These Cascadia Cup matches sure do make for some stressful soccer watching. For the second time in two games against their Pacific Northwest rivals, the Seattle Sounders managed a relatively high-scoring tie. Similar to their first one, they needed a late penalty to pull out a point with Gonzalo Pineda netting the equalizer on a "panenka" to secure a 2-2 draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.
The Sounders will head back to Seattle satisfied with a point, and although they didn't really admit, probably feeling a bit like they stole it. Although they pointed to Obafemi Martins' shot off the post just about a minute after Pineda's equalizer and noted they could have gotten all three, the reality was the Whitecaps had the better chances and the better overall play.
The Whitecaps ended up outshooting the Sounders 24-8 and forced Stefan Frei to make four saves to Ousted's zero. By the time the match was 10 minutes old, the Whitecaps had already created five good chances and were unlucky to have Gershon Koffie's blast carom off the underside of the crossbar and stay out.
As they are wont to do, the Sounders did battle back and actually had a short-lived lead off an impressive Chad Barrett header. Marco Pappa also had a couple chances to slide in final balls from close in, but couldn't quite get them right. The Sounders created chances just fine, but the Whitecaps were just getting more of them. That one of their goals happened to come off a complete "comedy of errors," as Sigi Schmid put it, was maybe fitting.
Given all that, plus the fact that they were missing four starters and had another forced to leave early, the Sounders should probably feel like they dodged a bullet. A come-from-behind result like this is another example of some good resolve, but it's not the kind of performance you want to use as any kind of positive example.
SEA- Chad Barrett (Kenny Cooper) 36'
VAN- Gershon Koffee 66'
SEA- Gonzalo Pineda (penalty) 82'
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei, Jalil Anibaba, Djimi Traore (Brad Evans 56'), Zach Scott (captain), Leo Gonzalez, Chad Barrett (Cam Weaver 79'), Osvaldo Alonso, Gonzalo Pineda, Marco Pappa, Kenny Cooper (Michael Azira 71'), Obafemi Martins
TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (3 players at 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (two players at 1); FOULS: 11 (Marco Pappa, 3); OFFSIDE: 0; CORNER KICKS: 2 (2 players at 1); SAVES: 4 (Stefan Frei, 4).
Vancouver Whitecaps FC - David Ousted, Nigel Reo-Coker, Andy O' Brien, Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey, Sebastian Fernandez (Nicolas Mezquida 71'), Gershon Koffie, Pedro Morales, Matias Laba, Kekuta Manneh (Russell Teibert 79'), Erik Hurtado
Substitutes Not Used: Darren Mattocks, Johnny Leveron, Omar Salgado, Carlyle Mitchell, Paolo Tornaghi
TOTAL SHOTS: 24 (Gershon Koffie, 8); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Gershon Koffie, 3); FOULS:16 (Matias Laba, 5); OFFSIDE: 0; CORNER KICKS: 7 (Pedro Morales, 6); SAVES: 0.
VAN- Gershon Koffie (caution) 43'
VAN- Matias Laba (caution) 44'
VAN- Sebastian Fernandez (caution) 66'
SEA- Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 90+2'
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Referee's Assistants: George Gansner, Adam Garner
4th Official: David Gantar
Weather: Mostly Cloudy and 63 Degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial
HEAD COACH CARL ROBINSON
Thoughts on the match:
"Yeah, very frustrating if I’m honest. The boys were fantastic from the first minute. I thought the first half we were absolutely phenomenal. We could have been ahead, weren’t ahead. They scored on their second chance, and then we fought back, but it was a very entertaining game."
Did you get any explanation on the foul?
What did you see from your perspective?
"I saw my captain jump for the ball in his penalty box and head the ball away."
Thoughts on officiating:
"I think my job is, this year since I took the job, was to try and put a certain way of playing, a style of playing in this team and I think I’ve done that. I’ll concentrate on my job, and that’s my job. I think you saw today that we’re going in the right direction. Obviously disappointed with the result, but the performance of some of the players was excellent."
Thoughts on the atmosphere and rivalry:
"Listen it’s great. I said to the guys before the game that you want to play in big games. I want to test myself against the best managers, and Sigi [Schmid] is certainly one of them. These occasions don’t come around too often. It’s the same obviously when we play Portland and things like that. It’s a special occasion, so don’t let the game pass you by, and we didn’t. It’s important for the growth of football here in Vancouver, and North America that that continues because it’s all about rivalries and if you get intense rivalries, and players wanting to win, and managers wanting to win. I think you saw that from both sets of players today, and certainly both managers."
"I think the guys who haven’t played in a Seattle-Vancouver game before certainly got it today because both sets of supporters were excellent."
