From where I was sitting, it sure seemed like the Sounders had the better of the run of play. Of course, that doesn't really matter. Monterrey got a good break on the first goal when Kasey Keller misplayed a ball and, from what I'm reading anyway, our defense got caught in an attempt to pull an offside trap on the second goal.
Conversely, our players had several good looks at goal, but Sanna Nyassi went off the post and Fred Montero was flagged for being offside on an apparent Nate Jaqua goal.
I don't want to get too much into the tactics right now, since I don't think I had a great vantage point. I will say that Graham was very upset with some of the coaching decisions, and I have a hard time questioning his anger.
Undoubtedly, it was a frustrating match which saw the Sounders outshoot Monterrey 17-7 (7-2 on goal) and really seem to dominate possession. Monterrey goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco made several strong saves while generally egging on the Qwest Field faithful. It's also worth noting that the Monterrey players made fools of themselves with excessive diving, which was never really punished, but also not rewarded thankfully.
One bright spot was more than 22,500 showing up for the match. It may not seem like much for us since we're used to crowds 14,000 people bigger, but CONCACAF officials said it was the competition's second highest ever attended game in the U.S. Only DC United's match against Chivas in 2007 where more than 26,000 showed up.
Despite looking to be at least equal to each of their first two opponents, the Sounders have zero points to show for their efforts. In a six-game group, they are still alive but losing at home is a serious blow. Their next CCL match is Sept. 14 at Saprissa, which suddenly looks like a game that needs to result in points.
The good news is that we won't have long to wallow in self-pity over this loss. We've got Freddie Ljungberg coming to town on Saturday.
Stats and quotes after jump.
Goals by Period 1 2 Tot CF Monterrey 1 1 2 0 0 0 Scoring Summary MTR -- Neri Cardozo (Jesus Zavala) 41 MTR -- Aldo de Nigris (Neri Cardozo) 58 CF Monterrey -- Jonathan Orozco, Sergio Perez, Jose Maria Basanta, Hiriam Mier, Miguel Morales, Ricardo Osorio, Neri Cardozo (Sergio Santana 70), Jesus Zavala, Osvaldo Martinez (Luis Perez 81), Dario Carreno, Aldo de Nigris (Humberto Suazo 75). Misconduct Summary: MTR -- Jesus Zavala (caution; Reckless Foul) 32 MTR -- Neri Cardozo (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 36 SEA -- Nate Jaqua (caution; Reckless Tackle) 52 Referee: Joel Aguilar Referee's Assistants: -William Torres; Juan Francisco Zumba 4th Official: Jair Marrufo Attendance: 22,513 Time of Game: 1:50 Weather: Sunny-and-78-degrees
Substitutes Not Used: Juan de Dios Ibarra, Severo Meza, Pierre Ibarra, Duilio Davino.
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Aldo de Nigris 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 tied with 1); FOULS: 15 (Osvaldo Martinez 5); OFFSIDES: 8 (Aldo de Nigris 5); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Neri Cardozo 5); SAVES: 6 (Jonathan Orozco 6)
Seattle Sounders FC -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke, Leo Gonzalez, Sanna Nyassi, Osvaldo Alonso, Nathan Sturgis (Mike Seamon 67), Alvaro Fernandez (Roger Levesque 73), Fredy Montero, Blaise Nkufo (Nate Jaqua 46).
Substitutes Not Used: David Estrada, Taylor Graham, Tyson Wahl, Terry Boss.
TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Sanna Nyassi 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Nate Jaqua 2); FOULS: 15 (Sanna Nyassi 4); OFFSIDES: 3 (Fredy Montero 3); CORNER KICKS: 12 (Nathan Sturgis 8); SAVES: 1 (Kasey Keller 1)
Goals by Period
MTR -- Neri Cardozo (Jesus Zavala) 41
MTR -- Aldo de Nigris (Neri Cardozo) 58
CF Monterrey -- Jonathan Orozco, Sergio Perez, Jose Maria Basanta, Hiriam Mier, Miguel Morales, Ricardo Osorio, Neri Cardozo (Sergio Santana 70), Jesus Zavala, Osvaldo Martinez (Luis Perez 81), Dario Carreno, Aldo de Nigris (Humberto Suazo 75).
MTR -- Jesus Zavala (caution; Reckless Foul) 32
MTR -- Neri Cardozo (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 36
SEA -- Nate Jaqua (caution; Reckless Tackle) 52
Referee: Joel Aguilar
Referee's Assistants: -William Torres; Juan Francisco Zumba
4th Official: Jair Marrufo
Time of Game: 1:50
All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.
Seattle Sounders FC vs. CF Monterrey - August 25, 2010
Sigi Schmid - Sounders FC Head Coach
(General comments...) "I don't think we played that poorly. I thought we created some chances. In final passes, final through plays, they were more clinical than we were; they finished their chances well. Sanna would be making a lot of money right now if he could finish his chances. We had him in twice, we had Seamon in naked, we scored a good goal at the end. I don't know what the call was because Montero was not offsides, I just watched the replay, and neither was Jaqua because he was behind the ball. I don't know what the call was there. You'll have to ask the referees. It's what we do in the final thirds. Sometimes we get a little too small with our passing. We get too tight; we have to open it up a little bit. Overall, I thought in terms of moving the ball up the field, I thought we did a good job. I thought we created things. Certainly we don't have to hide."
