Alexi Lalas said when Seattle Sounders FC scored their third goal "feast your eyes on this," and so you shall. There was much to like in the victory over the New England Revolution, much more than just things called Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins. Marco Pappa and Tyrone Mears also notched assists. Stefan Frei earned a shutout stopping the only shot that challenged him.
Stats and quotes are provided by the team.
Seattle Sounders FC 3 - New England 0
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field
Assistants: Peter Manikowski, Corey Parker
Fourth Official: Corey Parker
Weather: Clear and 54 degrees
SEA - Clint Dempsey (penalty) 25'
SEA - Obafemi Martins (Tyrone Mears, Clint Dempsey) 41'
SEA - Clint Dempsey (Marco Pappa, Obafemi Martins) 67'
NE - Jose Goncalves (caution) 73'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Brad Evans-C, Chad Marshall, Leo Gonzalez; Lamar Neagle (Andy Rose, 83'), Micheal Azira, Gonzalo Pineda (Cristian Roldan, 90+'), Marco Pappa (Aaron Kovar 90'); Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins
Substitutes not used: Troy Perkins, Chad Barrett, Dylan Remick, Zach Scott
Total shots: 6 (Clint Dempsey, 4)
Shots on goal: 3 (Clint Dempsey, 2)
Fouls: 16 (5 tied at 1)
Offside: 1 (Brad Evans, 4)
Corner-kicks: 8 (Marco Pappa, 5)
Saves: 1 (Stefan Frei, 1)
New England Revolution - Bobby Shuttleworth; Kevin Alston, Jose Goncalves-C, Andrew Farrell, Chris Tierney; Andy Dorman (Daigo Kobayashi, 57'), Scott Caldwell, Diego Fagundez (Steve Neumann, 77'), Juan Agudelo (Sean Okoli, 68'); Teal Bunbury, Kelyn Rowe
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Darrius Barnes, Charlie Davies, London Woodberry
Total shots: 8 (2 tied at 2)
Shots on goal: 1 (Kelyn Rowe, 1)
Fouls: 14 (Juan Agudelo, 4)
Offside: 1 (Juan Agudelo, 1)
Corner-kicks: 6 (Kelyn Rowe, 4)
Saves: 0 (None)
POST-MATCH QUOTES: SOUNDERS FC 3 - NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION 0
Sunday, March 8, 2015
SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID
"Obviously I am happy with the result tonight, I thought the guys played solid. I was pleased we shut them out - that was one of the things we talked about in preseason, that we wanted to do a better job defensively. I thought [Brad] Evans did well for his first real game at centerback. I thought that part was solid. I said earlier that I wasn't too concerned with the preseason results because it is a veteran team...They were ready to play. The shutout was very helpful; the work that [Lamar] Neagle and [Marco] Pappa did, not only offensively, but defensively in that regard really helped us. I just wanted to make sure I complimented them on that."
On the performance of the midfield:
"I thought it was okay. I thought [Michael Azira] was solid in that he broke up some plays, which was very important as he sat in that hole. Sometimes we would like him to move forward a little bit quicker, but especially with them playing three guys in the midfield, I thought it was a lot of work for him and [Gonzalo] Pineda to do, and along with Neagle and Pappa, they did a good job of keeping that group in front of them. It was only at the end, really, where they started knocking the ball around and the game was over."
On Marco Pappa:
"We never worry about his creativity - that's always present, that's always there. We are trying to get him to come from outside in a little bit more so he gets a little more space, so he has a little more room to operate because he is a good passer. I think in the third goal, on that opening pass, with the ball he placed through, which unlocked the back to [Martins] and the whole combination from Pappa, Martins and Dempsey was fantastic on that goal. Those are things that Pappa can provide. If he is camping there all of the time, he gets too crowded, and so that's the thing we have been talking a lot about and working on - for him to go in there, I have no problems of him going in there to pop-in and pop-out, then he can go in and do stuff like he did tonight."
On Tyrone Mears:
"That's what we talked about - we said that Tyrone is a good crosser of the ball, and obviously he demonstrated that tonight. He picks and chooses his moments a little more of when to go forward, but when he picks and chooses the moments to go forward it is generally effective. Tonight was an example of that and I think that's what you're going to see. I thought defensively he was solid, and I thought he also helped us in our attack in vital moments. As we continue on the guys will recognize it - depending on who you play, some guys recognize it and leave less space on that side of the field."
On the positioning of the centerbacks:
"As we started to experiment back there, Evans felt more comfortable on the right. Chad says he doesn't care - right or left, it doesn't matter to him. They decided [Evans] was more comfortable on the right and [Marshall] played on the left. If Zach Scott were to play tonight, Scott would have played on the left and Marshall would have been on the right, but Marshall feels fairly comfortable either way."
