There's a tendency with home team highlights to overfeature their own team's success. Even in a five-nil win, some could claim that the Seattle Sounders highlight package ignores some of the great play of Cal FC. But that would assume that Cal FC produced highlights. When a team only completes one pass inside the opposition's 18 and only takes four shots on the game what should be featured? Maybe a few more of their tackles could be in the package, but even the strong defense of Cal in the first half was about Seattle Sounders FC settling for a cross and header based attack that lead to four shots from inside the 18. The Sounders dominated both boxes. Sure, two of the goals were from distance. Fredy Montero put a free kick from distance on frame with great curl. Sammy Ochoa may have been passively offside, from the video it seems that Derby Carillo played Ochoa. The referee crew had their be moment of the ight when they discussed whether it scored. And that Osvaldo Alonso goal was that certain kind of spec that converts a mis-touch to an amazing display of skill.
Statistics don't always tell the story, but sometimes they do. Whereas the Portland Timbers outshot Cal and lost, Seattle pounded the net, creating 14 attempts from inside the box. Cal blocked a lot shots on the match, but most were from distance. While Wynalda's team put up a good fight, and even the numbers show that in the central third. On the whole it was not a close contest. Not at the half and certainly not at the final whistle. GM/Coach Eric Wynalda pointed out issues with first half set-play defense, but it was a propensity for handballs that created the hardest set-play to defend at all.
Once that PK call was made and finished the game was forced open. Alonso may have said it best, "The first half was difficult because they were very strong in their defense, but in the second half we entered the field feeling happy and positive about the fact that if we score the first goal the next goal and the next goal and the next goal were going to come." Wynalda and Sigi Schmid were gracious to each other and the other team. Neither built the result up as anything more than the better team on the night and year winning.
The photo gallery is from Jane G. Highlights, stats and quotes follow.
Goals by Period12Tot
Seattle Sounders FC055
SEA - Osvaldo Alonso (PK) 50'
SEA - Fredy Montero (Cordell Cato) 58'
SEA - Andy Rose (Alex Caskey) 66'
SEA - Fredy Montero 68'
SEA - Osvaldo Alonso (Alex Caskey) 70'
Seattle Sounders FC - Bryan Meredith, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch, Cordell Cato, Osvaldo Alonso (Servando Carrasco 75), Andy Rose, Alex Caskey, Sammy Ochoa (Roger Levesque 73), Fredy Montero (David Estrada 81).
Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Weber, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez, Mike Seamon.
TOTAL SHOTS: 28 (Montero 8); SHOTS ON GOAL: 10 (Montero 3); FOULS: 9 (Alonso, Montero 3); OFFSIDE: 0; CORNER KICKS: 6 (Caskey 6); SAVES: 1 (Meredith 1).
Cal FC - Derby Carillo, Alberto Navarro, Hector Espinosa (Paulo Ferreira-Mendez 76), Michael Randolph, Richard Menjivar, Jesus Gonzalez, Eder Arreola (Pedro Ferreira-Mendez 60), Pablo Cruz (Alex Caceres 66), Arthur Aghasyan, Danny Barrera, Diego Barrera.
Substitutes Not Used: Laurent Grill, Makai Werring, Carlos Torres, Ceasar Riviera.
TOTAL SHOTS: 4 (Danny Barrera 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Danny Barrera 1); FOULS: 11 (three players with 3); OFFSIDE: 3 (Aghasyan 2); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Danny Barrera, Diego Barrera 1); SAVES: 5 (Carillo 5).
SEA - Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 19'
SEA - Sammy Ochoa (caution) 45'
CAL - Richard Menjivar (caution) 75
Referee: Daniel Radford
Referee's Assistants: Mike Rottersman, Ray Moffatte Jr.
4th Official: Timon Berry
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Cloudy and 55-degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial
POSTGAME QUOTES: Sounders FC vs. Cal FC
Sigi Schmid - Sounders FC Head Coach
(Opening statement...) "The Open Cup the last two weeks has been good for us because we had a bit of a struggle and it's allowed us now to rest some people, get some people's legs back under them and give a chance for some other people to step out and play, and obviously the confidence of the team when you score goals always improves."
