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August 18, 2013 at 12:58 AM

‘There is a lot we have to talk (about). Everybody can do something better.’

Seattle Sounders FC LogoHere are some quotes and stats from Sounders FC’s 3-1 road loss Saturday in Houston:

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SIGI SCHMID, Sounders FC head coach

(How is Djimi Traore…) “He’s OK. He just took a knock. It’s an ankle that’s been sore, so he took a knock there.”

(What were your thoughts on the game?) “Obviously we gave up some goals early. I thought our body language early in the game wasn’t good. We handed them opportunities early. The first goal was a little bit of a mistake on our part. Second goal that guy hits a great goal; there was nothing you could do. After that I thought we were in as much of the game as they were. It’s easily a game that could’ve been 3-3 or 4-4 based on the chances we had, if we finish our chances. Mauro has that chance in the first half — finish that chance. Lamar Neagle has a chance right before they score the first goal — we finish that chance. We hit the post in the second half. It comes off. We opened up a little bit, so that gave them some chances late, but that’s more because we were opening up than anything they were doing. I thought we fought and battled all the way until the end. I don’t think we gave up; even in injury time we were still looking for goals.”

(What did you think about Gspurning in his return?) “It was OK. I think there’s nothing you can do on the second goal. He got left stranded on the first one. And the third one, a guy has on open header off the post and it’s a scramble.”

(Did the third goal that the take out of the comeback?) “We felt confident we could get to 2-2 and we talked about that at halftime. Obviously their third goal took a little bit of the wind out of the sails. I still thought we continued to fight and battle. I think we hit the post after that. Lamar hit the post and Evans has an open header that he hits wide from inside the box. We continued to create chances, so I don’t think we hung our heads.”

(You didn’t have a lot of options available, but what did you make of the new lineup?) “The group did all right. Our issue for us a little bit was when Dempsey dropped into the hole to collect the ball, Mauro and Burch maybe weren’t offensive enough to push up on the flanks to give us another option. Lamar was sometimes stranded on his own, so having an extra forward up there obviously could’ve made a difference.”

(What did you mean when you saw the body language wasn’t good early? Is that an added concern?) “I just thought a couple of guys were just reacting instead of anticipating. I didn’t it was the whole group. I thought in the first 20 minutes there were guys who were reacting to the game and not anticipating the game. You’ve got to anticipate the game.”

(What is your reaction to having already lost seven road games, a franchise worst?) “That’s not a concern for me. You win on the road; you lose on the road. Sometimes you have more difficult games on the road. We lost some games early in the season on the road, so it’s just one of those things. Records are made to be broken, so you’re going to have a season where you win more games and you’re going to have a season where you lose more games.”

(What do you need to see before you play Portland?) “We’re going to be happy to go back home. We’ve got a little break to make sure that guys are healthy. Obviously Oba should be back next week. Eddie is off of his suspension. Brad doesn’t have a midweek national team game that he’s got to play. Right there is three guys that are normal starters for us who should help us.”

CLINT DEMPSEY, Sounders FC forward

(How was it adjusting to a new lineup and playing up top with Lamar?) “It was fine. It was good to get 90 minutes. This was the first 90 minutes I’ve had in a long time. I thought we created enough chances tonight that we should have scored more goals. I had some good looks; I maybe should have put one away. But we created chances, so I’m not frustrated with that aspect.”

(How did you feel out there as you’ve been working on fitness?) “You’ve got to play games to get fitness. So far I’ve only played two competitive games since I was off with the national team. It’s good to get my first 90 minutes, and fitness is getting there. I’m still working on that sharpness, that final shot in front of goal. I was lacking that a little bit tonight. I like to think I could have put at least one of those opportunities away.”

(Are you noticing any difference or been frustrated at all with MLS refereeing?) “No. No.”

(Will the anticipated game Sunday help get over this loss quickly?) “We’ve just got to keep working hard. The next game is always the most important game. You’ve got to pick yourself up. We’ve got to maximize our points from here on out. We want to make sure that we make the playoffs. If you don’t make the playoffs, then you can’t push for the MLS Cup.”

(How did it feel to play at home”) “Yeah, it was fine. But just prepare for every game the same: You try to go out and prepare yourself to win, and we came up short.”

