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April 5, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Sigi Schmid: ‘It was a great advert for soccer.’ (postgame quotes and stats)

Posted below are some postgame quotes and stats following Sounders FC’s wildly entertaining 4-4 tie Saturday in Portland:

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First off, a photo gallery from Don Ryan of The Associated Press, Steve Dykes of Getty Images and Thomas Boyd of The Oregonian:

Photo credit: Don Ryan, AP

Photo credit: Don Ryan, AP

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SIGI SCHMID

(On the game…) “Exciting. Great game to be a fan. Not a great game to be a coach, because it’s hard on your heart. Fantastic game for our fans, for their fans, for national TV. I think it was a great advert for soccer.”

(On Clint Dempsey’s performance while wearing the armband…) “He stepped up and played well. You know Evans and [Dempsey] are our two captains. … Obviously, a good first goal in the first half. He was unlucky on the one that he turned and spun the guy. Should have had maybe an assist on [Obafemi Martins]’s header, but that went wide. But he stepped up, as our team did. We were down 2-1 and we came back and we were down 4-2 and we came back. So that speaks well on our team.

(On playing Dempsey on the wing…) “We wanted to tuck him inside a little bit from there. …. They were getting a little bit of joy on the flanks, creating some 2v1s. So when we brought Neagle in at that point, when we were down 4-2, we went more back into a 4-2-3-1 with Clint [Dempsey] centrally under [Martins], and Neagle and later Pappa pushing on the wings, and that seemed to suit us in this particular game better.”

(On conceding four goals…) “You’re never happy when give up four goals, but I think some of the goals that we gave up were individual mistakes. Obviously, a tremendous shot by Chara; a tremendous shot by Urruti. We didn’t step up and close the space on Chara’s shot and Urruti’s, we lose the ball, Anibaba loses the ball. He thinks maybe it’s a foul; it wasn’t. So the guy comes through on that. Another one, I think the first goal, we gave the ball away in midfield, as well, to them. We have to eliminate those turnovers in bad parts of the field, so we don’t give away opportunities like that. When you score four on the road, you should come away with a win, but I’m sure they feel when you score four at home, you should have a win as well.”

(On if he’s more excited with scoring four goals or disappointed with allowing four goals…) “I’m excited about the fact that we talked in the offseason about our character and we want to establish the character of our team. I’m excited about the character of our team that showed through today. You’re down 4-2 with 10 minutes to go, eight minutes to go and most people are saying, ‘This one’s over.’ We come back and make it 4-4 and we could have made it 5-4. You look at Anibaba’s shot was going in, hit [Martins] leg and went wide. [Martins]’s header at the back post. You have the one where [Martins] deflects it and just deflects it wide. You had [Andrew] Weber make two unbelievable saves: one on Marshall’s header and one on Cooper’s shot in the first half. When you add that all up, there’s a lot of goals we could have had.”

(On his team’s response to allowing two quick goals…) “We showed the character to come back and make it 2-2 before the half was over. It’s something we’ve been talking about, to not lose faith in what we’re trying to do and maintain it and keep fighting for each other and good things will happen. I think the team showed that a couple of times today.”

(On the performances from the big-time players…) “Everybody sees goals. [Dempsey] stepped up with three goals. [Martins] was a little unlucky, but still had two assists today, so he stepped up well there. I thought as well, Lamar Neagle came in and had a presence off the bench. I know he was disappointed today in not starting, the first game he didn’t start, but he made a real big impact coming off the bench for us. DeAndre Yedlin stepped up his game today as well, where he’d been playing not, sometimes, aggressive enough for me. Today he was a lot more aggressive, especially in the second half and as a result of a good, aggressive run he drew the penalty kick.”

(On Dempsey maybe not starting after the USMNT game…) “He’s a leader, he’s want to lead this team, he wants to show last year was not the Clint Dempsey that we’re gong to see this year, and he wants to show people he’s ready for the World Cup coming up. I think he did that today.”

(On why the game was wide open…) “It’s just that kind of game. When you look at the game, you’d say ‘[Portland] probably had a little more of the ball than we did,’ but at the end of the day we had more possession than [Portland] did. It was basically 50-50. It’s just the way they play. They try to get to the flanks. We play our game, right now, maybe a little more centrally. Both teams found opportunities and it was an open game because of the fact, I think, that there were some defensive mistakes on both sides of the ball, their side and our side. That lead to the openness as well.

(On the important of execution…) “Execution is always important. When you get chances, you have to finish them. For a while I was ruing that we had some good chances that we didn’t finish. At the end of the day, defensive execution is important as well.”

