Draws that feel like losses while taking over first place are kind of odd. Despite dominating a bunch of predictive stats, Seattle Sounders FC leaves the match with a mere point at home against a San Jose Earthquakes squad that is rapidly losing ground in their attempt to cross the red line.
A match nestled betwixt bigger opponents offered Sigi Schmid an opportunity to give some of his regulars rest. Though they earned some time off their tired legs, they only snagged a single point. It's both good enough and not good enough. One of the games in hand is gone. Sounders FC is still poised for a run, but their recent form shows potential greatness rather than actual greatness.
SEA - Chad Barrett (Obafemi Martins) 46'
SJ - Chris Wondolowski (Cordell Cato) 65'
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei, DeAndre Yedlin, Chad Marshall, Djimi Traore, Jalil Anibaba, Kenny Cooper (Lamar Neagle 66'), Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose, Marco Pappa (Brad Evans 77') Chad Barrett (Clint Dempsey 71'), Obafemi Martins
Substitutes Not Used: Marcus Hahnemann, Michael Azira, Leo Gonzalez, Zach Scott
TOTAL SHOTS: 24 (Marco Pappa, 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Barrett, 2); FOULS: 14 (3 tied at 3); OFFSIDE: 1 (Obafemi Martins, 1); CORNER KICKS: 9 (Pappa, 4); SAVES: 2 (Frei, 2).
San Jose Earthquakes - Jon Busch, Ty Harden, Victor Bernardez (Shaun Francis 79'), Jason Hernandez, Jordan Stewart, Atiba Harris, Sam Cronin, JJ Koval, Shea Salinas (Cordell Cato 45'), Tommy Thompson (Adam Jahn 87'), Chris Wondolowski
Substitutes Not Used: Bryan Meredith, Brandon Barklage, Adam Jahn, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, Khari Stephenson
TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (5 tied at 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 tied at 1); FOULS: 8 (3 tied at 2); OFFSIDE: 2 (2 tied at 2); CORNER KICKS: 1 (Cronin, 1); SAVES: 6 (Busch, 6) .
SEA- DeAndre Yedlin (caution) 29'
SEA- Obafemi Martins caution) 77'
SJ- JJ Koval (caution) 90'
Referee: Drew Fischer
Referee's Assistants: Fabio Tovar and Marco Arruda
4th Official: Baboucarr Jallow
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Sunny and 72 degrees
Sigi Schmid - Sounders FC Head Coach
(On the offensive attack...) "I thought we had some chances going forward. I didn't think the first 25 minutes was very good. I thought they were better than us in the first 25 minutes. After that I felt we took hold of more of the game. With their goal in the second half I felt there was a multitude of things that happened in the goal against us, then we had some more chances going the other way. We took some rests and left ourselves a little more open to the counter, and we're playing against a team that was pretty bunkered in and was trying to play out of the counter themselves. We got around them a bit on the right with DeAndre [Yedlin] attacking, but we didn't get enough width on the left side of the field."
(On not creating enough chances...) "I just don't think we are getting width at the right times. There are teams that are packing in the middle and then we are forced to play into the middle when maybe we don't want to. I think we did a good job at times-when you look at the crosses we hit they come from the right-hand side of the field with DeAndre, later Brad Evans getting in there...Everything is just quality service at the right times. It's just letting us down. Evans gets in once really well in the second half, and misses the cross as it's coming across. Those are the things, the final decisions. We make a mistake, we get punished-that's been a pretty common theme. We just got to clean up the chances that are created. We aren't creating clean chances."
(On tonight's lineup...) "Just resting people. Evans thought he was better, but we felt it would be too much to push him too much this early. [Clint] Dempsey has been going all year and we need to find a couple breaks here and there. I thought he came on and did some good things for us. [Djimi] Traore was just rested and Leo Gonzalez isn't in a state where he can play three games in a week."
(On Gonzalo Pineda's recovery...) "[He is] doing better. He suffered a little bit of an ankle injury during regen, but he felt a lot better and should be able to jog and run."
(On finding gaps in the defense...) "I thought it was OK. I thought overall finding gaps and playing through those gaps is something we aren't doing well right now. You saw the good ball played in by [Obafemi Martins], and [Chad] Barrett finishes. There's not enough of those balls coming in from the rest of the midfielders...That's what our forwards are in need of."
