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July 12, 2012 at 1:11 AM

Brad Evans: “Just the chance isn’t good enough for us … We want this one, so let’s make history.”

chivas usoc win.jpgPhoto credit: John Lok, The Seattle Times (be sure to check out the full gallery)

Here are some postgame quotes and stats from Sounders FC’s 4-1 win Wednesday in a U.S. Open Cup semifinal against Chivas USA. Seattle is one game away from becoming the first time in the tournament’s 99-year history to win four in a row.

* * *

Sigi Schmid – Sounders FC Head Coach

(On reaching a fourth-straight trip to the U.S. Open Cup final…) “It’s real now, so we can talk about trying to win four in a row. Obviously, it’ll be difficult being away from home, playing at Kansas City. It would’ve been great to play at home, because I think we would’ve had more than we had last year. I think to set the record of four in a row, who knows, maybe we would’ve sold out the whole place at 60,000. But we’re going to Kansas City. It means the first one we won on the road, and we’re going to try and win the fourth one on the road.”

(What did you do well tonight?) “It was a great first goal. … Fredy Montero had actually made a good run, where he pulled off the front line, and that opened up the lane for Eddie Johnson to run through, and then a great ball from Ozzie, a great run from Eddie. So that worked really well for us. I thought Eddie and Montero were dangerous together as a pair. Fredy was really involved tonight, got taken down for the PK and set up Brad on the goal, as well, so I was really pleased with his effort. I thought the two forwards were very dangerous. Ozzie and Rose I thought did a really good job of holding down the middle in midfield. After the first 15-20 minutes, I thought we settled into the game and we played well.”

(Were you looking to take advantage of their defense playing a high line?) “Yeah, we wanted them to play through the middle of the back a little bit and we felt that we could get behind them. We had enough pace — obviously we showed that at times. But we were able to get behind them; Cato was able to get behind them and stretch them on the right side, as well, and that opened the game up for us.”

(How important was it responded to their goal?) “Yeah, I wasn’t happy with their goal. It’s one of those things where we sort of dozed off a little bit and didn’t play the ball. We still have to manage the game a little bit better. But it was good to get a goal right away on a good combination between Montero and Evans. And I guess if you figure out minutes played, if I play Ochoa 90 minutes he’ll score like 100 goals.”

(Did you ever take a step back and think about what you guys have accomplished in this tournament?) “I’ll take a step back and think about it after Aug. 8 and look at it. Certainly we’re comfortable on the field. It’s an electric atmosphere because the crowd is so close and to a certain extent it might be more intimidating than it is at CenturyLink just because the crowd is that much on top of you. But when you look at what these guys have done in one-off games, and you look at the history of any league around the world, you don’t see any teams winning four straight FA Cups (in England) or Copa del Reys (in Spain) or stuff like that. Teams might win four league championships in a row, but because there are so many things that could go wrong in a one off game, it’s tough to win four in a row.”

(How much time do you spend talking about history at this point?) “We’ll be very aware when we step on the field in Kansas City that we have a chance to do something nobody has done. And that should be a highly motivating factor for our club and for all the players on the team.”

Osvaldo Alonso – Sounders FC Midfielder

(On the win…) “It’s a win. We win tonight and we advance to the finals. I’m very happy for myself and the team. We’re looking forward to the finals.”

(On Chivas USA…) “Chivas is a great team. They came here and played a hard game. They played with passion. We did a good job. We pushed the ball, we scored goals and we were fortunate to get the win.”

Brad Evans – Sounders FC Midfielder

(On the win…) “We want this one; we want it bad. I know we’re not going to host it, but we’ve got to do our best to go away now and win our fourth one.”

(On his goal…) “Fredy drew some guys, like he always does, acted like he was going to shoot — it kind of draws the keeper out of position — and plays me in. I took a touch and just slammed it home.”

(On playing for a record-fourth straight Open Cup…) “Just the chance isn’t good enough for us. … We want this one, so let’s make history.”

