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Seattle Sounders Vs. Jaguares De Chiapas: Highlights, Statistics, Quotes

As preseason finales go, Wednesday's went about as well as you could have hoped for the Seattle Sounders. Their 2-0 win over a Juguares de Chiapas team that had won 2 of their past 3 matches in the Mexican Primera was a clear indication that this team is about as ready as it could be to face Santos Laguna. The offense looked fluid, the defense was mostly composed and the new guys all showed there was plenty of reason to be excited about them.

Even after letting it settle in for a day, you have to get pretty picky to find things to really complain about. Adam Johansson was rightly called out in post-game quotes for leaving his side of the field more exposed than Michael Gspurning would probably like, but it came with the benefit of some quality marauding runs, one of which led to a goal. There were some questionable clearances from the centerbacks, as well, but Chiapas really only got a few decent looks from any of them. They only really tested Gspurning once.

Unlike the game against Atlante that the Sounders won 5-2, this was played largely against Jaguares' first team. The only regular starter not to play was Jackson Martinez, and that was only because he was with the Colombian national team.

On the Sounders' side, there's really no reason to think we saw anything less than their starting XI. David Estrada didn't blow anyone away, but he was a pest and was able to help facilitate some decent ball movement. Leo Gonzalez showed that he's made some improvements over the offseason. Brad Evans was quiet, but effective. Christian Sivebaek came off the bench and showed some nice flashes. This team may not be perfect, but they do look ready and right now, that's enough for me.



February 29, 2012 - Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field













Scoring Summary:

SEA - Montero (Johansson, Parke) 61'

Montero (Alonso, Rosales) 73'

JAG - None

JAGUARES DE CHIAPAS -- Edgar Hernandez (Israel Villasenor, 74'), George Carral, Miguel Martinez (Omar Flores, 80'), Ismael Fuentes (Cap.), Luis Esqueda (Jesus Castillo, 88'), Jorge Rodriguez (Yasser Corona, 80'), Luis Noriega (Armando Zamorano, 68'), Gerardo Espinoza (Jorge Hernandez, 59'), Edgar Andrade (Hibert Ruiz, 74'), Luis Gabriel Ray, Franco Arizala

Substitutes Not Used: Adrian Ruelas, Reynaldo Diaz, David Andrade.

TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Arizala, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL 1 (Arizala, 1); FOULS: 17 (Fuentes, 4); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 1

Seattle Sounders - Michael Gspurning, Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Mauro Rosales (Cap.) (Roger Levesque, 85'), Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Alvaro Fernandez (Christian Sivebaek, 66'), David Estrada (Sammy Ochoa, 76'), Fredy Montero.

Substitutes Not Used: Patrick Ianni, Marc Burch, Michael Tetteh, Babayele Sodade, Zach Scott, Cordell Cato, Michael Seamon, Servando Carrasco, Amadou Sanyang, Andrew Weber, Bryan Meredith, Andy Rose, Alex Caskey, Andrew Duran.

TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Montero, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Montero, 3); FOULS: 13 (Alonso, 4); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 1

Misconduct Summary:

JAG: 73', Fuentes

SEA: 76', Gonzalez

Referee: Allen Chapman

Referee's Assistants: Jeff Hosking; Mike Rottersman

4th Official: William Niccolls

Attendance: 11,140

Time of Game: 1:46

Weather: Cloudy-and-39-degrees

POSTGAME QUOTES: Sounders FC vs. Jaguares de Chiapas

Sigi Schmid - Sounders FC Head Coach

(On the result...) "We're happy with the win. Any time you can play a game and win a game it's good because it establishes that rhythm, establishes that confidence for you. At halftime we told our team to be confident that we'd be able to get goals. I felt we were close a couple times in the first half. We got two, I thought, rather quality goals in the second half and I thought we had a couple of chances to get some more - a little bit better passing on the final balls. [Christian] Sivebaek was in at one time and [Sammy] Ochoa was in the other time and we could have had more. We did well to get a shutout. I thought we gave them a couple chances at the end of the first half and we gave them a good chance in sort of the last five minutes of the game, so we have to make sure that we manage the game over those last five minutes because it's a two-game series [against Santos] and the first game is going to be here [at CenturyLink Field]. So in preparation for next week we've got to make sure that we do well in the last five minutes of the game because away goals can hurt you."

