CHESTER, PA - JUNE 27: The Philadelphia Union take the field for a match against the Seattle Sounders FC at the PPL Park stadium opener on June 27, 2010 in Chester, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) The Sounders never actually showed
Throughout the season we've seen many matches where the results just didn't go Seattle's way. This was not one of those. This was a result that did not accurately reflect the play on the field either though. Honestly, the Sounders should have lost by much more.
Whether it was poor, slow runs by Pat Noonan; random clearances by Tyrone Marshall; or botched attempts at backpasses by Peter Vagenas there was not a single aspect of the game where the Sounders clicked. Not even the LA Galaxy game that wound up with the team refunding its season ticket holders was this bad.
I know they said that wasn't precedent, but maybe I should get a refund on my cable bill for those two hours.
Tired and sluggish does not display strongly enough what happened. The Sounders had little tactical presence, and they lost because of that. There has been no worse performance than what we saw today. It isn't that they lacked possession, they lacked in every aspect of the game that could be measured. This includes player usage patterns that continue to see Pat Noonan on the field for significant minutes, and not being the first man subbed out when it is clear that he isn't creating opportunities.
Yes, players were injured. Certainly we have yet to see the best XI on the pitch at the same time. But at this point the season is slipping away, and someone needs to start creating, and dominating. There are few teams in MLS as talented on paper as Seattle (Galaxy, RSL, Crew, Dynamo), but only one has continually failed to produce results and are nearly at the halfway point.
As the Sounders look to a week with little rest they will be returning home trying to figure out how to beat a Timbers side from a lower division in Open Cup play and then to get a win against the best team in the league on the Fourth of July. By this time next week the Sounders 2010 could be over. That's how strong today's performance was.
Stats and quotes below the break when we get them.
SEA - Noonan (Montero, Zakuani) 44'
PHI - Le Toux (PK) 54'
PHI - Fred (Le Toux) 79'
PHI - Mwanga 84'
Seattle Sounders FC - Kasey Keller, Leo Gonzalez, Jeff Parke, Tyrone Marshall, James Riley, Steve Zakuani (Nate Jaqua 72), Patrick Ianni, Peter Vagenas (Michael Seamon 66), Fredy Montero, Freddie Ljungberg, Pat Noonan (Roger Levesque 80).
Substitutes Not Used: Nathan Sturgis, Tyson Wahl, Sanna Nyassi, Terry Boss.
SHOTS: 6; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; CORNER KICKS: 4; OFFSIDES: 5; FOULS: 9; SAVES: 7.
Philadelphia Union: Chris Seitz, Shea Salinas, Jordan Harvey, Danny Califf, Cristian Arrieta, Stefani Miglioranzi, Roger Torres (Andrew Jacobson 63), Fred (Amobi Akugo 81), Sebastien Le Toux, Danny Mwanga (Nick Zimmerman 87), Alejandro Moreno.
Substitutes Not Used: Shavar Thomas, Jack McInerney, Toni Stahl Brad Knighton.
SHOTS: 14; SHOTS ON GOAL: 13; CORNER KICKS: 8; OFFSIDES: 4; FOULS: 13; SAVES: 1.
SEA - Patrick Ianni (caution; Reckless Tackle) 20'
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee's Assistants: C.J. Morgante; Craig Lowry
4th Official: Hilario Grajeda
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Clear and 90 degrees
Sigi Schmid – Sounders FC Head Coach
(On playing in Philadelphia . . .) "When you don’t train in the humidity, it’s a little bit tougher to play in it. We were where we wanted to be. The penalty kick for them I haven’t seen before so I can’t really comment on it. Then we got a penalty kick back and we haven’t scored a penalty kick in MLS play and that killed us at the end. If we score that penalty kick and make it 2-1, I think the game’s a different game."
(On the atmosphere for the game . . .) "It was good. Obviously the fans are excited. They’re behind their club. It’s going to help them and once they got on the scoreboard the fans got a little bit louder and were a lot more involved."
(On playing in PPL Park for the first time . . .) "We had seen them play so it was more unknown when we played them the first time because they hadn’t played a game. We were here yesterday. We had a feel for what the stadium looked like. We knew that the atmosphere was going to be great and we’re used to playing in front of a great atmosphere."