On the substitutions:
"The team was playing well and some guys wanted to get minutes, as well, of just getting their fitness. Marco Pappa gains a lot of fitness in his games compared to training, so we wanted to get him minutes and get him out there. We thought the team was playing alright, we didn't want to disrupt out rhythm. Neagle took a knock, so we brought on [Andy] Rose. I sort of killed [Cristian] Roldan a little bit because I wanted to bring him on at the 89, 90th minute, but I am superstitious and I don't like to sub on defending corners, and the ball didn't go out of bounds for a while, so his lack of minutes [is due to that]."
On the combinations of Martins and Dempsey:
"It's always good to see. The two of them, the stuff they pull off is unique and special. I think our fans here are seeing something very unique and special when they play together. I thought it took them a little bit of time to get in their rhythm, but once they got into their rhythm I thought they were good. Individually they are just so dangerous - collectively, it makes it so hard for centerbacks because you don't know when to step up or who to step up to because they take turns dropping into that hole."
On the goals for this team:
"We want to continue to play well. We want to do as well as last year and we want to do better. We all know what we want to do better at. For us, it's important - we are at home, we are getting back in front of our crowd, and tonight we talked about letting our fans go home happy, and I think we let them go home happy. It's just a matter of continuing our play. We would love to win Supporters' Shield - that's a long road. We would love to win Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and that's a long road, too. We want to advance in the Champions League and we want to win MLS Cup. All of those are goals for us and we want to play well week-in and week-out. We know we are going to have times where it doesn't go off as well as we want it to, but we have to keep pushing through in the hard times as well."
On Brad Evans:
"Certainly it makes life a lot easier when you're playing your first game at centerback when you play next to the guy who is the only three-time Defender of the Year. That certainly helps you. Chad and Brad certainly have a good relationship not only on the field but off the field, there is a good understanding. They both talk - Brad probably talks more - but it certainly gives you comfort knowing that Chad is back there...I think they are already learning."
On Martins' header:
"Man, he's got the biggest thighs and quads on the team. He can definitely jump. He doesn't play like a guy who's his size that's listed. He is so athletic and that was a fantastic header, and his ability to get up in the air. It wasn't like it was a running jump - that was straight up - so it was pretty impressive."
On Clint Dempsey's fitness:
"I think you're going to see more from him this year because he was able to get a break in the offseason. Last season, with our season finishing and having a short break and him going to Fulham and then it being a World Cup year, it ended up being a long year for him. I know that Jurgen [Klinsmann] was a little disappointed in his fitness, maybe, when he came in, but Clint needed that break mentally and physically. His fitness is coming along, we see it by the numbers that we keep track of in training, and I think he is capable of doing more than last year, and I am sure he feels the same way."
On Orlando City vs. New York City FC:
"It's fantastic for the league, it's fantastic they got 60,000 there. They were all in purple, so that's pretty exciting. I know they are adding some stands here, so I am not sure how big that makes us, whether we can beat LA Galaxy's record for opening game attendance. That could be something to get our fans charged up next year - trying to break that record. I think the record is 68,000 or something. That was tremendous, I wanted to watch that game just for the spectacle of it. Certainly getting guys like Kaka and [David] Villa into the league are important. The Portland-RSL match, like all matches are in Portland, was hectic and an end-to-end battle. Nick Rimando showed that he is in midseason form. It was good, it was good from a lot of factors. A lot of teams made changes. Toronto-Vancouver was a good game was well - first half was Vancouver and the second half was Toronto, but the league is in good shape. Teams are getting better and we are happy to get three points."
On the team's performance:
"Any time you get a goal your confidence grows. Pineda did a great job after the goal of stepping up and getting guys to press a little bit, and I think that's what helped us get our second goal because he sensed that we could push here a little bit, step up a little bit. He is really important to us on the field in those moments. Then with Clint and Oba, sometimes it takes a real game, real timing because [in the] preseason veteran guys don't want to get hurt. When the real thing happens these guys get going."
On Stefan Frei's save:
"He had more than a good save - that was a world-class save that he made going down to his right at a key point in the game. It's so much harder as a goalkeeper to play for a good team. When you play for a team that's not so good and you're facing 10 shots and you make eight saves and take two goals, you look like a superstar. But when you play for a good team and you only face maybe three shots that are dangerous, you have to make three saves, and that's a lot harder. Making key saves at key moments is what truly separates the truly outstanding goalkeepers from the rest. Tonight, I thought he made a world class save in a key moment of the game for us."
SOUNDERS FC FORWARD CLINT DEMPSEY
On the penalty:
"It was a good cross that came in. I was surprised that it went all the way to me and I tried to set myself up for a right shot but that got blocked, so I tried to cut back and get it on my left but then it looked it didn't have much going that way. So I tried to spin and get myself in position to get out of the people that were marking me and try to get a shot off. I got kicked in my heel and the ref called a penalty. Anytime you can go up 1-0 early at home it always gets the crowd behind even more so and I thought we continued to try and press and try to play our game. We're still trying to get a bit of that rust out. I think there's still some things that we can work on but I think that's a good baseline, a good start for the season and now it's about building on that and moving forward."
