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Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps CONCACAF Champions League: Highlights, stats, quotes

Seattle Sounders FC again dominated the Vancouver Whitecaps. Using a defense that was primarily starters with an attack of mostly rotational players Sigi Schmid's side repeated their 3-nil scoreline from the weekend's MLS play. Lamar Neagle is now third in the CCL with three goals scored in the competition. Only Alan Gordon and Emanuel Villa currently have more goals in the cycle.

Seattle's opponent in the Knockout Round is still to be determined. Only five teams have completed Group Stage play at this time. Vancouver will have to play a dead rubber match against Olimpia on October 22nd, which could hurt their Shield chances.

Stats and quotes are provided by the club.

Seattle Sounders FC 3 - Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field
Referee: Fernando Guerrero
Assistants: Marvin Torrentera, Juan Rangel
Fourth Official: Francisco Chacon
Attendance: 37,624
Weather: Mostly cloudy and 67 degrees
SEA - Lamar Neagle (Chad Barrett, Nelson Valdez) 32'
SEA - Nelson Valdez (Marco Pappa) 39'
SEA - Lamar Neagle (Chad Barrett, Nelson Valdez) 47'
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Brad Evans - captain, Chad Marshall, Leo Gonzalez; Marco Pappa, Erik Friberg (Micheal Azira 64'), Cristian Roldan, Lamar Neagle; Nelson Valdez (Aaron Kovar 74'), Chad Barrett (Oniel Fisher 78')
Substitutes not used: Troy Perkins, Gonzalo Pineda, Obafemi Martins, Zach Scott
Total shots: 7 (Friberg/Neagle, 2)
Shots on goal: 5 (Neagle, 2)
Fouls: 11 (Roldan/Friberg, 2)
Offside: 1 (Barrett, 1)
Corner-kicks: 4 (Pappa, 2)
Saves: 2 (Frei, 2)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC - Paolo Tornaghi; Tim Parker, Pa-Modou Kah, Diego Rodriguez, Christian Dean; Deybi Flores, Matias Laba (Russell Teibert 64'), Kianz Froese, Nicolas Mezquida (Kekuta Manneh 55'), Sam Adekugbe (Marco Bustos 77'); Robert Earnshaw

Substitutes not used: David Ousted, Mauro Rosales, Cristian Techera, Gershon Koffie

Total shots: 6 (6 players tied at 1)
Shots on goal: 2 (Laba/Manneh, 2)
Fouls: 14 (Dean, 3)
Offside: 2 (Earnshaw, 2)
Corner-kicks: 1 (Mezquida, 1)
Saves: 2 (Tornaghi, 2)





Opening statement:

"Obviously we are pleased with the result - it gets us into the next round. It's nice to have a lot more players healthy, so then options and choices were a lot better. Obviously we played seven fresh guys tonight of the 11. It's always easier when it's a young player like [Cristian] Roldan plays next to an experienced player rather than having two young players next to each other. It makes the game a little bit easier...We've been talking a lot, working on and making sure we are organized on defending set pieces, so I am pleased [that] the last two games we haven't given up a set piece...Those are important things as your team moves forward and you try to get yourself into the right rhythm in order to win games. We are very pleasedtonight."

On Lamar Neagle scoring two goals after not playing last match:

"It helps him because he has played a lot of minutes and we sort of put the mantle on him because of all the injuries we have had. He's played too many minutes, so for him to come off the bench allowed for his legs to be a little bit fresher. I think also his mentality becomes fresher - you also wear down psychologically. Sometimes the bench is also a good motivator."

On Marco Pappa:

"I thought Pappa did well. We weren't sure if he was going to get through 90 minutes - I thought that was going to be a bit of a question mark - the way we had to substitute we needed him to get through it. Obviously it's a good set piece that rewards us in a goal, and he helped us control the tempo of the game. He was important tonight for our possession because we didn't have[Gonzalo] Pineda and [Osvaldo Alonso] out there. As I said, when we beat Vancouver up there, maintaining possession was important - we had more possession tonight, which takes them out of their offensive rhythm."

On consecutive shutouts in significant matches:

"It's just good. The thing we talked about before the game was, ‘Hey, we're starting to get in a rhythm, we're starting to win games, confidence is growing - this is just another game in that step, in that sequence.' We didn't want to say, ‘Hey this is a different competition.' We're talking about sequencing ourselves, building our confidence level and continuing to win games. Not giving up any goals is something we are very happy with."

