC head coach

(On the result…) “(I’m) happy with the fact that we were able to come back from going down a goal. It was a good goal from Patrick Ianni — better than a good goal. We had a good chance in the second half when Fredy (Montero) hits the post … and gave us a very good opportunity. I thought it was a very physical match, but I was pleased with our effort and our heart that we displayed and that we showed. I thought it was a major jump forward from the way we played in Montreal. I thought our effort and our desire was very good. Unfortunately it didn’t bear the ultimate fruit for us in terms of winning the game, but we did get a point tonight and we’ve got to build upon this and move forward.”

(On Andrew Weber’s start in goal and Steve Zakuani’s appearance on the sideline…) “We just felt it was time for (Bryan) Meredith to look at it from the outside. (Andrew) Weber had been training well after overcoming his ankle injury, so we felt it was a good chance for him to start and I thought he was pretty good about what he did; he was pretty clean. Zakuani we felt has been getting closer. Based on where we were injury-wise and everything else we felt he was a good option into the 18. One of the reasons I didn’t come with him was because of the physical nature of the game and the referee really wasn’t protecting players and I didn’t think that was a good environment to throw him into in the first game.”

(On Alvaro Fernandez’s red card…) “It was a reaction. Obviously, Alvaro committed a foul. That’s for sure a yellow, it’s very probably a red, but there were other occurrences out there.”

(On when Steve Zakuani can be expected to get playing time and does Flaco’s suspension make Sunday more likely?) “We’ll see. We’ll see how the game goes. It’s got to be the right game to put him in for his first game back. Not one where a game is turning into a very physical affair like today’s was.”

(On playing a diamond midfielder with Mauro Rosales in the middle and Brad Evans on the right…) “We went to a diamond midfield and felt that would work better based upon the way Kansas City plays, as well. … I thought Mauro’s game today was much better. He took a step forward in part maybe because of the position, but I think also it was just his effort and I think if he would have played on the right he would have been just as effective. But for us and for this game I thought that was a better way to go.”

(On if he feels like today’s match was a good response from the defeat in Montreal…) “Yeah, I think it was a good response. We don’t lose two games in a row — I think we’ve avoided that for a very long time — and I thought our response was good. You’re going to have streaks. You’re going to have good streaks and you’re going to have bad streaks, so we’re in a streak right now that’s not a good streak but I’m very confident that we’re close to climbing out of it.”

(On Patrick Ianni’s play…) “It was good. Obviously, his first game in well over a month. We’re concerned about his fitness depending how the game goes, but I thought he held up well fitness-wise and obviously the physical nature of the game was something that he can deal with and play to, so I thought he did well.”

(On if Patrick Ianni’s goal surprised him…) “(laughs) I think he surprised himself, too.”

(On the effort of the Sounders tonight…) “I was very pleased with the effort of our team. I was pleased with their reaction to the Montreal game by coming out with that effort today. You want to see how a team comes back from a poor performance in that game, which was really a poor effort, and comes back in the next game and I thought we did a really good job of that.”

(On Kansas City’s goal…) “The ball pops out. The awareness of our marking there, but I think when (Jacob) Peterson hits it, it deflects a little bit and that helps put it into the corner. Ozzie has one popped out and he hits Collin in the stomach — or lower — with it, so sometimes those things happen. But I think they were creating some chances, getting the balls wide. We knew that their outside backs might see a little bit of the ball and we weren’t overly-concerned with that. We want to keep it on one side of the field or the other, so they had some moments in there. They got behind us a couple times in the first half, there was the one splitting ball that got behind Zach Scott, I think where Soony Saad got through, so we talked about that at halftime. And I thought in the second half we really didn’t give away much of anything in terms of chances.”

(On if Kansas City’s lineup surprised him…) “Again, you’ve got to ask their coach. He knows what he’s thinking and what he’s doing and why he wants to play certain players.”

(On the rivalry game with Portland coming up…) “Our focus was on tonight, so when we come back into training on Friday we’ll start thinking about Sunday. I know they’ll be ready for that. I know the atmosphere will be intense. Hopefully, the game will be played as the game should be played.”

(Did you up the ante with your ‘big brother’ quote this week?) “I don’t know. I think the rivalry exists and I don’t think it matters what we say. I think they’re motivated. I’ve read some Fucito quotes. He’s on the other side now, so all of the sudden they’re the good side. It all depends which side of the fence you’re standing on. I know they’re going to be ready for the game. We’re ready for the game. I don’t think you can up the ante on this game. I think it’s there right away.”