(Schmid said he liked the fight in the team late. What did you see?) “We came out early. We put them under pressure. We got some chances. We hit the post. One just a little bit wide. One went over the bar. We had a lot of set pieces. We had a lot of corners. We put them under pressure, but we weren’t able to get the equalizing goal. And then to concede like we did on the third, I think, we can’t defend like that. We can’t concede goals like that. That was a weak goal.”

In other notes, Dempsey said he’s still trying to get in form and caught up to speed. He didn’t think the game was too physical.

SHALRIE JOSEPH, Sounders FC midfielder

(What happened on the goal?) “Burch played me a great ball and I just got up and tried to head it down. I got good contact on it and it took a nice bounce and went in. It felt great; unfortunately for us the result didn’t go the way we wanted tonight. Offensively we played great. We created a lot of chances and we got what we wanted. Defensively we just have to be better, forward to the midfield to the defense. We just have to be better defensively.”

(Did it feel like the goal was going to get a comeback started?) “Oh yeah. We had been knocking on the door earlier, even in the first half. We had the Mauro header. Lamar shot just wide. We had a couple of chances and we knew we could get back in the game. When that one came it was just a matter of trying to get the second one. We started pushing forward. We left ourselves a little too exposed and they got the third one and then the game was over from there. We just have to do better defensively. We’re getting what we want when go forward as a team, but we’re leaving too many holes and we have to do better.”

(What is it like playing with Dempsey?) “He played me some balls that I need to do better with and get myself in a better position and keep possession for the team. He’s just a great player overall, but we have to get him the ball a little bit on top of the 18. Me and Ozzie have to do a better job defensively of covering more space and getting the ball to our creative guys. Just trying to get goals. If we get early goals it will help us to relax a little bit and play better soccer.”

(How did it feel to start for the first time in a couple months?) “I felt great going 90 today. My legs felt great. I got to cover a lot of ground. I kept the ball well. I made some passes. But at the end of the day, it was frustrating because we weren’t able to get the three points. We’d been playing so well as a team and tonight we just didn’t do enough to get the three points that we needed.”

(What do you need to improve on?) “Just cover up our holes defensively. We just left too many holes exposed. We left our back four on an island and didn’t give them cover, didn’t work together as a team. Offensively we created so many chances. I think we probably got 20-something shots on goal. We know what we can do. We know what we’re capable of. We know we’ve got some guys returning. We just have to have a good week of practice and I’m looking forward to that game against Portland.”

(Did the heat affect the game?) “Not so much. It was definitely one of those games where there was a little bit of humidity and we felt a little bit tired, but we kept pushing and we kept knocking on the door. We did what we needed to do offensively, as I said. Defensively we weren’t able to cover the ground and put pressure onto their creative players like Brad and Bruin and Barnes. We just gave them too much space and too much time. You can’t do that against good players in this league. That one came back to haunt us tonight. But we’re going to adjust, because Sigi is going to take care of those mistakes in practice this week. We’ll make sure we’re ready to practice hard this week and get ready for Portland.”

MICHAEL GSPURNING, Sounders FC goalkeeper

(What was your view of the first goal?) “It was a weird situation because in the beginning you didn’t see if the ball is coming through or not. Then the ball bounces from his leg a little to the outside and I thought, ‘Oh, maybe that’s far enough for him not to do anything,’ and that’s the reason I came out. I can’t come out in front of him because I didn’t want to risk a penalty, then wanted to go back. He made it clever, stopped the ball and passed it back to another guy who was free, then a good strike into the goal.”

(And the second?) “The second one was also a nice strike. What should I say? The ball went right through Pat’s leg — Ianni’s leg. I tried everything, but I wasn’t able to reach it.”

(How did you feel in your return?) “I was physically ready, so that’s no excuse for today that we conceded three goals. I was ready to play. Of course, I’m missing a little the rhythm of the game, but that’s normal with a four-week break. … We have to move on for next week. Next week is a big game.”

(How was it playing in the heat?) “Of course it was tough, but we’ve done this before and always in Houston or Dallas it’s hot and humid. So no excuse about this and we made the game, like we broke their rhythm and we took our time, so there’s no excuse about the weather.”

