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Whitecaps vs. Sounders: Highlights, stats and quotes

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What has already been a pretty wild year got a bit crazier on Saturday. Not only did the Seattle Sounders clinch their first piece of silverware, but they also suddenly find themselves in the midst of the Supporters' Shield race. Yes, the odds are still firmly against them, but the cold hard fact is that Seattle are only three points behind the Vancouver Whitecaps.

But whatever happens, the Sounders have now shown that on their day they can play with just about anyone. The Sounders dominated possession in the first half and then took advantage of counter-strike opportunities in the second. It was a perfectly managed game and the players were nearly flawless in executing the plan.

On a day when the stars piled up some impressive numbers, though, it should be said that none of it would have been possible without the stellar play of Stefan Frei. The Sounders goalkeeper came up big on several tough saves to keep the game scoreless in the first half and recorded his 19th shutout since coming to Seattle.

MATCH SUMMARY

Seattle Sounders FC 3 - Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Venue: BC Place

Referee: Baldomero Toledo

Assistants: Ian Anderson, Mike Rottersman

Fourth Official: David Gantar

Attendance: 21,000

Weather: Retractable roof closed

SCORING SUMMARY

SEA - Andreas Ivanschitz (Obafemi Martins) 45'

SEA - Gonzalo Pineda (Clint Dempsey, Nelson Valdez) 71'

SEA - Obafemi Martins (Clint Dempsey, Cristian Roldan) 87'

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

VAN - Russell Teibert (caution) 22'

SEA - Brad Evans (caution) 24'

VAN - Jordan Smith (caution) 63'

VAN - Kendall Waston (caution) 81'

LINEUPS & STATS

Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott, Oniel Fisher; Brad Evans - captain (Cristian Roldan 74'), Osvaldo Alonso (Leo Gonzalez 85'), Gonzalo Pineda, Andreas Ivanschitz (Nelson Valdez 65'); Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins

Substitutes not used: Troy Perkins, Jimmy Ockford, Marco Pappa, Chad Barrett

Total shots: 7 (7 players tied at 1)

Shots on goal: 5 (5 players tied at 1)

Fouls: 9 (Scott/Martins, 2)

Offside: 1 (Dempsey, 1)

Corner-kicks: 3 (Ivanschitz, 3)

Saves: 7 (Frei, 7)

Vancouver Whitecaps FC - David Ousted; Jordan Smith, Kendall Waston, Pa Modou Kah, Jordan Harvey (Sam Adekugbe 89'); Gershon Koffie (Kianz Froese 89'), Russell Teibert, Cristian Techera, Mauro Rosales (Nicolás Mezquida 74'), Kekuta Manneh ;Octavio Rivero

Substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Tim Parker, Deybi Flores, Robert Earnshaw

Total shots: 14 (Techera/Rivero, 4)

Shots on goal: 7 (3 players tied at 2)

Fouls: 4 (Waston, 3)

Offside: 1 (Manneh, 1)

Corner-kicks: 3 (Techera, 2)

Saves: 2 (Ousted, 2)

Quotes

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID:

Thoughts on the match:

"Obviously, we are happy with the result, I thought we played very well. In the first half, we did a good job of keeping possession. We held steady, I knew we were going to get some chances on the counter attack because they were pushing people forward and we were able to score two goals on the counter attack."

On the nature of the rivalry:

"I'm not going to try and figure out the series, what I am going to try and figure out is how we can show we are a good road team. Today was a good victory for us, and I hope we will gather some momentum and use that momentum as we move forward and keep gathering points to move up the standings as high as we can. That's all we are concerned about right now."

On the performance on defense:

"I think they were pretty resilient, I think we blocked some shots, which was important. Stefan [Frei], you sort of get used to him making great saves. He made a couple of big saves in the first half, another one where [Oniel] Fisher gave the ball to [Octavio] Rivero and another where Rivero was on a one-on-one and he came up with the big save."

GOALKEEPER STEFAN FREI

Thoughts on the match:

"It means everything, it's come at a perfect time for us, and there is a trophy on the line. Three points on a tough team, and I think arguably the best side in the league right now."

On the performance on defence:

"We brought a whole lot of heart today. We're working so hard, we know they're offensively so strong. They like to run at you and punish you, they have tons of offensive weapons but I think we limited their chances pretty well."

On playing in front of the Whitecaps FC fans:

"I had a bit of a gaffer here last year but I've always enjoyed playing here. I've always enjoyed playing here and it's a great rivalry but I'm happy we were able to get all three points."

DEFENDER ZACH SCOTT

Thoughts on the match:

"Is that not a rivalry game to a tee? In the second half they picked up the pressure and it was a little bit tougher but we knew if we could maintain any sort of possession in the second half that we were going to break on them because they were pushing some many guys forward. Credit to Clint [Dempsey] and Obafemi [Martins]. Our midfielders were great going forward and keeping possession to give us breathing room."

On winning the Cascadia Cup:

"It's huge, I can't remember the last time we won it. It's something we are proud to take home and I know, to the fans it's a big deal to them. Any trophy you win is fantastic but the three points in the league are key."