(On if Andrew Weber is considered the starting goalkeeper moving forward…) “Obviously, we’ll see. We’ll go game-by-game. I think Meredith now needs to react from this and it’s going to show his character — how he comes back, how he trains and he’s got to push Weber just like Weber pushed him. And when an opening exists, he’s got to be ready to jump on it.”

(When did you tell Steve this might not be his night? “I didn’t.”

(On if he came into today thinking Steve Zakuani could see game action against Kansas City…) “I thought it might be. It could be, depending on it. But like I said, once I saw the way the game was going, the physical nature of the game, I didn’t think it was good.”

Patrick Ianni – Sounders FC defender

(On the game’s physical nature…) “I think we knew it was going to be a physical match from the get go — maybe a little more so than we thought — and I think a lot of that was due to the refereeing tonight. They let a lot of things go. I think they were pretty consistent in letting a lot go, too much go until the end, because they definitely could’ve had a couple of red cards, too. I thought the two center-backs had some clumsy challenges, but it’s a good preparation match for Portland.”

(On his goal…) “It was just a good ball by Mauro and it came a little behind the line. I think Zach and Brad were going, and maybe Eddie too, and brought their defenders with them and it just kind of snuck through to me. I thought, ‘If it comes all the way through, I’m just going to get good contact on it and put it on frame,’ and fortunately it went in.”

(On if it was the best goal he’s ever scored…) “Yeah, definitely. Best goal — practice, games — since I was born. Yep.”

(On his few dramatic goals he’s scored and if he’s a goal-scorer now…) “No, I’m not a goal scorer. Fredy Montero’s a goal scorer. Eddie Johnson’s a goal scorer. But I was happy to get that one back for us. (It was) an unlucky goal we took early on and I was just glad to tie it up at that point. Just looking forward to the Portland game. We’ve got a big one Sunday. I think everyone’s pretty revved up and hopefully we get a win for our fans.”

(On if the result tonight has any carryover into the Portland match…) “I think it’s a good preparation match for sure, in terms of the physical nature of it. It’s going to be the same, if not more, on Sunday. That’s the kind of game I look forward to, you know. I like the Starfire pitches and the Portland pitches that are smaller and there’s a lot of contact. I have nothing wrong with that. So I need to carry that for our team. Some of us bigger guys, Zach, Jeff, Jhon, whoever, in the back we have to bring that mentality and protect some of our smaller guys.”

(On seeing Zakuani on the bench…) “Yeah, I think that’s the biggest story of the night, honestly. It’s so good to have him back. I don’t think this was the best game to come into, considering the physical nature of it, and I think that’s the reason he didn’t come in. But so excited to have him back. It means so much to all the guys. He’s such a good guy in the locker room. … To be out here and to be able to play, and that the coaches think he can contribute, it’s such an awesome thing.”

Alvaro Fernandez – Sounders FC midfielder (via interpreter)

(Was the red card an issue of handling things yourself if the ref won’t?) “No. Players should never try to control what the referee is doing or not doing. I think I made a mistake and it won’t happen again.”

(On if it was an overly physical game…) “Yeah, the game was a tough game. We probably fought a little bit more than we played, but sometimes you have to play that way. Games are like that. You have to play with your heart but with your head, calm down. Today, that didn’t happen to me and that’s why I made a mistake.”

(On Steve Zakuani being on the bench in the 18…) “Yes, absolutely, especially for me. I had to leave training a little early yesterday so I didn’t see and I didn’t know if he was going to be on the bench. But when I saw him today in the locker room getting ready to be on the bench, I got very happy for him. I went to congratulate him because he deserves to come back and be the player he was before the injury.”

Alex Caskey – Sounders FC midfielder

(On the game…) “It was just a battle — 90 minutes of fighting. It was a good first rally after we went down a goal and got another one. We had some good chances to take the lead, but just unfortunate that we weren’t able to capitalize.”

(On what the offense was doing well to create chances…) “I think we started moving the ball well in the second half and were able to get some guys wide open. I don’t know how Fredy’s didn’t go in, and we had a couple more that really should have scored. Unlucky on the day.”

(On the shot to the head he took in the first half…) “I just bumped the head I think. They brought me up and I was okay.”

Andrew Weber – Sounders FC goalkeeper

(On the game…) “It was good. The first goal, the deflection, I just saw it late. Maybe if I get a little better of a jump on it I can pull that out of the top corner. I think it went off Ozzie and just came up-and-down. I don’t think it was going in [before the deflection]. We came back. Pat had a wonder-goal. The team fought and fought. I really think we did dominate the game. It got pretty physical and we handled it well. Unlucky at the end with Fredy there. The keeper was very fortunate.”