Thoughts on Koffie:
"Yeah, it was probably his best performance. He’s been excellent the last three or four games for me. I keep saying to him that he needs to keep scoring goals. He’s a midfield player. Not just his goal, but I think he hit the bar in the first couple of minutes, and then could have nicked it in the end with two more chances. It was an all-around performance from him today, and he should be proud of himself."
Thoughts on not scoring on chances:
"It’d concern me more if we weren’t getting chances. Obviously we’re getting chances. We got to work at that, or do something about it. I’ve openly said we’re looking at trying to bring in players to help this group, and I’ll continue to do that, but the player has to be the right player or players, and if they are, then we’ll move forward with that. But the guys in there, I said I’m delighted with them today, and I’m proud of them. Erik Hurtado again, another fantastic goal and performance and we’re just moving in the right direction slowly."
Thought’s on Erik Hurtado’s performance, goal and growing confidence:
"Yeah, I think it is. People ask me about what’s the difference in Erik from last three weeks ago ‘til now and he’s a different player. Well I say no, he’s not a different player, he’s the same player, but his confidence has obviously grown. I think the supporters are finally seeing what he can do. I’ve seen that in glimpses last year while I was here as an assistant, and I wanted to give him that chance. I think players want their managers to have faith in them, and I certainly have faith in Erik at the moment. He’s doing himself a lot of good."
Thoughts on Nigel Reo-Coker:
"I’m not sure who I could have started at right back to be honest. I apologize for my voice. It shows how much I was shouting at the people on my team. He was great against Toronto for 120 minutes last week Wednesday. He was great today. He was powerful. He was driving. Marco Pappa is a super player, technically a very good player and Nigel was good. He’s a big part of this group, and I’ve said that all along and all the speculation about him. Nigel’s here and I’m delighted to have him."
Is the take-away from the game the overall effort and not one questionable call?
"I can only concentrate on what I can do. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do nothing about what’s going on today. I think you could all see it today. 20 odd thousand see it, so as much as I’d like to say certain things, I’ll talk about my team and I’ll continue to do that."
Thoughts on battle level:
"Yeah, it certainly was. They’re a good team. I’ve said that before the game they’re a good team, but so are we. Slowly we’re becoming a very good team. Two different types of teams, they’re very physical. They like to counter-attack. We like to counter-attack, but we like to try and keep the ball on the deck. We don’t have a big center-forward, as everyone likes to keep telling me, but we’ve got players who like to get down the sides and little give and goes, and things like that. So it was a contrast of two teams’ styles I think today, but I’m proud they matched the physicality because you know they are always going to be there, Seattle, and we’ve got to make sure we start to get there this year, and continue to get there and become a seasoned team."
MIDFIELDER GERSHON KOFFIE
Thoughts on his performance:
"The manager told me I did well on my performance, and I could have got more than one goal. I guess we will take it to the next game and see what happens."
Playing after the yellow card:
"When you get booked early you have to be careful about what you do, and you can’t create any fouls, so the manager told me I had a yellow card, so I should be careful."
On playing a more offensive role:
"The manager asked me to move forward a lot, and we can’t play with so many guys back, so I got the opportunities to score.
On scoring a similar goal in the past:
"I think last year I scored against Chivas, same except the goalie went off his line to play the ball."
DEFENDER NIGEL REO-COKER
Thoughts on the game:
"It was unlucky today, but nonetheless I thought it was a great team performance, I thought the first 30 minutes were fantastic. It’s the best we’ve been all season, the tempo, the passing, the movement. Another day it could’ve been three or four nil for us and game done, but that’s football and I thought it was unlucky for us today."
On the physical play:
"It was a good physical challenge for us, a good physical test and I thought we rose to the occasion. We did very well, we showed we’ve grown in character we’re not a team of soft touch anymore."
On the penalty call:
"You know, you’re going to get decisions like that, the referee made a decision, and that’s what he thought was the right decision. At the same time, we’ve got to look at how we played as a team, and how we’re developing and that’s a very experienced team; and we’re a young team who are still gluing together, and we’re getting stronger with every game we play."
On talking to the ref after the call:
"It was more of a one way conversation really, and there wasn’t really any communication."
STRIKER ERIK HURTADO
Thoughts on the match:
"Really proud of the boys, we went down came back, just unfortunate."
Thoughts on his own play:
"Just getting the opportunity, and making the best of it right now."
On using the game to prepare for Portland:
"It was a disappointing result, but nowhere near disappointing performance. We played great, the fans helped us out, and we’ve just got to take the performance, and push that forward through this week of training and take that into the Portland game. I feel confident that our team will be confident on the road."