(On the flow of the game . . .) "Goals change games. In the opening night for us, we scored a couple of goals and they took a red card, which hurt them in that game. Tonight was the same thing. We had the goal and we should have scored a second goal off the PK and we didn’t. Then the game changes. They ended up winning and scoring the goals they needed to win the game. More so than anything they are more comfortable playing in the heat and humidity. It was our first time we had to play in it and it made a big difference. It takes a period of adjustment. It’s a lot easier for a team to train in heat and go play in cold weather than to train in cold weather and go play in heat."
(On the play of Kasey Keller . . .) "Keller came up big on some big saves. The header off Arrieta was probably his best save. He had another good save going to his right, but that’s what a goalkeeper is supposed to do. That’s his job."
(On changes made a halftime . . .) "We wanted to drop back a little bit and we had trouble holding on to the ball in the first half, so it wasn’t just Ljungberg. I think we got him the ball a little bit more in the second half. Today we just didn’t have a good day of possession."
(On the outlook for the rest of the season . . .) "I’m never a guy who’s going to say it’s desperate. You have to believe you’re going to win. That’s what we talked about. We have an Open Cup game midweek and then we play on the weekend against LA. We still believe in ourselves as a unit. The game’s all about when you dominate, you have to score goals and you have to make sure they don’t score. They worked hard and in the second half they raised their level of play and did well."
Pat Noonan – Sounders FC Forward
(On how the game unfolded . . .) "We came into halftime with a 1-0 lead. We had done some good things. We were sluggish at times. I know we had some good opportunities. We had a chance to tie the score with a PK and it’s got to be put in. We can’t keep thinking about it. We’re disappointed."
(On scoring a goal . . .) "Steve [Zakuani] got the ball and he took it inside and put it across nicely and I was able to get a touch on it. I was able to scoot it past him [Seitz] and score"
(On how Philadelphia was able to win . . .) "We lacked energy and we let them back into the game. I had to get that PK in but I didn’t. They came back and scored and put it away. It’s frustrating. We need to go win in Portland to bounce back. That’s about it."
Mike Seamon – Sounders FC Midfielder
(On playing in his first MLS game . . .) "It was great to get my first regular season MLS game. It was a great experience to get into this. It was good to get in but tough to take that result. It’s upsetting. It was definitely a bittersweet day for me. [. . .] It’s nice that it’s on the minds of the coaches to get me in there. At the same time, it’s upsetting that we took that loss."
(On how he feels he played . . .) "I felt all right out there. I only lost possession a couple times in the box, which is a terrible time to be taking a chance so I have to do better. Other than that, I thought I looked pretty strong out there. It was tough because once I got in a lot of the guys were running out of gas so it was tough to get going offensively. I would have liked to provide a spark there. It’s definitely a good start though. Getting in a game is a start to a career. I’m happy to get in but the loss is tough to take. Next time we need to win the game."
(On how his teammates think he played . . .) "Some of the guys patted me on the back and said I did a good job but I know it wasn’t that big of an impact. It was tough to get anything going offensively for the team."
Shea Salinas – Union Defender
(On Seattle’s team . . .) "They have a bunch of dangerous players. We knew we were just going to play them physical. We knew they were going to fall as much as possible but we didn’t care about that. We played them tight. We played them physical. They got one break on us from a little counterattack but besides that I don’t think they were very dangerous."
(On how the team has come together since last meeting with Seattle . . .) "We’ve had more time together as a team. We’ve had experience. Also we had a home crowd. Playing in Seattle last time was tough but we are definitely a lot smarter defensively. We know when to attack. We don’t force it too much and we take our time a little better and our coach has done well preparing us and fixing our mistakes and hopefully we can carry it through the next 19 games."
Danny Mwanga – Union Forward
(On his goal today . . .) "I hit it the first time and he [Keller] did a good job. He had his foot left behind him and caught it and just like I do at practice, don’t stop following the ball. I knew that I had a second chance and I just had to tap it in."
(On impact of Moreno and Le Toux . . .) "Both guys are doing a good job at helping me keep my head in the game and helping me to work on some areas of the game. Both of them are doing a very good job and have such a big impact on our team."
(On how team has changed since first game against Seattle . . .) "Home field is definitely a big advantage for us. We all knew that the first game we had a couple mistakes and we watched the video from the first game and we learned from our mistakes and went out there and tried to correct them and come out strong."