On playing with Martins:
"Like I said last season, I love playing with Oba. He's one of the players I've enjoyed the most playing with in my career because it reminds me of being a kid playing pickup style and just think alike and know that if you make the right run he's going to find you. He makes players better around him so I enjoy playing with him and hopefully we can do this season what we did last season.
On the chemistry with Martins compared to last year:
"I think it's even better because we have each other's back. We try to give each other good looks in game so that we can get each other goals and get each other assists so we showed that we can both be unselfish and both create opportunities for each other. And I think that's what it's about, just having somebody there that's grinding it out with you that plays a similar style as you. Obviously, you've got to give credit to the whole team because the whole team makes everything work, but it is special to play with a player like Oba."
SOUNDERS FC FORWARD OBAFEMI MARTINS
On playing with Tyrone Mears:
"It's all about understanding. We did preseason together so I understand how he crosses the ball and everything, so lucky for us today. He crossed the ball real well, I made my own movement and I scored. This is what we've been doing since started preseason so we're happy today that we won."
On the third goal, thinking of he could take it himself:
"I thought, ‘Yeah I can do it,' but Clint is there so I let him just play it and score so we can win. If it's me and the goalkeeper one-on-one, I don't want to risk it so that's why I gave it to him."
On the pass from Marco Pappa:
"That was a good pass. He sold me way before he took the ball and he gave me a good pass and I gave it to Clint and he finished up so well."
On chemistry with Clint Dempsey compared to last year:
"This is what we've doing since last year, same thing in preseason. We've never stopped doing our thing but at the end of the day we did very well as a team and we're very happy (with the three points."
SOUNDERS FC DEFENDER TYRONE MEARS
On his crossing:
"I think when you've got strikers like Clint and Oba, they want the ball in the box. They do fantastic work outside the box but they do the damage in the box and it's important for us wide guys to get the ball to them."
On Martins' header goal and height on his jump:
"Yeah, he's got a leap. He's done it all through his career so I knew when that ball came in and Oba was jumping I knew it was going in."
On the atmosphere:
"It was fantastic. I said it's the reason why I came to the MLS. I was asked the question by FOX yesterday, "Why did I come to the MLS?" Well, it's to play in front of these fans. It's a fantastic experience. It's like going to places like Old Trafford, Anfield, you look forward to playing against those teams but to play in front of those fans and hear the atmosphere, and that's the way it is in in this stadium."
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION HEAD COACH JAY HEAPS
On the play of Dempsey and Martins:
"I thought both guys had a really good game and showed their class tonight."
On what Dempsey and Martins did well:
"Well I think they were good, and we gave them a little too much space and they found gaps. I thought we dealt with it well up until the 25thminute and then we put our heads down a little bit after the penalty call. And I thought we had chances to get back in the game, and giving up the second goal hurt."
On Kelyn Rowe's near miss and the sequence that followed:
"Yeah they made plays tonight. I mean, I'm not going to take anything away from Seattle they played really well, and when we did have our chance Stefan Frei made a great save."
On missing Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen:
"No excuses. We have players on the field that can step up and play and we didn't do well enough tonight."
On Teal Bunbury's injury:
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION FORWARD KELYN ROWE
On the issues of containing the midfield:
"I thought they moved pretty well, credit to them. It's the first game of the year and there are still some little quirks we need to figure out. I think there were times where we lost the ball in dangerous spots and they took advantage of it, especially in the second half when we were down 2-0 and pushing for the game a little bit, you're going to leave some gaps."
On goal chance and Stefan Frei's save:
"It was a terrific save. I thought it went in and he put it far post. It's one of those where we try to take advantage of balls that we win off the back line in their half. We have been so good at it the last couple years and we didn't capitalize on it."
On Sounders FC's second goal:
"It was right before half and wasn't easy, but that happens in games and you have to learn from it. I'm glad it happened now and not in the playoffs."
On playing close to home:
"It's great obviously. It wasn't the homecoming I wanted, but it's always nice to play in front of family and friends who can't make it out to Boston because it's a far trip. People I have coached growing up and kids that I played with, it's fun to do."
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION CHRIS TIERNEY
On difficulties playing Seattle:
"I actually thought we started the game okay. We had some decent spells of possession. You just can't play a team like Seattle from behind. The penalty really killed us. Chasing a game away at Seattle is always a tough task. They have some top quality players and if you're chasing the game and you leave gaps, they're going to punish you and that was the story tonight."
On Frei's save and Sounders FC's second goal:
"That was a moment of swing, for sure. I thought it was in the net. We didn't have the sharpness to take the chances we did create in the first half. Had we snuck a goal it might have been a different story. Frei, credit to him, made a big play for them and it was tough for us to find another chance from there. Like I said, playing Seattle from behind is not a spot you want to be in."