CLINT DEMPSEY

(On the game…) “It was good. We started off well and then they took the game to us, 2-1. We got back into the game and then in the second half, conceded two, obviously, and that was frustrating. Had a mountain to climb to try and get back into the game. Credit to our team, we showed a lot of character fighting to get a point away from home against our rivals, an important point. I think it’s a building block and something that will give us a boost going into our next game.”

(On scoring a hat-trick against the Timbers…) “Always feels good to score goals. A little bit sweeter to score against your rivals. But, like I said, at the same time, the most important thing is points. We got a point today and we need to make sure we win our games at home. Make it a fortress and that we’re getting those three points that we need because we need to make sure we push up the table. We have the quality in ourselves, that’s where we should be.”

(On the discussion with Pineda before the penalty kick…) “He was feeling confident to take it. I was feeling confident to take it. Also, scoring two goals in the game, I was feeling like I was in a little bit of a rhythm. Credit to him for giving me the opportunity to go with that rhythm and build upon that confidence and get that hat trick. Maybe after the game I’ll get him a soda-pop.”

(On Seattle’s response to being down 4-2…) “I think it helped us a little bit with the change in the formation to a 4-4-2. I thought Lamar [Neagle] came on and created some problems and went at the defenders and made them have to make decisions, got some good crosses in. I thought [Marco] Pappa also had a little bit of a spark. Sometimes you just have to mix things up a bit when things are not going your way, but like I said we’re going to work on our formations. Whether it’s a 4-3-3, a 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2 and figure out what’s best for us moving forward.”

(On whether this was his best performance for Seattle…) “You always feel good when you’re contributing, scoring goals or getting assists. I’m in a good rhythm at the moment and it’s about continuing that form.”

(On his connection with Obafemi Martins…) “[Martins] had two assists today. I thought he played well. We need to do a better job of getting him on the ball because he has a lot of skill, a lot of vision and he can create things. Talking with [Martins], we know that we have to play well for this team to do well also, so it’s important to get each other on the ball and combine well and to get that partnership, that relationship of understanding where each other are on the field and that’s building.”

(On what coming from behind for the draw says about the team…) “It says that we don’t give up. We kept fighting to the end. I think we’ve always showed that, even if you look at the last playoff game here, when we were down by three goals. We never give up. We keep fighting. We keep pushing and that point today felt like more than a point. It almost felt kind of like a win and it’s a little bit of a momentum builder going into next week.”

(On getting motivated to play the Timbers…) “You don’t need motivation playing against your rivals. It’s a big game for both teams. Both fans want their team to perform well. I think our fans appreciated that character that we showed in fighting back and saving face in terms of getting a point. Especially coming from two goals behind with a mountain to climb, but we’re going to keep building upon this and make sure we’re ready for next week.”

DEANDRE YEDLIN

(On the PK…) “I saw the ball kind of rolling and saw Zemanski jogging after it. I thought it was kind of a last chance, so I figured I’d sprint for the ball. I’m glad he touched me, because I was trying to draw a penalty either way. … If he fouled me or didn’t foul me, I was going to try a penalty. I’m glad he touched me and we got the penalty.”

LAMAR NEAGLE

(On the game…) “It’s nice. You always think those games are going to be crazy, but 4-4 is as wild as it’s going to get. It’s nice to come back like that. Obviously we went up first, so it would’ve been nice to keep it not as crazy of a game. We pulled together and did it. It was nice.”

(On Dempsey’s performance…) “It’s amazing. Finally everyone can relax and calm down. He doesn’t need to score a ton of goals, but it’s nice when he does. It’s good for us as a team and definitely good for him.”

KENNY COOPER

(On the game…) “Wow. What a game. A dramatic game. I thought we showed incredible character to come back to make it 2-2 but also make it 4-4. It was a thrilling one. I think we’d love to be walking away with three points, but it was a really well-earned point and a valuable one.”

(On the non-celebration…) “In the moment, I wasn’t sure who has credited with it. I was treated so well by these fans when I was here. I look back with such great memories. I’m very appreciative and grateful for the way they treated me when I was here. I would never want to disrespect them.”

(On if he thought the ball was already in on his goal…) “I don’t know. Jalil did all the hard work on that goal. It was a great start for us to get an early one.”

GONZALO PINEDA

(On the PK decision with Dempsey…) “The coach said that I can choose (who takes) the PK. I got the ball but, Clint said, ‘Hey, I (want it).’ I said, ‘OK.’ He said, ‘Are you sure?’ I said, ‘Yeah, for sure.’ He said just, ‘It would be great for me to get the hat trick.’ I said, ‘OK, no problem. Go for it.’ To me, the most important thing is the team and it’s important that Clint gets confidence in himself, because he’s a key player for us. He’s one of the best forwards … so we need Clint to get that confidence. For me, it’s great that he scored that PK, but also it’s good because we tied the game with that goal. It was a good game for everybody.”

