Sigi Schmid put out what looks to be his First XI in a game that didn't matter for the Seattle Sounders. As preparation for the MLS Cup Playoffs the match against Chivas USA was solid preparation, except for the possible injury to Mauro Rosales. On goal one Mike Fucito played the target role drawing three defenders before bouncing the ball out to James Riley who popped it up and over to Fredy Montero in a one-on-one. Montero's threat was quickly recognized so Andrew Boyens closed in quickly. Fredy's attempt to shoot at the far post went off of poor Boyens' heel and the scoring was opened. Once that happened Seattle got to play the open free game at which they excel. The Alvaro Fernandez goal off the great vision of Brad Evans was a prime example of just the type of counterattacking play at which Seattle can shift into and thrub a team. By the way, for all the talk about MVP candidates like Montero, Rosales and Osvaldo Alonso there's a certain left mid with 11 goals and 5 assists in all competitions as well. In what seems a recurring theme Montero's passing vision was again displayed and he earned his 11th all competitions assist matching last year's total with at least two games to play. Sammy Ochoa dove about three feet about the ground and scored a Pemco (header to a nutmeg to a goal).
For a scoreline that seemed quite dominant the statistics give insight into how possession changes on the road, particularly when the road team goes up a goal and is willing to counter-attack to confirm the win. Chivas controlled possession, was the better passer and in somewhat shocking news won more duels. Also tucked in the stats is the little fact that Seattle not only had only one block, but they blocked 7 shots. The defense is wants that shutout badly and refused to make the errors that have popped up recently, while also providing Kasey Keller a little extra help.
Sigi's number one concern, as demonstrated in post-game quotes is team health, particularly Rosales. At some point today his health will be evaluated and the need for an MRI will be discovered. Schmid mentions that it may have been more fear and caution than actual injury. Sammy Ochoa shares his pure joy in playing with players willing to share the ball, especially on a day when he played in front of dozens of friends and family. Keller though reminds us all that the only thing that matters now that the Sounders have been one of the best regular season teams in history is a 4 game tournament, a trip or two to LA and making this good season great.
|Goals by Period||
SEA - Own Goal 53'
SEA - Alvaro Fernandez 9 (Brad Evans 5) 68'
SEA - Sammy Ochoa 2 (Fredy Montero 9, Roger Levesque 3) 73'
CHV - Victor Estupinan 1 (Andrew Boyens 1, Marcos Mondaini 2) 83'
Chivas USA - Dan Kennedy, Zarek Valentin, Heath Pearce (Andrew Boyens 46'), David Junior Lopes, Ante Jazic (Mariano Trujillo 57'), Ben Zemanski, Blair Gaven, Nick LaBrocca, Alejandro Moreno, Marcos Mondaini, Juan Pablo Angel (Victor Estupinan 76').
Substitutes Not Used: Zach Thornton, Michael Lahoud, Jorge Flores, Chris Cortez.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Angel, Estupinan 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Angel, Estupinan, Zemanski 1); FOULS: 13 (Boyens 3); OFFSIDES: 3 (Angel 3); CORNER KICKS: 8 (Mondaini 5); SAVES: 2 (Kennedy 2).
Seattle Sounders FC - Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kenedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez (Tyson Wahl 82'), Mauro Rosales (Rover Levesque 11'), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez, Mike Fucito (Sammy Ochoa 65'), Fredy Montero.
Substitutes Not Used: Bryan Meredith, Zach Scott, Erik Friberg, Lamar Neagle.
TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Montero 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Fernandez 2); FOULS: 16 (Alonso 4); OFFSIDES: 3 (Montero 3); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Fernandez 2); SAVES: 1 (Keller 1).
