Here are some quotes and stats from Saturday’s 1-0 loss at San Jose…
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SIGI SCHMID, head coach
(Opening comments…) “I thought the spirit that we played with was very good. I thought our effort was good. I thought we controlled the possession of the game, for the most part. Obviously made an error at the end of the first half, took a goal, a well-taken goal by Wondo. Gspurning came up with some big saves for us in the second half when we opened up the game a little bit, because we were chasing the lead. A little bit of quality at the right moments, better service at the right moments, would’ve made a difference.”
(On SJ getting counterattacking chances…) “They only countered us because we were pushing forward. In the first half, I didn’t think they had much of anything, with the exception of the goal. In the second half, obviously they had chances to counter because we were pushing up and we went into a 3-5-2 with about 20 minutes to go. Obviously that’s going to happen. We were pushing and I thought we were pushing fairly well. We were getting the ball around the goal, getting the ball into the box. But then like I said, the quality of the runs, quality of the service, a little quality on the finish. Ozzie had three good looks. Lamar has a good look and he chips the ball instead of shooting the ball. I don’t know what David did on the one ball where he was running free with him and Busch. He completely ran past the ball, so I don’t know what he was thinking on that particularly play. So a little bit of quality. Mauro had a good look with the volley inside in the box. So I think we had some good opportunities.”
(On Estrada’s season debut…) “I thought it was OK. His energy was good and he helped us. We talked about trying to stretch their defense and making sure we got behind them, and I think we did that early on. I thought David helped us do that.”
(On the difficulty of chasing the lead with an undermanned on offense…) “We made the changes that we felt we had to make as we were chasing the game. Like I said, we changed formations, and Mauro took that knock in his back, and he’s had a sore back from the one game, so we made that change. Then we just tried to get some fresh legs on. Sammy had worked pretty hard today and looked a little bit spent. Obviously we didn’t want to be chasing it. I think we probably deserved to get out of here today with a tie. I don’t know if we deserved to win, but I think we deserved to get out of here with a tie.”
(On if national team guys will be available for next game…) “That depends on Tuesday, how many minutes people play, but obviously we’ll have more people to choose from. We expect Evans and Shalrie to be in full training beginning next week, as well. So that gives us two more options also. I think with that, it enhances what we can do. But the main thing is the group has to play with the same spirit that we played with today.”
(How has the schedule made things difficult?) “It’s a difficult thing right now for us. … Even though the Chivas game got moved, that has a benefit to us with the Champions League, but we have something now where like four out of our next five are on the road. And so it makes it a little bit tougher to catch our rhythm. We just need to catch a good result and get our confidence back. I think the guys are disappointed because the effort was there and we didn’t come away with a result. We just need a result to get our confidence.”
(What did you miss in the guys that weren’t here?) “I don’t want to talk about the guys who are gone, because they’re not here. There’s nothing they could have done. The guys who played in their places I thought did a good job and worked hard. I thought Estrada and Ochoa were a handful today up front. The quality of finishing, a couple of the opportunities that they had, could that quality be a little better? That’s what Wondo displayed. He gets a half a chance and his quality was good. It’s just a matter of who’s out there has got to do the work.”
(Is it a concern though that there will be more call-ups throughout the year?) “Well, we can tell the guys not to play for the national team anymore. If you want us to do that. Or we can tell the league to open us those dates, and that ain’t going to happen. They were missing some people, as well, and they’ve got some injuries, as well. It’s all the same. We’ve got whatever we have now — 29 players. They’re all professionals. When their number gets called, they have to go out and do the business.”
(How has Champions League affected your start?) “Obviously those are two draining games, emotionally and physically. I think the Champions League game for sure affected us in the game against Portland. Without that Champions League game in the week leading up to that game, I think we probably get the result there and pull away with the win there, which would’ve helped the team’s confidence a little bit. But it is what it is, and that’s important to us, as well. It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish. You look at the way L.A. started last year… What’s important is for us not to panic, for us to be concerned with how we’re playing, and I thought tonight we played well.”
