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Sounders draw Sporting KC: Highlights, stats, quotes

Dropping home points doesn't feel better in the morning. Seattle Sounders FC did the job defensively, something that is now clearly more than just pattern, but couldn't get dangerous shots off. Sporting Kansas City did finally manage to not lose on a late game-winner, so maybe they're happy?

It was a night where the possession with a purpose Sounders couldn't do what they needed to do. Despite having 63.3% of possession and 80% pass completion Seattle would not threaten the goal. The point does push Sigi's men to 2nd in the West and 3rd in the Shield race.

Here is the raw data from the match.


Seattle Sounders FC 0 - Sporting Kansas City 0

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Venue: XBOX Pitch at CenturyLink Field

Referee: Jair Marrufo

Assistants: Corey Rockwell, Eduardo Mariscal

Fourth Official: Drew Fischer

Attendance: 40,653

Weather: Cloudy and 62 degrees




SKC - Soni Mustivar (caution) 81'
SKC - Kevin Ellis (caution) 81'


Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Brad Evans - C, Chad Marshall, Dylan Remick; Marco Pappa (Cristian Roldan 73'), Osvaldo Alonso, Gonzalo Pineda, Lamar Neagle (Andy Rose 64'), Clint Dempsey, Chad Barrett (Darwin Jones 84')

Substitutes not used: Troy Perkins, Micheal Azira, Leo Gonzalez, Zach Scott

Total shots: 10 (Barrett/Neagle, 3)

Shots on goal: 1 (Barrett, 1)

Fouls: 6 (Alonso, 2)

Offside: 4 (Barrett, 3)

Corner-kicks: 2 (Pappa/Pineda, 1)

Saves: 3 (Frei, 3)

Sporting Kansas City - Tim Melia, Jalil Anibaba, Matt Besler - C, Kevin Ellis, Amadou Dia; Servando Carrasco (Graham Zusi 77'), Krisztian Nemeth, Benny Feilhaber, Soni Mustivar, Jacob Peterson (Connor Hallisey 56'); Jimmy Medranda (Saad Abdul-Salaam 58')

Substitutes not used: Luis Marin, Paulo Nagumara, James Rogers

Total shots: 9 (Feilhaber/Nemeth, 3)

Shots on goal: 3 (Peterson, 2)

Fouls: 11 (Feilhaber, 3)

Offside: 0

Corner-kicks: 3 (Zusi, 2)

Saves: 1 (Melia, 1)


SATURDAY, MAY 23, 2015


Opening Statement:

"Obviously, we are disappointed with the tie at home. We always want to win when we are at home. I thought we had more possession - they certainly played deeper. Right from the beginning of the game they were trying to kill the game when they were taking 25, 30 seconds for every goal kick. We needed to move our play forward... and put a little more pressure on them. In the second half, we had really clean looks - [Lamar] Neagle really early on and the one by [Chad] Barrett. In a game like this you're not really going to get 10 or 15 chances, maybe you will get one or two and you need to finish them when you can. That didn't fall for us today."

On finding space from the back:

"We are a little late sometimes switching the point of attack when those things are open. We found Dylan (Remick) open a couple of times, but didn't really find Tyrone [Mears] and there were opportunities for him to get in behind, that's got to come in a little quicker. When a team drops off the way Kansas City did, and then Gonzo [Pineda] and Ozzie [Alonso] are that deep, they are doing a job that only really center backs can do at that point, and that's why we need to push it forward. We are still working on that, and you still need that final cohesion. Where [Marco] Pappa gave us a lot of that in Vancouver, he ended up dropping deeper because they were so dropped in so he was looking for space. We need to get comfortable finding space even where it's crowded."

On Gonzalo Pineda's injury:

"It's an ankle, we will see. I think that ankle has been sprained off and on."

On the combination play of the forwards:

"Obviously, that's something Clint [Dempsey] and [Obafemi Martins] have been able to do in the past - you combine in games where it's tight and in tough situations like that. It's a little bit of a different dynamic with Chad. There's some things we gain and there's some things we lose. Oba didn't play today, so it didn't matter."