On having Obafemi Martins in the 18:

"It's great. Oba and I had talked and obviously after what had happened in the Open Cup he was a little bit leery to try to play another midweek game. We talked and I said, ‘Look, I am not going to use you if I don't need you. Hopefully we will get this thing to two or three nothing.' If we needed something to turn the game I think he'd be there; he's a team guy. He was there, of course, if we needed him. Once Lamar got the third goal I told him to not even warm up, sit down and take the night off."

On choosing the backline and goalkeeper:

"We made the switch in goal - we came with [Stefan] Frei instead of [Troy] Perkins just because goalkeeping is a little bit different of a position, and Frei has just been in form. In the back, obviously, with losing [Román] Torres we don't have as many options in the back. [Brad] Evans - not to say that centerbacks don't run - but there is a hell of a lot less running at centerback than there is at right midfield. I knew that Brad could play there, so we were deciding between [Chad] Marshall and [Zach] Scott. It was great to see Leo [Gonzalez] on the field - it was his first significant minutes in a couple of months. Then we decided at rightback if we should come with [Oniel] Fisher or with Tyrone [Mears], and we felt Tyrone was a little bit fresher. Sometimes a young player, when playing so many games, can wear down - not only physically, but they can wear down mentally - so it was good to give him a little bit of a break. He's done a good job playing for us. Our options in the back were limited, but I also felt secure that we had a solid back four, and Leo has been a starter on this team when he's been healthy."


On tonight's victory and advancement:

"It's good, it's big - it's nice we were able to field such a good team tonight. If you look, it's a lot of the starters from last year. We haven't been able to put out that type of lineup [in SCCL]...It was good to have so many healthy guys because this was important. It's important to be able to go to the next stage. It was nice to be able to take something from Vancouver after they've beaten us twice; they've come to our house and beaten us twice. It sends the message that we are playing well at the right time, and that's important."

On playing through the ups and downs of a long season:

"Yeah, it's tough. It's a 10-month season - you're going to go through your dry spells and your good spells. You can't get on that roller coaster - you just have to know it's going to come back around. Now is a good time to be playing really well, and Vancouver might be feeling a little bit of pressure we felt last year when we were trying to win the Supporters' Shield. It's not easy...and I commend them. They've had a great year. They're going to the playoffs and they are going to be a formidable team. They are probably resting their players because they are eying the Supporters' Shield."

On tonight's lineup stepping up:

"I think, if anything else, it's good to go through, but it's good for the first-tier guys - the guys that are starting on the weekend - to be able to see that if they slip up, we are ready to go. The guys behind them are ready to go. That is going to push them to do more...We are getting shutouts again, we are scoring again and that's going to build competition within us, and that's going to put a better product on the field come playoffs."


On playing a part in all three goals:

"My teammates. That first goal was unbelievable. I was yelling because I was so excited, and then [Chad] Barrett played me a great ball. The first goal and the second goal."

On his legs after resting on Saturday:

"They felt good. We knew it was going to be a crazy game so we knew we had to bring the pressure, and I think all the guys worked for each other. We pressured them a lot, we won the ball back in good areas and we had good possession for a lot of the time - it was a good game."

On the finish on his first goal:

"It was a great ball and the ball came right to my feet. I knew I had to get in front of the defender a little bit and get a small touch on it."

On the confidence boost of scoring the brace:

"Absolutely. After having nine goals last year and not having nine goals this year yet, it's nice to get two in a game, especially in a game as important this one. And especially after we went up there and I wasn't able to go up to Vancouver, and we were able to score three goals against them. It was nice to be able to do the same thing at home."


On playing a part in all three goals:

"The truth is that I am really happy. The important part is that the team won and we passed to the next phase, and I am happy that I was able to participate in all three goals."

On the status of his leg:

"I think it's good. I feel much better. I know that the adrenaline is strong and is kicking in, but I feel well and I hope it continues like that."

On adapting to the new team and new league in a new tournament:

"Being a professional player, you have to adapt to the team and adapt to the league. I had the opportunity to participate in all three goals, the team won and now we advance to the next phase."


On the match:

"We had our first team that played on Saturday against Seattle. We're young and we knew we were going to be even younger. We are banged up at the moment, but I won't use that as an excuse. I made changes based upon energy levels among the team and picked the team that I thought could get a result today. We give away a couple of bad goals. You look at their lineup - a very strong lineup - and they made a number of changes as well. Their changes are experienced players, mine are young players so it's one we've got to take on the chin."