(On playing behind the defense...) "I don't think we've done a good enough job of that lately...You've got to get the ball over and behind the defense. Hopefully that is something we will work during training."
(On generating scoring opportunities...) "I don't think it's been a problem for us in a long time. I think that's been a problem for us over the last four or five games. I thought we were doing better much earlier in the season and we got to get back to doing that."
(On how to approach a slump...) "You've just got to stay positive. You've got to stay positive and work for each other. You've got to bring the right attitude to games and practice every day and there's enough quality there for us to get out of it, but we've got to get positive."
(On Barrett's 50th career goal...) "Congratulations to Chad. I think that's his sixth goal this year. He's had a very good season for us getting goals off the bench and getting goals in starting situations. Chad's done very well."
(On the third draw of the season...) "You look at our record and we probably have tied the least amount of times in the league. [We would] rather have a win, but rather not have a loss."
(On not getting the win...) "It was disappointing. The guys are disappointed because they really wanted to come out with a win today."
Chad Barrett - Sounders FC Forward
(On if the draw feels like a loss...) "Yeah, definitely. You know San Jose treats it like a win, so we have to treat it like a loss. You use home games in this league to really get out of slumps, help yourself get started, and it would have been great to win because we have a tough game down in Portland. They had kind of a depleted team and you know they just wanted a tie-that's all they were really going for. The goal was really unlucky in a lot of different parts. Once we got the lead, I thought we were going to carry it out for three points."
(On scoring his 50th career goal...) "It was great for me individually. Great ball by Oba, good finish. It was great to get the 50th, but that's something you think about at the end of your career. Right now, three points is really all you want."
(On what Obafemi Martins brought to the attack...) "Everything he always does. He's quick, he's strong, he's fast. He creates a lot, he draws a lot of attention, which leaves me open. Like I said, he played a great through ball, had a bunch of unlucky chances that didn't fall for him. I would have loved to see one of his shots go in, but they packed the box and Busch made some great saves---congrats to them."
(On the team getting 24 shots...) "It's a testament to Busch. He did a great job. I thought their defense did a great job. They pretty much did exactly what they've been doing this entire year-they put eight in the box and put it to us to get it out wide and put crosses in. I think that we could have found the wings a little bit more and put some crosses in-because it seemed like they were really struggling on those-and pounced on something coming from the top of the box. For whatever reason it just didn't go in. It wasn't with us today and we got the tie."
Clint Dempsey - Sounders FC Midfielder
(On where the offense needs to improve...) "When you watch the game tonight, we got in some good positions. We got in some good crosses, some bad crosses-but you have to have better quality in the final third if you want to have a better end product, so we just need more quality in the final third."
(On how he feels...) "Feeling tired. I've been going nonstop since December, really, so that's why I rested today. [I am] trying to get my legs back under me to try to feel a little more energized and hopefully we can find a way to manage that and get back to feeling good again."
(On playing 20 minutes tonight...) "It's rest. Ninety minutes takes a lot of you. It's just been a balance of trying to lighten the load during training sessions and minutes in games because games on turf take a lot out of you. Well games, period, take a lot out of you, but especially on turf. So I try to manage that load so I can be fresh, get my legs back, and be fresh until the end of the season."
Jalil Anibaba - Sounders FC Defender
(General thoughts on the game...) "I thought in the first half we struggled a little bit to create some chances; second half we were obviously a lot more dangerous in our attack. I felt like we dominated the game. This one stings a little bit but a point is better than none."
(On San Jose's chances...) "I don't know if they had any shots on goal besides the goal they scored so it's just one of those nights. You've got to bounce back and look forward."
(On mindset after taking 1-0 lead...) "I thought we were well. We were still creating chances after we scored. We dropped off a little bit but I didn't think that was the reason why we conceded. It's just a matter of looking at what we did well and looking at what we didn't do so well and correcting those mistakes and move forward."
(On playing Portland Sunday...) "Obviously we're ready, we're prepared. It's going to be a big game for us and a result down in Portland means great things for us in terms of the standings so we're ready and we're looking forward to it."
