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Seattle Sounders Overwhelm Union in Narrow 1-0 Win

SEATTLE, WA - MAY 05:  Goalkeeper Bryan Meredith #35 of of the Seattle Sounders celebrates with teammates after defeating the Philadelphia Union 1-0 at CenturyLink Field on May 5, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - MAY 05: Goalkeeper Bryan Meredith #35 of of the Seattle Sounders celebrates with teammates after defeating the Philadelphia Union 1-0 at CenturyLink Field on May 5, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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As they say, 'they could have scored 5', but they didn't. They scored one on a technically perfect shot from Mauro Rosales thanks to a perfect pass from Fredy Montero. Other than that, young Alex Caskey had two great looking curlers from the left side, one of which went just wide and one saved by Zach MacMath. He also shanked a wipe open opportunity in the box handed to him by Montero. Andy Rose hit the woodwork, which was a surprise both because he's an unknown player and because he arguably shouldn't have been in the game after avoiding a second yellow card early in the first half on a tackle that was almost certainly worth a yellow card (his post-game explanation being that the tackle that earned his first yellow card, really wasn't). Montero had a beautiful knuckleball in the box saved by MacMath and another chance go barely wide. And another chip hit the crossbar. And another, and another...

But they only needed one, because the Union offense is just awful. They tried to build counters on the occasional midfield turnover but had absolutely no idea where to run or where to pass the ball. The Seattle defense was stout in preventing any easy opportunities and Philadelphia was forced to take distant field-goal shots.

The Union continued their streak of not scoring more than a goal a game (or even one this time) and Seattle — with another shutout — continues a defensive streak that's going to have us reaching for the record books soon.

Winning with Reserves in midfield meant that Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans should be clear for the Wednesday match in Dallas as this crowded run of games continues, with perhaps an Alvaro Fernandez return from injury. Quotes after the jump.

Sigi Schmid – Sounders FC Head Coach

[Opening statement…] "Obviously three games in a week is not an easy task, but we came out with nine points so that is something that we are very happy about. That is the most you can get so we are very pleased with that. As well as getting some players out on the park for their first extensive experiences, like Andy Rose and Bryan Meredith. I thought Meredith did great in goal and dealt with the things he needed to deal with. I thought our defense did a good job keeping things away from him. Andy Rose got a little excited and had a couple of tackles there, and we were probably a little bit fortunate that the referee maintained his composure and was able to keep Andy on the field, then Andy settled down and I thought he was much better in the second half. Another one of the young guys that played today, Alex Caskey, I thought had a very good game. I was pleased overall—another shutout, which is good for our team. I thought we had more chances than just to get one. We were a bit unlucky not to get more than one. One day those flood gates will open up, but it just wasn’t today."

(On being impressed or surprised with the new lineup today…) "It’s like when we put the lineup together for today, we said we had three changes in the back, but to me I feel like we have seven starters. I have no problem whether it is the four guys out there today, or whether [Jhon] Kennedy [Hurtado] is out there, whether Zack [Scott] is out there, or Leo [Gonzalez] is out there, I feel like with any of those seven we don’t miss a beat in back. I am not surprised by that. Ozzie [Alonso] has done a great job in front of them and the other guys have chipped in. David [Estrada] at different times has come back and defended. Mauro [Rosales] early in the game did a good job helping out defensively. As he got tired he was a little less so. It is a team effort when you get a shutout. It is not just the defenders, it’s everybody together and I think we’ve done a good job."

(On the play of Montero, Johnson, and Rosales…) "I agree with you—I guess the league doesn’t agree right now—that it was [Eddie] Johnson to [Freddy] Montero to [Mauro] Rosales. They think that it was just Montero to Rosales. Obviously when they spend more time together they will have a better understanding. I think that everybody who has seen us the last couple of seasons knows how important Mauro [Rosales] is to our creative side of the game. Eddie gives us a different dimension up front and Freddy, although he was unlucky again today not to get a goal, is a guy who gets around the goal, as well, and gets those opportunities. Those three, and then eventually you add Flaco to the group, those four will be fun group to watch. We just need to make sure we defend enough behind them."

