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July 5, 2012 at 1:08 AM

Servando Carrasco: “We told ourselves we were going to play to zero and we did.”

carrasco rsl.jpgPhoto credit: George Frey, Getty Images

Here are the postgame quotes and stats from Sounders FC’s 0-0 road tie Wednesday against Real Salt Lake. Seattle’s league winless streak has extended to nine games, but one could also argue it was the third-straight game there were lots of positives (beating San Jose in the Open Cup, being a few seconds and some referee decisions away from beating New England, being the first MLS team to earn at least a point in three-straight league games at Rio Tinto Stadium).

* * *

Seattle Head Coach Sigi Schmid

(Overall thoughts on the game…) “We’re happy with the result. We’re happy that we played to a shutout. That was one of the things that we wanted to concentrate on today. We almost had a chance at the end with Mauro’s ball to Cato that would’ve gotten us through. Didn’t do a good job in the first half of winning duels; we did a much better job of doing that in the second. Some of the possession that we gave them was in their end of the field, which didn’t really concern me. It adds up and looks good on the stat sheet, but it’s not dangerous. But they also got in behind and they’re a good passing team, and on the quality of play, they were probably a little bit ahead of us. But for us right now it’s about showing determination and grit and then having our soccer catch up with us.”

(What’d you see from Bryan Meredith?) “It was good. The one goal they scored was an offside goal and he was pretty safe and solid on all things. Just that one cross at the end that he sort of flew past and missed, but outside of that I thought he was solid and confident.”

(And Carrasco?) “I thought Carrasco played well. Servando hasn’t played much this season — I think it was only his second start of the season since well in the beginning — and I thought he came in and he did what he needed to do. He sat in the hole really well. I thought he did a pretty good job on Morales. Overall, I thought he was good.”

(And Jeff Parke coming back?) “Jeff helps us when he’s playing well. He definitely helps us. It was a hard game; those are two good forwards — Espindola and Saborio — their movement off each other is very good, so you have to be on your toes and you have to be alert, so it helps.”

(What were you most pleased about defensively?) “That we kept our composure. That we didn’t allow ourselves to get stretched too much. I thought that part of it was good, so I was happy with that part. That we stayed compact, and we dropped at a certain point, which generally we don’t do on the road, but tonight I felt it was something we needed to do.”

(Did you think your message is getting through about staying disciplined?) “I thought there were some excitable moments in the game, but I don’t think we were the ones who instigated those excitable moments.”

(Will you be reliving Cato’s missed chance tonight?) “Obviously it was a good chance. He made a good run — it wasn’t that he wasn’t working to get in there. Mauro did a good job. I thought Mauro, when we pushed him up high in the last 10-, 15 minutes of the game, I thought he was very dangerous, very effective, and he made a great run there, so that could’ve been where we walked out and maybe stolen the game a little bit.”

(What did you talk about at halftime?) “We just talked about winning more duels, but we also talked about doing a better job possessing the ball, too, for us. I don’t think we had a good night at that part of the game. We have to get better, but with the amount of games we play right now, you can’t really train at that and you look at balls popping free and it seems like (RSL was) a step quicker, a little bit sharper than us, and that’s something that hopefully we’ll find again.”

(Any thoughts on having one training today between now and Colorado on Saturday?) “It’s sort of normal. You sort of regen, lick your wounds and try to get ready to play Colorado.”

(On ending the winless streak…) “Yeah, definitely. We’d like to win, for sure. We want to be a tough team to beat and I think we’ve gotten back to that. I think we lost that for a couple of games and we’ve gotten back to that, which is very important. Now it’s a matter of the soccer catching up and us playing better and walking away with a win.”

(On dealing with the attention on the winless streak…) “You guys (put) a lot of attention on it. I think maybe our winless streak is as long as the Galaxy’s one was and I know Dallas’ is longer than ours, and so forth. … But it’s a thing that happens and obviously we have to get out of this streak and we have to start winning games. It will help our confidence, as well. You know, we thought we had one last week and if we had gotten away with that one, which we thought we should have, then we’d be okay right now. You know, it’s a hard place to play, they’re a good team, they were coming off three losses, they were highly motivated, they were sharp, they were enthusiastic in their play and the last three times we’ve played them now we’ve only given up one goal, so I’m happy with that.”

Seattle FW Fredy Montero

(Overall thoughts on the game…) “It’s always a hard game when you play Salt Lake away. It was difficult and we knew that before we came here, and we tried to be really strong on defense. We did a great job in the back and got one point.”

(On looking ahead…) “We know we have very good players who can turn this around. We know what we need to do for the next game at home. We need to get three points; doesn’t matter how we play. If we play good or bad, the most important thing is the three points.”

(On defensive effort…) “It is always good when you can get zero in the back. Obviously, we need to score one goal to win games, so our homework for the next game at home is to try to score goals and get those three points.”

