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Seattle Sounders Vs. Toronto FC: Highlights, Statistics, Quotes

Watching this game from the Brougham End, as opposed to my usual perch in the press box, I came away feeling like this was easily the most dominant the Seattle Sounders had looked in recent memory. You could say the game against the Houston Dynamo during thewas better played; you could argue that 3-0 win over the New England Revolution last year was an "easier" win; you might even suggest the MLS-era opening 3-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls was equally emotional. And, yes, this was the kind of stuff I was thinking about as I made my way up to the press box after the match.

So, I was a bit surprised to see the actual numbers. The Sounders completed a lower percentage of passes and possessed the ball considerably less than their opponents, which is not at all how it seemed when watching it live. The Sounders' dominance did show up in the shot chart where they held a 18-6 advantage, and the highlights show the score could have pretty reasonably been 5-0. I suppose it's all just further proof that certain statistics, especially in soccer, can be misleading. We know completing passes is better than not and that you'd rather possess the ball than play defense, but as discrepancies like this start to look more and more common, it's obvious that we need deeper analysis in order to really find predictive value in them.

Goals by Period




Toronto FC




Seattle Sounders





Scoring Summary:


SEA -- Alvaro Fernandez 2 (Brad Evans 1, James Riley 1) 9

SEA -- Brad Evans 2 (Fredy Montero 2, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado 1) 52

SEA -- Brad Evans 3 (penalty kick) 75


Toronto FC -- Stefan Frei, Dan Gargan, Dicoy Williams, Adrian Cann, Danleigh Borman, Julian de Guzman (Nathan Sturgis 57), Maicon Santos (Mikael Yourassowsky 46), Jacob Peterson, Javier Martina, Alan Gordon, Alen Stevanovic (Matt Gold 62).

Substitutes Not Used: Nana Attakora, Ty Harden, Joao Plata, Milos Kocic.

TOTAL SHOTS: 6 (Javier Martina 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Javier Martina 1, Mikael Yourassowsky 1); FOULS: 12 (Dan Gargan 3, Alan Gordon 3); OFFSIDES: 2 (Alan Gordon 1, Mikael Yourassowsky 1); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Nathan Sturgis 3); SAVES: 7 (Stefan Frei 7)

Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Alvaro Fernandez, Fredy Montero (Mike Fucito 66), Nate Jaqua (Roger Levesque 72), Erik Friberg (Servando Carrasco 80).

Substitutes Not Used: Leo Gonzalez, Lamar Neagle, Jeff Parke, Terry Boss.

TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (Brad Evans 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 10 (Brad Evans 3); FOULS: 13 (Osvaldo Alonso 3, Fredy Montero 3); OFFSIDES: 2 (Mike Fucito 1, Nate Jaqua 1); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Erik Friberg 4); SAVES: 2 (Kasey Keller 2)


Misconduct Summary:

SEA -- Osvaldo Alonso (caution; Persistent Infringement) 45

TOR -- Julian de Guzman (caution; Reckless Tackle) 54


Referee: Ricardo Salazar

Referee's Assistants:-Peter Manikowski; Jeff Muschik

4th Official: Armando Villarreal

Attendance: 36,287

Time of Game: 1:49

Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-56-degrees

All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial

Seattle Sounders FC   Toronto FC
18 Attempts on Goal 6
9 Shots on Target 2
7 Shots off Target 2
2 Blocked Shots 2
5 Corner Kicks 4
13 Fouls 12
18 Open Play Crosses 8
2 Offsides 2
1 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
38 Duels Won 43
45% Duels Won % 53%
393 Total Pass 458
74% Passing Accuracy % 78%
46.9% Possession 53.1%


Sigi Schmid - Sounders FC Head Coach

(On Zakuani and White's absences...) "First off, I want to say to Steve Zakuani and O'Brian White that we miss you.  We want you guys back with us as soon as possible, and the effort the guys put out there tonight was a tribute to you, as much as it was to our team.  So we really miss you guys and I want to start off the conference today with that."


(On the Sounders effort and overall play...) "I thought we played well and I thought we were a little unfortunate to only be ahead by one at halftime.  You know, we got the second goal - we said that first 15-20 minutes of the second half would be important and we got that second goal early in the second half, so that helped us to establish our rhythm and we came close a couple of other times.  Obviously we've had to change our formation a little bit, play a little bit differently, but I thought the guys responded really well.  I thought we did a good job in the first half disrupting the type of passing game that Toronto wants to establish and I was very pleased with how our team played.  We made Kasey [Keller] work for the shutout at the end... I guess they felt they didn't want to give him a free one."


