In any kind of home-and-home series, ties on the road are pretty important. So, while the Seattle Sounders weren't able to snap their winless run, that they managed to rebound from last week's game to earn a come-from-behind point against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday in CONCACAF Champions League play is absolutely huge.
For much of the match, it looked like this was going to follow a similar script as many of their previous ones. Play reasonably well, surrender a late goal and sulk into the locker room. Only this time, they managed to get one back. Andy Rose was able to find Lamar Neagle in the box, expertly beating the offside trap, and the much-maligned attacker got his fifth goal across all competitions this season.
The tie leaves the Sounders sitting in good position for the group stage. If they can win their home games, they'd likely be able to advance. Feel free to ignore those quotes from Carl Robinson about this being a good result for them, as the Whitecaps now need to figure out how to steal all three points on at least one of their road games.
REMAINING GROUP F SCHEDULE
- August 19: Seattle Sounders FC vs. CD Olimpia at CenturyLink Field
- August 26: CD Olimpia vs. Seattle Sounders FC at Estadio Tiburcio Carías Andino
- September 16: Whitecaps FC vs. CD Olimpia at BC Place
- September 23: Seattle Sounders FC vs. Whitecaps FC at CenturyLink Field
- October 22: CD Olimpia vs. Whitecaps FC at Estadio Tiburcio Carías Andino
Referee: Luis Santander
Man of the Match: Tim Parker
62' - VAN - Tim Parker (Pedro Morales)
72' - SEA - Lamar Neagle (Andy Rose)
Shots: Vancouver 7 - Seattle 12
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 2 - Seattle 5
Fouls: Vancouver 12 - Seattle 16
Offsides: Vancouver 2 - Seattle 1
Corners: Vancouver 2 - Seattle 8
58' - SEA - Chad Barrett
73' - SEA - Michael Azira
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
70.Paolo Tornaghi; 27.Ethen Sampson, 26.Tim Parker, 18.Diego Rodriguez, 22.Christian Dean; 20.Deybi Flores, 31.Russell Teibert; 19.Erik Hurtado (32.Marco Bustos 77'), 77.Pedro Morales (88.Robert Earnshaw 65'), 38.Kianz Froese (3.Sam Adekugbe 70'); 11.Darren Mattocks
Substitutes not used
1.David Ousted, 2.Jordan Harvey, 23.Kekuta Manneh, 28.Gershon Koffie
Seattle Sounders FC
1.Troy Perkins; 91.Oniel Fisher, 3.Brad Evans, 20.Zach Scott, 15.Dylan Remick; 5.Andy Rose, 42.Michael Azira, 7.Cristian Roldan, 11.Aaron Kovar (18.Thomas 74'); 27.Lamar Neagle (17.Darwin Jones 87'), 19.Chad Barrett (28.Erik Friberg 79')
Substitutes not used
24.Stefan Frei, 8.Gonzalo Pineda, 13.Andres Correa, 21.Jimmy Ockford
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID
Thoughts on the match:
"I didn't think we played with enough energy on Saturday night, so we wanted to make sure tonight that we came out and played with energy. I think we showed good energy. We were a lot more aggressive going forward. Offensively we tried to play balls behind their defense more, I thought that was good. We were unfortunate to go behind 1-0. At that point I thought we had carried more of the game. Happy to see us get an equalizer, it's been a long time since we hit the back of the net. Hopefully this a start of going forward."
On emotions after goal was scored:
"A little relieved. It was definitely good. I felt like we just needed one and others would come. Obviously Andy Rose had a good opportunity, Barret could have landed that ball over the goalkeeper. Lamar had some good looks. In the first half I thought we had some decent chances."
On Lamar Neagle goal:
"Obviously I am happy for him to have scored a goal, happy for our team. I do think there are a number of guys who could have had a goal and could have needed it. So it's good for him, but mainly good for our team. "
If anyone caught his attention today:
"I thought some guys stepped up and played well. I thought Fisher played very well at right back for us. We wanted to put Roldan in the middle of midfield deeper and I thought Cristian in that role was very very good. Azira had some good moments as well. Kovar had a really good 45 minutes. Even though he is one of our fittest players, he always seems to run out of gas though. I don't know if it's nervous energy or what but that's something that we've got to try and resolve, but I thought in the first half he was very good. So those guys stepped up. Andy Rose covered a ton of ground tonight."
On result and future Champions League games:
"You want to win your games at home and get results on the road. Being able to come up here and get a point is good for us. As I said, we are a team that is still searching to get back into our groove and tonight was a big step in that direction."
STRIKER LAMAR NEAGLE
On goal and teammates reaction:
"Great. A little bit of relief. Going into half in the locker room, we felt like we should have had a couple. We felt like we were going to get a couple and unfortunately we did not get a couple but it is still good to get one."
On recent tough stretch:
"After a few years were I was continuously getting better and statistically it was showing, it's been kind of a stand still for everybody it seems like but it's good to get back on the board and keep it going"
On feelings after the goal
"Just relief. We obviously deserved to have a couple of goals that game, so it's fortunate that we got one"
On if this breakthrough can lead to further success:
"Absolutely. Now that's it off our back and we actually have a goal we can build on it. We definitely had a ton of opportunities and hopefully we can start converting."
On whether they believed they had a goal in them before the goal:
"I felt like the group we had, we are all hard workers. We are going to keep our heads down and keep working hard. We didn't get frustrated. We knew that we can score goals and were just waiting for the time to come"
DEFENDER ZACH SCOTT
On whether changed lineup was opportunity for players to showcase talent:
"It was probably the youngest lineup we had out there in a while and those guys were hungry for minutes and showed that they want more playing time. I don't think there was a guy that stepped off the field that should hang their head. 1-1 in Vancouver is a good result. Now we'll move on from it and its baby steps forward from this point. We are not looking to change around the season with one game but we'll take this run with it and hopefully get a good result in LA on the weekend."
