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May 7, 2014 at 11:31 PM

‘I wished for three points, and I got it.’ (postgame quotes and stats)

Posted below are some quotes, stats and our photo gallery from Sounders FC’s 2-1 comeback win against FC Dallas, capped by an 88th-minute goal from Kenny Cooper. Seattle’s other goal came from birthday boy Lamar Neagle, who turned 27 Wednesday, and he offered the quote in the headline.

Let’s get to it.

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First, our photo gallery from staff photographer John Lok:

Photo credit: John Lok, The Seattle Times

Photo credit: John Lok, The Seattle Times

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Sigi Schmid- Seattle Sounders FC Head Coach

(Opening Statement…) “Obviously you would not like to go down 1-0; that would be nice. … I think our team played some very good soccer. I thought in the first half we possessed the ball really well. I thought we were combining well. They were pretty defensive, had a lot people in the box — it made it difficult. We got to open up with some crosses, but when there’s all people in the back, it’s tough to get much there. So we talked about making sure we built out of the back. … We felt we needed to run across people if we were going to score, which we obviously did. The subs getting in helped our team. They never lost hope and faith, and continued to show good character and battled well.”

(On comebacks being nerve-wracking…) “It’s more nerve-wracking for us on the bench than it is for them on the field. They have the right belief in themselves.”

(On giving up the penalty kick…) “If you look at the last four goals that we’ve taken, it’s [included] two PK’s, an own goal. If we can eliminate the PK’s and own goals, we’ll be OK.”

(On the starting lineup…) “I thought (Brad) Evans did a good job filling in at left back in the second half of last game, so we put him back there again at left back. We came out with Zach Scott because for Djimi (Traore) it’s tough to play three games in a week on turf. We felt we needed to make a change there. Zach had been training well and Jalil (Anibaba) was certainly someone we were considering, as well.”

(On the opponent slowing down the game…) “There were fouls and they were certainly trying to slow the game down, taking time on throw-ins and goal kicks, and try to kill the game in various different ways. I look at that as a compliment to our team, as teams try to slow us down. Our team has done a good job of reacting well and continuing to play.”

(On Obafemi Martins’ performance…) “That’s his unselfish play for the team. He’ll run the channels. He’ll post up when he needs to post up. He’ll drop off and find the ball. He will chase and battle and fight for the ball. He has just been a great teammate this year and this is something good. … If we can get him on the ball and if we can get Dempsey on the ball in the final 20 yards of the field, it’s problems for the opponent.”

(On Martins’ transition to a full MLS season…) “He’s playing what we expected of him. Last year was a difficult year, moving back and coming all the way over. Playing a season in Russia, playing a season in Spain, to a season with us, he eventually broke down physically. When you look back on that, in 12 months time he played 40-plus games, so we knew he could do that, but it just ended up being too much and he broke down at the end of last year.”

(On Martins playing for Nigeria’s national team…) “He didn’t expect to get a call. Every coach has his group that he’s been putting together, sort for Chad (Marshall), as well, the train maybe has left the station. Oba, the way he is playing, he might have considered him. He is playing regular football and there are some guys that are not playing regular football.”

(On the winning mindset…) “We always believe we are going to win. That’s why we came in with another offensive sub. We wanted to keep fresh legs going because Lamar had a great shift and we felt we could still take the game to them.”

(On the team’s key to success…) “I think the players, the guys who are coming into the game, are quality players and we have a quality bench. … We wanted to make sure in the offseason we had stronger options coming off the bench and I think we achieved that. Those guys have come off the bench and contributed. Chad Barrett didn’t get on the scoreboard today, but he caused some problems for people on the outside.”

(On the team’s chemistry…) “I think the guys who are saying we have to play with each other have gotten to play with each other more on the training field and have realized, ‘Hey I can drop the ball into space and move again.’ We are finding little pockets, finding the seams. They are playing behind the lines and playing through the windows, and those combinations is what making us very effective. They understand that is how we play.”

(On Lamar Neagle’s improved passing…) “If you look at the passing stats from the last three games, his pass completion percentage has gone up each game. He has really started to understand that and connect with that.”

Lamar Neagle – Sounders FC Midfielder/Forward

(On the team winning on another late goal…) “We don’t want it to always come to that but it’s nice at least to know that we have it in us. We keep kind of saying the same thing-we always know we can score goals no matter what, so if we’re down one-zero or if it’s zero-zero, I think we’re confident until the 90th minute.”

(On his goal…) “We just went wide, obviously we wanted to start taking more chances offensively, so I was making runs in the box. I know Oba always has his head up, so he picked out the near post and ran towards it.”

(On the team’s ability to pass…) “Oba [Martins] and [Clint] Dempsey and [Gonzalo] Pineda and Ozzie [Alonso]-those guys are on a different level passing. I know if I make good runs then I’m going to get the ball.”

Kenny Cooper – Sounders FC Forward

(On his game-winning goal…) “It was a really great ball from Oba. He has so much quality and just great vision and really put it on a platter for me.”