(You hadn’t allowed three goals in a long time. How do you account for this?) “There’s a lot we have to talk (about). Everybody can do something better. It starts with me and it ends with the strikers. We had a lot of chances to score more goals. We didn’t have a good game tonight and we have to move forward.”

(What did you make of not starting in Toronto?) “It was a smart move. The coach explained it to me, that I was just doing one week and he wanted to save my hand. In Toronto, the hand was questionable, but now it’s fully fixed.”

MARC BURCH, Sounders FC midfielder (to The Seattle Times)

(What were your takeaways from this result?) “I think defensively, we weren’t very good as a team. We weren’t getting much pressure on the ball, so they had easy looks and they made good runs. But I think we created a lot of chances. I looked up when I was coming out and it looked like we had 17-18 shots. Away from home, you just have to put some away. I thought we definitely had some that we should put away. We lost three points here but looking to next game.”

(Did the weather factor in?) “I thought the temperature was fine. At one point, in the 45th minute of the first half it was still hot, but I don’t think anyone was really dying and struggling. It was more the performance and we have to look and fix what were pretty easy breakdowns.”

(You feeling more comfortable at left mid?) “Yeah, I’m definitely feeling more comfortable. Integrating Clint, he’s such a good passer. You’ve got to be on your toes. Sometimes you don’t think he’s looking at you, but he is and he’s going to play you the ball. It’s just about getting my spacing and being prepared to attack when I need to attack and defend when I need to defend.”

LAMAR NEAGLE, Sounders FC forward (to The Seattle Times)

(Did you think you’d scored on that back heel?) “Yeah, I think it was going to hit the inside of the post. Unfortunately it had the wrong kind of spin on it. It was just one of those days, man. We had so many chances. It’s frustrating.”

(What made you think to try that?) “Just instinct. Usually it’s one you take off the inside of the foot. It was behind me and it was a quick reaction. That was all I could put on it. Maybe I’ll have to practice that one a little more.”

(What did you make of playing up top with Dempsey behind?) “We want Clint on the ball as much as possible. If I can occupy defenders to where they’re worried about me running in behind, that leaves Clint with a lot more space in between their midfield and defense. That’s exactly where we want him picking up the ball.”

(What is the feeling after a game where you created so many chances?) “It’s disappointing. All year we’ve been playing guys in different positions, so it’s tough to get a rhythm. Having Clint, we want him on the field, so we have to work him in and figure out where he works best. Without Eddie and Oba up top, it’s going to be a changing thing, as well. It’s nice to get that many chances with this being his first start and a full game, that’s the upside, but we’ve still got to finish. If we put a couple more in… I mean everybody had chances on the field. It’s just one of those days.”

DOMINIC KINNEAR, Dynamo head coach

(Thoughts on the match…) “It was an entertaining game, I know that. The first 30 minutes were probably the best 30 minutes we’ve played this year. I thought we looked excellent. Giles scored a good goal and followed up with a great goal. Seattle crept into the game and had some chances and so did we. I thought we could’ve been 3-0 up and possibly more. It was a good game, lot of chances on both sides. It was entertaining and nerve-racking at the same time for both sets of fans. It’s a great three points for us.”

(What was different about the first 30 minutes?) “I think our overall play. I think we were excellent on both sides of the ball. When we lost it I think we hunted it down. Look at the two goals we scored it came from winning the ball in midfield and playing forward. I thought we were very aggressive with our overall play on both sides of it. Obviously Giles [Barnes] found some good gaps in the middle of the field, but it was the entry passes from Adam [Moffat] and Brad [Davis] and Ricardo [Clark] and Boniek [Garcia] that makes those effective. I thought we were winning the ball and our first pass was forward and we followed it up. Defended well, attacked great and that’s the reason why we were winning 2-0 at the time.”

(On dealing with Clint Dempsey…) “As the game wore on he started to drop into difficult positions. The guy’s a smart player. We talked about it in the film and talk before the game; he’s not really a true center forward. He’s a guy that bounces off the back four and tries to find those gaps. He’s clever and has good awareness and can turn himself out of some tight situations. He found himself on the end of some good looks. He makes good late runs. You try your best. They have a good team. They’re going to get their chances; you can’t keep them quiet for an entire 90 minutes, especially with players like him in there. As long as we’re aware of him and make sure we got pressure when he got the ball that was the job.”

