Nineteen shots, eight corner kicks and several dangerous free kicks only resulted in one goal for the Sounders, not enough to overcome the effects of referee Mark Geiger's whistle. The home crowd were left disappointed for the second time in the young season.
Re-watching the key moments of the match probably won't make you feel any better about the penalties awarded. But Ivanschitz's free kick goal is stunning, and the Sounders can point to chances that were created and missed.
The Sounders know they need more than good luck to start forcing the results in their favor, but the breaks are certainly not going Seattle's way right now, either.
Saturday, March 19, 2016
Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field
Referee: Mark Geiger
Assistants: Frank Anderson, Matthew Nelson
Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Weather: 57 degrees and cloudy
VAN - Pedro Morales (penalty) 10'
SEA - Andreas Ivanschitz 52'
VAN - Pedro Morales (penalty) 74'
VAN - Octavio Rivero (caution) 35'
SEA - Andreas Ivanschitz (caution) 44'
VAN - Pedro Morales (caution) 51'
SEA - Tyrone Mears (caution) 71'
SEA - Chad Marshall (caution) 73'
VAN - Blas Perez (caution) 82'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Zach Scott - captain, Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones; Osvaldo Alonso, Cristian Roldan, Andreas Ivanschitz (Aaron Kovar 88'); Jordan Morris (Oalex Anderson 71'), Nelson Valdez, Clint Dempsey
Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Dylan Remick, Nathan Sturgis, Tony Alfaro, Oniel Fisher
Total shots: 19 (Dempsey, 9)
Shots on goal: 5 (5 players tied with 1)
Fouls: 14 (Marshall, 3)
Offside: 2 (Roldan/Valdez, 1)
Corner-kicks: 8 (Ivanschitz, 7)
Saves: 5 (Frei, 5)
Vancouver Whitecap FC - David Ousted; Jordan Harvey, Kendall Waston, Tim Parker, Fraser Aird; Pedro Morales - captain (Masato Kudo 84'), Matias Laba, Christian Bolanos, Kekuta Manneh (Cristian Techera 83'), Blas Perez; Octavio Rivero (Andrew Jacobson 78')
Substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Sam Adekugbe, Masato Kudo, Nicolas Mezquida, Cole Seiler
Total shots: 9 (Morales, 2)
Shots on goal: 7 (Morales, 3)
Fouls: 20 (Perez/Aird, 3)
Offside: 1 (Perez, 1)
Corner-kicks: 1 (Techera, 1)
Saves: 4 (Ousted, 4)
SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID
"Not pleased with the result. It's a game, again, that I think we controlled the majority of the game. I thought we were the team on the attack the most during the game. I am not sure of the PK's - I haven't seen the replays yet - but I have seen guys trip themselves in the box before, so it can be done. It seems like right now we are not catching a break in any way, shape or form. Obviously it's got to be better for us to win, at the end of the day, but it's not like I can say, ‘the other team is steamrolling us or things like that.'"
On if the 0-3-0 record is a cause for concern:
"It's a cause for concern after the first loss - it [does not become a] concern after the fourth or fifth. It's always a concern. You learn more from losses than you do from victories sometimes. We've got to continue to learn from it and we've got to continue to improve. I can't walk into that locker room and say, 'you guys didn't put an effort in' or ‘you guys didn't control the pace of the game,' because that would be lying to them. They put an effort in and controlled the pace of the game. At some point, you've got to get results. At some point, you need those results for your confidence and your belief in what you're doing."
On not being able to finish in the area:
"A couple times we got in each other's own way in the box - we had two players challenging for the same ball. I think there was one cross where Clint [Dempsey] was waiting for the header, and [Nelson] Valdez sort of ran into him. There was another where Valdez and Chad [Marshall] went for the same ball. There are times, again, the cross isn't missing by that much. We will continue to work on that, and we will continue to work on that this week. I didn't think we were sending hopeful balls on. That's another thing we worked on - making sure that when we got to the end line we found the cutbacks were on, and so forth. Obviously Joevin [Jones] found Clint on a cutback, and Tyrone [Mears] should have found [Cristian] Roldan in the first half, but then found him in the second half."
On the performance of the fullbacks:
"Obviously the one that led to penalty, Joevin got caught in the wrong side of Bolanos, and his positioning was off, but outside of that it was pretty solid. Every game we have played we have been out-fouled by a pretty consistent manner. Repetitive fouls don't lead to cards, but a verbal barrage does. We knew they were the kind of team that counterattacks, and when you play against a team that counterattacks the way were trying to attack, and by throwing Tyrone and Joevin forward you're going to be behind a little bit. It's going to look like desperation tackling, but it's really the defending scheme. I don't think that, except for the chance at the very end when we were pushing up, they had a lot of clean looks."