CHV -- Ben Zemanski (caution; reckless tackle) 5
SEA -- Roger Levesque (caution; reckless tackle) 40
SEA -- Brad Evans (caution; dissent) 79
SEA-- Fredy Montero (caution; dive) 80
|Referee: Ricardo Salazar|
|Referee's Assistants: Craig Lowry, Peter Manikowski|
|4th Official: Ramon Hernandez|
|Time of Game: 1:50|
|Weather: Foggy and 64-degrees|
All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial
Chivas USA 13 Attempts on Goal 9 2 Shots on Target 4 4 Shots off Target 4 7 Blocked Shots 1 8 Corner Kicks 3 12 Fouls 18 25 Open Play Crosses 6 3 Offsides 3 1 Yellow Cards 3 0 Red Cards 0 37 Duels Won 35 51% Duels Won % 48% 521 Total Pass 353 86% Passing Accuracy % 77% 60.2% Possession 39.8%
Seattle Sounders FC
Attempts on Goal
Shots on Target
Shots off Target
Open Play Crosses
Duels Won %
Passing Accuracy %
CHIVAS USA – SEATTLE SOUNDERS POST GAME QUOTES
CHIVAS USA HEAD COACH – Robin Fraser
On game: "We started the game well. I thought our intensity and our focus was right. Certainly, our possession was right in the first half and defensively we were quite solid. We needed to sharpen up a bit in the final third; we talked about that during halftime. It’s been too many times we’ve spoken about playing well, playing decently and defensive miscues lead us to where we are. We’ve talked about it so many times this year and it’s disappointing we’re having the same discussion again."
On the own goal: "At the end of the day, a goal, in any form or fashion at that time would have been somewhat deflating for us because in the first half, we were on the front foot, we did a really good job at keeping the ball and we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be in the final third, final pass, the decisive moment in our attack probably wasn’t quite as good as they needed to be, but I thought the energy was great and we came into the second half and we were definitely under a little pressure early on but nothing that we couldn’t seem to withstand. It was a soft goal and with this team, we look at it and say ‘it was a soft goal, here we go again,’ that sort of thing. We’ve seen us shoot ourselves in the foot so many times."
On what he’s learned on his first season as coach: "One of the things I’ve learned is how much you have to adapt, based on the players you have and players form, that sort of thing. You come in with a certain idea as to what you need to do to make a team successful and at the end of the day, every team has different personalities, every team has different players, the problems are going to be different on every team. It’s one of those things that you have to be very adaptable to the situation. At the end of the day, it’s difficult because the biggest process is figuring out what you have and what you don’t have and you have an idea on the outside and not until you get in and you’re with the team day in and day out is when you truly figure out what your strengths are and what your weaknesses are."
On Victor Estupiñan’s goal: "Victor came into the game and his energy was good, made a lot of good runs out in the midfield and gets on the end of a service and creates a goal, certainly for him, it was a bright spot. Victor has worked extremely hard, especially with the last couple of months of the season and he’s really turned the corner in terms of his maturing as a young professional. He still has a long way to go but I think that his attitude and demeanor has gone a long way, in terms of getting him into the A-team and into the game, and then he makes the most of his opportunities."
On Chivas USA’s fan base: "I thank the fans for their support. In general, I think everyone says that often in every sport but I genuinely mean that we haven’t done enough for our fans; we haven’t played well enough for our fans consistently. We’ve had moments that have been great when things have come together and it’s been a great atmosphere for us and for the fans but I think those moments have been far too inconsistent and we know that we need to be better, not just for ourselves but for the organization and definitely for the fans who have been with us throughout the year. I hear the same faces, and I hear the same comments and it really is fantastic that through some of our ups and downs that some of those people have stuck with us and been here cheering for us every week. Tonight, is a micro summary of the season where at moments, we played really well but critical mistakes did us in. I think the fans deserve better and we’re going to do everything in the offseason to get better and that they [the fans] have a team next season that they’re extremely proud of far more consistently."
CHIVAS USA DEFENDER – Andrew Boyens
Thoughts on the game: "Obviously disappointed, I think we actually lost it for long periods. We gave up a soft first goal, own goal. Then I think we didn’t react very well to it."