(On how he felt in his first game of the season…) “I felt good. I felt really good coming for balls. It’s just going to get better. It’s been since 2009 since I’ve played in a good, competitive game, but the energy of the fans and the atmosphere was great. Hopefully we can build on that and just keep rolling.”

(On the big save in the second half…) “It could’ve been an own goal off Eddie’s face. … Yeah, someone pushed Eddie and it hit him in the face. I just reacted. I was there to get my hands on it.”

(When did Schmid tell you you’d be starting?) “Towards Montreal he said, ‘Be ready to go.’ Then as the week went on, a short week, it was about Monday-Tuesday I knew. On Tuesday, Tommy’s like, ‘Great ready to go,’ so I knew then.”

(Was it physical in the box?) “Yeah, definitely. They have some big boys, especially Sapong and Kamara and Collin, the center back they have — it was physical. I thought Ianni and Scott and Burch and everyone that was in front of him — Parke — everyone in front of me did very well to clear stuff out and the balls that I came for I felt comfortable coming for. I thought we did pretty well.”

(Do you look at it like a good bounce-back or another game without a win?) “It’s frustrating. You want to win. We need the points, especially at home. It’s unfortunate we didn’t get any more goals. … I think we can build on it. We still have plenty games left to get plenty of points. I think if we build on this and go to Portland and take care of business, we’re where we want to be. Sigi always says we don’t want to lose two in a row — at least we didn’t do that. We got a point out of this and we can build off that.”

(Do you view yourself as the starter now?) “I hope so. That’s their decision to make. I just keep moving forward. This is a team sport. I just hope my name can be called again and help this team turn things around.”

(Excited to go to Portland?) “I’ve done it before. It’s nothing new to me — upset them last year in the Open Cup with San Jose. It was good feeling. It’s nothing new. Excited to go there and take it to him.”

(You haven’t done it in green though…) “Haven’t done in Sounders colors, so I’m excited if my name is called to represent Seattle and go there and show them who owns the Northwest.”

(How about potentially against the Earthquakes?) “Again, it’s one of those things where it’s always fun to play your old team. But I’m happy to be here, happy to play for Seattle; it’s the best team in the league. I’m just excited to hopefully keep playing and keep moving forward and winning games.”

(Any pressure Sunday?) “It’s a big rivalry. There’s going to be pressure on that game, but it’s how we deal with that. … I don’t think it’s going to be overwhelming. We just have to go play our game. They do have a small intimate pitch, so we have to adjust to that, but I think we’ll take it like we always do. If we play like we did today and we keep carrying that energy from here on out and I think we’ll be all right.”

Peter Vermes – Sporting KC head coach

(On the very physical game…) “I think it escalated towards that at the end, both teams wanted to see if they could pull out a win. All in all from our perspective it was a well deserved point. We made a lot of changes to our lineup and a lot of guys got an opportunity to play and contribute tremendously. From that perspective we are very happy, they hit one off the post… we hit one off the post… At the end of the day I thought it was a spirited effort by both teams.”

(On the result…) “Tough place to play here, our place is a tough place to play and that’s how it should be. You know, to get up here and get a result like we did,especially because we have five games in fourteen days so it was imperative for us. Plus, we’ve got to fly out to Philly for this weekend but the good thing was that we got to rest a few guys and get ready for our next game.

(On Kei Kamara…) “I knew just the travel in itself was going to be tough for him. That’s one of the reasons we didn’t start him tonight but it was good to get that thirty minutes of the game just because he’s got to get back into the swing of things and the way we play because it’s a lot different than the way he plays with his national team. I thought he was good and made a difference, especially in the aerial side of the game to put them under pressure.”

(On Jacob Peterson’s goal…) “We were up and around early on in the game and I thought we did a good job at keeping the ball alive and keeping it in their end. Jake is a very good finisher, he hasn’t had a chance to show that as much lately but he can finish well. That was a great finish by him and more importantly to just be in the place he was, his work ethic was excellent tonight.”

(On the goals…) “Anytime you score within the first 20-25 minutes, whether it’s at your place or someone else’s, it’s very good to open up the scoring right there. It puts a lot of pressure on the other team. They did a good job. Obviously a great finish by [Patrick] Ianni, it’s hard to take that one away from him. Outside of that I think we did a great job the rest of the game.”

