Quick Review: Sounders Knock Galaxy Out of Open Cup

For the fourth straight year the Seattle Sounders have advanced to the US Open Cup Semi Final Round. This year's opponent dropped from the nation's oldest soccer tournament were the LA Galaxy who started a mix of substitutes and rotational players against Seattle's Reservists and Subs. Jeremiah and I got 10 Sounders' starter correct, and 8 for the Galaxy, which is pretty good guessing in this type of thing.

Seattle put up two goals, but challenged Saunders so much more than that. Much of the threatening play in the first half was inside his box. In the second half those threats became goals. It was clear that the Sounders enjoyed Nate Jaqua making his return to the starting lineup, as in the second half he netted two goals, but also threatened a half dozen other times.

We saw some great signs from Seamon, as his play as an Center Attacking Mid, while light on the brilliant passing, was solid as a collector of bad Galaxy passes, and a pivot who could switch the ball from side to side. Both wingers (Sanna Nyassi and Migueal Montano) had speed and foot skills that the Galaxy defense couldn't handle. It became clear that several player deserve a bit more time than they have been getting, as unlike last year, Seattle went with an inexperienced lineup to crush a team that started veterans and highly skilled youngsters.

Sigi, and you, should have seen great signs tonight. Seattle advances in the Open Cup and is now two matches from a Major Trophy. But there were also some things that give us a glimpse of something a little different from the Sounders.

Late in the game Sigi brought all three substitutes on while holding a two goal lead. The first two were the two classic wingbacks - Leo Gonzalez and James Riley. But they weren't used as wingbacks. The formation didn't shift away from a 4-1-3-2, and they didn't come in for the LB and RB respectively.

Leo came in for Montano and played the left midfield. He isn't entirely unfamiliar with the role having played there with the Costa Rican National team. He did well tonight. Sure, he doesn't get forward as much as guys who are essentially wingers, but as a two-way Left Mid he might be the best on the team.

James Riley, who I have at times argued is more a traditional two-way right mid, came in for Seamon. And took that over as a box-to-box midfielder. While he was only on the pitch for twenty or so minutes, it was an experiment that I think is worth repeating. His risky, body on the ground, defense has value in the middle of the pitch, and his vision and passing are quite useful there. Maybe we see him in this role in the future, as the depth in the center third of the pitch isn't very good right now. Riley certainly played as well as Vagenas, and likely as well as Nate Sturgis.

Stats and quotes when we get them, but for now celebrate a win that showed signs that a Sounders team that is less talented on paper can still hang with the big boys and score.

 

Goals by Period

1

2

Tot

Los Angeles Galaxy

0

0

0

Seattle Sounders

0

2

2

 

Scoring Summary:         

SEA -- Nate Jaqua (unassisted) 50

SEA -- Nate Jaqua (Miguel Montano) 62

 

Los Angeles Galaxy -- Josh Saunders, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo (Sean Franklin 71), Eddie Lewis, Chris Klein (Dema Kovalenko 69), Jovan Kirovski (Juninho 72), Clint Mathis, Bryan Jordan, Alex Cazumba, Alan Gordon.

Substitutes Not Used: Todd Dunivant, Tristan Bowen, Michael Stephens, Donovan Ricketts.

TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Clint Mathis 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Alan Gordon 1, Alex Cazumba 1); FOULS: 8 (Jovan Kirovski 3); OFFSIDES: 3 (Alan Gordon 3); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Clint Mathis 3); SAVES: 5 (Josh Saunders 5)

Seattle Sounders -- Terry Boss, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Tyson Wahl, Sanna Nyassi, Nathan Sturgis, Mike Seamon (James Riley 78), Miguel Montano (Leo Gonzalez 71), Roger Levesque, Nate Jaqua (David Estrada 83).

Substitutes Not Used: Fredy Montero, Pat Noonan, Steve Zakuani, Kasey Keller.

TOTAL SHOTS: 21 (Nate Jaqua 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Nate Jaqua 4); FOULS: 13 (David Estrada 3); OFFSIDES: 3 (Sanna Nyassi 3); CORNER KICKS: 6 (Nathan Sturgis 6); SAVES: 2 (Terry Boss 2)

 

Misconduct Summary:

LA -- Alex Cazumba (caution; Reckless Foul) 45

LA -- Bryan Jordan (caution; Reckless Foul) 70

SEA -- David Estrada (caution; Reckless Tackle) 89

LA -- Alan Gordon (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 89

Actually a pretty long quote sheet today, I'm going to edit it down a little:

Sigi Schmid - Sounders FC Head Coach

(Opening Comments . . .) "Obviously I thought that we did what I wanted us to do. We came out and played with a lot of energy, a lot of desire. It didn't matter who they had on the field. I know they were missing certain people but I thought it was our energy, our defensive pressure that helped create the game that we wanted to create. I'm very happy for the team."