On his goal:
"Just linked up with Pedro, and Seba, really well and I had the space, saw Alonso coming towards me, so I acted like I was going to cross it and made them bite, and then chopped it again and just roofed it."
On his growing confidence:
"I’m getting the opportunity to play, and I’m getting the opportunity to hold players off. Andy O’Brien has been telling me a lot how to hold defenders off, and how to position myself before I get the ball, so that has a lot to do with it. I’ve just got to keep taking on what he’s telling me, and add that into my game."
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID
On his feelings regarding the end result:
"Obviously, we always want to get more, but we’re happy to walk away with at least a point. Especially when you look at the players we’re missing in total and losing Marshall right before the game with an illness and losing Djimi Traore as well made it a little difficult. We had to make some unusual changes and substitutions. I thought we did well, we were unlucky on Oba’s shot. There we could’ve maybe pulled off the win and I wasn’t happy with the goals we gave up, obviously."
On Frei’s performance:
"I mean, the goal’s on him and on our defenders for not stepping in on that one. He made a save at the time when it was 1-1 where he came up with a big save to his left, he made a big save later, but that’s something that obviously can’t happen."
On the first goal:
"The guy gets into the box, with a chance maybe to stop him earlier, engage the player outside the box but then once he gets in the box and we have two players around him, so we’ve got a double, we’ve got to stay on our feet there. So we leave our feet, he cuts, and we tackle our own player. That’s something that I think, you stay on your feet, and you have a better chance of doing well there. Also, the timing of it, coming four or five minutes after our goal, that’s something that we’ve got to be a little more resolute at that, but it’s coming. We showed character, we showed our character to come back, and we showed our character to almost come away with three if Oba doesn’t hit the post there."
On the penalty call:
"It was hard because I really didn’t watch the replay, cause I was busy trying to organize our team at that point, so I haven’t seen the replay. Some people said it was a penalty, some people said it was soft, I don’t know. But, you’ve got to be willing to put yourself in a position, which Cam Weaver did and he ended up calling the PK."
DEFENDER BRAD EVANS
On how it felt to be with Sounders FC again after USMNT camp:
"Great. You know, put things in the past, and fortunate to get a result on the road. I thought the guys battled hard, maybe if we eliminate one or two mistakes, but happy with the boys, with the 2-2."
On how he wanted to handle coming back after being cut:
"Initially, your feelings are ‘I want to put this in the past, run around for 90 minutes and get after it.’ Maybe sometimes that’s not the smartest thing, so I took the smart approach, told him [Schmid] I felt good, I was mentally ready to go, I was into the game, I felt good out there. It was almost as though I just went away for conditioning camp for a week and then came back. I feel strong, I feel healthy, I feel fit. Overall, we spoke about it last night and this morning, there was never a worry about it."
On people’s expectations that he was likely to make the final USMNT roster:
"I was a consistent starter. Whenever I was called in, I was starting with that team. Like I said before, nothing’s done until it’s done and that’s the attitude that I took, and maybe that helped me out now, being able to move forward and hold my head high and look back over the past year. Everything that happened was kind of last minute with it, so it was a fun ride and it’s over now, but I continue on with the Sounders. We’re at 26 points and we’re sitting alright. We got a lot of work to do, but my focus now is Sounders. I wasn’t going to be comfortable ‘til I was there, and then I wasn’t going to be comfortable ‘til I was on the plane, and then I wasn’t going to be comfortable ‘til I was on the starting eleven, and I wasn’t going to be comfortable ‘til I started the next game. You know what I mean? The way that Sigi’s always said it is that you’re remembered by your last performance. That’s kind of the approach that I took."
MIDFIELDER CHAD BARRETT
Thoughts on the match:
"Felt good to get the goal. I’d be glad to get away with three points, but we’ll take the point right now. We made some mistakes to give them some goals and they capitalized on it. Good teams will do that. At least we got a point out of it, but it’s a little bittersweet."
On his substitution/ injury:
"It was just a cramp. It was my first time playing in this kind of an atmosphere, this kind of a game all season. Reserve games don’t really replicate this. They’re a fast team. I had to work a little playing a little out of position, and I just got a little tired, cramp. I’ll be ready to go for next Saturday."
On his goal following Vancouver’s early onslaught:
"Sometimes, you’ve got to be a firefighter and just douse the fire. They came out wanting it, you could tell they were really going. I don’t think I touched the ball for the first 10 minutes and that’s frustrating. You just want to make sure that you make some good saves, Stefan made some good saves, we had some good blocks. Luckily, they missed a couple shots. We came back, and we were able to score the goal, and then we gave it right back to them. It’s frustrating when we give up our goals and how we give up our goals. If we can change that and become a shutdown team, that’d be good."