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October 25, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Sounders FC vs. L.A. Galaxy, post-match quotes

Sounders FC Head Coach SIGI SCHMID

Opening statement:

“Well first off, I want to congratulate our team on 34 solid weeks. I think winning the Supporters’ Shield is a reflection on what you’ve done over a period of time. It’s 34 weeks of training, 34 weeks of games, and when you put that all together it shows we were able to come out on top. It doesn’t matter if you get points early or late, all that matters is you get points at the end of the day. I am really proud of our group, really proud of what they’ve accomplished this year. We want to carry the spirit into the next games here in the MLS playoffs and obviously that is a trophy haven’t gotten that we want to get now … Sometimes you plan for things and they turn out a little differently. Obviously in the game today—I am not going to put that in the category of our best games overall—but it took on its own life. I thought early in the first half they committed a lot of fouls to stop counters, every two, three passes someone would get fouled early. I remember looking up at 30 minutes and they had 10 fouls, which is on par for 30 for the game, which is an awful lot. We didn’t do a good job of keeping possession, but we were defending well, so knowing that a tie would also get us through we tried to stay with that. Brad Evans was playing with a bad groin and we saw that he wasn’t able to play the ball forward anymore we decided that we would come in with Marco Pappa. We wanted him to stay balanced on the wing, which he did, and scored a great goal and obviously stole another goal that helped turn the game for us in terms of a tie to a win. We weren’t going to give up a goal today—that was our resolve. It’s something you have to have as you go into the playoffs. Again, I am very proud of everything and everyone involved in this organization from ownership all the way down to the equipment staff. I am proud of everyone’s contribution the whole season.”

On subbing Brad Evans for Marco Pappa:

“It wasn’t planned. I always run through scenarios before the game—if this guy is struggling or this guy should come on or switch, then you have to feel is now the right time, when is the right time? There was a sequence of three passes there with the ball I thought that Brad could have turned and played the ball up-field and play it down the line. But every time he coughed it for a short 10, 15-yard pass and that showed me wasn’t able to play that ball anymore. That’s when we made that change.”

On winning the Supporters’ Shield:

“You want to be first for the playoffs, so that means you win the shield. I think our conference is a little stronger than the East, at least this year it is showing that way. At the end of the day the shield is another feather in the cap of our organization. I think people forget we are still a young organization; we are only six years [old]. We are six years in and have won four Open Cups and a Supporters’ Shield—that’s five trophies in six years. Salt Lake hasn’t done that, Kansas City hasn’t done that [and] the other new franchises haven’t done that. I think that is a reflection of our consistency and I hope our fans appreciate that. Certainly LA is a formidable opponent and LA is a team that has done well in the MLS Cup. I am sure our paths will cross again.”

On the team’s confidence:

“I think last week, being down 2-0, shows that we have that confidence. I thought LA played a good game today. They put a lot of pressure on us early and played with a very high tempo. They played very direct—they had very long passes and tried to knock everything behind. They tried to use Donovan’s speed advantage to go upfront and cause some problems that way. I thought Zach Scott and Chad Marshall, for the most part, did a really good job absorbing it.”

On moving on the next trophy:

“We will enjoy it today and tomorrow, then it’s back to work on Monday. We get a day and a half to enjoy it, so that’s good. Our mantra this season was to try to be greedy. We have one more thing to [do to] be the ultimate greed people. It’s great because it gives you confidence as you move forward. Winning the Supporters’ Shield, as you know, in the history of the league there have been very few teams to win the Supporters’ Shield and also win MLS Cup. I feel fortunate because I have been able to do it a couple of times, so hopefully we can do that.”

On the two late goals:

“It was great to get the win and to win at the end of the game like that. The spirit, the crowd, and they all stayed afterwards and celebrated with us. Obviously a tie would have gotten us the shield as well, but it just gives us a little more pizazz. To use a food analogy, it’s like having a cake with no icing, so the win put the icing on the cake.”