On the performance of the substitutes:

"It was okay. [Cristian] Roldan got caught a little bit - I thought he did alright. I thought he got caught because [Jair] Marrufo, if there's no blood or bone sticking out, generally doesn't blow the whistle, so he got caught there expecting a foul in the middle of the field and that almost cost us. Darwin [Jones] obviously has speed and presents that danger to an opponent, so we felt those were the options were the best to come on at that time because they are more offensive players and they could provide us something. Darwin's stint was sort of short so it's tough to completely evaluate it."

On Stefan Frei's big save after little action:

"It's the hardest thing - it's easy to be a goalkeeper when the other team is peppering you with shots, and you're diving right, you're diving left and your focus is there. When you're sitting in goal and you're not really seeing much of anything, now all of a sudden you're called upon to make a big save. I think that's what separates very, very good goalkeepers from the rest of the pack. Today he showed he is a very good goalkeeper."

On executing long passes:

"Yeah, we've been practicing the long passes - that is something we've been working on, and I thought it was good. As a team, we need to do that just a little bit better and a tad bit quicker. Certainly, that is an important part of our attack as we get into position."


On the Kansas City lineup:

"With a quick turnaround travelling cross-country, you're on turf, I think it's expected that you're going to see a mixed lineup and then a late scratch in Dom so they've got to move around guys at the last minute.  So, they did really play any different formation wise, just a matter of where their line was drawn on the field.  They still played with Nemeth as the point guy and Jacob kind of pressing on the left until he got injured so not too much change, just where their lineup ?compultation was so that made it difficult for us.  But even saying that I thought we created chances, tested the keeper a couple times, a couple good crosses from Dylan and Tyrone but just couldn't get the goal."

On the balance between possession and being aggressive:

"I think tonight was a little bit of a game of cat and mouse. If we go too much I think they probably catch us on the counter-attack. That's kind of the MO when a team comes in and sits back; they want to catch you on a counter-attack. I though we had a good balance of being safe and keeping possession but also creating what I thought was a number of chances that we could have got something out of. I think if you talk to the strikers they would say the same. They didn't get as many chances as they wanted but maybe one or two that could have changed the game. Defensively we were solid but finding that balance of when to go and when not to go was OK tonight."


On the match:

"They kind of just packed it in.  Most teams come in here and do that anyway.  I think with their game on Wednesday and the fact that they had so many injuries they only had one choice and that was to sit in.  We pretty much had a full team on a full week's rest and they pretty much did exactly what they came in here for. We had some chances; I had some chances I wish I could have back but ultimately we didn't get as many chances as we wanted to because they had 10-11 guys behind the ball every time and they were just going for a counter attack goal.  We were solid in the back; we didn't fall asleep. There were a couple times - Stefan had to make a great save there at the end.  We wish we could have had a couple of those chances back."

On  what they needed to break through and score:

"Just a little bit of luck I guess. Something to fall - there was that one that went through Dempsey's legs on that header from me and that really never happens. It was just one of those nights when we couldn't find the net and we've been doing a good job, scoring a lot of goals. Not many times we're getting held to zero but you can't score every single game. It's unfortunate we didn't score at home in front of our fans to get the win that we wanted to after such a good road-stand but we're going to work on it. We've got two games to get six points and seven out of nine is still good but we've got to win the next one to get to four points and then we'll worry about the next one."


On making his home deubut:

"It was kind of intense but I just had to bring some energy.  That's what Sigi's focus for me was, to come out there and bring energy to bring up the level of play maybe a little bit so I tried to do that."

On appearing in two straight games:

"It feels good to make two appearances but that's not the end of it.  I've got to keep working hard and hopefully get some more time."

On growing up watching the Sounders as a fan:

"Yeah, it was a thing that my club team used to do.  We used to come and watch the USL team play a lot so once they made it to MLS it was a goal for me [to play for the Sounders] so I'm happy."


