The afternoon started off quite well for the Seattle Sounders. Through the first 30 or so minutes, they were the better team and were mostly dictating the tempo of the game. Osvaldo Alonso scored a goal off a nice buildup, the Sounders had another goal waved off and Tyler Miller had even made a good save in his debut. But after Alonso's goal, the tide started the change and by the time Real Salt Lake equalized in the 43rd minute, the Sounders looked happy to get to halftime.
That continued into the second half. The Sounders ended up with just one shot over the final 45 minutes and although RSL's goal was, at the very least, a bit unlucky, it's hard to say the Sounders deserved much better. Their best look of the second half came in the 93red minute off a dangerous Aaron Kovar cross that was just out of Darwin Jones' reach at the near post.
Just to make things worse, the Sounders lost three more starters to injuries -- the extent of which is still unknown in all cases. Erik Friberg went out with a knee sprain, Jordan Morris clashed heads and may have suffered a concussion and Nelson Valdez was hobbling around with an apparent thigh injury.
All of it has left the Sounders as one of four teams without a point through two matches and licking their wounds heading into next week's Cascadia Cup clash against the Vancouver Whitecaps, who also are without a point.
Seattle Sounders FC 1 - Real Salt Lake 2Saturday, March 12, 2016
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium (Sandy, Utah)
Referee: Juan Guzman
Assistants: Corey Rockwell, Mike Kampmeinert
Fourth Official: Allen Chapman
Weather: 61 degrees and mostly cloudy
SEA - Osvaldo Alonso 28'
RSL - Sunday Stephan Obayan (Joao Plata) 43'
RSL - Jamison Olave (Juan Manuel Martinez, Joao Plata) 86'
SEA - Erik Friberg (caution) 13'
SEA - Zach Scott (caution) 35'
SEA - Joevin Jones (caution) 38'
RSL - Kyle Beckerman (caution) 73'
SEA - Clint Dempsey (caution) 88'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Tyler Miller; Tyrone Mears, Zach Scott, Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones; Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg (Cristian Roldan 18'), Andreas Ivanschitz; Jordan Morris (Darwin Jones 76'), Nelson Valdez (Aaron Kovar 90'+2'), Clint Dempsey Substitutes not used: Charlie Lyon, Dylan Remick, Tony Alfaro, Nathan Sturgis
Total shots: 7 (Dempsey/Valdez, 2)
Shots on goal: 3 (3 players tied at 1)
Fouls: 11 (Dempsey, 4)
Offside: 4 (Valdez, 2)
Corner-kicks: 8 (Ivanschitz, 8)
Saves: 2 (Miller, 2)
Real Salt Lake - Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave, Aaron Maund, Chris Wingert; Sunday Stephan Obayan, Kyle Beckerman, Juan Manuel Martinez, Jordan Allen (Olmes Garcia 81'), Yura Movsisyan (Yura Movsisyan 89') Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella, Justen Glad, John Sterzer, Luke Mulholland, Omar Holness
Total shots: 12 (Beckerman, 3)
Shots on goal: 4 (4 players tied at 1)
Fouls: 14 (Beckerman, 4)
Offside: 2 (Movsisyan, 2)
Corner-kicks: 5 (Plata, 4)
Saves: 2 (Rimando, 2)
Seattle Sounders FC
Head Coach Sigi Schmid
On the game:
"We're not going to go home and feel sorry for ourselves. We got to get up and play."
On Frei being scratched late and Miller filling in:
"I thought Tyler did alright until obviously that play. Tyler is a young goalkeeper and you are going to learn. I'm sure that won't happen to him again. You have our reserves who are very young and sometimes you are going to have errors."
On how his team played in the first half:
"I was very happy with how we played on the road. We were expecting them to take the game to us a little more and they didn't take the game to us at all in the first half. Every team has bits and pieces but we thought that we would be under pressure in the first 20-25 minutes and that didn't happen. We did a good job of possession and getting the ball forward and like I said just final passes kept us from scoring."
On not winning here since 2012:
"I think we could have won today. I think we had all the makings of being able to win the game today. Again, you have to play mistake free to win."
Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso
On adjusting to three in the midfield:
"I think we are doing very good. We kept the ball and we were able to score the goals. But today we allowed two goals and we lost the game."
On scoring the lone goal:
"Happy to score the first goal of the season you know. The main thing is getting the three points."
On the two goals scored by Real Salt Lake:
"Two headers. I'll have to take a look at the video to see what happened."
Goalkeeper Tyler Miller
On how his first game felt:
"It was a good experience to be out there for the first time. Obviously I'm disappointed with how it went. I feel like I could have done better on the second goal and get that ball out of there. I felt like I had a good game. I need to learn from the mistakes and look forward to next Saturday."
On the save on Plata's shot:
"Yeah getting a few touches at my feet helped me get settled into the game, the speed and the crowd. That save really got my adrenaline going and got me fired up."
On learning he was going to start :
"I was excited. But I was looking forward to the challenge. There were a whole bunch of nerves that came in though. You have to embrace the nerves though and move forward."
On Olave's second goal:
"I looked up and saw the replay on the scoreboard. He just got up higher than me, whether it was a foul or not, I don't know. The referee didn't call it a foul so it's not a foul. I just have to do better there, get up into the play."
Real Salt Lake
Head Coach Jeff Cassar
On winning on a late goal:
"It's definitely a psychological victory for us. I thought the guys really buckled down. We talked about it. It's been a short week. We worked on it. I thought we closed it out well. Obviously it's never going to be perfect. But overall, I was really pleased with the ending of the game."
