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Real Salt Lake Vs. Sounders: Highlights, Quotes and Stats

A tie to run their winless streak to nine games did not answer the Sounders' prayers, but it was a step in the right direction.
A tie to run their winless streak to nine games did not answer the Sounders' prayers, but it was a step in the right direction.

It clearly wasn't the result the Seattle Sounders were hoping for, but a tie at Rio Tinto Stadium without one of your best players is hardly something to scoff at. The Sounders winless streak now sits at an almost unbelievable nine games and points of any kind have to be seen as welcome.

That's especially true when you're facing one of the top offensive teams the league while missing arguably your best player.

From the outset, it was clear the Sounders made a tactical decision to play to a shutout and see if they couldn't steal a point. Coming off an eight-match stretch in which they surrendered 18 goals, we at least saw glimpses of the defense that started the season allowing three goals in nine matches. This was the Sounders' first shutout in nearly two months.

Aside from a couple regrettable mistakes toward the end, Jeff Parke was strong in defense. Regularly beating forwards to loose balls and generally putting himself in good positions.

Servando Carrasco, while clearly not Osvaldo Alonso, was solid in a spot-start and would seem to be the clear second-choice at that position moving forward.

Leo Gonzalez did a good job of shutting down the right side of RSL's attack and did a decent job of linking up with the midfield.

Bryan Meredith wasn't asked to do much, but he did come up big when he had to, most notably on Parke's near own-goal.

Of course, it wasn't all good. The midfield had an awful time holding possession, which was probably best illustrated by the fact that Brad Evans was only credited with 39 actions or about a third of either of RSL's center mids. Fredy Montero, despite ranging all over the field in ways we're not used to seeing, only had 39 actions as well. Clearly, the Sounders still have some work to do.

Scoring Summary:

Seattle Sounders FC: Bryan Meredith, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Mauro Rosales, Servando Carrasco, Brad Evans (Andy Rose 64), Alvaro Fernandez (Marc Burch 85), Eddie Johnson, Fredy Montero (Cordell Cato 73).

Substitutes Not Used: Josh Ford, Pat Ianni, Alex Caskey, Sammy Ochoa.

TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Johnson 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Johnson 1); FOULS: 10 (Hurtado, Johnson 1); OFFSIDE: 0; CORNER KICKS: 4 (Rosales 4); SAVES: 2 (Meredith 2).

Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando, Chris Wingert, Nat Borchers, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Kenny Mansally (Jonny Steele 79), Luis Gil (Ned Grabavoy 62), Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Will Johnson, Fabian Espindola, Alvaro Saborio.

Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish, Jamison Olave, Emiliano Bonfigli, Yordany Alvarez, Paulo Araujo Jr.

TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Espindola 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Beckerman, Borcher 1); FOULS: 16 (Beckerman 4); OFFSIDE: 3 (Saborio 2); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Morales 2); SAVES: 1 (Rimando 1).

Misconduct Summary:
RSL - Alvaro Saborio (caution) 41'
SEA - Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (caution) 41'
SEA - Leo Gonzalez (caution) 45+1'
RSL - Chris Wingert (caution) 56'
RSL - Fabian Espindola (caution) 86'

Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Referee's Assistants: Paul Scott, Bill Dittmar
4th Official: Mark Declouet
Attendance: 20,363
Time of Game: 1:58
Weather: Cloudy and 89 degrees

RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis

Overall thoughts on the match...

"I'm appreciative of the guy's effort. A short turnaround after a very difficult circumstance in Columbus. I think that the guys brought a terrific spirit and fight tonight. I feel a little bit sad for them that they couldn't walk out with all three points. A different night maybe we finish one or two of those chances, but we're looking for positives in this game; that's our first shutout in a long time, and we're still, I think, controlling the rhythm of the game, being the aggressors like we need to at home so we'll see if we can't be just a touch better on Saturday and get the full three points."

On keeping the shutout as number one goal...

"No it wasn't, it's always get back home, we're going to always be aggressive and I just wanted a massive effort from the guys and a real coming together to try to do everything they could to right the ship. The message tonight is that the box stops here and now. So I do think that we did lose the game, so we'll say the glass is half-full."

On RSL's possession...

"I'd like to see it to continually get better. I still think that there are gaps to play through their midfield and if we can keep a real positive spirit and positive mentality about the way we want to play then I think that we can play through teams a bit more than we did tonight."

On performance of two new players...