(Do you think Andy Rose deserved the second yellow…) "Some referees would have pulled the second yellow. I think that it could have been a second yellow, but I think that…[referee Ricardo] Salazar was aware how early it was in the game. He was aware of—I think the first challenge I don’t know how much he got him, I didn’t see the replay. He came in high but I don’t know if he really got him, I think he might have jumped over it…I think some referees might have pulled a second yellow at that stage."

Mauro Rosales – Sounders FC Midfielder

(On the goal…) "It was a great pass from Fredy [Montero]. I tried to score on my chance in the game, and tried to finish it the best way. I got lucky it was a good ball and we got the three points."

(On coming back from injury…) "I’ve been working really hard to get my fitness and get the pain out of my knee and my ankle. The last two games I’ve felt very good and we’ll have to keep going like that. When we win a victory like that, hard fought, we got confidence from everybody."

(On starting all three games in past week…) "Not surprised. I always want to play. I don’t want to be out or on the bench. If can play I will be there and ready for any game."

(On the scoring chances…) "I think we did a very good job today and we should have scored at least one goal in the first half. They were more fresh than us. We felt it a little bit in the end, at the last part of the game. After halftime we wanted to score before they could get that energy."

(On winning all three games…) "We’ve played against the top teams and we always want to win, we always work for that victory and today we got it.

Bryan Meredith – Sounders FC Goalkeeper

(On his first MLS start…) "It was a lot of fun, very exciting. I didn’t have too much to do today. I came out on a couple crosses, they shot high…Other than that, the defense really held it down. They [Seattle defense] just didn’t really even let them in the 18."

(On what the defense was doing well…) "They were just organizing, playing really well together as a whole. Especially in the second half the whole team was just really clicking and had good possession, for sure."

(On Philadelphia’s attack at the end of the game…) "They were just throwing as many guys as they could forward, just trying to get that last goal in the last seconds."

(On preparing for the match…) "It’s more time to think about it and compare but I wasn’t too nervous. It was a relatively easy game for me. The back four didn’t really allow much through and I don’t think I saw any shots on target so I think it was a good way to start my first game."

Andy Rose – Sounders FC Midfielder

(On his MLS debut…) "It’s obviously very nice to get the first one out of the way. Obviously there were some nerves. Once I got a couple touches on the ball I calmed down a little bit, but there were definitely a couple of rushes of blood where you just get so excited that you kind of feed off the atmosphere. I enjoyed every minute of it and I hope there’s much more to come."

(On his header that hit the crossbar…) "It was close. I’m not sure who was in front of me, but I called for it at the last second. I got as much contact as I could, just wanted to get it on frame and it pinged off the crossbar unfortunately. It was a bit of a shame, but we won anyway."

(On if he thought he was going to be issued a second yellow card…) "I wasn’t too worried. I didn’t think the first one was a yellow. I thought on the first one I caught the ball and I was a little disappointed I got a yellow card for that. The second one—yeah, I had a bit of a rush of blood early. I’m glad I didn’t get sent off. It’s nice to get the first one out of the way and then kind of calm down a little bit."

(On Andy Rose and Bryan Meredith debuting…) "It shows the faith the coaches have and Bryan and I wanted to repay that faith with a good performance. The win was fantastic and we want to keep this ball rolling. The main thing Sigi said is not to drop the level we’ve been playing at the last few matches. I was just happy to get out there and get the jitters out of the way early, get some touches on the ball. I really enjoyed it, playing in front of that crowd."

Marc Burch – Sounders FC Defender

(On sharing time…) "It’s great. If Sigi thinks it’s the best option to win a game I’m happy to do it. Coming it at left midfield I can still get my crosses off and still play keep away and I can help them defend. I think it’s a really good option for closing out games."

(On the defenders…) "I think you can tell. If we’re not leading the league in shutouts we’re getting close. Keeping zeros is important. I think everyone’s doing their job. Everybody’s working together and working hard. I think that shows how deep our team is."

