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Quick Review: Sounders settle for scoreless tie

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Kasey Keller came up big to stop Robbie Findley on a penalty attempt in the first half.
Kasey Keller came up big to stop Robbie Findley on a penalty attempt in the first half.

 

Sometimes a tie feels like a win. Sometimes it feels like a loss. Tonight, a 0-0 decision with Supporters Shield-contending Real Salt Lake it felt like a, well, tie.

RSL had, unquestionably, the best scoring opportunity. But Kasey Keller stopped Robbie Findley's penalty at 32' to keep the game scoreless.

The Sounders, though, seemed to have more opportunities, but were unable to make the final passes that would have helped turn them into goals. The RSL defense, too, came up big with several blocked shots and kept backup goalkeeper Kyle Reynish from being too significantly tested.

The Sounders who had been on quite a roll in terms of getting shots on goal have suddenly struggled to get much on net. This was the second straight game -- notably both without Blaise Nkufo in the lineup -- where they failed to get more than three shots on target. That comes on the heels of a seven-match run in which the Sounders got at least five in every game.

It was hoped that the presence of Nate Jaqua would provide some holding ability that the Sounders lose with Nkufo's absence, but he struggled to create much out of the target forward position and was subbed out for Michael Fucito at 70'. Fucito, who is seven inches shorter and much faster than Jaqua, succeeded in creating some chances but was equally ineffective at helping the Sounders find the back of the net.

The post-match locker room was quiet and lacked the kind of buzz you might expect after gaining a much needed point against a team that has lost just once since April.

Perhaps that's because the Sounders felt that two extra points were for the taking in both matches against RSL. In the previous encounter, you might remember, the Sounders ceded a stoppage time goal that robbed them of two points. In this one, there were frustrations for different reasons.

Whether it was the questionable nature of the penalty call that led to Keller's heroic save, the final whistle that blew as Steve Zakuani was streaking down the byline for a potential 1v1 or just the frustration of numerous missed connections, the Sounders hardly seemed to be in the mood to celebrate.

"It was frustrating not to get the win," said Fucito, who made his first appearance at Qwest since his stoppage time goal against Kansas City. "I think we can beat that team.

"We have high expectations. We want to keep that good streak going that we had and rebound from that game last weekend. Especially playing at home, we expect to get three points every time. So, we're frustrated, but we didn't give up a goal ... it could be better."

For the rest of us, though, sometimes a tie is just fine. The point keeps us five points up on Toronto in the overall standings and actually moves us ahead of San Jose for seventh. It also allows us to maintain our .14 PPM lead over Chicago, who now trails by seven points with three matches in hand.

The tie may not feel great, but crunching the numbers tells us it will do.

Stats and quotes after the jump.

Goals by Period

1

2

Tot

Real Salt Lake

0

0

0

Seattle Sounders

0

0

0

 

Scoring Summary:

     

 

Real Salt Lake -- Kyle Reynish, Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Chris Schuler, Chris Wingert, Nelson Gonzalez (Will Johnson 65), Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Andy Williams, Robbie Findley (Pablo Campos 89), Alvaro Saborio.

Substitutes Not Used:
 Jean Alexandre, Paulo Araujo Jr., Robbie Russell, Collen Warner, Nick Rimando. 

TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Robbie Findley 2, Alvaro Saborio 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Robbie Findley 1, Andy Williams 1); FOULS: 15 (Nelson Gonzalez 3, Andy Williams 3); OFFSIDES: 2 (Robbie Findley 1, Alvaro Saborio 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Nelson Gonzalez 1, Javier Morales 1); SAVES: 2 (Kyle Reynish 2)

Seattle Sounders
 -- Kasey Keller, Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke, Leo Gonzalez, Alvaro Fernandez (Sanna Nyassi 74), Osvaldo Alonso, Nathan Sturgis (Mike Seamon 85), Steve Zakuani, Fredy Montero, Nate Jaqua (Michael Fucito 70).

Substitutes Not Used:
 Roger Levesque, Tyrone Marshall, Tyson Wahl, Terry Boss. 

TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Osvaldo Alonso 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Osvaldo Alonso 2); FOULS: 11 (Osvaldo Alonso 3); OFFSIDES: 1 (Fredy Montero 1); CORNER KICKS: 6 (Nathan Sturgis 4); SAVES: 2 (Kasey Keller 2)

 

Misconduct Summary:

RSL -- Alvaro Saborio (caution; Reckless Tackle) 54

 

Referee: Paul Ward

Referee's Assistants: -Peter Manikowski; Anthony Vasoli

4th Official: David Gantar

Attendance: 36,078

Time of Game: 1:52

Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-59-degrees


All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial 

Seattle Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake - September 9, 2010 - Postgame Quotes

 

Sigi Schmid - Sounders FC Head Coach

 (On the game) "I think we battled and we fought, but I don't think we played great soccer tonight so it was a little disappointing from that regard because I know we have more in us. For whatever reason all of our passing was disjointed and we didn't click in that regard. I'm still proud of the fact that we've played what's probably the best team in the league twice now and have tied them twice. But I know we're capable of better soccer and I don't think we played as well tonight as we could have."

 

(On Kasey Keller's game) "Kasey Keller made a great save on the penalty. It probably was a PK because he [Parke] probably did get a piece of him in the box, but we thought the ball was out of bounds before it ever got there. At the end of the day, Keller came up with a great save and it was probably justified because I don't know if they deserved it 100 percent for sure. He came up with a big save there and it garnered us a point tonight."

 

(On RSL starting Kyle Reynish in goal and putting pressure on him) "With any keeper, you just have to put shots on goal. [Kyle] Reynish did well, but I don't think we put enough things on goal to really test him often enough. Ossie [Alonso] did a couple of times on some shots, but there was nothing clean that I felt really put him under pressure. He did well. And we find out about that when the lineups are exchanged so when we put the lineups for the guys, they knew then."

 

(On Alonso's long-distance attempts on goal) "When he has a clean look, it's perfectly fine. He had the one that the goalkeeper had to make the save on and then the one that he just barely put over. If we're forcing it, sometimes it's not good. When he gets clean looks, he strikes the ball fairly well."

 

(On not getting as many shots on goal as of late) "Our movement just hasn't been as good as it could be. There are times when we're mis-hitting clearances. Our passing out of the back was not real good tonight - I think we missed James Riley a little bit there because he helps us with that. But also the passing from our other defenders wasn't as sharp. Our hold-up play wasn't as good. I think that's one thing that (Blaise) Nkufo adds to our team - he's able to hold the ball up for us and that allows people to get into attacking positions. It's the same thing on a different scale that (Javier) Morales or (Alvaro) Saborio does for them. Nate Jaqua battled hard, but didn't necessarily hold up the ball for us. It's not that we're eons away from where we need to be - we're very close."

 

(On Fredy Montero not having as much an impact the last few games) "His success is a reflection of how our team's playing as well. I thought he worked very hard and he battled. I think sometimes what happens is he gets frustrated and tries to maybe do too much at times, but it's because he's trying to help the team. He really wants to help the team in that regard. Again, hold up play next to him is important because that allows him to get into good positions and our passing is important to him. So he thrives off the team just as the team thrives off of him."

 

(On the approach to upcoming Champions League matches) "As far as I know, we have zero points. There are a couple of teams with three and there's one team that has six and if that team with six wins their game and we win our game then you've got three teams with three so I think that would put us right in the thick of it. So we have to be smart and we're going to try and put our best lineup out there for each game. We'll base our lineup on injuries, fitness and everything and the same thing when we go to play Columbus - every time we step on the field we want to win. We don't want to do anything less than win."

(On any update on Blaise Nkufo's condition) "He seems to feel better, but we have to see how he does Saturday in training."

 

(On Osvaldo Alonso's play) "I thought Ossie's play was good. He covers and fills a lot of gaps for us at midfield. I thought he did a pretty good job of containing [Javier] Morales. I don't think Morales did a whole lot to hurt us tonight so I thought he did a good job there. Defensively we were okay with a couple of exceptions. Even though they knocked the ball around, it wasn't where they were penetrating a lot. There were a couple that were close, a couple that ... offsides, not offsides, but overall I thought we were okay. It was when we transitioned and the ball turned over to us, I don't think we did a good enough job of keeping it and as a result that made us defend more than we should have."

 

(On being surprised about the amount of whistles) "Tonight, with whistles, nothing surprised me."

 

(On the team's passing and possession play . . .) "We just have to work on that part of our game. That was the reason we brought in [Mike] Fucito. Even though he's a smaller stature player, he does a good job of keeping the ball and connecting. He laid a couple of good balls out to [Steve] Zakuani and got him involved, and actually had a very good shot himself. We just have to work on that aspect. The problem with the games is you really don't get any time to train so you're going from game to game and you have to talk about it then hope they understand it from talking about it."