On Olave's goal:
"Maybe I'm a little biased here, but it actually looked pretty clean. I only saw it on the jumbotron - and it was the smaller one, not the huge one - but it looked kinda clean. It looked like he actually did a great job of timing it and actually getting to the ball. But it's a tough one and it's tough for the referee to see that. Maybe I'll have a different opinion, but at that point I won't care."
On the game:
"We didn't win a beauty contest tonight, at all. We did get three points, which is the most important thing. I liked the battle. I liked the commitment. It seemed like we were nervous and they were nervous and nobody wanted to make a mistake. But at the end of the day, we got our three points."
On Sunday Stephen Obayan (Sunny):
"He was everywhere. He has a great engine, but he also has quality and intelligence. For us to be able to find him from Turkey, it's just fantastic. It's a credit to Andy (Williams) and Craig (Waibel)."
On Jordan Allen:
"I thought he did great. Stepping in for (Javier Morales) in a season opener against Seattle - that's no easy feat. Especially for a young man trying a different position than usual. I thought he did a great job. I thought him and Yura defensively worked well together and that's what you always look for is what kind of partnerships they will have. I thought Jordan was finding good spots on the field. He was also able to open up some channels playing behind the right and left back. Obviously there are still some areas for him to grow and mature into that position, but I was really happy for him. It was wonderful that I saw Javi talking to him before the game, helping him out on a few things and that's why I really think something special is going on. Because guys are helping each other and they're really coming together. Soccer wasn't great but you saw 11 guys working for the same cause and that's what I'm really proud of."
On Jamison Olave:
"I thought - and you guys can disagree - but I thought that he did fantastic in the game against Orlando. What we needed to do was figure out ways that our backline wasn't constantly having to deal with balls over the top. I thought our backline was, for 88 minutes, unbelievable. Then we had a few mental lapses. Other than that, Jamison's had a great week of training and he's taken care of his body. What people don't know is that he had a little bit of a strain and it was worrisome whether he was going to be able to make it this whole game. So for him to sacrifice himself for the team and be there at the end in such a crucial point, I thought he was fantastic."
Midfielder Sunday Stephen Obayan
On how his goal in the first half and how it changed the game:
"Actually it's when we really woke up in this game. I'm very fortunate and very happy to score the first goal at home. I'm also happy for the team. Coming to draw in the first game of the league against Orlando... I think we had a lot to learn from this game to play this team Seattle. I'm very glad, I'm very happy you know. Precisely for the team and for my family."
On the last time he scored a goal:
"That was in Spain a long time ago. That was 2013. Also I'm really happy scoring important goals. Even when I scored in Spain that goal was the only goal and it was very, very important for the team then. This one again was very important for us after the draw we got in Orlando."
On RSL finding early success:
"I think it's just understanding working hard. Precisely I know what I want and I need to give what I have to the team to make everything important. I think until now, I think we have been close together, been adapting to each other precisely and being able to understand each other. I'm very happy for this up game now. I hope it last for a very long time."
Defender Tony Beltran
On if it was a slow game:
"Yeah absolutely. I felt like we struggled a little bit to get our rhythm today. I think maybe the timing or tempo off, but I thought Jordan had a great game obviously not having Javier in there. Changes the way we play, because usually everything goes through him. So while we were struggling trying to figure out how to move the ball, they were pretty good with the ball. Credit to them early on and they had us on our heels. I thought we did a great job responding to the goal before halftime and coming out in the second half was a lot better."
"Sunny has got a great engine and is a such a solid player breaking stuff up in there. He's a true destroyer; a warrior, so it was cool to see him getting on his defensive end as well. Usually in practice I just see him tackling, but he has the quality in the final 3rd as well. Huge goal right before halftime, because that puts them on their heels and you're coming out with anybody's game in the second half."
On Olave's goal:
"The first thing I do is look to the sideline ref and look at the official, because you know I feel like 99 out of 100 times in this league that's going to be a foul. Not saying that it was a foul, but typically that's the call. But credit to Jamison. He's such a big presence and so explosive. He didn't touch the goal keeper. He just got up and won the ball, so deserving goal. Great goal."
On the criticism outside the locker room on Olave, and what this goal means for him:
"As a professional athlete, as a professional soccer player we have to deal with criticism. Whether prospective is positive or negative. You just have to go about and do your job and I know Jamison is a very capable defender, and I'm happy to see him do well in the defensive side today and also on the offensive side and get that win for us. Congratulations to him."
On winning streaks and upcoming match against Portland:
"I think the unbeaten streak is great, but we weren't really concerned about that. What we're more concerned about is getting back to having Rio Tinto being an absolute fortress and winning our home games, because if you do that, if we get back to the days of old where nobody wants to come here and play, nobody can come here and play, that's how you get into the post season. That's how you become and elite team, so we're really focused on that. Out of 2 games, 1 being away for a home opener against Orlando and one being home, 4 points is pretty good. I think we would have taken that beforehand, so we'll go to Portland and have a good game plan and try to get a result out there as well."
Defender Jamison Olave
On his goal:
"I saw the ball coming,... so I never get out of that ball. I just go for the ball. I think he went out with the ball, because he's too tall and like I said, I never give up and I jump and the goal was on me. It was a goalkeeper goal."
On scoring a late goal vs giving up a late goal at the end of the game"
"That's really great for us. The last game was so painful. 90 minutes playing well in the last minutes we lose the game and now we won the game in the last minutes, almost the last minutes. I'm very happy for us."
On dealing with a quad injury:
"Just in the beginning I was a little scared, because I never know what can happen in the game. Just a little stretched quad, but fortunately it was good. I'm feeling good after the game, nothing to complain about."