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Quick Review: Sounders over United on Montero Assist

WASHINGTON - JULY 15: Roger Levesque #24 of Seattle Sounders FC celebrates his goal with Sanna Nyassi #23 against # of D.C. United at RFK Stadium on July 15 2010 in Washington DC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JULY 15: Roger Levesque #24 of Seattle Sounders FC celebrates his goal with Sanna Nyassi #23 against # of D.C. United at RFK Stadium on July 15 2010 in Washington DC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)
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Sure, the traditional headline would be the Roger Levesque goal, but it was the assist that was impressive there. Montero lofted the ball just high enough, and placed it perfectly. Roger buried it, as expected and the 89th minute while long, was also perfect for the Sounders.

The defense was all Kasey Keller tonight, but his knock will take some time to heal, and so we wait. Sigi was forced to use his first sub when Jeff Parke got hurt, and Tyrone Marshall came on for him. Those two injuries could end a season that now doesn't feel as bad as it did merely two hours ago.

We should also remember though that this is DC United. They are a bad team with recently decent performance. Seattle is a mediocre team with injury issues and poor run of late. While United was probably the favorite, and 1-0 win was never out of the question.

The season is not saved. St. Nkufo was not the reason for the win. Freddie Ljungberg's absence did nothing to help Seattle and when combined with Jaqua's groin issue caused us to see much more of Pat Noonan than we want.

But Osvaldo Alonso is back. Sanna Nyassi looked good on defense, and his slightly long pass was collected well, so we may see more of him. I won't be too happy after these three points. There is a long road to climb back. Today was an excellent start at that climb. The Sounders won't get to the top of the mountain without reaching basecamp, that journey has started.

Stats and quotes when we get them

D.C. United




Seattle Sounders





Scoring Summary:

SEA - Levesque (Montero, Nyassi) 89


D.C. United - Troy Perkins, Jordan Graye, Julius James, Dejan Jakovic (Adam Cristman 80), Devon McTavish, Chris Pontius, Stephen King (Branko Boskovic 72), Clyde Simms, Andy Najar, Jaime Moreno (Pablo Hernandez 55), Santino Quaranta.

Substitutes Not Used: Bill Hamid, Danny Allsopp, Kurt Morsink, Carey Talley.

TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Santino Quaranta 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Santino Quaranta 2); FOULS: 9 (Julius James 2); OFFSIDES: 3 (Santino Quaranta 2); CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 4 (Troy Perkins 4)

Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke (Tyrone Marshall 62), Leo Gonzalez, Pat Noonan (Sanna Nyassi 87), Nathan Sturgis, Michael Seamon (Osvaldo Alonso 72), Steve Zakuani, Fredy Montero, Roger Levesque.

Substitutes Not Used: Terry Boss, Zach Scott, Peter Vagenas, Blaise Nkufo

TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Fredy Montero 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (2 players with 2); FOULS: 12 (James Riley 3); OFFSIDES: 1 (Pat Noonan 1); CORNER KICKS: 11; SAVES: 5 (Kasey Keller 5)


Misconduct Summary:

DC - Julius James (caution; Reckless Tackle) 54

SEA - Leo Gonzalez (caution; Tactical Foul) 85


Referee: Alex Prus

Referee's Assistants: Cyril Madukanya; Brian Poeschel

4th Official: Michael Kennedy

Attendance: 13,716

Time of Game: 1:50

Weather:  Cloudy and 89 degrees


All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial


(On the game . . .) “I thought we came out and we fought and we battled in the first half. We had some chances and I thought we had a little more of the game in terms of possession and I thought in the second half D.C. picked up the tempo a little bit. They had some chances, as well, but we ended up getting a late goal. And we’ve been giving up some late goals, so it was nice to do the reverse this time.”

(On who was key to the win . . .) “I thought the middle of our midfield. I thought Nate Sturgis played well. I thought Michael Seamon played well. [Osvaldo] Alonso came on and did a good job on the new player D.C. brought in – Boskovic. So that helped us control the tempo of the game and Fredy Montero I thought was very, very effective tonight.”

(On the play of goalkeeper Kasey Keller . . .) “Kasey [Keller] made some great saves and he’s playing on a bum ankle. He can’t kick the ball or punt the ball at the end and that’s why we held off so long on the last sub because we didn’t know if we had to sub Kasey, maybe. But then he felt he could get through it and that’s when be brought on Nyassi.”

(On D.C. United . . .) “I think D.C. has had a little bit of hard luck because they’ve taken a lot of late goals, as well. As they integrate their two new players, when they get Hernandez up to speed because training with the team and playing in games is different. We had Nkufo here today but he needs to get used to it. I want him to see the game up close and so forth. But as those two [D.C. United] players come along, I think they could be a dangerous team. [Andy] Najar is playing very well for them on the wing. He’s a dangerous player and [Chris] Pontius I think is a dangerous player as well.”

(On how the goal sequence developed . . .) “Just doing what we did all night long: putting pressure on them, getting ourselves in good positions. I’m not entirely sure how the build-up went. I know Fredy [Montero] got the ball out wide, held the ball up and made a great move and whipped the ball across. It just got over their defender and all I was trying to do was put it on frame. I’m not even sure what minute it was, 85th, 86th – something like that – and just hold on and get out of there with a win.”