Seattle MF Servando Carrasco

(Overall thoughts on the game…) “It was one of those games that we told ourselves we were going to play to zero and we did execute in that part of the game. Whenever you play to zero you give yourself a chance to win and that’s what we try to do. We had a chance late in the game; Cato comes inches from scoring a goal. So in that sense it’s positive that we played to zero and I think it was a defensive match for us, but at the same time, the label that we have right now on our backs is we haven’t won in nine games and we’re very aware of that. So going back home on Saturday, I think we’re going to turn things around.”

(Did starting and playing in San Jose help you tonight?) “Absolutely. Any time you get a chance to play a full 90, it always helps your game fitness. So in that sense, it kept me fresh, it kept me moving, and it kept me focused. I knew that I was going to get a chance to play given the fact that Ozzie had his suspension. You always have to be ready to step in.”

(What did you have to do to shut out one of the top-scoring teams in the league?) “They have a very specific style, specific formation, with the diamond in them middle, so we knew that their most production players are Saborio, Espindola and Morales. The main focus defensively was on them. We know that Morales likes to slide in between the back four and behind me, so I just had to have an awareness of where he was at at all times. I think we did a good job of covering each other when that did break down a little bit. I think that’s one of the positive things we’ve been doing the last couple games: We’ve always had each other’s back on the defensive side. If you keep it at zero at the back, we’re going to have chances to score. It’s only a matter of time.”

Seattle GK Bryan Meredith

(On leaving Rio Tinto Stadium with the shutout…) “I think just being mentally switched on the entire 90 minutes and being well-connected with the back line and the back line connected to the midfield and so on is the reason why we did well. It’s hard to come up here and play in the altitude; it was tough, but I think we came out and did well.”

(On getting the starting job….) “No, it was pretty much the same way I got it both times — unfortunate luck for some people and fortunate for me. I think it gave me a chance to prove myself and this opportunity, rather than the last, is a little more important because I know they have an expectation of me now and they know how I can play, so they want me to exceed that expectation every single game.”

Seattle MF Cordell Cato

(Can you take us through that 88th-minute chance?) “It’s simple. We got a counterattack and Mauro was bursting down the left side, so I was trying my best coming from the center of midfield to get there. That’s what happens sometimes man. I just got there a little late.”

(Will you be reliving that one tonight?) “Definitely. It’s already banging in my head right now.”

(How’s this result feel?) “It’s a mixed feeling throughout the entire team. We have some disappointment out of this game. Obviously, we wanted to win. But it’s a lot better to come out with a point than none. So we’ll go into the next game and go for three points then.”

RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis

(Overall thoughts on the match…) “I’m appreciative of the guys’ effort. A short turnaround after a very difficult circumstance in Columbus. I think that the guys brought a terrific spirit and fight tonight. I feel a little bit sad for them that they couldn’t walk out with all three points. A different night maybe we finish one or two of those chances, but we’re looking for positives in this game; that’s our first shutout in a long time, and we’re still, I think, controlling the rhythm of the game, being the aggressors like we need to at home. So we’ll see if we can’t be just a touch better on Saturday and get the full three points.”

(On keeping the shutout as number one goal…) “No, it wasn’t. … We’re going to always be aggressive and I just wanted a massive effort from the guys and a real coming together to try to do everything they could to right the ship. The message tonight is that the (buck) stops here and now.”

(On RSL’s possession…) “I’d like to see it to continually get better. I still think that there are gaps to play through their midfield and if we can keep a real positive spirit and positive mentality about the way we want to play then I think that we can play through teams a bit more than we did tonight.”

(On performance of two new players…) “I’m really pleased. Kenny’s been with us now a couple of weeks and we’ve had a couple of times to work with him individually, so I felt like he was really ready for his opportunity. And the past couple of days he has been very sharp in training so I was excited to see him go out tonight and I think he proved us right a little bit. He was good, very good. And then Kwame, he’s a guy that’s only been with us a week and because we’ve had so many games he really hasn’t had a full training session so we rolled the dice a little on that one and I think he came clean as well.”

(On Tony Beltran’s absence…) “He picked up a slight groin injury in Columbus. Yesterday he wanted to play but we chose to take a more cautious approach and do everything we can to hopefully have him ready for Saturday.”

(On sticking with the current the backline formation…) “Um, you know it has to be in consideration. If you have a shutout you have to consider doing things the same way. Obviously we have some special players in Olave and Beltran, and if they were to come healthy they’re probably going to get a little more consideration because of how long they have been here. But it won’t be an easy choice, and that’s what we need. We need players to come in and make a statement for themselves and really make the decisions for us difficult.”