Thoughts on the season: "I think this game sums up our season really. Excellent in parts, we’ve had games where we’ve played very well and got results and games where we’ve done the opposite and I think during the game today we had both the good and the bad. Unfortunately, they took advantage of our bad, and we didn’t quite get the opportunities with our good."
CHIVAS USA GOALKEEPER – DAN KENNEDY
On the season: "A lot of change coming into this year, we obviously had some really good moments but in the last ten to eleven games our results dropped off and that’s what in the end cost us a spot in the playoffs. To take so many steps forward and have us lose it in the end is what hurts us the most, because we were definitely in the thick of it come ten games ago, even six games ago, we were still in the thick of it."
Thoughts on the game: "I thought we came out and we had a good first half. Then some bad turnovers turned into some opportunities for them and we weren’t able to clear the box and that’s what happens. They have a team with some weapons and they’ll punish you when they get the chances, and we just gave them too much off of our turnovers."
On nomination for comeback player of the year: "Personally I’ve had 3 surgeries in the last 2 seasons, prior to this one. It’s a comeback, it was definitely an accomplishment for me. This was one of my goals, to get through a full season. I was happy to get the amount of games that I got, and hopefully now the most important thing is that we move forward as a team and we find a way to get better so that next year we’ll be in the playoffs."
SEATTLE SOUNDERS - Head Coach Sigi Schmid
On the Rosales injury: "I’m not sure if we have to do an MRI. A lot depends on how he feels tomorrow. Today I think it was shock as much as anything else. He got hit right in the same spot, and I think he was more scared than anything else. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow and we’ll go from there."
Overall thoughts on the result: "I would have preferred us to play to a zero at the end and not give up a goal, but I’d rather give up a goal when we’re leading three-nothing than when it’s zero-zero. I thought we did a good job. We’ve told our team that if we play to zero we’ll find a way to score. We’ve shown that capability all year, and we showed it again today."
On Sammy Ochoa: "I thought Sammy played well. He’s been a good pick-up for us; he knows how to play the game and he does a good job holding the ball up for us as well. He’s courageous. He had to stick his head in there for the third goal, and he’s willing to do that kind of thing. He’s definitely been a very good addition to our team."
SEATTLE SOUNDERS - Goalkeeper Kasey Keller
On the result and Rosales Injury: "We stuck to our plan. We wanted to be a little bit tighter defensively then we were and hit them when we needed to. The team’s in a good place. Hopefully Mauro is not too injured, that’s the only real downside of the game… We’ve been able to cover for people all season, and I see no reason why we won’t be able to now as well. But hopefully it’s not as bad as it kind of looked, but other than that, very good day."
On what was different this year, clinching the playoffs early: "The thought process from early on was keep doing what we’re doing, because we plan on going a lot further in the playoffs than we have before. It’s a different mentality. I’m not saying by any means that we’re looking ahead of anything. Salt Lake is a good team, and we know we need to be at our best. I feel maybe this year we’re at a better place starting the playoffs. But everything goes out the window now. It doesn’t matter what we did today, three months ago or at the beginning of the season. It’s just two games now, and we have to come out and play the way we’re capable of playing and we’ll be alright."
SEATTLE SOUNDERS - Forward Sammy Ochoa
On how many friends and family members the Southern California native had in attendance: "There was a bunch. A lot of people: friends and family. Probably like fifty I’d say. I didn’t know how many would come out, so I actually just saw some friends in the stands."
On scoring in successive games: "I’m a little surprised. But the goals I made were both just push-in goals. Great balls from Mauro [Rosales] and [Fredy] Montero, so they get all the credit, I just push them in. The goals were scored from me, but they deserve 100% credit."
On coming to MLS: "I’ve been thinking for the past three years. I’ve really wanted to come [to MLS] but my team didn’t really give me the chance to come on loan or anything. Finally after my contract was up I decided to come and thought it was a good move for me [to go to Seattle], and thank God it’s been going really well so far."