The Sounders will have to do better than this if they want to move up from the bottom of the Western Conference. Three of the next four matches are at home, where hopefully a familiar environment can put a spark into a team that looked absolutely listless in Kansas City.
Twenty points through 20 played puts Seattle 10 points back from the current last playoff spot.
Seattle Sounders FC 0 - Sporting Kansas City 3
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Venue: Children's Mercy Park
Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistants: Jeff Muschik, Peter Manikowski
Fourth Official: Hilario Grajeda
Weather: Sunny and 96 degrees
SKC - Dominic Dwyer (Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi) 21'
SKC - Jacob Peterson (Saad Abdul-Salaam, Ike Opara) 45+3'
SKC - Dominic Dwyer 79'
SKC - Roger Espinoza (caution) 23'
SEA - Herculez Gomez (caution) 43'
SEA - Joevin Jones (caution) 57'
SKC - Soni Mustivar (caution) 65'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Brad Evans - captain, Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones; Cristian Roldan, Erik Friberg (Tony Alfaro HT), Clint Dempsey; Herculez Gomez (Zach Scott HT), Jordan Morris, Andreas Ivanschitz (Michael Farfan 64')
Substitutes: Tyler Miller, Oniel Fisher, Nelson Valdez, Oalex Anderson
Total shots: 1 (Jones, 1)
Shots on goal: 0
Fouls: 5 (5 players, 1)
Offside: 2 (Dempsey, 2)
Saves: 3 (Frei, 3)
Sporting Kansas City - Tim Melia; Saad Abdul-Salaam (Seth Sinovic 85'), Ike Opara, Lawrence Olum, Jimmy Medranda; Benny Feilhaber, Soni Mustivar, Roger Espinoza; Jacob Peterson (Cameron Porter 77'), Dominic Dwyer, Graham Zusi (Connor Hallisey 41')
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Kevin Ellis, Emmanuel Appiah, Diego Rubio
Total shots: 19 (Dwyer, 6)
Shots on goal: 6 (Dwyer, 3)
Fouls: 7 (Feilhaber, 2)
Offside: 2 (Abdul-Salaam/Dwyer, 1)
Corner-kicks: 4 (Zusi, 3)
Seattle Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid
Thoughts on the match…
I thought our best period in the game was the start of the second half. We switched to a 3-5-2 at halftime to try and do a better job up in the midfield with them. I thought in the first 20 to 30 minutes in the second half we played better and got close a couple of times. Not necessary shots, but close. The timing of the second goal, with only two minutes to go until half, was brutal. We weren’t good today.
On the decision to save players for today’s game..
It doesn’t matter who you save; we weren’t good. We just weren’t good as a team.
On team chemistry and leadership issues…
I thought Brad [Evans], our captain worked his rear-end off defensively and in the midfield. Again, our team effort was not good.
On training in weather conditions and its effects on game performance..
Did they have air conditioners on their backs? I don’t think so. It’s hot for them, and it’s hot for us. Again like that when you have inclement weather conditions it’s a situation of when the game is going well for you, you have the energy to run and when the game is not going well for you then you feel that it is really hot. Like I said, if we could have gotten a goal when Clint [Dempsey] broke through at the beginning of the second half with [Jordan] Morris the one time. If we could have gotten a goal there then all the sudden we would have played more sprung, but it didn’t happen so we looked pretty tired. “
On Erik [Friberg]’s injury and its effects on team formation..
We were going to go a 3-5-2 anyway, but his injury meant that I had to make an additional sub. That sub hurt us; we could have probably used a sub at the end. Erik’s is an ankle, we don't know how serious at this stage.
On the message at halftime..
The message at halftime was that we had to get goals to get back into this game. A loss is a loss no matter what it is, but you have to try and go and keep Morris and Dempsey up.
On what the team was missing today: intensity or not organized…
All the above. Some of the above. Now that is for us to go back and figure out. When a team doesn’t play well then there is a lot of things that as a coach, the guy that has to take the responsibility, has to ask oneself: were we technically setup the right way, did we get the stuff out of them or put in the performance that we were expecting? There are all kind of things. At the end of the day, we were not good today. Sometimes you have a day where you are not good.
Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Cristian Roldan
Thoughts on the match…
We didn’t play well. I thought it was pretty hard, the conditions, but we didn’t bring it today and you saw how many chances they had and how few we had.
On the heat impacting the result…
It’s difficult because you don’t want to waste all your energy in the first half. Obviously, we wanted to push up in the second half and I thought we did well for the first 10 minutes. The conditions, again, you get tired and you forget a couple things. you don’t run the extra five yards and it makes it harder for the whole team. I think that happened today and we have to put this one behind us. It wasn’t a Seattle Sounders performance.
On gaining ground early in the second half…
We pushed a little bit higher. We had the ball more in their half, more than we had in the first half. It was good up until that point. Once that 10-15 mark hit, the legs started getting tired and we didn’t press as high or keep the ball as much as we wanted to.