(On Michael Gspurning's play...) "I thought he did well. He was solid. I thought his communication was good to the guys. When the balls got played back to him he cleared them when he had to clear them, when he could find people he found people, but I thought he was solid. I didn't think they had a lot of great looks at him. He came up with one decent save. He didn't really get tested that much, but if you organize well hopefully you can avoid that."

(On David Estrada's play at forward...) "I thought David did well. I thought it took him about 10 minutes or 15 minutes to settle into the game - probably a little bit of nerves. It was a big occasion for him in terms of the first time really starting up front for us. But then I really thought in the first 20 minutes of the second half he was very good. He stretches the defense, his work rate is so good about that that he's always active. He was much better in the last 15 minutes of the first half and for sure the second half in terms of connecting his passes. Him and Mauro [Rosales] combined a couple of times - he got in the ball, the run where Mauro played him the ball through was a great run. He played Mauro in on one. I thought he did very well."

(On if today was a good test for Estrada...) "Yeah, definitely. Today was a good test for him. Today was a good test because we played a good team. Our crowd was out here, so you could feel the atmosphere and the noise and it was the first time. When you put the uniform on and the lights go on, that's already something that settles your nerves. So for him, next week is going to be easier than this week."

(On if Mauro Rosales will remain a captain going forward...) "He was our captain tonight. You guys like that captain thing. I think we have five or six leaders on this team and Mauro is wearing the arm band, but there are different guys that can step up and lead and we want different guys to be the guys who speak and ask guys. But Mauro, certainly he'll be a captain next week as well."

(On the fitness level of the club tonight...) "I thought it was good. I think playing the game last week in Atlante where we really pushed some guys to 90 minutes was good. In the game against Columbus, where we pushed our guys 75 or 80 minutes was good. So from that standpoint we've tried to establish that weekly rhythm, so I thought fitness-wise we were good. There was a run, I think in the 83rd minute or so, where Jeff Parke had to track back where he got caught forward and he showed a good level of fitness still being able to get back, so I was pleased."

(On the play of Jaguares...) "Like I said, they're going to be professional about it. They were a great opponent and I have a lot of respect for their club and for their coach by putting out the team that they put out. That showed a lot of class. Obviously we'd be happy to return the favor any time we can for them, but they were very good about their approach and demeanor to the game."

(On if he saw everything he had hoped to see tonight in terms of their preparation for next week's match against Santos...) "Yeah, I think tonight was very good. I think for us it was a good test. Overall, it was a good test in the way they try and build out of the back very similar to Santos, so it gave us some exposure to that. Now it's a more realistic discussion when I talk to the team about it as to how we're going to defend that."

(On the new FieldTurf at CenturyLink Field...) "I think you can ask the guys. The surface is good. It plays a lot more like natural grass. All the blades are up, so they ball slows down. If you notice - I don't know if it's true or not - but it seems like the ball was out of bounds less. You saw more combinations, you saw fewer balls roll over the end line or skip away from people, and you saw people being able to chase balls down before they got to the end-line - much like the goal where [Adam] Johansson chases that ball down. I think on last year's field that ball is over the end-line, it's out of bounds."

(On Johansson's ability to come forward...) "He has an ability to come forward. At the end of the game with five minutes to go I said, 'Adam, you can sort of stay.' What we like about him and the reason we thought he'd be a good edition was his ability to finish off plays when he got forward. Obviously, the cross for the goal was evidence for that. He had a couple of other opportunities where he gets to the final phase and certainly helps. With him and Rosales you can see there's already a little bit of an understanding there. We have to be good about making sure we cover when he goes forward so we don't get caught on the counter because I'm sure Santos watched the game today and they're going to see an opportunity to counter on that side."