Andy Rose - Sounders FC Midfielder
(On the game...) "I think we created enough in the final third possession-wise to finish them off. We need to be more clinical and crosses need to be a little better and then at 1-0 up we need to continue to press the game. We let them have a little bit too much space. That was a very open game and as a result we only get a point."
(On San Jose's goal...) "I think we were just too far off on them. At 1-0 up we could have done a better job of pushing for the second, overtaking, overrunning them. Credit to them, they kept on going and got the goal back."
(On the mindset after San Jose tied the game...) "I felt positive about us getting one. We were throwing numbers forward as you have to at home. We felt we were the better team and created more and as result we felt confident pushing forward. Obviously they were trying to kill the game a little bit, stuck a lot men behind the ball and it's tough to break them down. At that point you need one really good soccer player, one really smart play. Unfortunately tonight wasn't our night."
Mark Watson - San Jose Earthquakes Head Coach
(On his team's recovery from last game...) "It was a great point. That's something we talked about after our last game and today-having a good response to a very disappointing night. I thought it was a good performance. Seattle is a tough place to play with a lot of quality players. I thought we created some chances and showed good discipline. We had to withstand some pressure at times but it was a very good performance on the road."
(On Chris Wondolowski goal...) "That's what he does. He has such an instinct for the goal. He makes something out of nothing and knows exactly where to be. It was a goal we really needed."
(On Tommy Thompson's performance...) "I thought he did well tonight. I think it's clear to see that he is a real quality player. We wanted to be smart with how we brought him into the team. He started the season out for five months so we wanted to make sure he was ready to play. I thought overall it was a great performance. He just turned 19 so he's a young kid. It was his first MLS start and he didn't seem overawed by the occasion. He's comfortable on the ball and was able to start attacking sequences for us. I think he's got a really bright future for us."
(On the defense's performance...) "Well, we knew we would be under pressure here and we were. It's just a collective effort and desire to keep your shape and continue to run. It was real committed effort from everyone."
(On Cordell Cato's performance...) "Cordell was good. We made the change at halftime and he was able to bring some energy. DeAndre Yedlin is a good player who makes a lot of good runs and I thought Cordell did that well. He had some good moments going forward and obviously delivered the cross to set Wondolowski up for the goal. He had a good night."
Chris Wondolowski - Earthquakes Forward
(On his goal off the cross from Cordell Cato...) "Cordell did a great job. He's a great player one-on-one and he was able to get the cross and zip it across the goal mouth and I was there to tap it in."
(On how he felt picking up a draw after last weekend's loss...) "To be honest with you, it was very embarrassing. Any time you lose at home like that, you have a bit of a chip on your shoulder, so you know, it was one of those things where I'm grateful that we didn't have all week to dwell it. We had a game to try to right the ship, but to be honest, this was a very tough place to play and to get a point. We'll take it. It's getting too late in the season, though, right now. We need to start picking up more."
(On the mindset of the team coming in to this game...) "We know that we have adversity, but I think that's when this team really gels together and sometimes can play some great ball. We come in and our mentality right now for today and throughout the rest of the year is just get three points. That's what we need. We still believe...that we can make this playoff push and we need to start picking up three points, whether it's at home or on the road. To be honest, we'll take it right now."
(On his team's performance tonight...) "I thought we did a great job defensively. Seattle is a very talented team, that's why I believe they're second right now, or just close to the top of the table for a reason. They're very crafty, especially around the box and create many opportunities, but I thought our defense did a good job of blocking shots. Jason [Hernandez], Victor [Bernardez] and Jon Busch did a great job and I thought we created some good opportunities. I still think we can be a little bit better on the killer instinct in that final third or on that final pass, a little sharper, but it's something that I think we can continue to grow on."
Cordell Cato - Earthquakes Midfielder
(On coming back to Seattle...) "I think it was fun, being out there. Getting in and making an impact in the game is just great."
(On the cross he made that led to Wondolowki's goal...) "It was more the defender than me. He dropped off and allowed me the space, so I did what you're supposed to do, keep it in the box."
(On putting a few moves on Yedlin...) "[laughs] Of course. I mean, I did a couple of step-overs to create the space and I put the ball in a good spot and Wondo does what he usually does, you know, finish."
(On whether it was a satisfying draw...) "I think so. We'll take the point and move on to Philly."