(On the lineup changes…) “Five games in fourteen days, we knew coming in here we were going to have to go deep into the roster. I thought the guys that participated were fantastic, they took advantage of opportunities. At times we were a little disconnected in our buildup but outside of that the work ethic was great, they closed the game out, and they picked the right moments to go. We scored one goal and hit another off the bar, we had some good chances. I’m very pleased with the group of guys that played today.”

Aurelien Collin – Sporting KC defender

(On the assist…) “On a throw in it was a battle to touch the ball with my head and thank God it fell near [Jacob Peterson] and he scored. It was a very beautiful goal and I’m happy for him.”

(On the early yellow card…) “It’s my game, I’m always physical. I felt like it was something I had to do, either I take the ball or I take the player. I took the player because he was about to go to the goal, it was a tactical fall and thank God I did it. After, of course you have to be careful not to get a red card but I’m a physical player. I’m not a bad player, I don’t go to hurt somebody, I go very physical but not in a bad way. I didn’t want to get the red card, but I played the same I do every game.”

(On the roster changes…) “Today and the last game we see that we have a good group. Everybody is playing with his heart and we don’t see a lot of difference, that’s very good for the team. It creates a lot of confidence for the team because if we have a player who’s hurt we don’t worry because we have two or three other players that can come in and play as well. We could have lost, but we could have won as well, I’m very happy with the result.”

Jacob Peterson – Sporting KC midfielder

(On the importance of an early goal…) “We talked about silencing the crowd, it’s a tough place to come and get points. However long they’ve been in the league, I don’t think I’ve gotten a point here. We knew that they were on a slide and if we could get on them early, hopefully we could take them out. Unfortunately, they scored pretty quickly after that so we made it more difficult on ourselves. Getting a point is what we wanted.”

(On the physical game…) “It’s just the way that some games go. We’ve got some pretty physical guys on our team and they’ve got some as well. Sometimes games go like that, especially when it’s one-one and we both want the points so we’re both fighting at the end.”

(On the roster changes…) “It was nice, we’ve been saying it from the get go. We’ve got a lot of good players here and I think the way that Peter and the coaches have put together the roster, it’s deep, and we’ve got a lot of injuries right now. Coming here and getting a point with a weekend cross-country game, it’s a big one for us. We’ve rested some of our keys guys so hopefully they’ll be ready come Saturday.”

* * *

SOUNDERS FC 1, SPORTING KC 1

Scoring summary:

KC – Jacob Peterson (Aurelien Collin) 8′

SEA – Pat Ianni (Mauro Rosales) 15′

Seattle Sounders FC: Andrew Weber, Zach Scott, Pat Ianni, Jeff Parke, Marc Burch, Brad Evans (Andy Rose 72), Osvaldo Alonso, Mauro Rosales (Alvaro Fernandez 81), Alex Caskey, Fredy Montero, Eddie Johnson (Sammy Ochoa 81).

Substitutes Not Used: Bryan Meredith, Servando Carrasco, Cordell Cato, Steve Zakuani.

TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Caskey 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Caskey, Ianni, Montero 1); FOULS: 9 (Scott 3); OFFSIDE: 7 (Johnson 4); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Caskey, Rosales 2); SAVES: 4 (Weber 4).

Sporting KC: Jimmy Nielsen, Aurelien Collin, Chance Myers, Lawrence Olum, Michael Harrington, Jacob Peterson (Kei Kamara 65), Roger Espinoza, Peterson Joseph (Graham Zusi 51), Michael Thomas, Soony Saad (C.J. Sapong 85), Teal Bunbury.

Substitutes Not Used: Eric Kronberg, Julio Cesar, Seth Sinovic, Konrad Warzycha.

TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Bunbury, Thomas 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Bunbury 2); FOULS: 18 (Collin 6); OFFSIDE: 2 (Kamara, Joseph 1); CORNER KICKS: 9 (Saad 5); SAVES: 2 (Nielsen 2).

Misconduct summary:

KC – Aurelien Collin (caution) 16′

KC – Lawrence Olum (caution) 48′

KC – Jimmy Nielsen (caution) 59′

SEA – Zach Scott (caution) 89′

SEA – Alvaro Fernandez (ejection) 90+1

Referee: Jair Marrufo

Referee’s Assistants: Frank Anderson, Charles Morgante

4th Official: Elias Bazakos

Attendance: 46,932

Time of Game: 1:54

Weather: Partly cloudy and 70 degrees

All Statistics contained in the box score are unofficial.

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