I wasn’t able to stick around for Tigres UANL coach Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti postgame press conference (I was gathering quotes from the Sounders), but it certainly sounded interesting.
Here was Ferretti’s opening take on the game:
“There were three factors that caused us to no longer be in the CONCACAF,” he said. “The first one was the red card obviously. But it was deserved because it was the second molestation — it was a real foul there. The second was two very good goals, especially the second one. I even applauded because it was very impressive. The third reason was how bad the referee was. He allowed the opposing team to be too aggressive against us. He let go many of those fouls that should’ve been punished. I don’t want to take away anything from Seattle’s victory. They didn’t need this kind of help, but playing against 12 is harder than usual.”
One of the main storylines coming into the game was the fact that many of the Mexican team’s stars — guys like Lucas Lobos, Jose Torres, Carlos Salcido and others — were left back home. Ferretti was asked if he thought that affected the outcome of the game.
“I have plenty of confidence in my whole team and all the different members I have on my roster,” he said. “The proof of that is that during the game before the red card expulsion: We were playing well, we were winning 1-0 and we had an opportunity for 2-0. But something like a red card changes everything. We know that Seattle is a very strong team and 11 against 11, it was going to be a difficult game. But 11 against 12, it becomes even more complicated so that’s what happened.”
Once again, not kind words for referee Elmer Bonilla, who led a crew from El Salvador. Ferretti denied that he has disdain for the tournament because of officiating. He said Tigres enjoys the CCL and the chance to qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup, “but the level of referee that we have in the CONCACAF zone doesn’t really match the expectation that a tournament like this should have.”
Ferretti noted that he didn’t think the series was lost by not earning a bigger win in the first leg.
Ultimately, it was the red card, which he thought was deservedly issued to midfielder Manuel Viniegra.
“Before the red card, we were in control of the game and everything was going as planned,” the coach said. “Then things turned around when Seattle scored the second goal.”