On the importance of the win:

"You really want to be playing your best at the end of the season. For all the ups and downs we went through in the middle part of the season, this is really the right time to be peaking, it feels like if we can stay healthy, we are going to be playing our best soccer."

MIDFIELDER ANDREAS IVANSCHITZ

On his first goal with Sounders FC:

"It was great. It was awesome, not only for me but also because we won against a very good team. Three points on the road, that's great for us. I'm very happy to score my first goal for the Sounders. That feels great for me."

On his motivation:

"Of course, I was very motivated. Of course, you have to do your best, you have to go out and give your best and that is what I did. I was a bit nervous but I was well prepared and my teammates helped me a lot."

HEAD COACH CARL ROBINSON

On tonight's loss:

"Congratulations to Seattle for winning the game. More importantly, it's in good health. I can't fault my boys out there today. I thought they were fantastic. It's easy to say that but we lost 3-0. I was proud of them because of the way they went. It was a sucker punch in the first half when we had two or three good chances and we didn't take them. They have one chance and they take it. They are a good team, so it happens. In the second half, we threw our players on the front foot and we played some exciting football but we lost."

On Seattle's experience:

"They are a very experienced team. I've said that in the lead-up to this week. They have good players, they have good high-profile players. If you give them the opportunity to go ahead, it's going to be difficult. We worked all week and I think we eliminated majority of their good work. We had lot of possession in the first half but they had a bit of magic and they scored on one chance. We lost to their experience at the end."

On staying level-headed:

"We don't get carried away. I won't get carried away. Sometimes, because we progress so much within a short space of time, we have to keep everyone level-headed."

On the matchup between Clint Dempsey and Kendall Waston:

"It was a good battle. Clint is a fantastic American player and Kendall is a tough competitor. It's part of the game."

On the Cascadia rivalry:

"They have a very experienced team and a very experienced manager. We have a younger team and a young manager. They are similarities between the clubs but a lot of differences too. What I saw is that we have a passionate group of players and they have a passionate group of players in there. Good rivalry. You want big games. This morning, I was up watching Chelsea and Arsenal, great game. Then we had Vancouver and Seattle. Great game too but we lost."

On today's substitutions:

"Regarding substitutions, people look at it differently. If you get it right and the substitute scores a winner, you are a genius. If you don't, you're a mug. The boys have played very well. We're using our youth and exuberance to get into great positions. I didn't want to upset the rhythm too much because I think the boys were playing well. I wanted to bring on Robert Earnshaw at some stage but we were causing them problems with our full backs. We didn't want one centre back against Obafemi Martins. We were leaving ourselves in danger at times. We still have to be careful."

On what the club can take away from the loss:

"We've got a great spirit and togetherness in the young group that we have. That's what pleased me the most. I told them to be disappointed that we lost but be proud because we never gave up even until the end."

DEFENDER JORDAN HARVEY

On tonight's loss:

"I think we did play well. We were organized in the first half, we created some good chances. It's a tale of two games. I feel like whoever scores first really has the upper hand. Then the other team pushes and the other team gets three goals. We go in their place and we do this to them. So I really do feel like it's whoever scores first."

On using the loss as a motivation:

"We lost a bad one last year against Portland and we pushed on for the remainder of the games. I feel like we will use this as motivation."

On what the team can learn from the loss:

"It's a good lesson for everyone, top to bottom. This result really puts things into perspective and we are willing to push on. With that said, I thought we played well still. We created chances, we defended really well. It's a tough one to swallow, giving up that one right before the half. We have to push through to the end of the game. I don't really think the score tells you the whole story of the game. With that result, we have to move on."

On Wednesday's match in Seattle:

"It's a quick turnaround with the CONCACAF [Champions League match] coming up and then back at home with another regular season game. We are still in the mix, there is nothing to really dwell on. We still have a great squad, top to bottom. You'll see different lineups in these next couple of games and we are going to push for it. That's a team that has heart and we aren't giving up. "

GOALKEEPER DAVID OUSTED

On tonight's loss:

"I thought in periods of the game, we did well and got at them but at the end of the day, the scoreboard doesn't lie. They were better than us at scoring goals."

On what the team can learn from the loss:

"We need to keep our heads cool, keep ourselves in the game, and take our chances when we have them. I felt we had some today and played well in periods, like I said. If you don't finish your chances, you won't win games."

On Wednesday's match in Seattle:

"We have a chance to advance in the CONCACAF [Champions League] and it should be a great opportunity to redeem ourselves. Hopefully, we'll push on."

On losing the Cascadia Cup at home:

"It hurts losing at home, especially in front of our fans. I'm sad for our fans because they were obviously expecting us to lift that trophy. I feel bad not being able to give them that pleasure. We know they are there for us and we have other silverware that hopefully we can share with them."

On Seattle Sounders FC:

"The quality they have in that side was obvious today. The difference today is they finished their chances and do it well. I have never been one to second guess them because I know the quality they have. They are only three points back of us now and they'll be chasing us. It is our job to keep them and everyone else behind us."