(On scoring several goals in succession after the converted penalty kick...) "Yeah, we had to make some adjustments at halftime because they really played a 3-5-2 and they played with a sweeper. What happened in the first half is I thought our forwards were coming too deep and as a result of that - it's complicated talk - but everything is about angles, so in the second half we really talked about one center-forward staying high on their sweeper and the other forward staying in connection to him, but playing another 20 yards up the field and then that changes the angles when we play the balls out to the wide guys. So obviously the penalty helped us get back. I think, obviously, [Fredy] Montero's goal was an example of [Cordell] Cato getting in on the outside off a combination from [Sammy] Ochoa. We talked about our wide guys getting to the end-line more and not hitting so many early crosses. As we started to do that then it opened up for us."
(On a player commenting that he was not too upset at halftime...) "It's just we felt that we needed to be calm a little bit and we felt we needed to change our tactics a little bit. We were trying to force things down the middle - [Cordell] Cato was coming inside too much, I thought, on the right and he was taking away his own space. [Alex] Caskey was doing the same a little bit on the left and as I said very rarely do we get into the last 15 yards of the field and hit crosses. We were hitting early crosses, coming from [Marc] Burch, or from Zach Scott and when they played three, four, five guys standing in the middle of the back it becomes easy for them. So once we changed that...there was no need to be angry - it's not like the effort wasn't there. The effort was there. We just needed to change our tactics a little bit."
(On if Cal FC surprised him in any way with their play style...) "It surprised me that they played with three in the back and with a sweeper. That was a little bit surprising because there's no MLS team that plays that way. That's the way I played in 2002 when I won the championship with the [Los Angeles] Galaxy. They're a good team technique-wise. If you give them time and space they move the ball around well. I thought Ozzie [Osvaldo Alonso] for me was our man of the match, not only because of his ability to score, but he also did a good job of shutting down Danny Barrera. He's the kind of player where if you give him some time on the ball he's going to cause you some problems. I think he [Alonso] negated that early on, so Barrera had to drop deeper and deeper to look for the ball and that made the game a little easier for us."
(On if he heard the 'This ain't Portland' chants coming from the Sounders crowd tonight...) "Yeah, we heard that for sure. We were sitting on the bench with about 10 minutes to go and I said to Brian [Schmetzer], 'I should probably just sit down and enjoy the last 10 minutes.'"
(On if he talked to Cal FC coach Eric Wynalda afterwards...) "Yeah, we talked. I think he's done a good job. There's two things that are very important to coaching I think. One is identifying players and obviously that's something that he's done. He's identified players who are non-MLS players, but have talent, and he's identified that. Then the second thing is as a coach you've got to then get those guys where you've got to give them confidence. So then you get those guys and you give them confidence and then they play better and you take a player, again, like Danny Barrera when he can play a free role like he plays on their team he's very dangerous. The problem for him as MLS goes is that's a role that a guy like [Fredy] Montero plays, you know, guys that DP's [designated players], so it's hard sometimes to break in to that position. But he's done a great job identifying players and he's given them confidence and as a result has played some good soccer."
(On Andy Rose...) "Yeah, not bad. What was he a fourth-round pick? Not bad for a fourth-round pick. It's one of the reasons that we wanted to make the trade and move up to make sure that we got him. I was surprised that Andy didn't get picked in the three rounds. I was even a little bit mad at myself for not picking him, but I always felt that he could play. He's one of the guys where you throw him into the water and then he finds a way to swim. Then you throw into a little bit deeper end and he still finds a way to stay afloat and swim. Then you throw him in a little deeper and he still finds a way to stay afloat. He's done very, very well and he's got it. He's an important piece to us and he's come through with some goals here and there, but he's really helped us in terms of just linking play together."
(On having a team like Cal FC in the tournament...) "I think it's great for the tournament. But as we told our guys before the game, 'The TV's aren't here for you. They're here for them. So we need to show them that we have a team, too, and that we can play soccer as well.' I think in the second half that's what we showed. I think that's what this tournament is all about. This is what has made this such an incredible, phenomenal sensation in England. I think the more you can enhance it, the more you can showcase it the more it becomes something that people are excited about."
Fredy Montero - Sounders FC Forward
(On the game...) "When you win a game five-zero, obviously you're very happy about that. Obviously, I had fun out there. It's always fun when you score goals."
(On his free kick goal...) "The longest decision ever after I scored a goal. This is OK. I think the referee made a good call. It was a goal and it was hard."