On looking at the big picture:
"You always take a step back and look at it, and you try to put all the pieces together and find why it's working or not working. You can't keep hitting yourself against a wall because eventually you start bleeding and you won't accomplish anything. You've got to analyze it, you've got to stay strong in our endeavor and our belief with each other, but obviously we are not happy, I am not happy, the players aren't happy, the organization is not happy. It's a result-oriented business, I know that as well as anybody. At the end of the day we've got to start getting results."
SOUNDERS FC DEFENDER ZACH SCOTT
On playing well but coming away with a 2-1 loss:
"That's just the story of our season so far. 0-3 isn't an impossible hole to climb out of. It's definitely not one you want to be in, but you want to be in a situation where at least you know you are playing good soccer. The calls always even out as the season goes on. We have all seen it happen before. Eventually we'll start to get some of those calls. As long as we stick to it, I think everybody, for the most part, is positive. I think the coaches have been doing a good job and players are working their tails off. We just aren't getting the results that we want, but we are creating chances and playing good soccer so we'll keep at it."
On why he protested the second penalty call awarded to Vancouver:
"All I saw, and I was pretty close, I saw [Chad Marshall] poke the ball away and Perez leaned into him the entire time. The first one, I couldn't tell you. At this point you have to do a little soul searching and try to figure out, ‘Are you doing enough to help the team win games,' and from a personal standpoint, I have to do better. Maybe I should have shifted over to help those two guys so they didn't feel like they had to go to ground at that time. Distribution out of the back, I could have done better with that today. I think everyone is thinking that same thing: ‘What could I have done to help the team pull out at least one win of these last three.'"
SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER CRISTIAN ROLDAN
Overall thoughts on the game:
"I think the game got a little bit complicated for us just because of those two penalties. I thought we played well as a group, collectively, and I thought we created a lot of chances. We just need to be a little bit better in the final third to give our defense a little more leeway and less pressure."
On playing well but still being winless:
"It's difficult. I think a lot of luck has gone the other way. It's a one-way street at this point, but we just have to keep working hard and things will go our way. A couple calls went the other way, I haven't seen the replay, but they definitely affected the game. You know, they might have been penalties, but they might not have been."
SOUNDERS FC GOALKEEPER STEFAN FREI
Overall thoughts on Sounders FC defensive performance:
"I thought we played well. They are a very offensive-minded team and they have tons of good playmakers. They are very creative up top, a lot of pace. They tried to find that gap in behind a couple times but I thought we took care of that, the space behind us, and like I said, there wasn't too much there so it's frustrating to still give up two goals."
On second penalty awarded to Vancouver:
"From my viewpoint, I can see Chad and he clearly gets the ball. Obviously there's going to be contact when both guys are going for a ball. I don't know what he saw from his viewpoint. Obviously he saw the other contact and didn't see the touch from Chad. Like I said, he made the call and it's a big decision and we paid for it."
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC HEAD COACH CARL ROBINSON
On bouncing back:
"It was a better performance. This game is a process and if you put the right performances in, the results will come. I think we tripped ourselves up with mistakes in the first two games and we accepted that. Today was a team performance."
On how the team responded after Seattle equalized:
"Lots of character shown today. It's not an easy place to come. We know we have to have a very good game against a very good team. We know they're going to put you under pressure and they did that today. When they got the goal, it was a set piece and a fantastic finish on a free kick. But we showed character and we probably played our best little bit of futbol after they scored. That shows the team has character."
On the difference this year in scoring on set pieces:
"I've got no idea, if I'm honest. I think we scored on five set pieces in the first four years of our MLS history so we're doing something right. I really don't care how we score - as long as we score I'll take it."
On what changed after Seattle scored:
"At halftime, I told them I didn't want to sit back because they've got good players in key areas. If you sit back against a good team with good players, eventually they're going to hurt you. I tried to stress that during the first 10 to 15 minutes of the second half to get after them. Good players sometimes don't allow you to do that and they put us under pressure and probably got their just rewards in the free kick goal. But, as I said, we showed character afterwards. We wanted the ball. It's easy to play when you're winning, but coming off two defeats - silly defeats really - we showed a bit of grit and determination. They're knockered a bit and they've got ice packs all over them, and that's what you need to do in this game."
On if he's seen the two penalty kicks:
"No, I haven't. I could sit here and say it's two non-penalties or it's two penalties - I don't know."
On how he felt about playing two strikers tonight:
"I thought Blas Perez was one of the best players on the field. I thought he was excellent in his hold up play and brought leadership into the young team that we have. It was a different option and I'll do that at different times this year. I don't get caught up in formations...it's about players. We have players that are able to play in different formations in different games."
