Remember the days of MLS with no Designated Players and a lot of effort. Sigi Schmid won some titles in those days, but it doesn't look like the current version of the Seattle Sounders can do that. In their three matches with no DPs they are 1-1-1, full of effort and verve, but lacking the wonderment this team can provide.
Here's the data from the loss that ended the worst week the Sounders have seen.
xG map for Seattle-San Jose. Earthquakes kept the Sounders attack in check- impressive performance. pic.twitter.com/oI2RGpB73J— Michael Caley (@MC_of_A) June 21, 2015
Seattle Sounders FC 0 - San Jose Earthquakes 2
Saturday, June 20, 2015
Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field
Referee: Juan Guzman
Assistants: Frank Anderson, Felisha Mariscal
Fourth Official: Tyler Ploeger
Weather: Sunny and 70 degrees
SJ - Sanna Nyassi (Matias Perez Garcia) 28'
SJ - Matias Perez Garcia (Cordell Cato) 74'
SJ - Sanna Nyassi (caution) 23'
SEA - Thomàs (caution) 59'
SEA - Zach Scott (caution) 87'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Brad Evans - captain (Zach Scott 45'), Chad Marshall, Dylan Remick; Micheal Azira, Cristian Roldan, Thomàs (Aaron Kovar 60'), Andy Rose (Victor Mansaray 78'), Marco Pappa; Lamar Neagle
Substitutes not used: Troy Perkins, Gonzalo Pineda, Oniel Fisher, Darwin Jones
Total shots: 12 (Pappa, 4)
Shots on goal: 3 (3 players, 1)
Fouls: 9 (Thomàs, 3)
Offside: 1 (Roldan, 1)
Corner-kicks: 5 (Pappa, 5)
Saves: 2 (Frei, 2)
San Jose Earthquakes - David Bingham; Marvell Wynne (Cordell Cato 45'), Victor Bernardez, Clarence Goodson, Jordan Stewart; Fatai Alashe, Matias Perez Garcia (Tommy Thompson 78'), Chris Wondolowski - captain; Sanna Nyassi, Adam Jahn, Shea Salinas (Shaun Francis 90+1')
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Leandro Barrera, Jean-Baptiste Perazzi, Khari Stephenson
Total shots: 15 (Wondolowski, 4)
Shots on goal: 4 (Nyassi, 2)
Fouls: 15 (Nyassi, 4)
Offside: 1 (Jahn, 1)
Corner-kicks: 4 (Perez Garcia, 3)
Saves: 3 (Bingham, 3)
POST-MATCH QUOTES: SOUNDERS FC 0 - SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES 2
SATURDAY, JUNE 20, 2015
SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID
"Obviously not pleased with the result. We're a team that wants to get results. Tough match for us today. They were probably a little better than us at key moments in the game. I think for us...You need a full gas tank to play well sometimes, and when you're playing on half a gas tank it's making it a little bit tougher. [Brad] Evans felt a tight groin so he came out at halftime and we had to take Andy Rose out because he felt his hamstring getting tight. Marco Pappa was sick and under the weather. Those are guys that might not have played under normal circumstances. But at the end of the day, I thought the guys went out there and I thought they put in a good effort. I thought we were around the goal. Our quality at the final pass, the final finish wasn't as good as it needed to be. We really haven't had a chance to train and there was obviously a lot of new, young players that were out there. I was very happy with some of the guys who were getting a lot of minutes lately because of the injuries. I thought [Cristian] Roldan played really well, I thought [Micheal] Azira played well, so I'm not that disappointed. I am disappointed, but on the same token I'm proud of the effort that the guys put in."
On the injury to Brad Evans:
"He felt it right before the game, thought, ‘Okay, let me get into the game, maybe it'll get better. It'll ease up.' He hit a pass right before the game and that's where he felt it. It just didn't get any better. He didn't feel like he could hit any long balls out of the back, so he was holding himself to short passes and things like that, so that's why we made the change."
On any distractions:
"No I think we were okay. I think our mentality, our focus was good. I think the only issue was a lot of guys having a lot of minutes on their backs...A lot of guys played 40 minutes two men down [on Tuesday] and that just carries with it."
