Playing the LA Galaxy on the road has probably been the single biggest hurdle the Seattle Sounders have had to clear during their MLS existence. More times than not, the trips have gone somewhere between awful and downright embarrassing. Simply looking at the statistics, you might be inclined to feel as though this was one of the better performances.
No, the Sounders didn't score -- and yes, they lost for the seventh time in 10 trips -- but they managed to fire off 14 shots and put 10 of those on frame. On another day with better shooting or worse goalkeeping, this might have been a blowout victory. Of course, that will only serve to make the actual result that much more frustrating.
Seattle Sounders FC 0 - LA Galaxy 1
Saturday, April 12, 2015
Venue: StubHub Center
Referee: Mark Geiger
Assistants: Sean Hurd, Joe Fletcher
Fourth Official: Ricardo Salazar
Weather: Sunny and 73 degrees
LA - Alan Gordon (Omar Gonzalez, Juninho) 23'
LA - Dan Gargan (caution) 27'
SEA - Obafemi Martins (caution) 34'
SEA - Chad Marshall (caution) 45+2'
LA - Baggio Husidic (caution) 81'
LA - Juninho (caution) 88'
LA - Alan Gordon (caution) 90+3'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Brad Evans-C, Chad Marshall, Dylan Remick; Cristian Roldan (Aaron Kovar 81'), Andy Rose, Osvaldo Alonso, Marco Pappa (Victor Mansaray 89'); Lamar Neagle (Chad Barrett 74'), Obafemi Martins
Substitutes not used: Troy Perkins, Leo Gonzalez, Zach Scott, Micheal Azira
Total shots: 14 (Neagle, 6)
Shots on goal: 10 (Neagle, 5)
Fouls: 18 (Alonso/Roldan, 3)
Offside: 5 (Martins, 4)
Corner-kicks: 4 (Pappa, 3)
Saves: 3 (Frei, 3)
LA Galaxy - Jaime Penedo; Dan Gargan (Tommy Meyer 85'), Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLa Garza, Robbie Rogers; Stefan Ishizaki, Rafael Garcia, Baggio Husidic (Jose Villareal 83'), Juninho-C, Gyasi Zardes; Alan Gordon
Substitutes not used: Brian Rowe, Todd Dunivant, Bradford Jamieson, Ignacio Maganto, Mika Vayrynen
Total shots: 16 (Rogers, 4)
Shots on goal: 4 (Gordon, 2)
Fouls: 15 (Gordon, 5)
Corner-kicks: 3 (Ishizaki, 3)
Saves: 10 (Penedo, 10)
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID
On today's game:
"It's the game of soccer; it's the game of football. Last week I didn't think we played really well and we walked off the field 1-0 winners and this week I thought we played pretty well. I thought we had more chances, more clean cut chances. Their goalkeeper comes up with a ton of saves. Some hit him and some saves he makes and we end up losing the game 1-0. I don't think based on our performance we deserve to lose. I think we were as good if not better for good portions of the game but that is how the game goes sometimes."
On Lamar Neagle's performance:
"He brought a lot of energy. He played up top which he is sometimes more comfortable at but I just thought his energy was better and obviously I think he had like 5 shots so he had some good looks and I thought he played well."
On Cristian Roldan's performance:
"I thought Cristian played well I think he ran out of gas towards the end so we had to take him off. I think soccer wise he played well. I thought he had a good game today and I thought Dylan Remick had a good game attacking as a left back running down the left side for us. I was pleased there is nobody I can point to and say they didn't play well. I think our guys played pretty well today."
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FORWARD LAMAR NEAGLE
On his thoughts of the game:
"Yeah, obviously we had our chances, unfortunately we didn't finish them. I personally had three that I thought I could have done a lot better with so it is a frustrating game knowing that we played pretty well and were in control of the game in the beginning and then one free kick changes things. It was frustrating, it seemed like we were getting the bulk of the chances and not being able to finish, some of them were a little bit ridiculous, on our part, and on his part, [Jaime Penedo] had a great game."
On what head coach Siegfried Schmid said to him after the game:
"Just that he thought I did a good job. He probably just wanted to change some things, get some fresh legs on the field up top.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS MIDFIELDER CRISTIAN ROLDAN
On playing in front of his home town fans:
"I heard a lot of boos, but also in between the boos I heard my family and my friends. It was good to have those fans, I know they were here just to support me and not the LA Galaxy so that is always a good feeling. It was a good start for us, I thought we created chances but result is not what we wanted, but that is soccer."
On how he played tonight:
"Towards the end, you get tired as a winger, but I thought my performance was okay. I thought I did well. You just got to learn from your mistakes you made in the game and keep making those same plays that we made, but I thought I did well. I think I have adjusted to the game, to the professional game pretty well and hopefully I continue to improve and look to contribute to the team as much as possible.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS DEFENDER BRAD EVANS
On his thoughts of the game:
"I think everybody is obviously very disappointed with the result but in saying that, I thought that was probably our best game this year. Sometimes soccer is that way. One chance for them in the first half with the header, a missed mark, and they will beat you that way. We adjusted a little bit, and I thought they didn't have too many chances on set pieces after that, but we created enough to go 3-1 up in the first half and in the second half created even more chances. You try to hold it as tight as you can in the back and hopefully create more and more so if we continue to do that we will find ourselves on the right side of things."