(On his first experience in the rivalry compared to others he’s been in…) “It’s very similar. It’s the passion, the crowd, the atmosphere. It’s like in Chivas-America, America-Pumas. I love these kinds of games. I love this passion. I love this atmosphere with … two different crowds singing different songs. That’s great for me. It was a great experience. I can’t say which is better. There is no better, no worse. Just very good games to play and I enjoyed this 90 minutes.”

OBAFEMI MARTINS

(On the game…) “It was a good game and I’m glad my boy scored a hat trick. We just need to try not to concede some easy goals, to try to at least keep a clean sheet and all that, and try to win games.”

(On what led to an open game…) “They want to score goals, they want to win, and we want to do the same. When you really want to score goals, you can score a lot of goals and forget to defend sometimes, as well. … I think it was a little bit of an entertaining game. We just need to win games, but the season is still early right now. We have a lot of games to play. We’re going to train to try and score more goals and not concede goals.”

(On if he’s just as happy getting assists as goals…) “I’ll say both because I’m looking to help my teammates try to score goals. If the goals don’t come, it will be better to help the team and try to get assists and all that. I’m glad today. I’m glad we did well.”

(On the relationship with Dempsey…) “This is what we do even in training. We love playing with each other, trying to connect and trying to play well. … We try to play well with each other and score goals. We did well today. I set him up a couple times and he’s finding me, as well. He wants to give me some passes, as well, though I didn’t score. This is just the beginning. I hope we’ll play well and play a lot of games together.”

CHAD MARSHALL

(On the game…) “I’m frustrated right now for sure. Definitely going to get back this week and look at video and look at how we can improve, because we can’t give up four goals a game.”

(On the Timbers performance…) “They’re a good team. They’re always going to get up for this game. When they’re feeling it, they’re very good offensively. You saw that. They punished us on our mistakes. I can’t wait for the next one.”

“On defending against an interchanging offense…) “It’s a challenge. Like I said, they have good players. They interchange well, which is what makes them good. Guys from the back will come to the front. They’ll make late runs so you always have to be aware and accountable at all times or else they’ll punish you like they did today.”

Timbers head coach Caleb Porter

Overall thoughts on the match:

“The competitor in me is dejected, and I’ve got a locker room of guys that are competitors and they’re used to winning and that’s what they knew last year, 29 games out of 34, we got a point or better. We got another point, that’s the positive and we’ve got to remember that and remind yourself that we didn’t lose, but you can’t be satisfied being up 4-2 and giving away two points late in the game. The coach in me is very encouraged by a lot of the things I saw today. The game comes down to both sides of the ball, two sides of the coin, you’ve obviously got the attacking side and the defending side. I thought the attacking side was electric and the chemistry was as good as I’ve seen. The frustrating part, on the other side of the coin, is that I thought we actually pressed Seattle very well on the day. I thought we were pretty organized the majority of the game. Any game against good teams and good players you’re going to give up some looks, but I thought for the majority of the game we defended well, but we made big individual mistakes that cost us three points. It’s tough, because we had our foot on their throat at 4-2, could have got the fifth goal. We had several chances, but you shouldn’t need to get the fifth goal when you’re up 4-2. For me, the way we played in the attack was encouraging, but the mistakes that we made in around our box, in around our backs, as encouraging as our performance was, that part of our team was very discouraging and concerning. It’s one thing if your organization is leading to mistakes; I don’t think that’s the case. I thought, overall, the way we played allowed us to score four goals and allowed us to dictate large portions of the game. The way the game was going, at 4-2, there was no feeling, with the flow or what you’re feeling, that the game was going to turn. A game sometimes turns when players make mistakes around the goal, and I thought the third goal, for me, has nothing to do with organization, it has to do with making plays, stopping a service and tracking one of the best players on the field – Clint Dempsey. We made some mistakes individually that led to us giving up four goals, and you should never give up four goals and you should never tie a game when you score four goals. Obviously, a bit unlucky [with] another PK, but again, I’ve said this – you make your own luck.”