(What is it about playing this team? They’ve beaten you four straight times…) “We’ve got to score more goals. Simple as that.”
(How would you rate the team’s confidence right now?) “It’s just you need a result to help your team get confidence. We’ve got guys who are pretty ambitious and driven, and when they don’t get results, they get a little ornery. … We’ve got to continue to have that hunger and turn that hunger into wins.”
(Did you see the pregame tifo with your depiction and/or have any reaction?) “I didn’t see it.”
(Zakuani didn’t look happy to be subbed out…) “Nobody’s ever happy when they come out. If they’re happy when they come out, I don’t want them on my team.”
MICHAEL GSPURNING, goalkeeper
(What happened on the goal?) “It’s not the start we all wanted, but we can take something positive out of it. I think we played well. It was OK, but … we have to fix the problem that we concede late goals. If you go 0-0 into halftime it is, of course, a completely different game. The only way we can handle the situation now is to go through and get ready for next week.”
(What can the team’s veterans do after a 0-2-1 start?) “It’s absolutely up to us veterans. You can’t ask of DeAndre, for example, that he should lead now in this situation. It’s up to us, but we know the situation. The leaders, we know what to do. It’s important that we know that our quality is better, of course, than one point out of three games. We also were a little unlucky, so it looks not good on the table if you look on the table and you’re the last team. Of course, it’s a big situation. But you have to know that we know about our quality and if we still calm, we will get our points. … Keep going forward and it’s up to the veterans to take control. We all know this and we will handle this situation.”
(On having to make a lot of saves in the second half…) “Of course, that’s normal. That’s OK for me. What do you want to do? Defend to 0-1? You have to push up and you have to take risks. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t work.”
OSVALDO ALONSO, midfielder
(What is the feeling after this start?) “We feel disappointed. One point in three games is always bad. But we have to look forward. We have more games coming up. We have to prepare more — physically, mentally — to play again at Salt Lake.”
(What were the challenges tonight against San Jose?) “It was a good challenge. They are one of the best teams in Major League Soccer. They showed last year winning the Supporters’ Shield. They scored a goal in the last minute of the half. We tried to come back, but we didn’t. We have to score goals to win games.”
(What did their defense do well?) “They close very well in the back. We tried to score, but we didn’t. They played very good in the back line, so we had to shoot more from distance and things like that.”
(How did missing some players affect things?) “We have more players who can play.We have more quality players in our team and they can do well for the team.”
(Is confidence still high?) “Yeah. We have confidence. We have only (played) three games in the season. We have more games coming up, so we to remain positive and we have to look forward. We have enough games to (get the points) and get to the playoffs.”
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SAN JOSE 1, SOUNDERS FC 0
SJ – Chris Wondolowski 45+1′
Seattle Sounders FC – Michael Gspurning, DeAndre Yedlin, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Djimi Traore, Leo Gonzalez, Mauro Rosales (Alex Caskey 81), Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose, Steve Zakuani (Eriq Zavaleta 85), Sammy Ochoa (Lamar Neagle 81), David Estrada.
Substitutes Not Used: Marcus Hahnemann, Marc Burch, Zach Scott, Servando Carrasco.
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Alonso 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Estrada 2); FOULS: 10 (Yedlin 3); OFFSIDE: 1 (Estrada, Rosales 1); CORNER KICKS: 8 (Rosales 8); SAVES: 4 (Gspurning 4).
San Jose Earthquakes – Jon Busch, Ty Harden, Nana Attakora, Jason Hernandez, Dan Gargan, Shea Salinas, Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Ramiro Corrales, Adam Jahn, Chris Wondolowski.
Substitutes Not Used: David Bingham, Cordell Cato, Brad Ring, Walter Martinez, Sam Garza, Marcus Tracy, Abu Tommy.
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Wondolowski 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Salinas, Wondolowski 2); FOULS: 8 (Three players, 2); OFFSIDE: 3 (Baca 2); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Salinas 6); SAVES: 4 (Busch 4).
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee’s Assistants: Frank Anderson, Adam Garner
4th Official: Daniel Radford
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Clear and 54 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.