On what the goal meant for the team:
"It was a collective sigh of relief. It wasn't for a lack of effort that things weren't falling our way. It was just one of those situations where we couldn't find the back of the net. We're proud of the effort. I think it was the first 90 minutes where we worked from beginning to end and even fought back from being down a goal."
On Oniel Fischer's performance:
"Fish has been great all year. His only problem is that Tyrone [Mears] is in front of him. Other than that, you'd probably see him out there every Saturday with us. For a young guy like him it is good to get playing time. It's good for him to be healthy and see that it's not for any other reason that he's got an EPL veteran right in front of him."
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
HEAD COACH CARL ROBINSON
Thoughts on the match:
"I think it was an okay game. I'll keep using the word okay now. Supporting that we didn't lose. I think we didn't play great. Obviously, sometimes that happens when you make that many changes. I'll accept that. But we got our noses in front. Unfortunately we switched off at a vital moment and we let them back in with a bad goal. But I think it was probably a fair result."
On how it took a while for the team's chemistry to get going:
"Well I hoped it wouldn't take an hour, but it did probably take an hour. That happens sometimes when you make that many changes. But it was a win-win because it was important that I got these guys games, with the busy schedule we have coming up. The group that plays in the first team at the moment wouldn't be able to cope with eight games in a month. What I wanted gave me a few answers, to questions I had in my mind with some players, which was good. Obviously, we will take the points at home, which we would like three."
On whether he was disappointed he didn't get more out of his players:
"I can't fault their work. I'll never fault their work ethic. They put a hell of a lot of work in today. Unfortunately, sometimes things don't come off. When they don't come off, I challenge them to work as hard as they can and that's what they did today. There was no champagne football today, unfortunately, but there was a lot of hard work. So I'll never fault that."
Thoughts on Tim Parker:
"It was a well-worked set piece. It was a really good delivery. It was a cross from Pedro; great movement by Tim. He has come close. He gets his reward. We got our noses in front, because the first goal was always going to be crucial. When you're at home and you get your nose in front, then it's important you stay switched on. We switched off at a vital moment. It was a second phase on a cross. We didn't stop the cross at the source, and then we didn't defend the cross well enough. Tim's goal is great, but disappointing that we didn't win the game. When you get tired, sometimes when your mind stops working, your legs stop going. That's what happens. That's why it's important that these guys got games under their belt. They trained brilliantly. The group that played today have been training really, really well. And I need to give them a reward and they got their reward today. There's a lot of positives I'll take, obviously there's a lot of room for improvement, but we got some young players a couple more minutes toward, which is vital for us."
On being torn between important games and entertainment business of the game:
"No [on not being torn]. I take each game at a time and I pick the best team that I think can win the game. And I really genuinely believe that this group of young players that I put out today, because it was a very young team, scattered with Paolo and Pedro, had enough. I think Sigi done the same. Sigi made eight or nine changes as well. You have to do that as a manager. When you win, everyone pats you on the back. When you don't win or don't entertain, people are quick to criticize. So, it's part of the game."
On whether he is disappointed that they didn't maximize the points from Group F:
"Yes, a little bit. I'll be brutally honest. When you play well, and you don't win, I'm disappointed when you play okay and don't win. You have to be honest. I think a draw was a fair result. So would I have liked to have won? Of course I would, and I'm disappointed that we dropped two points at home, but we're not bad on the road, depending on which we play. So, we'll take the next game in this competition when it comes along. And we'll try and win that one."
Thoughts on the game:
"Yeah, we got a point from the game. We wish we started with a win at home, especially, but we got a point, so half and half."
Thoughts on Sounders goal:
"We knew they were dangerous on set pieces, especially in the second phase, and that was one example. The ball was cleared out on the side, but they kept players in the box and we lost focus."
Thoughts on Chad Barrett:
"He's a big boy, especially during the first half. So, happy to get involved in the game, especially at the beginning of the game."
Thoughts on the rivalry:
"Maybe there were some talks during the week about the game, but it doesn't matter who you play, you want to win, especially at home."
Words from David (Ousted)
"We talked about how to get better for the second half. When we had possession with the ball."
Thoughts on the match:
"Tough to play in. I think what we did to them in Seattle, they didn't want to lose this game. I think we could've played better, but it's about the guys that don't get much playing time. I think this was the first time we got to play together, so something was off. So, it was going back and forth, back and forth. I think it was a fair result at home."
Tired from Saturday's game?
"I wouldn't say we were tired because like I said, it was a totally new 11 out there. I think it wasn't pretty for the fans to watch, but that's how it goes sometimes in soccer. Some games are going to be pretty, some aren't going to be pretty. We're pretty satisfied with a 1-1 tie."
Thoughts on Parker goal:
"Fantastic. I think he came in really well. I think it shows this season."
Thoughts on his scoring chances:
"I had chances and probably on another day, and against another team, I would've taken those chances, but like I said, 1-1 is a fair result."
Thoughts on goal:
"It was great to score at home, great to score against Seattle. Just a little heartbroken we didn't get the win from it."
Thoughts on scoring from a corner kick:
"It was just a set piece. I was just trying to get to the near post and just try to beat the other guy there, and I ended up beating the other guy there, and just got a piece of the ball and just fortunate enough to find the back of the net."
Thoughts on team chemistry:
"It's not that difficult. We get to play with each other in training, and we get to play with each other with the USL team. So for us, I've played with all those guys before. I think it just took us a little time to find a rhythm tonight."