(On how much weight there is on finishing 5-0-2 in preseason...) "It doesn't matter. Preseason is preseason. What I put more value on is the quality of play. I think our quality of play is pretty good. Our sharpness at times was off but what we were trying to do were good things. The way we're trying to play, the connecting of the ball, I think you saw today, our defenders were more involved. They don't have to all go forward but you saw how we knocked the ball around the back better than we did last year. The way we're playing is good. From that standpoint the preseason has been good. We're playing the way I want us to play."

(On clearances from center backs...) "We'll work on that. Something that was miss-timed or miss-kicked the ball from the back. Overall I thought our center backs did well because we left them a couple of times one-versus-one or two-versus-two. I thought they did a pretty good job defensively and I think the missed clearances, with one exception, didn't get us in big trouble."

(On Montero's play in preseason with five goals...) "He's a goal scorer. The only thing I've said to Freddy is that there were times in the second half where he was hanging too much on the left. I said, 'I want you closer to the goal because you can score goals.' His work rate and instincts are better than they have been. His timing of when to get in the box is good especially on the first goal. I think he's had a much stronger preseason than last year. He's ready to go."

Fredy Montero - Sounders FC Forward

(On if he thinks the team is ready for the season...) "After you win you feel confident. We are looking forward to making as little mistakes as possible. We are working hard to be a strong team."

(On his second goal...) "It was a good ball by Ozzie [Alonso] through the defense. I just got the ball right on the top of the box. I chipped it over. So it was one second I made that decision, and it was a good goal [...] I hope to score more like that in the season. I'm very happy. I scored two goals and I helped the team win."

(On Adam Johansson assisting his goal and the players coming together...) "Well, that's why we're working. That's why we're in the preseason, trying to connect all those pieces together and go into the field and make that play. It was a really good cross."

David Estrada - Sounders FC Forward

(On starting...) "Yeah in the beginning I was a little nervous, being the first start at CenturyLink. A little nervous, no way around it, but once I connected my first pass, that's when everything just kind of went away and just focused on the game. I felt comfortable out there once I connected that first pass and settled down."

(On getting comfortable passing with the other players...) "One of the things we have to get used to is the surface. We've been playing on grass this whole preseason, so you have to measure your passes. Connecting with Rosales is something that comes really easy, I guess. At the end of the game we had a few good combinations and that comes with getting used to the grass and getting used to each other, as well."

Michael Gspurning - Sounders FC Goalkeeper

(On the strong play of the defense and the win...) "It's a good feeling to start now with this result. The other team was a good team, so it wasn't the same as what happened to us in Cancun, so it was a good last test. But it was a test, and now next week we have to win."

Jose Guadalupe - Jaguares Head Coach

(On the game...) "This was a good training match and we took it seriously. We are disappointed in not winning, but this definitely this will not affect our preparation for Sunday."

(On the cold weather...) "The temperature can definitely affect gameplay, these are conditions we are not used to playing in."

Israel Villasenor - Jaguares Goalkeeper

(On the game...) "Very good support for a local team. The first thing that caught my attention was the crowd, it also reflects how the US has raised its level of soccer playing. They don't just give big kicks to the front, they really try to get many players to touch the ball. They played us really closely to stop our play. It was a good match for both teams."

Edgar Hernandez - Jaguares Goalkeeper

(On the game...) "Well it's a team that plays really well in Seattle. I had not seen it before so it surprised me a little bit, they are a dynamic team. The big change was the first goal, with the first goal they opened the spaces and changed the game. Our team had an opportunity before, but it was a good game for the crowd."

(On the season...) "We are in competition and next Sunday we have a tough game against America so it's not just to come up and play... but it's also an opportunity to learn and try to win."

Franco Arizala - Jaguares Forward

(On CONCACAF...) "We have a good team and good players. We need to repeat the good things we did today and take advantage of our opportunities."

(On the game...) "It was a good and demanding game. We didn't get the result we wanted, but Sunday is another opportunity."

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