 

(On Nate Jaqua . . .) "Obviously he can make a difference. He's a different type of forward than what we have. Our injuries for us this year for us have been right down the middle of the field with Nate and [Jhon] Kennedy [Hurtado] in the back and [Brad] Evans and [Osvaldo] Alonso in the middle of midfield and that's the heart of your team, the nucleus of your team. That's not where you want to have injuries. So obviously Nate being back, he's put in a lot of heart and soul in it. It's been tremendous."

 

(On Jaqua's minutes . . .) "Yeah, we probably stretched it a little bit but, for me, we were sitting there and saying, 'Ok, we think about Sunday.' I said, 'No, right now we are just going to win this game today and tomorrow we will start thinking about Sunday.' Obviously a lot of guys today put in a pretty good claim for being on the field again."

 

(On the win . . .) "It's definitely big. Again, because it's a mentality when losing becomes a habit, winning can also become a habit. Every game you win it becomes a better habit for your team. That's what we want to establish right now."

 

(On Miguel Montano . . .) "Tremendous. He was out of gas when he came out but really the first goal was his goal. It was his effort all the way through. Nate put it in, put it over the line, but the second goal was just a great cross to the back post for Nate and whipped it in. On top of that, we also got a really good defensive effort from him. He kept pressure on the Galaxy, offensively and defensively, and that's what you need form your wide guys."

 

(On the defense . . .) "I thought they played all right together, as well. I thought they were solid. I thought [Jeff] Parke and [Patrick] Ianni kept it together in the middle of the field. Again, if you're playing against a guy like [Landon] Donovan it changes the equation a little bit. But I thought Tyson was good tonight, Zach Scott had a very good game at right back. But again, the aggressiveness they were pushed up, they kept the field small, and that makes it easier for us to play."

 

Nate Jaqua - Sounders FC Forward

(On his game . . .) "I should have [gotten a third goal]. I wanted that one, too. It was a good team effort. I mean everywhere on the field, everyone battled hard. It was good to get L.A. back after getting beat up down there, it's good to beat them up at our place. It's one of those ones where now we have got to carry the momentum forward.We got to get a win against Dallas this weekend."

 

(On scoring goals . . .) "It's great. It's fun being out there with the guys, especially when everyone works for each other and battles together. It's a great team effort and it's fun playing in those games."

(On turning this into league wins . . .) "We have just got to come out with the same mentality, how we have come out in the two open cup games and really battle and fight for one another. I think if we do that, we can turn this around."

 

(On his fitness . . .) "I'm definitely improving. I think I went 80 [minutes] today, which was good. I didn't think I was going to go that long, especially I can get my wind now in the second half. I'm not where I want to be but I'm getting closer."

  

Miguel Montano - Sounders FC Midfielder

(On his play . . .) "Very good. The first play that I did went well. After that, I just got more confidence for the plays."

 

(On playing with Nate Jaqua . . .) "We have been playing well. We have been practicing well together, even just the two of us, crossing. That reflected in the game."

 

(On the first goal . . .) "I'm calm. I know that it's going to happen. Keep calm and eventually in one of these games it will come."

 

Mike Seamon- Sounders FC Midfielder

(On getting some more playing time tonight...) "It feels good. We take a lot of pride in this game because it shows we can win. To go out and get a two to nothing win over LA, their reserves are very good. We proved we have the upper hand on those guys when you look at 1-24 on the roster."

 

(On defending the U.S. Open Cup Title...) "They have mentioned this from the start, that one of our goals is to repeat as the U.S. Open Cup champions and we want to keep that title."

 

(On playing well in these games with the hope of getting more minutes in MLS matches...) "You try to help the team any way I can, especially since I'm new. I have been plugged into a few games and whether it's regular season or Open Cup I come out here to play. No matter where you are at you have to play your hardest."

 

Terry Boss - Goalkeeper

(On his overall impression from the match...) "The guys who played in front of me did an excellent job. I made a couple of decision on some crosses that probably could be cleaned up a little bit. It's a tight field and decisions come a little quicker and just getting used to playing again where everything happens so quickly. The guys fought really hard in front of me and I'm so thankful for their effort."

 

(On being back on the field after the break...) "I work hard everyday both with Coach Dutra and with Kasey Keller, they did a good job coaching me up. I'm a very lucky goalkeeper to have both those guys coaching me. It is nice to be on the field and step on the field and make game time decisions."

 

Bruce Arena - Galaxy Head Coach

(On being disappointed with the results...) "Certainly we would to have liked to have a better result. This was a game that Seattle played a little bit harder and I think down the middle of the field they beat us in the positional match-ups. I think they deserved to win the game tonight."

 

(On using the U.S. Open Cup to give players extra minutes...) "No, to me these games don't make sense. Essentially it was a reserve game tonight. I think the timing of this competition isn't right for MLS teams; it's a difficult time to try and play these games. I think if see both teams, obviously both want to win, the competition is water down due to the fact that each team is juggling players and see who you want to play and who you don't want to play. For us tonight there were valuable minutes for some players and others not so good."

  

Chris Klein- Midfielder

 

(On struggling playing on a smaller field...) "Yes we struggled with it; I don't think we will use it as an excuse. We struggled with certain parts of the game and I think that was one of them."

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