On if experience was the difference in the match:

"You can use that if you want, but in any game that you play, when you cross that white line, it's about the correct mentality and making mistakes or not making mistakes. Up until they'd scored the goal ...I think we'd managed the game very well, but we just caught a little bit sleeping and the first goal went in. As in every game, the first goal is always crucial. It was difficult then. We could see the set piece and it was a bad set piece goal. Then at two-nil it's always difficult. We tried to rally and regroup the boys at halftime to get the next goal because the next goal was going to be crucial. Then we give it away after two minutes. All in all, a disappointing night, but we've got to brush ourselves down now."

On if the bad goals were the most disappointing aspect of the night:

"Without a doubt. It's hard to take positives when you lose, especially three-nil like we have done in the last two games against Seattle. I said to Sigi [Schmid] at the end of the game that seemed like déjà vu. We conceded three bad goals. There's nothing I can say about that. The guys know that - I've let them know that. We need to be better. Whether you're 18 years of age or whether you're 34 years of age, if you should make mistakes, good players take advantage of them like Seattle did today."

On if he regrets not starting a few more experienced guys tonight:

"I was thinking on it up until this morning. Like I said, we've got a few guys banged up - three of the guys who played on Saturday are struggling. Three other guys are touch and go so I couldn't really afford to take the risk, which is why we traveled with 19 players. Ben McKendry, who hasn't played a minute for me, was set to be on the bench barring a last-minute decision. We're down to the bare bones so if I could've maybe I would've, but couldn't so I didn't."

On the disappointment of being out of their Champions League debut:

"Without a doubt. In any competition we have, we have aspirations to try and do well. Three games and we're out. Tonighthasn't cost us really. I think the home game when we conceded against Seattle - when they got a point at our place - is part of the reason why we're out because there are three difficult teams in the group, including ourselves. We knew it would probably come down to winning our home games and we didn't take care of business at home even though we remain undefeated. Seattle did so credit to them for taking advantage of that. They're probably more set than us at this moment in the development of their organization. The proof is in the pudding with these young guys."

On if this was a baptism of fire for the younger players:

"It'll do them a world of good. I've said that to them. I said that the amount of learning that they'll do in the short term, it might hurt because you lose in front of 30,000, but in the medium and long term, they'll get massive benefit out of it. It's over a period of time so 17 and 18-year-olds away at Seattle in a Champions League game - hasn't happened before, so they got to learn from that. They'll take it as an experience and we'll be better for it and prepared next year."


On the game:

"I think we came out in the first 10 minutes and played some good football. We had some mistakes and we got punished. I think that for us we expected better of ourselves and we deserve to be better for the club and for the coaching staff and for the rest of the guys on the team."

On conceding three goals:

"I think it was pretty disappointing. They were goals that came from mistakes. I hate to say it like this but I think if we are going to get scored on we want the other team to earn it. I think we want to make Seattle earn those goals not kinda us give the ball away or something happen that we are at fault for it."

On if they can learn from the match:

"Yes of course. I think for us there is something to take away from every game. We played a bunch of young guys today in front of a good crowd here in Seattle. I think that is going to help us further down the road and into the playoffs and help us go as far as we can."

On being knocked out of the competition:

"It was our first time in this competition as a club and I think that for us we have a lot to learn from it. Looking forward to next year we have some things that we can take and kinda strive from. I think getting wins at home is going to be important and especially in this kind of competition when you get those two home games and getting the most out of them is definitely important."


On the game:

"It is a difficult game. Seattle capitalized on their chances. We made a few mental errors. It always hurts when you lose. But again, I know this sounds cliche to you guys but we need to bounce back this weekend. It is a good thing we have a gamethree days from now. Yeah it will hurt tonight. It will hurt on the bus ride back. We have got training tomorrow, train the next day and then a game on the weekend. We have got to get our minds right and we have got to turn the page real quick and we have to get ready for New York."

On the club not advancing due to drawing at home vs. Seattle:

"You can say it is one game or the other. You can say it is because we drew at home or because we lost here. I don't think it was up to our standard tonight. I don't think it was up to our standard when we played at home. I think we can do better. I think we are a quality team and we have shown that we are one of the best teams in the MLS all season long. I think we just need to do better. We need to be better and play up to our standards. I think if we would have done this we would have advanced."

On rebounding after a pair of losses to Seattle:

"Like I said you have to turn the page real quick. Obviously these results hurt. Obviously three-nil once hurts enough. Twice, I think that is just salt in the wound. You have got to put a bandage on that wound real quick and we need to move on. That is what this game is about. One week you can be high and the next week you can be low. It is about consistency. About being level headed and taking each game in stride. I think in the locker room we have, and with the confidence and quality that we have in this locker room we will be able to get over it."

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