(On scoring after their goal…) “It’s really important to kind of ice the game a little bit. Their heads went down a little bit; it’s an uphill battle from that point. We kind of gave them life, a couple of missed tackles, but to put the icing on it with my goal and then Sammy’s, as well, is just a good feeling.”

Eddie Johnson – Sounders FC Forward

(On playing for a record-fourth straight Open Cup…) “We don’t want to be the reason why this team doesn’t win four in a row, so when we’re out there anytime you get an opportunity you have to make it count. …The expectations and the chance we have in this Cup, we need to concentrate on this game. We’re on a good streak right now — we’re unbeaten in five games — so we’re just trying to use that momentum we got right now. Just trying to go forward being consistent as we start the second part of the season.”

(On his play recently…) “It’s a team sport. I get pushed by these guys week in and week out. The team has been patient with me, the organization has been patient with me, and the players. It’s frustrating when you don’t have a preseason with the team and it’s hard to get going from the beginning. My coaching staff believed in me, my teammates believed in me, and with that confidence everyone has in me, it’s easy to when you’re out there on the field to just work hard … and put yourself in good positioning as a forward and just trying to get on the end of things. You know with forwards, the goals come in waves. Right now I’m trying to ride this wave, trying to keep my head down, and just trying to focus really. Just taking it one game at a time. I’m 28 years old and you know set expectations before the season and you want to score ‘this many’ goals, but the most important thing is being consistent and just taking it one day at a time. You know it’s a long season, you know you’re going to have opportunities to score goals and just believing in the players that are around you. I’m just riding that wave right now.”

(On the goal…) “I had drifted out wide. I think I made a run earlier and didn’t get the ball … then I think Ozzie won it in the middle of the field and it was just running off the ball, trying to be hard to defend. I was able to come from outside. Most of my runs are from inside to outside, but I was able to get out wide and come inside the two center-backs. It was a well-weighted pass by Ozzie. We talked about it. Sometimes you don’t get that many opportunities in the game but when you get them, and when it means something like this in a game like this, you have to tuck away your chances. Right now I’m just trying to be as consistent as I can in front of the goal.”

(Were you on KC’s last team to make the Open Cup final in 2004?) “No, I wasn’t a part of the team. No. This is my first (Open Cup) finals. It’s my second final (overall). I played in the Greek Cup final in Greece, but this is one of the biggest games of my career. I’ve won a Gold Cup with the U.S. national team, but I haven’t really won anything and the final is going to mean a lot to me. Going back and playing against my old team, it’s going to be a good atmosphere. Like I said, the team’s won it three years in a row and I sure don’t want to the reason why the team doesn’t win the fourth one, so I’m going to go out there and play my butt off.”

(Do you know when you scored your last Open Cup? I think I saw it was 2005?) “Maybe. I don’t know, maybe. The past is the past. The present is now. We’re in the finals. We’re happy. We’ve gone through a tough run of games, and now we’re starting to turn things around. It’s good to give the home fans something to feel good about.”

Robin Fraser – Chivas USA Head Coach

(On the gameplan for tonight’s match…) “We wanted to win the game. Obviously with the smaller field, we knew we were going to have our battles, but I thought the first half went how we expected. It was a battle for territory the whole game. I thought that we played well in the first half, but it got away from us in the second. We made a mistake and gave up a goal late in the first half, which is hard to recover from, and then we gave up a killer goal in the first minute of the second half. I certainly thought the first half went as expected with the exception of the goal.”

(What were the holes in team’s play tonight…) “The biggest thing was giving up the second goal and putting ourselves in a hole. Then we were fighting an uphill battle the whole game. If you do that then you are going to open yourselves up and that’s it. Once you start chasing the game, you create space for them and give them opportunities.”

(On playing on a smaller field…) “You are preparing for what is going to be a physical game. It was a battle for territory and neither team wanted to make a mistake in their side of the field. Certainly as the game opens up you can start playing, but for us we knew it was going to be a physical game early.”