On the play of the central midfield today:
"I thought Azira and Roldan played really well. As the tandem deeper in the middle, I thought they were fine. We really didn't feel like we had a second forward, per se, so that's why we decided to go in a 4-2-3-1, and Rose was to join in to the attack. Pappa needed to join in. Pappa ended up playing a little too deep for my liking. I wanted him to be a little bit higher, but then again he was tied, as well. So we were looking for was getting those three underneath guys - Thomàs, Pappa and Rose to be a little more offensive than they were. But I thought Azira and Roldan were pretty solid."
On the message going into the match:
"Our message going into the match was we're coming out here to win the game. We're going to fight, we're going to battle and we're going to make things tough on them. I think the first goal, the timing of it and when it came, hurt us a little bit. I didn't think we had given up much until that point. I thought we were pretty solid defensively. Made a couple of errors there and they got that goal, so that made it a little more difficult for us. The object was to play to zero and see if we can snag a goal on the other end of the field. If that first goal doesn't happen, I think maybe the result turns out a little different."
SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER MICHEAL AZIRA
On if fatigue was a factor in the match after Tuesday's contest:
"I won't blame it on the fatigue, but we may have done better as a group. It's been a long week playing Open Cup on Tuesday and playing two Saturdays - it takes a lot out of you. I feel like, as a team, we still could have done better. We needed to create more chances to score some goals to change the game. I feel like we possessed the ball, but just couldn't score."
On moving on from this game:
"We can't change what has happened already now. We just need to move on and be ready for the next one. You can't change what happened with San Jose but at least we can change what is going to happen in Philly. That's the most important thing."
On positives they can take from the match:
"I think the boys worked hard, playing in the heat. I know that's not an excuse to be playing at home, but I feel like everyone put in a lot of work. We just needed to score and change the game. I felt like everyone fought so hard."
SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER CRISTIAN ROLDAN
On playing with a different (disjointed) lineup:
"Yeah I mean anytime you mess up the lineup, it's different. Obviously I played a little bit at that position today, we had Rose at attacking mid, and we were playing with one single forward who isn't a forward. I mean it's tough, but you have to play through it, and try to score really."
On how comfortable he felt on first start at central midfield:
"Obviously I think I'm more of a center-mid. I thought I had some good runs, good passing. Obviously I think I can get better, though, but that's just with time and playing there again."
On team morale after the past week:
"I mean we're okay, we understand that we've lost two games in a row. But we just have to fight through it because we have two more games in the next week. So we just have to move on and look forward."
On the game plan without Osvaldo Alonso and Gonzalo Pineda:
"I mean like I said I think the guys up top that we normally have are very good on the ball and they help us sustain possession and when you take out those two guys it becomes a very different game for us. I thought the first half we had little more possession but towards the second we were chasing the game and we kind of just went for it and kicked the ball forward."
SOUNDERS FC DEFENDER ZACH SCOTT
On whether it's uncommon to have this many absences and injuries:
"Umm, no. I mean as far as I can remember. I mean maybe not our top-top guys go down at one time, but there are definitely ebbs and flows to the season and when it seems like everyone is healthy and you've got your full roster to choose from on the weekend. Then there are times like today and you're scrambling to fill out your 18. But the team was formed in a way that we could tap into S2 and have enough guys on the full MLS roster that players would be moving up and down and get opportunities. Today was an opportunity for a lot of us, one that we probably regret letting slip. But there's no easy weekends in this league. You can't look at a team's place in the standings and say, "Oh you know this one might be an easy one," or "Oh in the past we've done well at home." I mean you've got to play well every single week or today happens."
On if the tough week affected the focus of locker room:
"Only in the sense that I think we were really looking forward to this game. The best remedy to a poor performance or a tough game like the Portland one is to get back on the field. That's what everybody wants to do: to stop the chatter and just get back to doing what we love and what we're good at. Only in that sense [we were affected] was that I think everyone was excited to play this weekend. And you know the way the injury bug its, it obviously sucks."
