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Real Salt Lake Vs. Sounders, MLS Cup Playoffs 2011: Highlights, Stats And Quotes

It really doesn't get much worse than that folks. And, yet, as Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said in postgame comments, they were lucky they didn't lost 6-0. The Sounders were outplayed every bit as bad as their 3-0 scoreline suggests, and probably even worse than that. 

Just going through the stats, there are signs of Real Salt Lake domination everywhere. Shots on goal: RSL 11, Sounders 0. Passing percentage: RSL 80, Sounders 64. Possession percentage: RSL 55, Sounders 45.

There really wasn't an outside player who was free from blame in this one. Osvaldo Alonso, probably the team's steadiest and most reliable player all year, had his worst game of the season. The entire defense looked completely out of sorts. The midfield couldn't link up passes. The forwards couldn't create chances. There really weren't many positives to even build off.

It was a highly inopportune time for this team to have its worst game of the year. The good news? There's no reason this team should be playing with nerves on Wednesday. 

Goals by Period




Real Salt Lake




Sounders FC




Scoring Summary:
RSL - Alvaro Saborio (Chris Wingert) 41'
RSL - Alvaro Saborio (Javier Morales) 53'
RSL - Ned Grabavoy 88'  

Real Salt Lake -Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell, Nat Borchers (Luis Gil 84), Jamison Olave (Chris Schuler 32), Chris Wingert, Kyle Beckerman, Andy Williams, Will Johnson, Javier Morales (Ned Grabovoy 79), Fabian Espindola, Alvaro Saborio.

Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish, Arturo Alvarez, Collen Warner, Paulo Jr.

TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (Saborio 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 12 (Saborio 3); FOULS: 11 (Olave, Russell, Williams, Saborio 2); OFFSIDES: 4 (Saborio, Espinolda 2); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Morales 4); SAVES: 0.

Seattle Sounders FC - Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kenedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Lamar Neagle (Erik Friberg 60), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez (Roger Levesque 77) Sammy Ochoa (Mike Fucito 63), Fredy Montero.

Substitutes Not Used: Bryan Meredith, Zach Scott, Tyson Wahl, Nate Jaqua.

TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Fernandez 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 0; FOULS: 11 (Gonzalez 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 7 (Fernandez, Friberg 3); SAVES: 9 (Keller 9).

Misconduct Summary:
RSL -- Fabian Espinolda (caution) 30'  
SEA -- Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 54'
SEA -- Fredy Montero (caution) 90'
SEA -- Erik Friberg (caution) 93'  

Referee: Mark Geiger
Referee's Assistants: Joe Fletcher, Steven Taylor
4th Official: Silviu Petrescu
Attendance: 17,067
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Clear and 50 degrees

Real Salt Lake   Seattle Sounders FC
19 Attempts on Goal 12
11 Shots on Target 0
6 Shots off Target 7
2 Blocked Shots 5
5 Corner Kicks 7
11 Fouls 11
15 Open Play Crosses 13
4 Offsides 0
1 Yellow Cards 3
0 Red Cards 0
29 Duels Won 36
44% Duels Won % 55%
392 Total Pass 316
80% Passing Accuracy % 64%
55.1% Possession 44.9%


On the overall play of his team:

"We're lucky we didn't lose 6-0. We were well-served by losing only 3-0. We played not well and I thought Real Salt Lake played very well. It was a bad time for us to choose to have a bad game, and obviously they had a really good game. Hats off to them."

On his team's difficulty on the offensive end:
"We couldn't keep the ball, we couldn't hold on to the ball. Some of that was due to their pressure, but some of it was just our bad passing. That's probably one of the worst games I've seen (Osvaldo) Alonso play in his three years with us, and it just wasn't a good exhibition of soccer from us."

On what his team has to do on Wednesday to be successful:
"We need to score four, it's very simple. We can't allow any goals. There's no secret strategy, everybody has to play better soccer then what they played (tonight), everyone has to put in a better performance. From the coaching staff to the support staff to the players, everyone has to do better than what they did because tonight wasn't good enough."


On the possibility of coming back in the second leg:
"Why not. They won 3-0 nothing, why can't we do the same?"

On what made things difficult tonight:
"We didn't do a good job. We didn't win out duels. We need to play more with the ball."

