The Seattle Sounders at times played their best soccer of the season. That, mixed with a bit of good fortune and more healthy depth led to a convincing, earned victory over the San Jose Earthquakes, a side that has given Seattle trouble at CenturyLink on recent visits.
The coach and players alike saw more moments of cohesive attack for Seattle -- the sequence leading to Clint Dempsey's goal being a good example. Once again the Sounders are a team that fans can always expect to find victory at home.
Seattle are 4-4-1 with an even 0 GD, good for 8th in the Western Conference. 1.44 PPG puts them at 6th by that metric.
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field
Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistants: Ian Anderson, Jeff Hosking
Fourth Official: Baldomero Toledo
Weather: 72 degrees and sunny
SEA - Clint Dempsey (Erik Friberg, Jordan Morris) 26'
SEA - Jordan Morris (Osvaldo Alonso) 89'
SEA - Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 43'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Brad Evans - captain, Chad Marshall; Joevin Jones; Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg (Cristian Roldan 72'), Clint Dempsey; Aaron Kovar (Nelson Valdez 64') Herculez Gomez (Andreas Ivanschitz 85'), Jordan Morris
Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Dylan Remick, Zach Scott, Oalex Anderson
Total shots: 15 (Morris, 4)
Shots on goal: 8 (Morris, 3)
Fouls: 8 (Dempsey, 3)
Corner-kicks: 12 (Gomez, 8)
Saves: 1 (Frei, 1)
San Jose Earthquakes - David Bingham; Kofi Sarkodie (Tommy Thompson 81'), Marvell Wynne, Victor Bernardez, Shaun Francis; Alberto Quintero (, Matias Perez Garcia 65'), Matheus Silva, Simon Dawkins, Shea Salinas; Chris Wondolowski - captain, Chad Barrett (Adam Jahn 73')
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Jordan Stewart, Kip Colvey, Fatai Alashe
Total shots: 11 (Three players tied with 2)
Shots on goal: 1 (Barrett, 1)
Fouls: 10 (Barrett, 2)
Offside: 3 (Barrett, 2)
Corner-kicks: 6 (Barrett, 2)
Saves: 6 (Bingham, 3)
Sounders FC Head Coach SIGI SCHMID
"Obviously we are happy with the win. The objective of this homestand was to get six points and to get two wins - to be able to climb the ladder again, which we were able to do tonight. You have always got to be able to have a little bit of fortune. [Chris Wondolowski] missed the penalty at the post; [Stefan] Frei had saved the last one, and maybe that was on Wondo's mind. I thought at times tonight our soccer was as good as its been this season. I thought we played dangerous and effective. I thought we had the lead for most of the game deservingly - it was a good goal. It was great to see Jordan [Morris] get a goal, as well. There were bits and pieces where it still needs to be better, but there were also some pieces that I thought were very good."
On Chris Wondolowski's missed penalty:
"Like I said, I knew Stefan had saved the last one and I haven't seen the replay, so I can't say if it was a PK or harsh call, but I just felt confident that it was time for things to turn our way."
On the positive takeaways from the match:
"I thought we did a good job playing through the lines tonight. I thought Erik Friberg had a positive impact on our game that way. I thought [Osvaldo] Alonso had good balls and found Clint [Dempsey] in space. I thought Jordan did a good job with Clint in terms of dropping and going, so they were hard to pick up. Especially early on we had a lot of joy on the left side of the field, and I thought there were some really good looks down there."
On the team's effort:
"As a coach you always want to see more, but I thought the team game everything they had. There were some good individual performances, but there was some good work out there, as well. Clint had a good effort tonight and deservingly got a goal - he deserved that very much so. You have other guys like Brad Evans who is throwing up at halftime and he is going out and playing the whole second half. It was one of the reasons why we held the last sub a little bit - we weren't sure if he was going to get through the whole thing. It was a team effort and the guys brought it tonight."
On Erik Friberg:
"I thought Erik was good. Obviously the gas tank emptied out in the 60th, 65th minute and we tried to push him a little bit longer, but he had put in a really good shift. He had done some very nice things offensively for us and closed some things down defensively - he is very two-way in that approach. His ability to find those forward passes and get the ball through the gaps is something he did very well tonight."
On Herculez Gomez:
"Herculez has been very workmanlike and very professional in his efforts. He is not getting a lot of glory in terms of shots and assists, which is sometimes what a forward wants and what his career has been all about, but what he has done - he has sacrificed his game and he opens up space for Joevin [Jones]. He is another guy who has done a great job for the team."