(On margin for error now...) 'It all depends on how the group goes. You have to see what the result is of the other games. You never know. It can sometimes be less or more, but obviously it's disappointing to lose at home, especially in game where we probably played well enough that we could have gotten more. It is what it is, so we have to accept the reality and deal with it."
(On Monterrey's forwards...) "For sure their forwards make a lot more money than our forwards do. The finishing is something that we work on all the time in training, but if guys clinically finish, they probably wouldn't be playing with our team right now. We had some good opportunities. Montero had a good shot and the goalkeeper made a good save. The goalkeeper kicked his leg out and made the save on Seamon's shot. Some days it goes like that. We'll continue to work on finishing, on shooting, on goals in tight, it's something that you practice all the time."
(On Montero...) "At times they collapsed around him fairly well and took away his time and space a little bit. I don't think we got enough movement to him where he can play the ball away quickly enough. It's a matter of whether he's taking an extra touch because he doesn't have the option or does he need to play it a bit sooner. They certainly collapsed around him and make it difficult for him to play. They did a good job that way."
(On Monterrey's goals...) "The second goal was one where I think it was close and he was on probably on (sides), but I thought we made a mistake by trying to trap. We should have stayed with him. It's a little similar for the first goal where, even though the ball got deflected, you think it's going one way and you take a step that way and now you lose the guy by a step. We talked about it before the game to make sure you run with players and that you're honest and run with your guys. We were a step behind on the first one and stepped up to trap when we shouldn't have on the second one."
(On substitutions...) "Blaise and I and Nate had talked about it (split of playing time). We said that we would go Blaise 45 today and go Jaqua 45 today and try to stay active and fresh up front. We have a lot of games coming up. Chicago on Saturday and then Chivas and then we go to New England. Our next six games are all on turf, so we want to make sure guys get through that stretch."
Fredy Montero - Sounders FC Forward
(On the way the team played tonight . . .) "We all know that soccer is about who makes the goals and not who tries the most."
(On not scoring . . .) "We were very anxious. That anxiety got to us when trying to actually score. They got to us twice and scored."
(On looking forward . . .) "It's going to be very difficult but as soon as we can find our rhythm we will be able to convert some goals as visitors and that will allow us to get into the last round."
(On the disallowed goal . . .) "The ref saw that I was offside. I saw that the player from the other team actually had touched it with his head. But the ref saw what he saw."
Kasey Keller - Sounders FC Goalkeeper
(On the match . . .) "I think their movement was very good. They caught us off-guard a couple times and we didn't track with runners a couple times and we paid the price for it. At the same time, we created a ton of chances, scored a goal that wasn't offside that got called back, really had chances to put them under pressure at the end of the game and through a bad call and through our own mis-finishing we weren't able to do it. At the same time, I felt comfortable for the most part. I thought defensively we played pretty solid. Like I said, they were just trying to find that little gap and I think they were very fortunate on the first goal. It took a deflection, spun in, hell of a finish. I thought I had him. One of those, 'You're damned if you do, damned if you don't.' [. . .] It was frustrating because I thought we could have gotten something out of this game."
(On moving forward . . .) "It's tough. We have got a lot of guys who it's their first chance in this kind of situation. Sometimes you need that little bit of luck. You need that ball to bounce the right way. We had the chances down at Marathón [. . .] Today, same thing. We get an offside call that's not offside. Sometimes when you get that little bit of stuff going against you it's hard to pull yourself out of it. This game is over. We didn't come away with any injuries. I think guys are still pretty fresh and we have a huge game against Chicago on Saturday that would be a great time to bounce back and forget all about this game."
(On Saturday's match against Chicago . . .) "We are playing against a team that is hoping to make a run for the playoffs. We have put ourselves in that run and now we always said we had a great nine game streak unbeaten. We have now lost a couple in a row, granted in an interesting competition, away in Honduras and against, on paper, the best team in the group. Like I said, it's easy to just wipe that clean and go, 'OK, now we are back in MLS and now we get back to winning games like we have been for the past eight weeks."
Victor Manuel - Monterrey Head Coach (via interpreter)
(On his general impressions of the match...) "It was a well disputed match from the start all the way til the end. In the beginning we had to adapt to the pitch. Little by little we adapted to the circumstances. We were able to capitalize on some good opportunities. We adapted better in the second half, made use of space the Sounders left for us."
(On the Sounders offering more resistance than anticipated....) "No doubt, the Sounders are a very good team. They are well organized and very strong. It was important to take the game serious or else we could have been hurt."
(On the game plan for Monterrey....) "The team took match with strong responsibility, the concentration was strong from the start all the way until the end. We adapted to the pitch and the crossing game the Sounders practice."
(On the chances to advance to the next round....) "I believe it was an important step, but nothing is in stone. We have to continue play seriously and to advance to the next round we have to play like we did tonight."
(On being out shoot by the Sounders) "The Sounders started pressing and with them playing at home they understand the pitch. We missed a few early opportunities and with some cases a few shots on goal. We know that in soccer it isn't always about how many shots one team takes but the quality of shots. It is not always about the possession but about the effectiveness.
(On maintaining Fredy Montero....) "Fredy Montero is a very important player. We have a very balanced team and our defense is very solid and adapted to the characteristics of the player."