On why it was so hard to create chances:
"The whole time we were defending so our team was back and we didn't find a way to score goals and keep the ball."


On the 0-3 result:
"We just had to come out better than we did. Those are not goals we want to give up. We created some chances, we just couldn't put them away. Everything from top to bottom can be better. They were more physical; we just need to be tougher all around."

On being three down going into the second leg:
"We dug ourselves into a hole, but if any team can come back I believe it's us. There's still another game to play, so we'll see what happens."

On the mentality and strategy of the team before conceding the third goal:
"For me, as a forward, I wanted to get one back. It goes both ways because you don't want to push too far forward and give up another one, but you want to chip away at the lead."

On the mood in the locker room:
"We have a lot to be upset about, but come tomorrow we've got to put it behind us and do whatever it takes to turn the table the other way."


On gaining his first career MLS start:
"I was happy to get the start, but we didn't get the win here. We have 90 minutes to go and we have to do the best we can to come out on top."

On what Real Salt Lake did well:
"They did well pressing us and they did well pressuring us. It was hard to get the ball. We have to see the video, see where the mistakes were made and go from there and try to get the win on Wednesday."


On getting Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales back on the field at the same time:
"I'd speak more to having everybody on the field at the same time - our strongest lineup. I don't think we've had that ability to pick our absolute strongest lineup since the first leg of the (CONCACAF Champions League) final at Monterrey."

On whether or not Real Salt Lake kept their focus for 90 minutes:
"Yeah, I was very, very pleased. For me that was a complete match, and we haven't had a complete match of good soccer and good focus and the requisite commitment for a very long time."

On coming out with an aggressive mindset early in the match:
"Yeah, and I thought our spirit was really, really high. And I'll tell you what, that's a credit to the crowd. That was the first time in a long time that I can remember at the beginning of the match looking around and saying, ‘the stands are almost full.' Typically we have to wait until close to halftime to get the stands completely full and tonight they were almost full from before the kickoff. So it was a very, very loud start."


On the defensive effort making his job easier in goal:
"One of our focuses was to keep a zero back there. We knew they had some lethal weapons up top and in the midfield and (we had) to stay compact. When you add a leader like Kyle Beckerman to the lineup it gives us a lot of defensive work, and he covers so much ground. He helped out a bunch, but all in all I think my job was pretty easy tonight because of the guys in front of me keeping it tight, keeping a high line and stepping to the ball."

On the injuries to center backs Nat Borchers and Jamison Olave:
"Hopefully it's nothing too serious with those guys, but again, guys stepped up and we said, ‘You know, the playoffs are when you step up,' and we showed that we have some depth tonight and guys slid over and we got the win tonight."

On taking a 3-0 advantage to Seattle on Wednesday for the second leg:
"Seattle is a tough place to play. You can't be too comfortable with any score. They're still a great team and they'll be better at home, so we have to make sure we do everything right with our bodies, and I'm sure coach will have a game plan for us. 3-0 is a good lead, but I just think we need to continue to play well."

On the mentality that Real Salt Lake had going into the match:
"We looked at some tape and I think everybody got a little bit disappointed from that last-minute goal against Portland, and we wanted to make a 90-plus (minute) effort tonight. We're at home and we feel comfortable at home, and we know we can get our offensive chances if we play good defense."


On the way the match unfolded for Real Salt Lake:
"It looked good. I obviously had to watch it as a spectator as well the first 60 or 65 minutes. It's such a weird thing, you go into the playoffs and, obviously, we hadn't been doing our best stuff, but we kept telling ourselves if we keep playing and working through it that the soccer's going to show through. It doesn't necessarily surprise me. This is a very veteran group and I thought it would turn around."

On RSL's tactics going into the second half up 1-0:
"To be honest with you, I think we felt pretty comfortable at halftime. We thought the most important thing was making sure we got a zero here on our home field. I think that when we defend well as a team like that, our chances kind of seem to come from that; they kind of come out of nowhere. I don't think it's a situation where we were like, ‘let's throw numbers forward, let's try to get another one.' We were pretty confident that we'd find some chances in the second half by doing the things that we were doing and we did get some chances."


On the team's performance:
"I think the team was sharp in all the positions."

On the injuries to Nat Borchers and Jamison Olave
"I hope they get better soon and we have the whole team together again."    

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