(On Brad Evans starting at midfielder...) "We want him on the right, but we also want him coming inside a little bit more.  Same thing with Fernandez.  We just wanted to get Friberg into the middle, because we felt, in this game, this is the way the formation would be best for us.  Brad's played on the right before, he's comfortable out there, he's got a good cross with the ball, as he showed on the first goal and he obviously finishes well.  He was unlucky not to get a couple more.  I thought him and Fernandez, both of them, as wide players tucking in at the right time, did a good job for us."


(On 36,000+ fans holding up number 11 in tribute to Steve Zakuani in the 11th minute...) "It was very emotional.  It's something that I sort of got myself caught looking around, and almost forgetting about the game for a moment.  I've been texting Steve back and forth, last night - you know, nowadays you text guys, you don't talk to them - I've been texting Steve back and forth and the one thing he kept reiterating was that he didn't want the focus to be on him, he wanted the focus to be on the team.  That's the kind of guy he is.  I was thinking 'Steve, don't be angry right now,' because we are focused on this game and on the win."


(On winning two in a row and the impact of the defense...) "I think obviously it's something we got close in the early games.  We were a little bit unlucky, it seemed like.  I think we had a couple of Goals of the Week against us, and things like that, so we were a little unfortunate that way.  But right now, defensively, I think we're doing a good job.  I think Patrick Ianni's played well the last two games he's been in there.  I think Tyson Wahl's done well for us at left-back also, and [Jhon] Kennedy [Hurtado], and [James] Riley's been solid for us defensively, [Osvaldo] Alonso as he always is.  Defense is a good team effort, Kasey's come up with some good saves.  We really put an emphasis on it a couple weeks ago, that we wanted to get shutouts, before the Philly game, and we've been able to come up with some."


(On shuffling the lineup to adjust for injured players...) "We had to make some adjustments in the game, to begin the game.  Those adjustments were playing Evans outside rather than inside and playing Friberg inside.  And basically diamonding our midfield a little bit.  Our game plan was the same first and second half.  We wanted to pressure the two center backs once they came forward with the ball a little bit and create turnovers."


(On platooning Nate Jaqua and Fredy Montero together in the front field...) "It's a combination that hasn't played a lot together since 2009.  In 2009, they were pretty successful.  Nate [Jaqua] did a good job playing his role, flicking balls off.  He worked off the ball as well.  Fredy [Montero], as a result, was able to drop in the hole a little bit more.  That ball he laid off of Brad Evans was an example of what he can do when he drops to that hole.  Fredy's still looking to regain his sharpness again after missing a couple of weeks.  I think he could have pulled the trigger on a couple of shots.  It's the classic target-guy, second-forward.  They make a classic pair in that regard."


(On how tonight's performance matched up against the rest of the season...) "I thought we played really well against Houston and when you look at Houston's results now, you'll see how nobody's really dominated them since.  I thought we were all over them.  I thought that was a very, very good game for us.  I think this game was a solid game for us as well.  If you had asked us before the game, we felt, 'Hey, this is one we think we can win.'  We're at home and we think we can win it solidly, and we came through and did it.  So it's good from the standpoint of the game fulfilling the expectations that we set for ourselves."


(On the upcoming tough road week, with a Wednesday and Saturday game...) "Sometimes with midweek games, you just try to stay in your rhythm and keep playing, because there's less practice.  The guys are happy that there's no practice tomorrow, they fly on Monday.  So it's a light practice Monday, light practice Tuesday and then we go at it again.  I think the team showed its depth today.  It worked out well for us in terms of keeping Mauro [Rosales] out, so Mauro should be able to go on Wednesday.  And if not on Wednesday, for sure he'll be able to go on Saturday.  I think our depth showed through.  Obviously we have to rely on our depth as we go into this week.  We know we've got people - Jeff Parke, Leo Gonzales, Mike Fucito, Roger [Levesque], who came on, Lamar Neagle... we've got a lot of different options and those guys will come through for us."


(On what factors played into the home win tonight...) "I think everything.  I think playing at home... We really made a point before the game.  We said that sometimes I felt that when we play at home, we look for our crowd to carry us into our energy.  One of the things we talked about before the game today was that we wanted to bring the energy and have our crowd be the final nail in the coffin.  So we wanted our crowd to feed off our energy and not for us to feed off the crowd's energy and then we would get that back-and-forth, when we come out with that energy and then the crowd gets whipped up, then it's a tremendous thing.  I thought the energy was good.  Certainly there was a little bit of emotionalness going into it.  I think everybody thought a little bit about, 'Hey, we've got a pretty good job; it's a pretty great job and we're able to get out there and play every day.'  You've got to appreciate every day because you don't know when that day is going to come when you can't play.  So you hate missing games and I think everyone went out there and said 'Hey, let's make sure we enjoy ourselves.'"