 

Kasey Keller - Sounders FC Goalkeeper

(On his save on the penalty kick attempt . . .) "I mean, penalty saves are penalty saves. You just hope you go the right way. You hope he puts it somewhere where you can save it and today he did that, which was nice. It was great to be able to come up with that save at that time. I would love to see it on replay because I thought he went down pretty easily. In the end, it didn't hurt us so that is good."

 

(On the home crowd . . .) "There's going to be far more years when they don't chant my name so it's nice when they do. The most important thing was getting away with this game. It was one of those games where they came here to get at least one point and if they got something more then they were very happy about that. I thought the first 10 or 15 minutes we were tremendous and then we kind of didn't quite play as well after that. But some guys really stepped up. Ossie [Osvaldo Alonso] continued to play great. Zach Scott came in for James [Riley] and did a tremendous job. We are doing OK. We are frustrated. Sure. We want to win every time we step on this field. But people have to understand that teams are going to come here and really make it difficult for us because they respect what we have done here and what this crowd is like. Like I said, we could've gotten a little more today but it's definitely not the end of the world."

 

(On stopping penalty kicks . . .) "You can do whatever but in the end if you can come up with a few saves at the right time then great, maybe make them miss a couple. Great. But you got to understand that more often than not they are going to score. That's just the way it is."

 

Jeff Parke - Sounders FC Defender

(On the penalty . . .) "It was a good play by him [Robbie Findley] and a dumb play by me. I shouldn't have lunged in like that. I should've just kept him outside and my mistake."

 

(On Kasey Keller saving the penalty kick attempt . . .) "It was great. It definitely kept the game obviously with a tie for us. It lifts you, gets you back on track. A goal there and it's difficult to get back in but he did a great job saving it and kept us in the game."

 

(On the match . . .) "It was good. They are a good team. I think they are the best team that I have played against this year, just on movement and just players-wise they know where each other is supposed to be. They are always playing balls into the forwards feet and guys playing off and they are always moving. They are a tough team. On our part, I didn't think we played to our best. We weren't that sharp. Obviously there were some clearances that I should've done better with but for the most part we edged out a result and that's alright."

 

(On holding RSL scoreless . . .) "It's good. Obviously the PK was frustrating. As a team, I think we played good enough to keep them out of the net. I don't think they had too many good chances. After giving up three crappy goals last week, to give up none this week is good."

 

(On the result . . .) "You feel like you got something but it's frustrating because obviously we need points. Every time you get a tie you give space for other teams to gain on you. It's frustrating because we are at home and we want to win at home. There was only seven games, now six left, so we need to get some good results and buckle down because we have a big road trip coming up and then another road game against a tough team in Columbus.

 

Mike Fucito - Sounders FC Forward

(On playing at Qwest Field . . .) "It felt great. I love playing here. I love the fans. It's been a long time. That was the first time I got somewhat significant minutes. I think my fitness is coming along and I would like to hopefully start banging away some goals again."

 

 

Jason Kries - RSL Head Coach

(On coming away with a draw in the match....) "I'm thrilled for more reasons than just the result. The guys put in great effort tonight and the attention to detail was amazing. The commitment level was just second to none."

 

(On the play of Kyle Reynish and Chris Schuler...) "Just amazing, in my opinion they were in the right position to make plays for our team. We have been really patient with Chris and have taken our time with him. He stepped into arguably one of the most difficult places in the entire league and just didn't put a foot wrong. He has so much personality and competitive fire."

 

(On Robbie Findley pressing too much...) "I think he is a confident player. I have to give credit to the guys for having him take the penalty. We have a real family spirit and gave him the opportunity to score. To watch two or three of our guys go grab him after he misses and let him know it is ok; that for me is special stuff."

 

Kyle Beckerman - RSL Midfielder

(On his thoughts on tonight match...) "This is a tough place to play; now they are getting desperate with the playoffs. They are really attacking with everything they have. We were able to match their intensity and knew that at the 75th minute we could get out of here with a draw."

 

Robbie Findley - RSL Forward

(On missing the penalty kick . . .) "I was taken down in the box and stepped up to take the shot. I didn't hit it that well and he made a good save. Nothing more than that really."