On creating the situations against the Sounders' backline:
"We know they have two excellent fullbacks who love to attack and want to get forward and will load you up with numbers because of their forward-thinking play, but it leaves the two centerbacks a little bit isolated sometimes. That's why I went with two forwards today to maybe catch them. You've got to be able to defend crosses with two centerbacks in there as well as the fullbacks defending the back post very well. You're going to come under a barrage of crosses because they've got good players here. But we held our nerve and that was the pleasing thing."
On why playing on the road brings out the counterattack:
"I think it's a little bit of everything, if I'm honest. Like you guys and ladies, you watch a lot of foottball and the team atop the Premier League in England at the moment is a counterattacking team. Are they the best team? Arguably they are because they're the best team at putting the ball in the back of the net and have the most points. It's finding the right rhythm with the different type of players we've got. We can play different ways and away from home is slightly different than playing at home, where we have crazy Canadian fans. It's a different type of game. Teams can sit back at our place, but we've got to be better about breaking them down. Today the matchup was good for us, but we won't get carried away - it's only one game. It's nice in a derby game - there's lots of emotion in it, but it's three points at the end of the day."
On what it is that brings out the best in his team here in Seattle:
"You know what, I don't know. Again, I'm sitting on the fence with a lot of these questions. But last year I think we came and got a good result, then Seattle comes to our place and slapped us twice so I don't know what it is. One game at a time. We enjoy coming here. They have great fans. We've got our crew up in the top corner so it's nice for them to make the journey home a lot sweeter with the three points."
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC GOALKEEPER DAVID OUSTED
On tonight's derby match bringint out best out of their team:
"Definitely. We had a sense of urgency. I think we showed over 90 minutes how competitive we can be and if we are focused how tough a team we are to play. Now the next task is to get the urgency out of every single game."
On the play of the defense tonight:
"Our defense was solid tonight. The four guys in front of me did extremely well. We showed last year why we were one of the best defenses in the league. The first two games was a little bit of a transition period for us. Hopefully now we are back to being solid and then with performance like tonight we will get more wins."
On playing well in Seattle:
"It is a fantastic place to play. It's a tough place to play. You get into a big crowd and the crowd gets the Sounders fired up. We just enjoy playing down here. It is a place you know you have to be one hundred percent focused if you want to come in and win. Luckily we have been good at doing that."
On the intensity on the pitch tonight:
"It was like a derby game should be. It was intense. A lot of tackles and a lot of good playing and good goals. That is what you want out of a Cascadia Cup rivalry."
On facing nineteen shots but only allowing one goal:
"Yeah like I said. The four guys in front of me did what I expected them to do. They defended with everything. They blocked shots. They got in good positions and got good clearances. That is what we need to do, especially coming into a tough place like this and playing but also in every game as we move forward."
On what you saw in Ivanschitz's free kick:
"I saw it when it was in the back of the net. That is about it. That is just a great goal. I will look at it and see if there is anything I can do different. Once in awhile you just have to tip your hat to a guy that hits it like that. If that is what it takes to score against us then ok."
On the penalties:
"The first penalty he runs him down. He is in front of him and the guy runs into him and niks him. I don't see any problem with that. The second one he gets under Blas and cuts him down. I can't from my end of it see if he gets some of the ball. Again it is the referee's decision if that is going to be a penalty but luckily Pedro converted both of them."
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC MIDFIELDER PEDRO MORALES
On converting both penalties:
"Yes it is very important that you score, but I think at this moment the more important thing is that our team played very well today. Maybe the luck was good for us. It is always tough when you play in Seattle with 50,000 fans. Now I am happy for our team and our fans in Vancouver and we can enjoy this for the next two days as we train and prepare for Houston."
On playing a derby game early in the season and the team being fired up for the match:
"Yes I think it is. Every single player was training hard and playing hard. This is what we have to do in order to get a win. It is a very important win for us today. We won 2-1 but we had many more chances and we will keep this up as we move toward the next game."
On the importance of getting a player like Blas Pérez for the team:
"Every player and teammate is important. When we train and play it is important how we feel on the field. Blas is very important to us and other players are important too. But sometimes you need a player that can hold the ball and take time when you hold the ball like Blas does. I think this was a good win for us today."
On playing in the deep role:
"I feel great there. It is not a problem for me to play there. I feel like I am more inside the game and I get more touches with the ball. I enjoy playing there. I don't mind playing on the right side or left. It is not a problem for me. I just enjoy playing there."
On playing stronger with two strikers on the pitch:
"I think that if we lost today maybe you wouldn't ask me this question. I think when you play with two forwards the fans enjoy that."
On all of your goals this year coming off set pieces:
"Lucky. Just lucky. I think the football is lucky inside the game. I am just happy for the team and our fans and after losing the last two games and playing well it is good. Now we are looking forward to our next game against Houston."