"I'm really pleased, Kenny's been with us now a couple of weeks and we've had a couple of times to work with him individually so I felt like he was really ready for his opportunity and the past couple of days he has been very sharp in training so I was excited to see him go out tonight and I think he proved us right a little bit. He was good, very good. And then Kwame, he's a guy that's only been with us a week and because we've had so many games he really hasn't had a full training session so we rolled the dice a little on that one and I think he came clean as well."

On Tony Beltran's absence...

"He picked up a slight groin injury in Columbus. Yesterday he wanted to play but we chose to take a more cautious approach and do everything we can to hopefully have him ready for Saturday."

On sticking with the current the backline formation...

"Um, ya know it has to be in consideration. If you have a shutout you have to consider doing things the same way. Obviously we have some special players in Olave and Beltran, and if they were to come healthy they're probably going to get a little more consideration because of how long they have been here. But it won't be an easy choice, and that's what we need. We need players to come in and make a statement for themselves and really make the decisions for us difficult."

On overall possession and opportunities...

"Pretty good, pretty good. It's something that I figure it always warrants a review of the video to see the opportunities that I'm talking about, you know you pick them out during the game but when you have a little bit more of a bird's eye view you might say "well they made the right choice." I think we can still be a little more aggressive when they get the balls into certain spots that guys can turn and really go forward and make defenders have to choose."

On the anxiousness to score...

"It could be, I think that there is always going to be a little extra anxiousness right now because our last home game I think we had 25 clear goal scoring chances and didn't take any of them. We left it to Javier to score off a free-kick so I think that there is a little bit of angst right now in our attacking players, but I can tell you for sure that that never works. So we just got to guys to calm down and say it's going to come if I keep doing all the right things the goals will come."

RSL MF Kyle Beckerman

On unity of team after several tough games...

"We made some mistakes in the two games we lost, but it wasn't that the soccer wasn't there. We just made a couple of plays. We're playing good soccer, and trying to play the right way. A couple of our mistakes made were really costly."

RSL DF Kenny Mansally

On being named defensive player of the game...

"After the first couple of minutes I was really pinned and it stopped me from doing throw-ins. I was feeling a little bent, so that was preventing me to go forward more, but I always keep going strong. The energy was going good, but we want a win."

RSL FW Fabian Espindola

On overall performance of team...

"We didn't score. We tried, and they played ugly and defended well. When you get chances you have to score and we did not, so you have to keep trying."

RSL MF Will Johnson

On communication with two new defenders in lineup...

"We were good. They didn't really challenge us too much except in the last 10 minutes when we were pushing to try and get the win, so I think defensively we can be happy, we just need to move the ball and be a little bit quicker and sharper especially in the final third and we'll be ok. This is a good building block. It's a shame that it was such a negative game for the fans, but that's the way it goes."

On midfield possession...

"It was ok. We just didn't play enough penetrating passes between the lines to get behind their lines. That was the frustrating part. We did well getting it from side to side and moving it, but as far as dangerous forward penetrating passes and quick turns to slip Sabo and Fabi, that part of things has to get a little bit better."

RSL MF Chris Wingert

On result being a step in the right direction...

"Yea, absolutely. We needed it a little bit. We weren't lucky enough to get one. I thought we were the better team. We talked about that a lot and that's what we build off of. There's some game where you are a little bit unlucky that you don't score. You've got to make sure you're not giving up. That's been our problem. When we haven't had a ton of goals, we've given up goals. So, at least in that sense we are a little bit more focused and I felt like we didn't give up a lot tonight."

On playing with two new players...

"It's not ideal, but I think let's give them credit. They both played really well, stepped up, challenged hard and did their job. They executed and that's what you hope for."

On how Watson-Siriboe and Mansally play compared to other RSL defenders...

"I don't want to compare them to the other guys, I just think that they played really well. That's all you can ask for. Kwame did a great job in challenging and communicating. You can see Kenny is a really good player on the ball, he got up and down and was playing through and injury as well. I think they both did a great job."

Seattle Head Coach Sigi Schmid

Overall thoughts on the game...

"Obviously we're happy with the result; we're happy that we played to a shutout. That was one of the things we wanted to concentrate on today. We almost had a chance at the end with Mauro's ball to Cato that would've gotten us through. Didn't do a good job in the first half winning duels, but we did a much better job of doing that in the second. Some of the possession that we gave them was in their end of the field, which didn't really concern me. It adds up and looks good on the stats sheet, but it's not dangerous. But they also got in behind and they're a good passing team, and on quality of play, they were probably a little ahead of us. But for us right now it's about showing determination and grit."