(On the Sounders’ success at RFK . . .) “I think just getting off to a good start. Last year, the Open Cup final gave us a good feeling. The momentum we carried through after that obviously into the next week and recently we’ve been playing well, or playing better at least. [We’ve been] trying to get ourselves in line going throughout the season and using this game as a momentum builder, hopefully we do that. I don’t know if it’s a specific stadium or if it’s just a matter of us taking advantage of the moment and it’s unfortunate for D.C. that it’s in this stadium.”

(On the win . . .) “I thought we battled. I thought we fought today. Everyone fought for each other and everyone was doing everything they needed to do to defend, to attack, to keep the ball, just doing the right things on the field. I think we showed a lot of heart and getting that goal late was a full team effort. Kasey [Keller] making some big saves off the line, guys clearing the ball off the line. It was just a complete team effort tonight.

(On his injury and the win . . .) “Someone said to me it kind of looked like my studs caught the [turf] right as we were coming in together. Either way, it didn’t make me feel too nice, but you know the three points is everything. We’re just so happy. We needed something to go our way. We’ve played well enough to win games and we’ve given up late goals for draws and it just felt good to keep that clean and to win, 1-0, and for Roger [Levesque] to pop up at the end. I tell you, it was hot as hell out there, man, and we’re not used to that in the old Northwest.”

(On playing in the heat . . .) “It’s been a little bit warmer at home lately. We’ve still probably only trained a handful of times at over 70 degrees. But the Philly game was a good learning curve for us. They were a little tired, too, don’t get me wrong. It’s impossible not to be. Our attitude has been changing in the last three or four games and I think we’re definitely moving in the right direction. If you can play a game with this kind of humidity, against a team that likes to keep the ball, likes to pass it and come away with three points, it’s nice. It’s nice to be able to do that.”

(On the outcome of the game . . .) “It’s a game where I don’t think we were particularly good in the first half. I thought we were much better in the second half. Having said that, we didn’t finish our chances. We had a couple of good opportunities and at the end of the game we pushed the game because we needed, in our mind, we wanted to get three points out of this game. We gave away a terrible ball to give away in our part of the field and we got punished.”

(On Hernandez . . .) “I thought when he came in the game we moved the ball well but we had the game. If you look at the first half we didn’t do well in possessing the ball. Second half we did a good job of that and he was a big part of it.”

(On whether the team is moving forward positively . . .) “It’s the grind of MLS. We took a whole bunch of steps forward. Tonight we took a step back. Is it the end of the world? It kind of is in my mind a little bit but we’ve got to lick our wounds and just keep progressing. We have a big game at home against Galaxy, which is the best team in Major League Soccer at this point. And, like I said earlier in the year, we have to learn from this stuff. It was a youthful error in the 87th minute that cost us the game and that happens. It’s disappointing but we’ll continue to get better.”

(On Andy Najar . . .) “If you look at Andy’s performance at 17 years old he’s making runs in the 90th minute to create chances and the majority of our chances came from his side, so he was dangerous. We still need more composure in the final third. We have to do a better job of that first pass, that second pass and that third pass.”

(On the first half . . .) “I wasn’t that pleased with how we defended during the first half, honestly. I thought that we gave them too much room. I thought they had some shots from distance. I thought we were just a little bit off. We knew that they were going to drop off a little bit, put a little pressure and we didn’t do a good job at moving the ball quick enough and opening up and having better movement of the ball. It’s not an easy thing to do on a hot night but it had to be better. Second half was a ton better there but Montero’s a very good player. We know that.”

(On losing late against the run of play . . .) “Yeah, I think it’s one of those things where you look at the game and it was a story of two halves. We struggled in the first half, but in the second half I never felt like we were going to lose the game. I didn’t think we deserved to lose it to be honest. In the end, it was one break down, one mistake that [caused the loss]. We have to lift our heads up and move on. We have a couple of days here to get back at it on Sunday.”

(On facing LA Galaxy on Sunday . . .) It’s going to be a good one. I think every opponent in this league is difficult, especially LA where they are so dynamic up front. They are very good on the counter attack and tonight we lost our shape a bit so we need to watch out for [counter attacks]. That said, in the end a mistake cost us. It just wasn’t good enough.”

(On his attempt at an empty Seattle net . . .) “I tried to chip it over [Kasey Keller]. It is one of those things where you think, ‘Man, I have been so close so many times.’ We’re just struggling. I’m trying my best, but I’m just not scoring at the moment. I can’t explain it. There are fingertip saves, balls bouncing off the bar. I don’t know.”

(On losing such a close match . . .) “Obviously we are disappointed. We know now the way things have gone, that we need three points, so especially for us this is very tough. You know in the first half, I thought we were lucky to come inside at 0-0, but in the second half we played a lot better. We knocked the ball around. We created a lot of chances, but soccer is a cruel game. We are disappointed not to get points out of tonight’s game, but we have to get back to work tomorrow.”

(On recovering in time for LA . . .) “You know, I think it is better with such little time. You don’t have a whole week to think about it and mull over it. I think it is a good thing to have another game on Sunday and to put this behind us right away.”

(On his D.C. United debut . . .) “It’s hard to say. I think we were unlucky, you know? We gave away a hard goal in the last minute. It was very unlucky. I think we must continue to work very hard. We must try to win the next game and forget this match. We have to prepare hard for the next game.”

(On the level of play in MLS . . .) “The level everywhere now is high. Everybody runs wells. You must be physically very good. MLS is the same. I need to keep playing and I hope the next game physically I am much better.”

(On the loss . . .) “It’s tough, just a tough loss to deal with. I thought at times we looked sharp. We needed to put away our chances. At other times we were disorganized and we paid the price. It was definitely not a good way for us to end the match.”


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