(On overall possession and opportunities…) “Pretty good, pretty good. It’s something that I figure it always warrants a review of the video to see the opportunities that I’m talking about, you know you pick them out during the game but when you have a little bit more of a bird’s eye view you might say, ‘Well they made the right choice.’ I think we can still be a little more aggressive when they get the balls into certain spots that guys can turn and really go forward and make defenders have to choose.”

(On the anxiousness to score…) “It could be. I think that there is always going to be a little extra anxiousness right now because our last home game I think we had 25 clear goal-scoring chances and didn’t take any of them. We left it to Javier to score off a free-kick, so I think that there is a little bit of angst right now in our attacking players, but I can tell you for sure that that never works. So we just got to guys to calm down and say it’s going to come if I keep doing all the right things the goals will come.”

RSL MF Kyle Beckerman

(On unity of team after several tough games…) “We made some mistakes in the two games we lost, but it wasn’t that the soccer wasn’t there. We just made a couple of plays. We’re playing good soccer, and trying to play the right way. A couple of our mistakes made were really costly.”

RSL DF Kenny Mansally

(On being named defensive player of the game…) “After the first couple of minutes I was really pinned and it stopped me from doing throw-ins. I was feeling a little bent, so that was preventing me to go forward more, but I always keep going strong. The energy was going good, but we want a win.”

RSL FW Fabian Espindola

(On overall performance of team…) “We didn’t score. We tried, and they played ugly and defended well. When you get chances you have to score and we did not, so you have to keep trying.”

RSL MF Will Johnson

(On communication with two new defenders in lineup…) “We were good. They didn’t really challenge us too much except in the last 10 minutes when we were pushing to try and get the win, so I think defensively we can be happy, we just need to move the ball and be a little bit quicker and sharper especially in the final third and we’ll be ok. This is a good building block. It’s a shame that it was such a negative game for the fans, but that’s the way it goes.”

(On midfield possession…) “It was ok. We just didn’t play enough penetrating passes between the lines to get behind their lines. That was the frustrating part. We did well getting it from side to side and moving it, but as far as dangerous forward penetrating passes and quick turns to slip Sabo and Fabi, that part of things has to get a little bit better.”

RSL MF Chris Wingert

(On result being a step in the right direction…) “Yeah, absolutely. We needed it a little bit. We weren’t lucky enough to get one. I thought we were the better team. We talked about that a lot and that’s what we build off of. There are some games where you are a little bit unlucky that you don’t score. You’ve got to make sure you’re not giving up. That’s been our problem. When we haven’t had a ton of goals, we’ve given up goals. So, at least in that sense we are a little bit more focused and I felt like we didn’t give up a lot tonight.”

(On playing with two new players…) “It’s not ideal, but I think let’s give them credit. They both played really well, stepped up, challenged hard and did their job. They executed and that’s what you hope for.”

(On how Watson-Siriboe and Mansally play compared to other RSL defenders…) “I don’t want to compare them to the other guys. I just think that they played really well. That’s all you can ask for. Kwame did a great job in challenging and communicating. You can see Kenny is a really good player on the ball. He got up and down and was playing through and injury, as well. I think they both did a great job.”

* * *

SOUNDERS FC 0, REAL SALT LAKE 0

Scoring summary:

None

Seattle Sounders FC: Bryan Meredith, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Mauro Rosales, Servando Carrasco, Brad Evans (Andy Rose 64), Alvaro Fernandez (Marc Burch 85), Eddie Johnson, Fredy Montero (Cordell Cato 73).

Substitutes Not Used: Josh Ford, Pat Ianni, Alex Caskey, Sammy Ochoa.

TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Johnson 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Johnson 1); FOULS: 10 (Hurtado, Johnson 1); OFFSIDE: 0; CORNER KICKS: 4 (Rosales 4); SAVES: 2 (Meredith 2).

Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando, Chris Wingert, Nat Borchers, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Kenny Mansally (Jonny Steele 79), Luis Gil (Ned Grabavoy 62), Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Will Johnson, Fabian Espindola, Alvaro Saborio.

Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish, Jamison Olave, Emiliano Bonfigli, Yordany Alvarez, Paulo Araujo Jr.

TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Espindola 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Beckerman, Borcher 1); FOULS: 16 (Beckerman 4); OFFSIDE: 3 (Saborio 2); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Morales 2); SAVES: 1 (Rimando 1).

Misconduct Summary:

RSL – Alvaro saborio (caution) 41′

SEA – Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (caution) 41′

SEA – Leo Gonzalez (caution) 45+1′

RSL – Chris Wingert (caution) 56′

RSL – Fabian Espindola (caution) 86′

Referee: Hilario Grajeda

Referee’s Assistants: Paul Scott, Bill Dittmar

4th Official: Mark Declouet

Attendance: 20,363

Time of Game: 1:58

Weather: Cloudy and 89 degrees

All statistics contained in the box score are unofficial.

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