On Pappa’s role for next match:

“It depends on the opponent. I talked to Marco yesterday, and I told him we weren’t going to have him start this game, and explained to him based on the opponent, based on what we needed to do—because Bruce [Arena] never lets anyone know if he has injuries or anything—so we weren’t sure if [Robbie] Keane was going to play or not. It looked like last week he had a hamstring, but we weren’t sure, so we wanted to make sure we were set defensively because we wanted to make sure we established that part of our game then look to that part of the game. We will see who the next opponent is in the next round, and we’ll see the matchups. He is a very important player to our team and a skillful player who can make things happen.”

On the shutout:

“You got to win games different ways. One of the criticized parts of our team has been defending, and that’s a good attacking team, and I thought we held them at bay. We may have bent a little bit, but we held them at bay and got a shutout in a very key game. That is important as we move forward into the playoffs.”

On rebounding from last season:

“It means a lot. I think last year was a freakish year. Luckily I didn’t lose all my hair—I am blessed that way in that I didn’t lose my hair, my grandfather was bald but I don’t have that gene. Last year was really frustrating at the end. We were playing upside down, trying to make things work and we just couldn’t get it to change, couldn’t get it to work. There was a while there where you guys were like, ‘Oh they’re struggling now, here we go, déjà vu is happening.’ I said all along, No, this isn’t déjà vu, this is a different group.’ So yeah, our last 10-15 games weren’t as strong as our first 10-15 games, but at the end of the day we always showed that ability to put ourselves into games, and be around and be involved. Even the loss we took in Dallas I don’t think that was a 3-1 game down there. It’s important for our group to know this isn’t last year, and they knew that all along and continue to believe in themselves.

On the physicality of the game:

“It goes back to it because it was a frustrating game because of the tactical fouls that were going on. It got a little heated a couple of times too with some tackles and people getting agitated with each other. You have got to have that fire, but you can’t go too far and lose your composure, lose your control, and get yourself thrown out. I think that was important—there were some guys who stepped in on the guys who were a little more heated. At the end of the day, that belief that as long as the game is going on and the ref hasn’t blown that final whistle, we believe we can win. That’s the belief we have had since the beginning of the season and we have carried that through. Being able to win at the end was certainly part of that.”

On the lineup for next match:

“We’ll see. Obviously we have a week now before we play and we get to play a team that will play a game on Wednesday or Thursday, not sure. We will set back and evaluate and make those decisions.”

On Obafemi Martins’ MVP chances:

“I don’t know, that’s for you guys to figure out. We have so many important players; we have so many MVP’s. Obviously what Oba has done for this team is absolutely fantastic, but what Clint has done for this team as well has been fantastic. So to hold one over the other, or what Chad Marshall did in the back today, or what Zach Scott has done with an unending desire, those are all factors, or the way Osvaldo Alonso’s covering, I leave that MVP stuff to you.”

On the performance from wing:

“Pappa, when he became available at the start of the season, I thought was a good acquisition for us. We had lost Steve Zakuani from the year before, he could play on the wing, we also lost Mauro Rosales because of our DP situation, and we felt there is a guy who could come in and play on the flank and cause some danger. When you look at Pappa and Neagle, two of our flank players, there are 15 goals from your wide players; that is pretty good. That has been a strength of ours in Seattle, getting goals from our wide players.”

Sounders FC Forward OBAFEMI MARTINS

On the match:

“I am going to take what we just did today as a champion of the league. For the fact we know the MLS Cup Playoffs are soon so we have to continue to train as we normally do and get ready for the playoffs.”

On his assist on the Pappa goal:

“When I hold the ball, you know I can see my teammates. He’s not really sure if I’m going give him the ball, but I saw him when Clint gave me back the ball so I just gave him a good ball and he finished well.”

On the late goals:

“We aren’t really thinking about getting an early goal, but we just keep working hard and at the end we get two good goals and we finished well, and we are glad we are first in the league.”

On his teammates:

“Marco has his own talent. Clint, me, the other players, it’s what we do in the training ground—we do it for fun in the training ground. We just bring everything to the game and we’ll bring what we can prove and we did work today.”

On savoring the victory:

“Right now we are all happy, and we are excited about the Supporters Shield and everything, but we all know the playoffs are coming soon as well so we are ready.”

Sounders FC Forward CLINT DEMPSEY

On the MLS MVP Award:

“Yeah I mean, Oba [Martins] has been great for us this season, I mean the team that wins the league, a player should win MVP and I think it should be Oba.”