Seattle Sounders FC defender Brad Evans
Thoughts on the match…
We’re disappointed. I think all around, we got caught ball-watching. He sneaks in behind me and then we are chasing at that point. Whoever scored first today was going to win. The conditions made it really difficult. They pressured us early on and throughout the game, for all 90 minutes, they put us under pressure. They smelled every single back pass and really put us under pressure. We just couldn’t get control of the ball, from back to front. We may have completed six or seven passes total today. I’ve never played in a game like that. Mental lapses when it starts to get hot and they are pressing and pressing. Credit to them, they stuck to their game plan and it worked.
On being able to capitalize a few times on Sporting KC’s pressure…
Joevin [Jones] got free on the left side a couple times and we were able to release pressure but we weren’t able to sustain pressure in their half and keep the ball. I don’t think they ever really felt threatened overall. They won the second and third balls today. They won all the headers. Their game plan was a bit better than ours.
On learning from this match moving forward…
I think that’s what you always hope. You brush this off and learn from your mistakes and we have a big one, I think LA [Galaxy] at home, is another big in-conference game. We try to take a couple positives away from today. The fight toward the end when guys kept pushing and pushing. We were so close to breaking through on two or three chances, we just couldn’t execute. Now, I say it like I say it every week, the focus is on the next game.
Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes
On the factors of what it means to be Sporting fit…
We knew all along that climate was going to be a big part of the game. As a team we were extremely committed knowing that we were going to have to play our game regardless of the climate. We also knew that if we could keep it up for at least a good period of time, we could benefit. We were hoping to get an early goal and we allowed them to sit back and we had to open the game up. I am not going to say that they opened the game up because they were pretty much pinned in their end for most of the game. Credit to our guys for giving everything they had. In that perspective I am very appreciative because I think when you go with that kind of commitment physically, you can break a team mentally. I think today we did that.
On earning the early goal…
The important aspect was that if you add on what the climate was and say if they would have countered, we wouldn’t have scored early. Then they would have really packed in even more so then they already had. It matters what we did to them through our play. I don’t think that you could say that they just dropped on back. I think you have to give credit to the players for the way that they played and the way they went after them, with and without the ball. We put them back in their end. The fact that we got the early goal gave us an insurance policy that they still had to come and play. And then we got goals two and three. The unfortunate thing is that we could have gotten goals four, five, and six in as well and we missed out on those, but we will take the three points.”
On avoiding to chase the game in the heat..
I think the heat had a major impact on how this game was going to be played.
On the team’s defensive efforts..
It always starts with Dom [Dwyer] at the top. If we lose the ball in their half of the field and we get immediate pressure to the ball, it makes the game predictable for the back line and gets the guys behind the ball. The fact that we have great pressure up front and we didn’t let them settle in with the ball put them under a lot of pressure and forced them to play the ball quickly. When you win it you are usually in defensive mode with a transition period where you are trying to open yourself up and get into a place where it is your offensive shape. For us today we were very good, especially in this climate, might say that we were excellent in the way that our transitions were to pressure the ball and defend. I think that is a reason why we won a lot of balls back and they never really got anywhere.
Sporting Kansas City Player Dom Dwyer
On his energy level surpassing the opponent’s energy level..
I wouldn’t say we were a different level, but I would say we are just used to this weather. We are a fit team and we just kept working. We knew once we opened them up it would be difficult for them. We kept opening them up once we got the goal. We had several chances and we should have put a couple more away. I was pleased with the performance.
On opening them up..
Yeah, we opened them up. We played well. We moved quickly and I think that it tired them out.
On Seattle’s defensive performance..
I wouldn’t say they quit, but I think when you are tired you make mistakes. When you make a mistake, we are going to punish you for it.
Sporting KC midfielder Benny Feilhaber
On the importance of getting the first goal…
It’s very important. With the heat, we knew it was going to be a tough game and no one wants to chase games in 100+ weather. It was very important we got that one goal.
On Seattle shutting down after the second and third goals…
The second one was big because it was right before halftime. It puts us in a very good position going into halftime and going into the second half. At that point, unless they come out and bury one early, I think it’s always going to be in our hands. Obviously, the third one, we were always looking for a third, but we were fine with a 2-0 result if we just play smart and don’t give them anything, which we didn’t. They made a mistake and we got a third. All the goals were deserved, at good times and we probably could have had more.
On rebounding after the previous two matches…
It’s all about getting points and especially getting points at home right now. We have talked about how important it is going in to the last 10-12 games of the season. We know we have five more games at home and we need to get 15 points at home and today was the first one of the last six [at home].
On the difference in fitness level between the two teams impacting the result…
I don’t even know if it’s fitness. It’s the fact that we are playing in an environment we are comfortable with, as comfortable as you can be. It’s definitely more advantageous for us than for them being from Seattle. We used that to our advantage. We knew they were going to sit back, as they did. We just needed to be patient and make sure we didn’t turn the ball over and make any mistakes. We didn’t do that and we capitalized.