(On the second effort of the team…) “I think our goals came down to some good second effort. Will [Bruin]’s play to keep with the play was fantastic and even Brad’s follow up on the header was good because it keeps the ball alive for Will to get that tap in. I thought our second effort can reap some good rewards and I thought Will’s good play was a great first touch and set up the goals great.”

GILES BARNES, Dynamo forward

(Thoughts on the match…) “I thought we came out the blocks flying. It was important to get a good start when we’re at home. To get the two goals early it knocked the wind out of them. I thought we kept the ball well. I thought we were organized, so from us I thought it was a good night.”

(Importance of getting the second goal…) “When you get the first goal in any game you look to get second goal to kind of kill their vibe. We thought if we did that it would make it a bit of a hill for them to climb.”

(Confidence derived from scoring…) “It’s always nice to get on the score sheet, but first and foremost your confidence comes from playing well with the team and working hard with the team. If you work hard you’ll get your rewards and hopefully that’s what I’m doing. I’m working hard and the rewards will come.”

ADAM MOFFAT, Dynamo midfielder

(On the team’s start…) “I think we did come out with a little bit more energy than we have. It’s been a problem of ours that we haven’t been scoring early. We got a goal early, which helped. I think we pressed a little higher up the field and got in dangerous spots and were a little more decisive. For us, I think it was just being a little sharper out of the blocks.”

(On Clint Dempsey’s night…) “He was looking to get on it. I think he was getting a little frustrated at the end because he wasn’t getting the balls. He’s a quality player. If it’s me that’s marking him, you’ve just got to make sure to stay with him at all times. It’s hard. Players that are that good make runs. He’s a good player and will do well for them. We’re happy we go the three points tonight and shut him down.”

(If Giles Barnes is stealing his thunder for long-range goals…) “One goal’s decent right. He might want to score five or six though. [Laughs] … The second one was top class. Great confidence from the forwards scoring goals. When they score goals, good things happen.”

(Getting on a roll at home…) “At home we expect to win every single game and we’ve not done that this year, and it’s been pretty disappointing. A big part of that was not scoring goals. We created some opportunities but weren’t getting the goals. Now they’re coming and hopefully the wins will, as well.”

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Scoring Summary:

HOU – Giles Barnes (Will Bruin) 17′
HOU – Giles Barnes (Brad Davis) 21′
SEA – Shalrie Joseph (Marc Burch) 65′
HOU – Will Bruin (Brad Davis) 74′

Seattle Sounders FC – Michael Gspurning, DeAndre Yedlin, Patrick Ianni, Djimi Traore (Zach Scott 82), Leo Gonzalez, Mauro Rosales (Brad Evans 62), Osvaldo Alonso, Shalrie Joseph, Marc Burch (Eriq Zavaleta 85), Lamar Neagle, Clint Dempsey.

Substitutes Not Used: Subs: Marcus Hahnemann, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Servando Carrasco, Dylan Remick.

TOTAL SHOTS: 20 (2 players, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Dempsey, 2); FOULS: 10 (4 players, 2); OFFSIDE: 2 (2 players, 1); CORNER KICKS: 9 (2 players, 3); SAVES: 1 (Gspurning, 1).

Houston Dynamo – Tally Hall, Kofi Sarkodie, Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor, Corey Ashe, Boniek Garcia, Adam Moffat, Ricardo Clark (Warren Creavalle 39), Brad Davis (Andrew Driver 82), Will Bruin, Giles Barnes (Cam Weaver 73).

Substitutes Not Used: Erich Marscheider, Eric Brunner, Brian Ching, Alexander Lopez.

TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Bruin, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Barnes, 2); FOULS: 10 (Garcia, 3); OFFSIDE: 5 (Barnes, 3); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Davis, 3); SAVES: 2 (Hall, 2).

Misconduct Summary:

SEA – Leo Gonzalez (caution) 43′
HOU – Boniek Garcia (caution) 83′

Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee’s Assistants: Peter Balciunas, Kevin Klinger
4th Official: Daniel Fitzgerald
Attendance: 22,289
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Clear and 88-degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.

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