On the play of the younger Sounders players:
"Phenomenal. I thought they [Dylan Remick and Cristian Roldan] were solid like they have been doing it for years. This is a good field to have your first game on. It is big, there is a lot of space and things tend to open up for you a little bit more, it is not a tight field like in Portland. It is definitely a good field to have one of your first games on, especially starting on that wing over there. I remember played a couple games here early on in my career and it was a good feeling. Cristian did well with it, really well, and connected his passes, was calm under pressure and I can't say enough about him. But we have said that all along, this is a good team and we are going to need these guys, and everybody to step up. You never know when you are going to get called, but when you do, I thought it was a good performance.
LA GALAXY HEAD COACH BRUCE ARENA
On Rafael Garcia's performance:
"He did very well, I don't know how much he has played with us in the past. He put in an excellent shift today; very good 90 minutes. He is fit, and as you can see he is quite capable of switching the point of attacks. His passing distance was good, gets around the ball. He is experienced. He has been with us for a number of years now. So he is quite capable of stepping up."
On the team's leadership:
"[Jaime Penedo] stepping up today was critical in this result. On the day, Leonardo's been out, Robbie's not in today, Jose and Mike didn't train all week so that was a problem. I thought Gordon was a real man today. He obviously got the winning goal, played strong the entire 90 minutes. I think he played quit well. It was good to see, you've got to win these kind of games. Listen, this isn't going to go down as a classic by any means, but the fact that we were able to grind it out and get three points, it is very pleasing."
On the lineup:
"Well we played a 4-2-3-1 with Baggio playing under Alan. I didn't think he felt comfortable in that position. I thought Gyasi and Baggio did very well when they exchanged positions. Just a hunch, but obviously Gyasi can play there. But we wanted a little more help in the midfield. To help out [Rafael Garcia], being one of his first games, to join Juninho so I thought it was important to have an extra player there."
On Alan Gordon:
"Obviously on a game like today, where Seattle is very dangerous on restarts, he did a good job there as well. He played a complete 90 today."
LA GALAXY FORWARD ALAN GORDON
On tonight's performance:
"We talked about it all week, just bringing the energy, bringing the fight. We need to do that first and that was my focus and goal. It wasn't pretty all the time, but we made a difference and we won our battles. I was just getting in the mix, anything I could do to scrap and make it a little dirty and get us the win."
On starting the game:
"I was excited, I knew that this was a big game for us and I was excited to be a part of it. I wanted to have a good performance and help the team get a win. I feel like that's why I'm here, that's why Bruce brought me. When guys are out and I'm called upon, it's my job to step in and do a good job."
On playing against Chad Marshall:
"He is good. He is a really good player so you have to be smart. And if you try to out jump him, you are going to lose so you have to get your body on him. That's what I was trying to do all day."
On the formation:
"Well I think it helped us out with our spacing up top, we needed numbers going forward. I don't think Gyasi was getting in the game in the wing so we bought him in. Once he was inside and getting the ball then he was a lot more effective. I thought Gyasi came into the game really well. He started off a little slow, and once we started finding him in the middle with that space, he was able to turn and be dangerous."
On making his 200th MLS appearance:
"I think for most guys, maybe 200 isn't a big deal. For me, a guy not even expecting to play a game in this league, I think it's pretty special for me to make it this far."
LA GALAXY DEFENDER OMAR GONZALEZ
On Jaime Penedo:
"Well, he kept us in the game. You know when your keeper makes those key saves, those brilliant saves, that keep the game at zero-zero, it just gives you an opportunity to make something happen. Sure enough, after Jaime made those saves we figured out a way to score. We go up 1-0 and later in the game, he makes some more key saves. So I just think tonight, Jaime Penedo played brilliantly, and he just kept us in a striking position and saved us."
On his assist:
"With my size, I'd like to think I'll win most of my matchups. Sometimes, I don't win the matchups, but most of the time I'm going to win them. And tonight, I was going up against Brad Evans and I have a little bit of a height advantage on him. Just leap for it and put the ball back in the mixer, found Gordo's head on the far post. He ended up putting it in. Hopefully that can happen a lot more this season, but it's never that easy; usually I'm double teamed. So for the first set piece, I was going one on one with Brad so it was perfect. Usually guys double team me or Chad Marshall started marking me after that, so it definitely got a little tougher."
On team injuries:
"Rafael Garcia is a guy who came in, stepped up and played amazing. It was great to see, for a guy who is always giving it 110% in practice and showing the coaches that he is ready to play. When he stepped on the field, we all saw today that he played great so I'm really happy for him. Just the response from last week, where maybe the effort was in question, I don't think the effort was in question tonight. Everyone fought for each other, battled, and won their matchups. That's the reason why we came out of here with a win. It wasn't perfect tonight, but we found a way to win."
LA GALAXY GOALKEEPER JAIME PENEDO
On his performance:
"It was a very important game for us. During the season, I think there are three or four games that you're really looking forward to. This was an early game this season, and we got a result."
On which was the best save:
"I think the most important thing was that the team ran a lot and the defensive line was strong. Whichever save I make that helps the team is important to me."
On whether saves give him more confidence:
"Of course, I think it did give me a lot of confidence. As a goalkeeper, the first shot you receive, you want it to be a save."
On the challenge of facing Seattle:
"Seattle is a team that done things the right way and a team that is dangerous up top, so it was a very complicated game."
On whether any of his saves surprised him:
"I think there was one that, if you asked me, I would say I honestly don't know how I saved it. The player was right in front of me and he shot it and it bounced off of me. I would have never guess I would have saved that."
On how he's able to make the save against Andy Rose:
"It all happened very fast. You don't really have any time to think and you just try to be there near that first post. I remember the ball just came and I was standing there to stop it."