On the postseason structure:

“To me if you look around at other leagues, if you win the league it’s a big deal no matter what the public thinks of it. We were the best team throughout the course of the league and around other leagues, that’s celebrated more so than when it is in the states, but we are going to celebrate it as a championship. We have two now and we are looking to win an MLS Cup.”

On the physical game:

“Yeah it wasn’t a good game for the fans to watch out on the pitch. Yes it’s great that we won, and we might have had a good result, just the fouling and the kicking, stop, start, stop, start, there wasn’t much fluidity to the game. And I thought that credit to them, we weren’t able to play the style that we wanted but at the end of the day I think our quality showed and we were able to win the game.”

On the MLS Cup Playoffs:

“It gives us confidence to win the league, you know what I mean? That’s something that’s special, but to win games not pretty shows our character and shows our fight that we are more than a team that plays a good style, but we can dig in and grind out results and that’s what we did. It’s important that you go into playoffs on a good note and you look at these last few games and the significance of them especially being down two nothing, away from home, our fight to get back into the game, to equalize and keep pushing for the win. Especially away from home and then coming here and to end the season off with a big win at home, winning the league is something that we feel good about.  We enjoy it today, but tomorrow we look towards how we stay hungry, stay sharp that we do well in the playoffs and try to push to get into the final.”

On the physical play:

“I just think emotions are high in games like this. People are competitive and they want their teams to get the right result but at the end of the day, I thought that we were smart about how we played the game and how we grinded out the result and to win the game two-nothing, that’s something we are happy with.”

On the gameplan vs. LA:

“It doesn’t matter who it was against, any time you can end the season top of the league, I think that’s something that’s special. If you look around at other leagues around the world, when teams finish at the top of the league that is something to celebrate and we are going to celebrate it and we will enjoy it for today and tomorrow we will focus on playoffs and try to make sure we get the right results and try to get to the final.”

On his fitness:

“I feel pretty good. It has been pretty long, it’s been a year and a half nonstop for me but I feel like I was still able to make an impact in these last two games. Even though I got the goal against LA away, but to play a part in the second goal playing the ball to Oba and Oba playing it to Lamar, and then even today, Oba finding me I found him back and he found Pappa so I’m feeling good that I am still able to play a part in the goals and just happy that the team won.”

On his candidacy for MLS MVP:

“I feel good about what I was able to do this season but I did miss a lot of games being gone for the World Cup. I am happy with what I was able to produce in the games played but if you are going give an MVP, I think Oba should be the MVP because he’s the one leading in goals, leading in assists and had a part to play in the game winning goal for us today, so hats go off to him. You have to credit your team. Also you have to look at guys like Ozzie Alonso who has been huge for us all season. Guys like Chad Marshall who was also huge for us all season. So I’m all about showing love to the other players, not trying to pat my own self on the back.”

SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER MARCO PAPPA

On celebrating today’s victory:

“We were expecting the Champagne here, especially after 34 games in a row this season, we win the shield this was a big game for us for sure. Like I said before it’s always good to win but the more important thing is the confidence of the team. Now it’s coming to bigger games for playoffs so I can enjoy now, but also look forward to what is next.”

On his first goal:

“I wasn’t expecting Oba to give me the ball so I’m happy he saw me. I was wide open and I scored. At the end of the day I was trying to score a goal and it’s always good to score, but I’m more happy to see the group happy and this is a good game for the confidence of the players.”

On team chemistry:

“After we have played together for many games, we know more of each other for sure…In general with the team we understand each other and today it worked. At the end of the game we got the result and that’s the most important thing now we continue with this kind of mentality.”

On playing as a substitute:

“I’m the kind of player that always likes to play, that’s for sure. And I have to respect the coach’s decision at the end of the day I come from the bench I want to do my best to show my heart and show I want to play. I’m happy not just for me, but I’m more happy for the team because we won the shield.”

On difficulty of winning the shield:

“Of course [it was hard to win] I think after 34 games it’s a lot of games in a year, a lot of wins also, a lot of ties and losses. It’s a lot of different types of games in 34 games and I think we learned from the 34 games and I think we are ready for the playoffs.”