On how Sounders will approach the next match against Philadelphia:
"We have to throw this one to the side and say, "What can we do better?" Take out the things we did well today, and then look at our mistakes and then go into the Philly match looking to turn things around as quickly as possible. It's still early enough in the season where teams can catch up and we can't get into a situation where we're not playing well and slowly but surely we find ourselves in a position where we're fighting for a playoff spot instead of leading the league."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH DOMINIC KINNEAR
On the recent performances:
"I'm really happy it's been a good week for us with the Open Cup win, and then coming to a tough place (CenturyLink) and getting three points."
On San Jose's history of strong performances vs. Seattle:
"Well I haven't been at San Jose for very long so I can't really comment on that, but we've had two good performances. Defensively I thought we were strong, they were missing a few key players although as are we. For us to score the first goal was really important for us today coming into half time with a lead and I thought our determination was awesome."
On how the Sounders missing players affected their lineup:
"As far as putting our lineup out it didn't change it all. Obviously they put out a different time without Martins, Dempsey and even Chad Barret out you kinda just guess going back a couple games to see how they've lined up. But it didn't really affect what we did."
On the two goals:
"Yeah it was good, I mean the second goal is always important. We've done that a lot this year where we sat on a one-nothing lead and it's definitely finger-nail biting time. But we had good experience by Clarence and some good runs by [Matias] Perez [Garcia] to open up some territory for us which is important."
On the keeper making big saves:
"Yeah the one off his shoulder at the near post is the one that stands out for me, other than that I can't really recall any other saves. But I thought the two guys in front in Victor [Bernardez] and Clarence [Goodson] in front of David [Bingham] today were really important for us. You know when they were crossing balls in I thought they were very good at attacking it, and I thought Fatai [Alashe] did a great job sweeping up in front of the back-four.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER MATIAS PEREZ GARCIA
On his goal:
"It was a counter attack and Cordell [Cato] got some space on the wing. I got the ball and I thought I was going to shoot but they got in the way. I maneuvered around one guy and I got in the box and I knew they couldn't touch me so I put it on my good foot and I was able to finnish it."
On scoring his first goal of the year:
"Of course I'm happy that I got the goal. I knew if I stayed calm the first goal would come. Thankfully today it came and we won the game and I got to score a goal and it was a great day for us."
On other players stepping up and socring other than Chris Wondolowski:
"Of course it is important for other people to score. We want Wondo to keep on scoring but we want the things we are working on offensively to work as well. We are happy with a win today. We are excited and we will move forward and continue this momentum."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI
On having success against Seattle:
"I think it is just one of those things. We caught them on a good day. We are always confident anyplace we go. We have not always played our best but we are definitely starting to hit our stride."
On playing against Brad Evans:
"It is always good. He is a great player and did a great job and especially with the National Team, he played great against Germany. It is a bit unfortunate for him to come out at half time with an injury but it is what it is."
On other players stepping up and contributing goals:
"It is great to see guys score goals. Every goal is a team goal and that is a strong team belief we have. I thought both goals were taken beautifully today. Sanna's goal was a great finish. Mati just showed his brilliance there and his individual stuff he can do and that is pretty nice."
On moving on to the LA Galaxy:
"It is always nice to get a victory and the week kind of set ups nicer for us and practice is always a little bit more fun. It will be another battle for us against the Galaxy. They are another very good team. There are a lot of things we will have to start playing for and start a game plan for."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER CORDELL CATO
On assisting the second goal:
"It definitely felt good. The last time I played against them here I had an assist also so I'm keeping that reputation."
On the play leading up to the goal:
"I mean we were defending and the ball came out to Matias and I saw there was open space and he is a good passer and fairly quick and I just made a run. And as I said he got the ball to me and I took enough time dribbling toward the defender where he would catch up. He was screaming a long time so I just passed it to him and you know it was magic. He just did the rest."
On that goal sealing the win:
"I mean definitely it was important. I mean they kept fighting and pushing. I think when we got that goal it calmed things down and took a little stress off our shoulders. We were able to relax a little bit more and see things out."
On playing against his former team:
"It is always good playing here. The atmosphere and people are generally nice and it is always good to come here and play and when you win here it is even better."