On Stefan Frei:
"I said this last year and I haven't changed my opinion this year - I think Stefan is one of the top goalkeepers in this league. A couple of saves he made there are always top-notch. You can rely on him. When you look at his body of work, he is one of the top goalkeepers in this league."
On Osvaldo Alonso:
"I thought Ozzie was good. I thought his understanding with Friberg was great, especially since they haven't played together much recently, but their understanding was good. Ozzie won a lot of balls for us and still got balls through the gaps. It was very good."
Sounders FC forward clint dempsey
On how the team played tonight:
"Yeah, played pretty good, created some chances in the attacking third, kept it tight in the back. But yeah if we can keep creating more quality chances in the attacking third I think you will see us scoring more goals like you see us do tonight. I still think we could of scored more than we did but we are moving in the right direction. Hopefully we can keep building."
On thoughts when Wondolowski was going up to take the penalty kick:
"Yeah he's been good. His record in the MLS shows that he's been pretty consistent. And he had the keeper going the wrong way it was unlucky to hit it of the post you would think he would put it away especially against us he's seemed to find the net against us."
On Schmid's comments that this is some of the best soccer the Sounders have played this season:
"First I thought there was some times we had a really good flow we had lots of good chances. Second half, too. We still should have scored more goals tonight with the chances we were able to create. I think the fans were excited to see us playing a better style. And to see us get a little bit more consistency in terms of our performances at home and our point total and being albe to move up the table."
On connecting with Friberg on his goal:
"We had a little eye contact, I as pointing with my hand to go back but I needed to make a step back to keep the momentum of the defender to keep coming with me. And I was able to check out and he was able to find me...that comes with confidence that comes with being in more of a rhythm and us winning games."
SOUNDERS FC FORWARD JORDAN MORRIS
On scoring his fourth goal in four matches:
"Yeah it feels good. It's always nice to get a goal but all the matters is three points we are on a good streak right now we just got to keep it going."
On both strikers scoring:
"It was great. Clint had a great game and a really good finish."
On Schmid's comments on this being maybe the best soccer of the season:
"I think you know Cristian did really well when Friberg was hurt and I though Friberg came in had a really good game. You just see that quality of pass and quality on the ball so you know I definitely think we played some really good soccer in spurts and we just have to keep it going forward."
On how passes from the midfield opened up the game:
"It was good, really good. Ozzie and Friberg did a really good job finding Clint in that hole and letting him turn and operate and he's so good in those little pockets. Just finding our feet and letting us holding up and relieving the pressure. It was just a great team performance today."
Emotional swing on Wondolowski's missed penalty kick:
"Yeah it was crazy. I don't know if I've ever heard the stadium that loud when he missed it. I think we are due a little bit of luck there the first few game we were pretty unlucky in some aspects. He's a great forward I'm sure he will put the next one away we are just kind of lucky that he hit the post there."
SOUNDERS FC DEFENDER BRAD EVANS
On the emotional swing of game once Wondolowski came up to take the penalty:
"Yeah you know we have seen ourselves on the wrong side of those and now we feel like we are on the right side of one, so we have said from day one those things tend to even themselves out. Maybe this was one of those games where we get a little bit lucky, a little bit maybe the turf takes it a little wide so we can thank the turf for that. But yeah, like you said a swing of emotions from deflated from giving up a penalty that late and scoring another one and sealing the game."
On getting six points and all around feeling of performance:
"Clint and Morris, two stirkers on the scoresheet that is extremely important. And we held it to zero so all around a good team effort tonight overall I thought there were moments where we played our best soccer of the year. And guys felt comfortable there were a lot of one-two combinations gusy were working really hard tonight. We know we have a really tough swing coming up I don't think we play here again until June 25th or something like that. So we needed to get points now to give ourselves confidence going on the road, but we have two games there where it's a quick turnaround on the east coast and that will be tough. Hopefully a little bit of a cushion going forward."
On Friberg's performance:
"Always good. Always enjoy having him in front of me, playing with him in the midfield. He's always readily available and he's always, always looking forward he just sees the game different than most. He's a box to box kind of midfielder, especially playing against a 4-4-2 things tend to open up a little bit more and especially toinight he found a lot of space and a lot of high quality passes skipping through the line and yeah just a very good player."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES Head Coach dominic kinnear
On the game:
"I thought we played pretty good. There were swings of momentum during the game. We each had them. The penalty [miss] is a tough one because it's a good chance for us. We had one before that with Simon's [Dawkins] shot off the crossbar - is it over the line or not? It's a tough one. The team played pretty good tonight. We knew we were going to face a team that was going to come out and bring some momentum. It was unfortunate for us that we were on the losing end of it."