On how soon before the game he knew he had to scratch Dom Dwyer:

"Almost at the end of warmups. We kind of knew that it was a situation that we might have to [do that]. I'm glad that it was a decision he made. If anything, it's more precautionary than anything else. He was feeling something and it was better that he pulled himself out. We needed him and it would've been great if he'd have been on the field, but at the end of the day, I'm big on that you make those decisions. Sometimes you might have to sacrifice one game for 10. You have to be intelligent about it. It was a mature decision on his part."

On coming away with a tie and a point:

"As much as we've been snake-bitten at this place over the years, no doubt [this felt good]. At the same time, to come in here and to make as many changes as we've had, the number of injuries that we've had ... at that point, we had 16 players on the roster for tonight. We ended the game with three first-round draft picks from this year, two foreign players that we brought in and another two players that we brought in from there as well. So a lot of changes for our group and it was a tremendous point for us tonight that's for sure."

On playing the draft picks in Wednesday's game as well:

"Yes, they're playing well and, more importantly, they're showing some real maturity. So it's a great thing to see, especially when they're as young as they are."

On goalkeeper Tim Melia's game tonight:

"He's really coming along. There's no doubt he's been a big influence in some of the success we've had here recently. He's very quick off his line, he's extremely athletic, he reads the game, he's courageous. At the same time, he understands the position real well and he's tied into the back line real well as the game goes on. He's just playing at a high level at the moment. It's great to see because sometimes you need that goalkeeper to make a big save when you need it."

On getting four out of six points this week:

"Tremendous. Like I said, with all of the injuries we have and all the players changing - we have another player away with the U-20s here recently - so we walk away doing pretty well this week."

On if Dom Dwyer is day-to-day:

"Yeah, but I see him back for our next game unless something crazy happens. But I think right now, he's definitely day-to-day."


On the match:

"We did an excellent job executing our game plan coming in here. Obviously it's a two game week and we are also down to a lot of injures an ample amount of injures. I think we executed our game plan well and the guys did a really good job protecting me and I don't really remember having to make a big save all game."

On not having Dom Dwyer in the lineup:

"Dom's a tremendous asset for the team but again I think the guys that came in that filled in for him did an excellent job."

On earning four of six possible points this week:

"I think that is the most important thing to think about here is we had a game plan for each game with the amount of injures that we had and to get the points that we did especially in a place like this in Seattle where its a loud and tough place and a good team and a team that scores a lot of goals and to get out of here with a zero is a really good building block moving forward."

On Seattle's history of scoring stoppage-time goals vs. Sporting KC:

"I was reading those articles last night and it sounded like in years past they always snuck a goal in during injury time but again I thought the guys did a really good job protecting me and we got out of here with a result and we should be happy with that."


On coming into Seattle and earning a point:

"I think we are pleased with it. We always come in trying to get three points, but at the same time you want to play the right way and tactically we wanted to try and counter on them and keep it tight in the back and I think we had some chances to potentially nick that one nothing win. Having said that, I think we did a pretty good job with what we had planned and we are satisfied with a point."

On playing a high-pressure style:

"There are so many new guys coming in and out and it's always tough to tactically pick up on everything that we want to do when you haven't played as many games. So it's really good job buy all the guys that came in. The guys that have been there helped everybody else out. It was a good team performance and we stuck to the plan and we will take the point."

On new players stepping up:

"It was impressive, as a lot of the guys that have gotten very few minutes or none at all stepped in. Obviously Jimmy [Medranda] stepped in from the beginning. He hasn't played a game from the start for a little while now. We got every single one of our rookies in there and they played an intricate part with the result. Everyone picked up the tactics which is very important and sometimes not so easy. A lot of good things were in this game and there are also obviously always things we can improve on. I think that will come with not only more time with everybody but also with some of our other guys coming back. We are missing a lot of players right now and that is to be expected. We are happy with our performance and all the players performances tonight."

On his shot at the end of the game:

"I just had a chance to put it on target. Obviously we didn't have too many chances today so we wanted to test the goalie. I was hoping to maybe break the curse that we get scored on in stoppage and maybe sneak one for us this time but he made a great save and that was it."

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