(On his success in the U.S. Open Cup...) "It doesn't matter. I don't choose any games, any tournament...I just jump onto a field and I just want to do my best."
(On why they couldn't score in the first half...) "They were doing a great job defending. They held the ball and they got very good chances to score. Luckily for us, the next half we could score goals. [We were just] waiting for a score. Luckily for us, it was a penalty. We knew the difference [would be whoever] made the first goal. After the first goal we got the opportunity to keep scoring more and more."
Osvaldo Alonso - Sounders FC Midfielder
(On the win and the penalty kick goal...) "I'm happy for the win and happy to have the opportunity to score the first goal. I think that helped out the rest of our game."
(On what prevented the team from scoring before he converted the penalty kick...) "The first half was difficult because they were very strong in their defense, but in the second half we entered the field feeling happy and positive about the fact that if we score the first goal the next goal and the next goal and the next goal were going to come."
(On how it was determined that he was to take the penalty kick...) "The coach determined that before the game. He says who is going to kick the penalty."
(On if his second goal was the best goal he's ever scored...) "Yep."
Zach Scott - Sounders FC Defender
(On the game and Cal FC...) "You can tell. They're skilled players. We've seen a lot of them in camp with us. Obviously there were a couple guys drafted by MLS teams before. We knew they were going to bring their very best. In the first half you definitely saw it. It took us a while to kind of crack them, but once we did it just kind of flowed in after that."
(On how Seattle turned it around in the second half...) "Definitely superior fitness in the second half-we just wore them down. It was nice to get the first one and a couple more really quickly after that, and it just broke them after that."
(On how the first goal opened things up...) "That's really what we were looking for was getting, hopefully, an early one-that didn't happen-but we knew once we got one that other ones would come."
Eric Wynalda - Cal FC Head Coach
(On the experience of making it this far with his amateur club...) "All in all, I think, if you really look at the goals we set for ourselves, we did exceed a lot of people's expectations. I was sitting in there with the guys and they still have their sense of humor. I think they recognize what happened tonight. If you look at the game itself, we really didn't take a very defensive posture. Seattle's a fantastic soccer team. I mean they've got fantastic players and we saw their quality tonight. I think the first goal really was a punch in the gut, you know, because it was a penalty kick again. It felt like we were re-living Portland again, but [Osvaldo] Alonso didn't make a mistake. When we had to make the switch to try to get more forwards on the field, it opened up and they showed their quality."
(On if the penalty kick going in the goal was the difference between this game and last week vs. Portland...) "To a certain extent. I think tonight if you look at the way that we addressed the game, we knew that Seattle just has more quality than Portland. There were times where we were really able to play but we couldn't get numbers forward. There was never a time that I really felt like we could really get in behind them. It just wasn't their night in that sense. There were a couple of times in the first half where they could have had it. Danny [Barrera] had a couple of chances to get Arthur [Aghasyan] in and whether it was the field or if it was a little too quick, it always seemed like it just wasn't going for us. I think - I'll stay true to my word - players win games and coaches lose them. This one goes on my shoulders. I think we could have been a little more offensive-minded and I could have trusted them a little bit more because we really just were chasing the game after about 55 minutes."
(On where Cal FC goes from here...) "Don't know. I can't even answer that. As far as Cal FC, we've been together for a month. That's what you get after a month. We can be very proud of that. I think some of these guys will explore the options and the interest. I think they've proven they can play and hopefully they'll get a chance to play at a better address."
(On what he told the team at halftime...) "Well, we wanted to sort out the set pieces because there were a couple times where they kept sneaking in and we didn't have our matchups right. We focused a lot on that. We didn't want to change much. We just wanted to get to about the 60th minute and then throw some forwards on the field, but we never got there. So we didn't want to change much until we had the opportunity to change the game ourselves, but by the time we got to that minute mark, the game was almost over."
(On holding MLS teams scoreless for 165 minutes up to that point and if it was just a matter of time running out on them...) "Well I mean fitness is a big issue with us. I look at it and we've played eight games and trained five times. We really haven't been able to assimilate an environment that would be conducive to being fit. So you've got to commend these guys on that and I think you're right. It was just a matter of time. They wore us down. I think Fredy [Montero] was great tonight. He waited. He's just a smart player. And then Alonso's goal - even I stood up and applauded. It was probably one of the best goals I've seen in awhile.