 

L.A. Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena 

On the game:

“I thought it was a good game. We were a little unlucky and we at least should have come out with a point.”

On Robbie Keane:

“He had a few nagging injuries and we thought it was best to keep him out so he would be ready for playoffs. We also have to be careful with players on this field. This field is not perfect for a player that’s not 100%.”

On the amount of fouls called:

“The referee called more fouls this week than last week. He could have called 40 fouls last week on Seattle. The referee lost it a bit at the end. I would say the foul was on Marcelo Sarvas because he didn’t notice that they didn’t set the ball properly.”

On having more possession:

“Yes, we controlled the game but we needed to be more dangerous in the last third of the field. They kept a lot of players back with us and played it pretty safe. We weren’t able to create enough chances.”

On Landon Donovan:

“Landon played better today than he did last week. He drew an important free kick in the beginning of the second half and had a few more chances. I think he could have been more aggressive looking for his shot. ”

On the midfield:

“I thought Gyasi Zardes was a bit of a threat most of the game. I thought Stefan Ishizaki did well. Our whole midfield played well. Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas were also very good.”

On the defense:

“The backline was excellent today. Did Seattle even get a chance in the game besides the mess at the end? We played pretty well.”

On the final goal:

“Jaime Penedo needs to be quicker getting the ball out. Maybe he was fouled. The referee I think lost it a little bit at the end of the game. He must have been tired, too.”

On preference of opponent next match:

“It doesn’t matter who we play. We don’t play those little games of payback. We play to try and win a championship.”

L.A. Galaxy Forward Landon Donovan

On controlling the run of play most of the game:

“Yeah I mean we can’t play a whole lot better than that and if I’m not mistaken I think they had three shots on the night, and up until the goal you would have thought that they were never going to score. And you know give them credit they made a play that made the difference, but I think we are ok with the way we played. We just needed to find a goal and that that let us down today but overall an excellence performance. And obviously results matter and it’s hard to lose but I think we can we can be confident with how we played.”

On if this gives them motivation going into the playoffs:

No, I mean listen the standings don’t lie and they have been the better team over the course of the year and we give them credit. That could have been ours but I think we gave up too many points earlier in the year and it came back to hurt us now. Everything is wiped clean and it’s a clean slate and whoever’s the best team after five games is going to be holding the trophy at the end of the postseason.”

On not having Robbie Keane:

“He’s my opinion he is the best player in the league so when you are missing that, that’s going to hurt you. That’s probably where we were lacking little bit today, a little bit of a special quality in the final third. And when we have him in there he provides that so we’re confident that having him in there, having Omar [Gonzalez] back next week that we will look a little bit different. But that being said we played very well tonight and if we play like that in the playoffs there’s a good chance were going be holding a trophy by the end.”

On the physicality of the game:

This time of year that’s how it goes. Both teams play hard, both teams respect the other but play hard. After the game you shake hands and get on with it its part of this time of the year.”

On how he felt tonight:

“Much better. I slept probably nine or 10 hours every night this week and felt caught up and rested. I had a lot more energy, I thought I moved a lot better, I was more aggressive. Everything felt a lot different so I enjoyed that it was it was a good night in that way and I hope to get better as it goes on.”

LA Galaxy Defender A.J. DeLaGarza

On if the physicality of the game affected them:

“No I don’t think so. We played pretty well for 80 minutes. We didn’t create many chances, but I think they had two or three shots on goal all day. They got the two late ones that were goals so I thought we frustrated them.”

On not winning the Supporters’ Shield:

“I mean it would mean more if we won it. We came here today for a win, we were in a position for 80 minutes to get one. We didn’t create chances in a game where we needed to win. We couldn’t tie so we had to kind of go for it but it just didn’t happen.”

On if they’d rather play Salt Lake or Dallas:

“I don’t think it matters right now. They are both pretty good teams. They both bring different challenges it will be interesting to see.”

On this giving them motivation going forward:

“Yes motivation we need every time we lose, we are going to take it and build on it. Whoever we play it is going to be an away game first so we need to go and get a result.”

On Leonardo’s play:

 “I thought he did well I don’t think Martins or Dempsey got anything close to what they got last week so I thought we did our job for the most part.”

 

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