(On Bryan Meredith’s play…) "Bryan’s good on crosses. He came out and had a couple good punches. I don’t how many times they tested him with shots, but if they did he saved it."

(On the game…) "I think we should have more goals. We’ve had a lot of chances, a lot of shots. Keepers have made a lot of saves. We’re creating a lot of chances. I’d love to be seeing 4-0 or 5-0 halfway through the second half but if you win 1-0 you get three points."

John Hackworth - Philadelphia Union Coach

(On the match and lack of second yellow card on Seattle Sounders FC Midfielder Andy Rose...) "I can’t really comment on why Rose didn’t get the second yellow, it’s a tough thing to swallow. Probably the game should have been 10 versus 11. For our side, we didn’t do enough to make Seattle defend us well. We have to be more dangerous in the final third, we didn’t do a great job at that."

(On Goalkeeper Zac MacMath’s performance...) "Week in and week out Zac does a great job for us."

(On the final third and lack of offensive performance...) "We talked about it during the week and our guys are a little hesitant to pull the trigger right now. We had some opportunities, especially in the first half, where we’re 20 yards away from goal and you have an open window to let a shot ride. All we can do is continue to ask our players to have to courage to take those shots and hopefully it will happen. It didn’t happen and we talked about it at halftime. Came back out with a couple of weak attempts on goal, not exactly what we wanted. We’re putting a lot of pressure on our team overall, in particular our midfield and defensive line. We don’t do a good enough job stretching the opponent and we’re not being dangerous in the final third."

(On the season overall...) "We’re a little disappointed, it’s the second week in a row we lose the game by a goal against two of the best teams in the league right now so we don’t feel like we’re not there. We know we can play better, we know we have to fix this problem we have of being more dangerous and opening teams up a little more, creating some chances and taking some more. We’ll just have to continue to work on that. I think we all believe that we are a good team, we’ve put our back against the wall and we have to play out of it. It’s still very early here so no need to hit the panic button at all. We have a lot of young guys in our locker room, a lot of new guys in our locker room we just need to give ourselves time and come out next week against New York. That will be huge for us."

(On finding positives...) "It’s not like it was a terrible performance by us. I don’t think we executed very well throughout the game yet we were still in a position to hold Seattle. We gave ourselves a chance up to the last whistle to get a result here and that’s a tough thing to do."

Freddy Adu - Philadelphia Union Midfielder

(On the result...) "We had a couple of good plays to break them down in the middle. When we got to the final third we ran out of ideas sometimes. Sometimes we were trying to do too much rather than just obviously find an open man and move. When we get down there we’re all thinking about scoring goals and we are caught in two minds, so to speak, and then we end up making a pass too late or losing the ball. We have to do better. That’s an area that we’ve had problems with all season long and we have to get better at that."

(On team scoring this season...) "Obviously for us offensive players we want to score more goals and create more chances. We just got to put the ball in the back of the net. We have to be better. Today was another game where we didn’t test the goalkeeper enough. He’s a new goalkeeper and we got to test him, shoot the ball more."

"That’s how soccer is, somebody makes a brilliant play and then the floodgates open. Then goals start pouring in, that’s just how it is. We gotta keep going, we gotta keep doing the things we’re doing. This is a tough place to play and we only lost 1-0 here. We still lost, but I thought we fought hard and at the end of the day they got got a goal and we didn’t. We have to be better at that."

(On no second yellow card issues to Seattle Sounders Midfielder Andy Rose...) "I was through and gone and got taken out from behind. In the rules of the game if a player tackles you from behind that’s a card. The referee made the decision and we had to live with it. It would have been nice to have an extra man in there at that point."

Zac MacMath - Philadelphia Union Goalkeeper

(On the result...) "Tough loss, I thought the guys worked really hard and played well for 90 minutes. There was a little lapse on that throw-in and unfortunately [Seattle Sounders Midfielder Mauro] Rosales had a good shot at the back post."

(On offensive performance...) "Everyone’s trying to gel together up front and we’re just going to go back to philly and work on that more and hopefully take it into our next game."

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