James Riley – Chivas USA Defender

(On the feeling if returning to Seattle for the first time…) “It’s obviously great. A little bitter sweet because it was not the result we were hoping for. We wanted to keep it a little more competitive than we did, but they are a fantastic team and we knew it was going to be a big challenge to beat them at Starfire. They proved their quality so kudos to them. All we can do is our lick are wounds and train for Portland next Wednesday.”

(On playing on the smaller field at Starfire…) “It’s OK. I mean I have played there before and I’m sure most of us have played on small fields at some point. You just have to know how to play it. I honestly like playing on smaller fields more. It is a fast up-tempo game from Minute 1 to Minute 90. I think they might have been a little more used to it tonight, but I don’t think the small field had that much of an effect on our play tonight.”

(What were the holes in team’s play tonight…) “I think the first half was very even. We we very unfortunate to give up that goal to Eddie. Eddie on a breakaway is exactly what we were trying to prevent, but our lines were a little off and he finishes so well that he was able to put it in. To go down 1-0 at the half is very unfortunate, because we really wanted to go in tied. Then when they got a goal one minute into the second half, it was obviously a dagger. It was difficult to come back against a quality team like that, especially at Starfire. We had an uphill battle. We got it to 2-1, and obviously at 2-1 we thought we had a chance to equalize because it is the hardest lead to defend in soccer. We thought we could have had it, but they won the critical moments on offense and defense tonight.”

(On receiving a standing ovation at the end…) “It is great. Like I said, landing here yesterday to blue skies and green vegetation is great. When we trained at Starfire yesterday I told the guys that it was going to be fun today with the fans and how passionate they would be. I told them it would be a challenge, but a great game. We wanted to play the champions at Starfire, you can’t write a better script than that, but we just couldn’t get the result we wanted. The fans here are top notch, and the three years I spent here were some of the best, both on and off the field.”

* * *

SOUNDERS FC 4, CHIVAS USA 1

Scoring summary:

SEA – Eddie Johnson (Osvaldo Alonso) 31′

SEA – Osvaldo Alonso (penalty kick) 48′

CHV – Cesar Romero 74′

SEA – Brad Evans (Fredy Montero) 83′

SEA – Sammy Ochoa 88′

Seattle Sounders FC: Byran Meredith, Zach Scott, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Pat Ianni, Leo Gonzalez, Cordell Cato (Brad Evans 61), Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose, Alex Caskey (Alvaro Fernandez 81), Eddie Johnson (Sammy Ochoa 86), Fredy Montero.

Substitutes Not Used: Josh Ford, Marc Burch, Jeff Parke, Mauro Rosales.

TOTAL SHOTS: 18 (Montero 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Three tied with 2); FOULS: 17 (Alonso 6); OFFSIDE: 5 (Johnson 3); CORNER KICKS: 6 (Caskey 4); SAVES: 3 (Meredith 3).

Chivas USA: Dan Kennedy, James Riley, Danny Califf, Rauwshan McKenzie, Jorge Villafana, Oswaldo Minda, Ben Zemanski (Ryan Smith 85), Blair Gavin (Cesar Romero 64), Alejandro Moreno, Paolo Cardozo, Juan Pablo Angel (Jose Correa 69).

Substitutes Not Used: Tim Melia, Casey Townsend, Peter Vagenas, John Valencia.

TOTAL SHOTS: 4 (Romero 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Romero 2); FOULS: 15 (Minda 5); OFFSIDE: 2 (Correa, Gavin 1); CORNER KICKS: 1 (Cardozo 1); SAVES: 5 (Kennedy 5).

Misconduct summary:

SEA – Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 42′

CHV – Oswaldo Minda (caution) 44′

CHV – Danny Califf (caution) 78′

Referee: Chris Penso

Referee’s Assistants: Frank Anderson, Mike Kampmeinert

4th Official: Baldomero Toledo

Attendance: 4,500

Time of Game: 1:51

Weather: Sunny and 76 degrees

All statistics contained in the box score are unofficial.

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