(On scoring a goal against his former team…) “It always feels good when that ball goes in the back of the net no matter who it’s against. But yeah, that one felt good for sure.”

(On getting five straight wins…) “Yeah, the team has shown so much great character in this early part of the season. It’s just such a great trait to have as a team, and I think we always believe that we’re never out of a game. Not only can we come back but we go on to win games. It’s just a really great team effort and good belief.”

Obafemi Martins – Sounders FC Forward

(On recording two assists and coming from behind…) “I’m here to help score goals as a team. Today, in the second half we deserved to win because we kept going. We were losing and everything, but we just kept going. We knew we could get a point, but now we’re happy with three.”

Oscar Pareja – FC Dallas Head Coach

(On the lineup and formation changes…) “We play with the players that belong to the team and they had a game three days ago and now we have another game in three days. That’s the way the schedule was set and so we play with the boys that are healthy and the boys that can come in and do the job. With the formation we prepare the game depending on the opposite team, too.”

(On the strategy going into the second half…) “We knew that Seattle was going to throw bodies up front. Definitely we wanted to control the tempo of the game. We knew it’s a place where we know the fullbacks are coming up, the forwards are moving in a way that may put us in a [tough position]. But I don’t think that was the case. We defended well and tried to keep the resolve that we had at the moment.”

(On the overall performance…) “A good game for us, a good game. We deserved more but that’s the game.”

Michel – FC Dallas Defender

(On penalty kick…) “I simply passed the responsibility onto the keeper, gave sometime waiting for him to make a decision but maybe he got confused and ended up not moving. At that point I chose one of the corners and managed to score.”

(On FC Dallas strategy in the second half…) “We knew that Seattle was going to come pressing and attacking, so we knew that we needed to pass the ball, control the ball, and pass quickly. We held the result but ended up getting goals against us; goals that are unexpected and uncommon for us to get.”

(On what made Sounders FC difficult to defend…) “Seattle always does that when they play at home, they press on the other teams defense field so there was no real surprise. We tried to control the game but they ended up having the success scoring goals, we even had the chance to score a couple of goals but didn’t succeed so with that  they had no surprises and they managed to win the game.”

(On FC Dallas lack of energy coming into second half…) “Not at all, the 11 players gave it all and the other ones that came they all gave it all. We tried to keep the score or even expand it’s just that we didn’t manage to get the three points, we tried; we put in all the effort.”

Andrew Jacobson – FC Dallas Midfielder

(On awareness of Sounders FC comeback tendencies…) “We knew they were going to push, they’re at home. We were in a good position going into the second half but we knew they were going to push they have a lot of talented guys — it was no surprise.”

(On FC Dallas mindset coming into second half…) “We wanted to keep our good shape and see if we could play through their lines. They attacked us very well but the guys fought hard but we just couldn’t close out those last few minutes.”

(On what makes Sounders FC difficult to defend…) “They play well together very collective in their attack, move well together and move off the ball, they’re a good team.”

*     *     *

SOUNDERS FC 2, FC DALLAS 1

Scoring Summary:

DAL- Michel (penalty) – 16′
SEA- Neagle (Martins) – 62′
SEA- Cooper (Martins) – 88′

Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei, DeAndre Yedlin, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott, Brad Evans (captain), Lamar Neagle (Kenny Cooper 86′), Osvaldo Alonso, Gonzalo Pineda, Marco Pappa (Chad Barrett 74′), Obafemi Martins, Clint Dempsey (Jalil Anibaba 90′)

Substitutes Not Used: Marcus Hahnemann, Michael Azira, Chad Barrett, Leo Gonzalez, Andy Rose

TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (Marco Pappa, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (2 tied at 2); FOULS: 11 (DeAndre Yedlin, 3); OFFSIDE: 0; CORNER KICKS: 8 (Gonzalo Pineda, 5); SAVES: 1 (Stefan Frei, 1).

FC Dallas – Raul Fernandez, Zach Lloyd, Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman, Michel, Hendry Thomas, Andrew Jacobson (captain) (Jair Benitez 78′), Adam Moffatt, Danny Garcia (Victor Ulloa 72′), David Texeira (Fabian Castillo 65′), Blas Perez

Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Tesho Akindele, Moises Hernandez, Nicholas Waker

TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (2 tied at 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (2 tied at 1); FOULS: 18 (Blas Perez, 7); OFFSIDE: 1 (Danny Garcia, 1) ; CORNER KICKS: 9 (Michel, 9); SAVES: Raul Fernandez, 7).

Misconduct Summary:

DAL – Michel (caution) 17′
DAL – Matt Hedges (caution) 23′
SEA – Brad Evans (caution) 37′
SEA – Marco Pappa (caution) 42′
DAL – Blas Perez (caution) 47′

Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee’s Assistants: Fabio Tovar, Mike Kampmeinert
4th Official: Baboucarr Jallow
Attendance: 38,489
Time of Game: 1:55
Weather: 
Sunny and 64 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.

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