On the positive takeaways from the match:

“Again, the coach in me is very encouraged with a lot of things to build on, a lot of positives. Diego Valeri, I thought was back to himself, absolutely tremendous today, got his first goal, he will be unlocked now. Maxi Urruti, I thought really had a solid game, got his first goal. I thought Kalif [Alhassan] and Darlington [Nagbe] were very threatening today. I thought the midfield, Will Johnson and [Diego] Chara, were also tremendous today. Alvas Powell brought something today as well. I thought there were some other guys that underperformed and who made plays and made mistakes. That’s me being honest. That needs to change, because you can’t win games if you’re going to make individual errors in critical moments. We’ve got to be able to shut that game down, and shutting it down means you’re making plays, stopping guys from serving, you’re tracking runners, because late in the game you know guys are going to get a little bit more reckless throwing numbers forward, throwing balls forward. To win games, we have to stop guys from getting service in the box and be able to cut off crosses, because late in games, this is what teams will do.”

On conceding a late penalty kick against Sounders FC:

“I haven’t seen the call, so it’s hard for me to say if it’s a good call or a bad call. We only gave up, last year – in the entire year – [five] PKs and we’ve already given up four through five games, so why is that? Part maybe on some it’s questionable calls, part maybe it’s why are we in that situation and why aren’t we stopping guys and moving our feet instead of diving in and putting the ref in a position to make a call. Unfortunate to have to pull Darlington out of the game, he was cramped up. I don’t think that helped us. But we’d all be undefeated managing Hindsight United. You wish you can go back and change things. These are things that you reflect on and, at the end of the day, it’s my job to sort it out. Every game you’re sorting things out, mistakes, by one of three things: you’re either changing personnel, you’re either changing your organization, structure, system, game plan, or you’re reinforcing things better in training. Those are things that I’ll look at and reflect on. I think we made some good moves for this game. I thought Alvas [Powell] really helped us and brought a little bit more team speed and more width. I thought Kalif was very good today. Like I said, there’s a lot of really encouraging things to build on.”

On Seattle midfielder Clint Dempsey:

“We talk about every opponent and the key players. For me, it’s about managing his movement. I thought we did that pretty well, but he got loose a few times and he punished us. You can’t let that happen. I thought overall he was mostly effective late when they pushed a bunch of numbers forward, and we didn’t pick up his runs out of midfield well enough. I think it comes down to are we tracking him, are we picking him up as he gets into the back line. He got himself freed up there late by playing a little bit more direct. I think for the majority of the game, we managed him okay, but he also showed why he’s one of the best players in our country.”

On the play of midfielder Diego Chara:

“I haven’t really talked to him about taking more shots. Will [Johnson] and Chara, they pick and choose their moments to bomb on and get in the attack. With the front three and the attacking mid, we need the fifth number there – or fifth number with the outside backs – so we talk about them picking moments to make late runs and get forward. He gets forward quite a bit. He’s missed some chances over his career, but for him to smack two goals from the top of the 18, that’s a real positive. If we weren’t getting good performances out of guys I’d be really worried, but if I’m rating my players, the majority of them, you’re getting an eight or a nine today, but the problem is there’s a couple guys who are a five or six, or less, and that ultimately led to goals given up.”

On his patience with the team:

“They know when I’m not happy and when I am happy. I try to have an honest dialogue with them where they know when I tell them it’s good, it’s good and when it’s bad, it’s bad. There is a trust there, because I’m honest and I don’t spin it too positive or too negative, but try to be spot on. They listen and know that it’s accurate for the most part and needs to change. You’ve got some guys over there hanging their heads that know they didn’t do good enough and it’s a big reason why we didn’t get it done today. It’s not that I’m going to abandon them, but there also needs to be accountability at this level. To be a professional player, you’re looking for certain things in certain roles. Just like the attackers, it’s their job to create goals and I thought they were tremendous in the attack. Not even just in the attack, but in terms of their pressure and our overall play and organization, I thought was fantastic. But, there were too many times where guys got loose in and around the box, and we’re not getting guys making plays enough there.”

On the lineup changes:

“I think winning and creating in the attack a lot of times comes down to chemistry and there have been some games where my hands have been tied as far as decisions because of injuries and things. This was another game where I had my hands tied a little bit with a few guys, but overall I felt like we needed a bit more width, a little bit more team speed, a little bit more 1-v-1 ability wide and it has nothing to do with me ‘demoting’ anyone, it has everything to do with me trying to have a sense and a feel of what the best chemistry would be. I thought the moves helped. We played better in the attack and pressed better as well, and that’s a big part of our DNA. It’s being dynamic, it’s being skillful and intelligent in how we connect and combine, but you have to be dynamic 1-v-1 and you have to be dynamic in penetrating and threatening off the ball. If you don’t, you die in beauty, you have too much of the ball, you don’t penetrate enough and you don’t have enough purpose and you don’t create enough. I think having two wingers that run at guys and wingers that get in behind helped us today. I also think the pressure and the energy there – which is another part of our DNA, the defending side, the pressure – was better today. There’s not much that I’m worried about, but there are a couple big things that I’m worried about. It’s my job to correct those things, and I will correct them.”