On if he expects Chris Wondolowski to step up and put the PK in:
"He's pretty good at them. He's scored a lot of goals and made a lot of penalties so if we have a penalty in our next game in the first minute, I'd like for him to take it."
On comparing Morris and Wondolowski:
"How many goals does Jordan Morris have? I think let the kid have his own identity. To compare him to other people is unfair. The kid is such a good player so I think we should leave it at that and just watch him and enjoy him."
On missed chances:
"We knew we were going to get chances today. What, this was the first time in 23 games that we've been shut out? So we're always good for some chances. I told the guys at halftime that we're one good play away from tying the game. So it had nothing to do with the chances at the end there. I thought after the goal was scored, they came out as the more aggressive team. After that, we were pushing forward, playing better, creating some good chances. We felt that if that were to continue in the second half, we'd get something out of it."
On how they regroup:
"We have a game on Wednesday and we're all disappointed walking off the field. For us to go into a hole would be a bad idea and my message to them will be that. We have to get ready for Houston on Wednesday night. It's an important game in the Western Conference. You don't want to forget it because you want to remember the things you did well and the things you didn't do well so the next time out you can rectify all the errors you made. But I think the guys are looking forward to Wednesday - I know I am."
On Chad Barrett's start:
"I think he did okay. It's the first time he's played in a long, long time. He spent the preseason with us then he got injured, but he did okay."
On any potential lineup changes going into Wednesday:
"I'll have to talk to my training staff. We have a plane ride tomorrow morning so we'll deal with it. We have a couple days to get ready and we'll see how the guys are feeling. I don't think we'll use the same starting 11. That would be a bit unfair to some of the guys. We'll see what happens on Monday."
On the team's injuries:
"We're going through a spell right now and all the teams do go through it in the MLS. I'm not the only coach who's going to sit here and say we're missing this guy, this guy, this guy, but right now we have quite a few guys that are not here with us and would make us a stronger squad if they were. I'm sure Sigi (Schmid) would like to have Román Torres so everybody has their problems. That's just the way it goes."
"Thank you guys. We love coming here."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI
On tonight's game:
"We are frustrated. Seattle is always a good team. It is a very tough place to play. You know it's kinda on me. It is all on me. I missed a penalty late in the game. You know if I make that I think we come away with at least a point. It is something that we could have built on. A two-zero loss kinda hurts, especially for me."
On having Quakes fans travel here and support you on the road:
"Yeah it is great. We love our fans. They are some of the most loyal, dedicated and knowledgeable fans. We love their passion they show. I always try to give them love when we can. I wish we could have shown them more love on the field."
On moving forward on the rest of the season after this loss:
"You know I think we can learn from our mistakes. I think that this is not going to impact us. Our goals are still set and we can obtain them. We are going to stay the course and just learn from this."
On his first-half opportunity against:
"Yeah, I kinda reached for it and it got stuck under me and when I went to take a touch it went too far and Frei came out and smothered it and did a good job."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD CHAD BARRETT
On coming back to Seattle and playing here and your thoughts on the game:
"You know I wanted the result to be different and obviously I want us to win. I have great memories here in Seattle but I am part of the San Jose Earthquakes now and I am a full San Jose Earthquake. It was a disappointing result, especially the way we played and how we came at it in the second half. Getting the PK at the end, we wish we would have scored that. We lose as a team and we win as a team. That is the way it happens and we know when [Wondo] steps up the next time he is going to bury that. We also had a bunch of other chances where we could have buried it as well. Simon's really unlucky on his free kick and it was a great free kick. You know Stef [Frei] was a statue. We just couldn't follow it up. They were banging on the door and congrats to Seattle but I can't wait to play them again."
On playing against old teammates that you know and who know your tendencies:
"I think it goes both ways. I think there are things they know I like to do and there are things I know they like to do. The way they like to play out of the back and the way I like to come at them. They know how to get inside of my head a little bit but I know how to get in theirs. It is a mental game as much as a physical game at this level. I thought it was a fun matchup. The first half I felt like a newborn fawn. It was my first game in three months straight out of injury but it felt great. I am thankful for the opportunity. I just want to build on this performance."
On things to take from this game going forward:
"The weird thing is and the thing that sucks the most is that we have been in every game. We are not getting blown out by any team. We go up away from home and we are just that close to starting to get results on the road. That is important when you are making strides at home, because you want to continue it when you are away from home. I think the biggest thing we can do is take that little bittersweet thing. The good thing is we have a game against Houston on Wednesday where we can turn it back around and we can get three points and then we can get a little break. Then we can take 18 points into the break after 10 games and that is pretty good."