(On whether the team might play with too much emotion...) "Not from me.  We talked about it, but we didn't spend four days building up into it.  I think everyone was aware of it.  Sometimes things can go unsaid and you know they're there and you don't have to beat them to death for everybody to know it's there.  I felt we were going to come with good emotion, but I didn't think we were going to be over it."



Fredy Montero - Sounders FC Forward

(On injured teammates...)  "Sure, every time that you have a player out for injury it's sad.  We just managed to fill their presence and we're all very proud to be a part of this team."


(On Brad Evans' performance...)  "That's his characteristic. He always runs and gives himself throughout the 90 minutes. He runs throughout the game. It was a good plan for Sigi to play him outside. That opened more space and with that he scored the goals and managed to get an assist as well."


(On what the emotions were like heading into the game...)  "It's always good to have the fans on our side and give them this kind of joy, scoring the goals and at the same time think about the players who could not play but we always keep the team strong, playing strong."


Kasey Keller - Sounders FC Goalkeeper

(On if there was something extra given for the guys who were missing tonight...)  "I hope not. Honestly, I hope that's just the way we come out and play every time. Whatever your motivation is, your motivation really should be, 'I'm a pro and I go and do it the right way.' It was just a great night to go and win three-nil under the circumstances. We also, I think, had a group of guys that realizes that their opportunity has come. It's always disappointing when it comes because of injury to someone else but as a pro, then it's your obligation to step up and play and show everybody what you're made of and I thought the guys did that very well."


(On if he thought the team was due for a night like this...) "Definitely. No question about it. I think it could have been more than three.There were some good chances out there and I'm just proud of the way the guys played. [I'm] a little disappointed the last ten minutes, I think we took our foot off a little bit. But they're probably just saying, 'Let's make that old bastard make some saves,' you know? But whatever it takes. It was cool. It was nice just to go have a nice three-zero win at home. Free haircuts, free tacos, you know, just a great way to spend your weekend."


(On his 63rd straight MLS start...)  "You know, I don't think too much about it. It's just nice to be able to train every day.  For me, it's not a case where I'm just bandaging myself up and getting out and sucking down 55 Advil to get out there and crawl out on the field and then take the week off. What I'm proud of is that I'm able to train every day, come out, perform and have fun doing it. That's the key. I don't worry too much about streaks or that kind of stuff."


(On the six-game undefeated streak...)  "Did you not watch the Colorado game? I think we played well enough against in New York to get something. We obviously played well enough at home against L.A. to get something. Sometimes it just goes that way. Then take the Houston game. We should have beat Houston by three or four as well. That just happens. So now you get a little fortunate against Colorado under some circumstances and then you come back home and stamp your authority on a game like this and win well. The key is consistency and if you can consistently come out and perform the way you want to perform, you're going to give yourself a chance to win games. Sometimes you're going to have games where you just hammer a team and they beat you one-nil on a counter-attack. I've been on that side. I've beat teams that I had no right ever to beat. That's the cool part about this game. It doesn't matter who you're up against; if it's your day, it's your day. That's a cool thing to be a part of. For us, we just need to play well. We play well, play the way we want to play, work as hard as we possibly can and we're going to be in most games."


Aron Winter - Toronto FC Head Coach

(On his overall thoughts on the match...) "It is very simple, it was a bad game and we didn't play well. Seattle played the way we expected to play but during the game everyone was afraid. Secondly they were doing something just not the things we asked."


(On the team being fatigued with the extensive travel the last few days...) "It could be but soccer is simple and we ask for the most simple things. When most of the players are doing their own thing it will be difficult."


(On the play of the second half subs...) "They were doing what we were asking and doing it well. What I expect is the most experienced players have to do what we want. They have to be fighting and battling and doing things we expect."


(On the team regrouping for two matches this upcoming week...) "First, I'm going to think about it. I'm not satisfied with some players with their performance during this match and the previous games. I like more players who are giving everything because some players today didn't give everything."


Jacob Peterson - Toronto FC Midfielder

(On his overall thoughts of the match...) "Terrible. We didn't show up today. Simple as that."


(On being possibly fatigued...) "It was not an excuse. A lot of guys today didn't play a full game in Edmonton. We have to look in the mirror and take accountability."


(On the dominant performance put out by Seattle tonight...) "What didn't they do? They did everything they wanted to do. We were running around chasing ghosts out there. We have to come together and look at the tape and figure out how to get better out there."

* * *

Steve Zakuani via twitteron the tribute

Experienced the most emotional 1 min of my life today. @ blew me away w/ this
My friends @ @ @ took my mum 2 the game. She could only stand 4 a few secs before the tears took over

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