Timbers midfielder Diego Chara (through a translator)

On scoring two goals:

“I feel good, but obviously, not completely happy with the game. We should have won that game. So to score two goals for me is good, but I’d rather see a win than see two goals.”

On scoring on his birthday:

“It is definitely special to score two goals on my birthday, but like I said earlier, to win the game would be greater satisfaction. We have to keep working hard until we do that.”

On the team scoring four goals:

“The offense was clicking today. It’s been coming along the last couple of games and today, fortunately enough, it did come along. The offense was good, but I’m also a defensive player so I’m also thinking of the defensive lapses and how we can correct those.”

Timbers defender Pa Modou Kah

On the team’s performance:

“As a whole team, we played well. We conceded an early goal, but we came back to get a 2-1 lead. Then we conceded another one, but we had the belief. In the second half, we scored two goals, but to give away two goals at the end … The good thing is we scored four, but we’ve got to win this game, we have to make sure that they don’t come back.”

On conceding two late goals:

“I think everybody is disappointed. We conceded two late goals, but on the other end you also have to credit them for not giving up and trying to score goals. It was a crazy game, and I think the fans really loved it and it was a nice TV game for everybody. As for us, we lost two points. But we still have work to do. We will keep working. The belief in this team is high and we will continue doing our job every day, every minute and just try and focus on the next game now that this game is past, and the next game is Chivas USA.”

Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri

On the team scoring four goals:

“Yes, we are glad about that, but we know that the most important thing is to win. We know that is most important. Now, we have to rest tomorrow and start thinking about Chivas USA and try to fix some mistakes to get a win next Saturday.”

On Diego Chara contributing two goals:

“I think it was the best game for him. I said to him, ‘it’s your birthday.’ That made me happy; two goals. He is very important for us.”

On the play that led to his goal:

“A play with [Michael] Harrington, he crossed to me. Just a control on my left, turn to the other side. The only space to kick was high, so I did.”

*     *     *

SOUNDERS FC 4, PORTLAND 4

Scoring Summary:

SEA – Kenny Cooper (Jalil Anibaba, Gonzalo Pineda) 3′
POR – Diego Chara 9′
POR – Diego Valeri (Michael Harrington) 14′
SEA – Clint Dempsey (Obafemi Martins, Osvaldo Alonso) 24′
POR – Diego Chara (Kalif Alhassan) 55′
POR – Maximiliano Urruti 57′
SEA – Clint Dempsey (Obafemi Martins, Lamar Neagle) 85′
SEA – Clint Dempsey (penalty) 87′

Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei, DeAndre Yedlin, Chad Marshall, Jalil Anibaba, Leo Gonzalez, Michael Azira (Marco Pappa 68′), Osvaldo Alonso, Gonzalo Pineda, Clint Dempsey (captain), Obafemi Martins, Kenny Cooper (Lamar Neagle 60′)

Substitutes Not Used: Marcus Hahnemann, Zach Scott, Dylan Remick, Kevin Parsemain, Chad Barrett

TOTAL SHOTS: 22 (Dempsey, 8); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Dempsey, 5); FOULS: 17 (Azira, 4); OFFSIDE: 3 (3 players, 1); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Pineda, 5); SAVES: 1 (Frei, 1).

Portland Timbers- Andrew Weber, Alvas Powell, Norberto Paparatto, Pa Modou Kah, Michael Harrington, Will Johnson (captain) (Steve Zakuani 89′), Diego Chara, Darlington Nagbe (Zemanski 85′), Diego Valeri, Kalif Alhassan, Maximiliano Urruti (Piquionne 84′)

Substitutes Not Used: Mamadou Danso, Jake Gleeson, Ben Zemanski, Jack Jewsbury, Gaston Fernandez

TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (Urruti, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Chara, 2); FOULS: 21 (Urruti, 6); OFFSIDE: 1 (Urruti, 1); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Valeri, 5); SAVES: 4 (Weber, 4).

Misconduct Summary:

SEA – Azira (caution) 5′
SEA – Pineda (caution) 29′
POR – Kah (caution) 33′
POR – Johnson (caution) 35′
POR – Chara (caution) 50′
POR – Paparatto (caution) 66′
SEA – Yedlin (caution) 70′

Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Referee’s Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry, Paul Scott
4th Official: Younes Marrakchi
Attendance: 20,814
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Cloudy and 52 degrees

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