On GK Bryan Meredith and the shutout...

"It was good. The one goal they scored was an offside goal. He was pretty safe and solid on all things. Just that one cross at the end, but outside of that I though he was pretty solid and confident."

On MF Servando Carrasco...

"I thought Carrasco played well and Servando hasn't played much this season; I think it was only his second start of the season and I thought he came in and he did what he needed to do. I thought he did a pretty good job on Morales. Overall, I thought he was good."

On DF Jeff Parke...

"Jeff helps us when he's playing well. It was a hard game; those are two good forwards-Espindola and Saborio-their movement off each other is very good, so you have to be on your toes and you have to be alert."

On the defense...

"We kept our composure and we didn't allow ourselves to get stretched too much. I thought that part of it was good. We stayed compact, and we dropped at a certain point, which generally we don't do on the road, buttonight I felt it was something we needed to do."

On the team's discipline...

"I thought there were some excitable moments in the game, but I don't think we were the ones who instigated those excitable moments."

On substitute Cordell Cato's 88th-minute chance...

"Obviously it was a good chance. He made a good run, it wasn't that he wasn't working to get in there but Mauro did a good job when we pushed him high in the last 10-15 minutes of the game; I thought he was very dangerous, very effective and he made a great run there so that could've been where we walked out and stolen the game a little bit."

On what the team talked about at halftime...

"We talked about winning more duels, but we also talked about doing a better job possessing the ball too for us, which I don't think we had a good night at that part of the game. We have to get better, but with the amount of games we play right now, you can't really train at that and you look at balls popping free and it seems like they [RSL] were a step quicker and a little bit sharper than us, and that's something that hopefully we'll find again."

On looking ahead...

"You reach in, lick your wounds and try to get ready to play Colorado."

On the winless streak...

"Definitely, we'd like to win for sure. We want to be a tough team to beat and I think we've gotten back to that; we lost that for a couple of games and we've gotten back to that, which is very important. Now it's a matter of the soccer catching up and us playing better and walking away with a win."

"I think maybe our winless streak is as long as the Galaxy's one was and I know Dallas' is longer than ours, so I don't think Schellas is shaking in his boots over there; he's pretty happy. Well not happy, but it's a thing that happens and obviously we have to get out of this streak and start winning games. It will help our confidence as well. You know, we thought we had one last week and if we had gotten away with that one, which we thought we should have, then we'd be okay right now."

On playing at Rio Tinto Stadium...

"You know, it's a hard place to play, they're a good team, they were coming off three losses, they were highly motivated, they were sharp, they were enthusiastic in their play and the last three times we've played them now we've only given up one goal, so I'm happy with that."

Seattle FW Fredy Montero

Overall thoughts on the game...

"It's always a hard game when you play Salt Lake away. It was difficult and we knew that before we came here, and we tried to be really strong on defense. We did a great job in the back and got one point."

On looking ahead...
"We know we have very good players who can turn this around. We know what we need to do for the next game at home. We need to get three points; doesn't matter how we play. If we play good or bad, the most important thing is the three points."

On defensive effort...
"It is always good when you can get zero in the back. Obviously, we need to score one goal to win games, so our homework for the next game at home is to try to score goals and get those three points."

Seattle MF Servando Carrasco

Overall thoughts on the game...

"It was one of those games we told ourselves we were going to play to zero and we executed on that part of the game. Whenever you play to zero you give yourself a chance to win and that's what we try to do."

On getting the point...
"We had a chance late in the game where Cato comes inches from scoring that goal, so in that sense, it's a positive we played to zero and I think it was a good defensive match for us, but at the same time the label that we have right now on our backs is that we haven't won in nine games and we're very aware of that so going back home on Saturday, I think we're going to turn things around."

Seattle GK Bryan Meredith

On leaving Rio Tinto Stadium with the shutout...
"I think just being mentally switched on the entire 90 minutes and being well-connected with the back line and the back line connected to the midfield and so on is the reason why we did well." It's hard to come up here and play in the altitude; it was tough, but I think we came out and did well."

On getting the starting job....
"No, it was pretty much the same way I got it both times. Unfortunate luck for some people and fortunate for me. I think it gave me a chance to prove myself and this opportunity rather than the last is a little more important because I know they have an expectation of me now and they know how I can play so they want me to exceed that expectation every single game."

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