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Seattle Sounders vs. New England Revolution: Highlights, stats and quotes

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“The fight and the determination that group of players is the mentality of champions. That’s what I would say. That’s the only positive.” -Brian Schmetzer

An absolute roller coaster of a match saw the Seattle Sounders give up their second, third and fourth goals at CenturyLink Field in 2017. The game looked to be getting out of reach until the 75th minute, when a Nicolas Lodeiro strike took a fortunate deflection and found the New England Revolution net. Seattle responded to this glimmer of hope with furious attack for the remainder of the match, camping in high up the pitch. They were rewarded with two more tallies to complete a massive comeback, with only a few minutes to spare.

Try as they might, the Sounders couldn’t find a fourth goal at the death, and had to accept a second home draw of the season. The Sounders are now 2-2-4, with a goal difference of 3. They have 10 points through eight matches, or 1.25 PPG. That’s good for 7th in the Western Conference.


MATCH SUMMARY

Seattle Sounders FC 3 - New England Revolution 3

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Venue: CenturyLink Field

Referee: Allen Chapman

Assistants: Apolinar Mariscal, Andrew Bigelow

Fourth Official: Dave Gantar

Attendance: 43,230

Weather: 53 degrees, chance of showers

SCORING SUMMARY

NE - Daigo Kobayashi (Lee Nguyen) 16'

NE - Juan Agudelo (Kelyn Rowe, Antonio Mlinar Delamea) 26'

NE - Juan Aguldelo (Diego Fagundez, Xavier Kouassi) 54'

SEA - Nicolas Lodeiro (Joevin Jones) 75'

SEA - Will Bruin (Joevin Jones, Cristian Roldan) 86'

SEA - Osvaldo Alonso (Gustav Svensson, Nico Lodeiro) 88'

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

SEA - Tony Alfaro (caution) 44'

SEA - Will Bruin (caution) 80'

LINEUPS & STATS

Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Jordy Delem (Henry Wingo 55'), Gustav Svensson, Tony Alfaro (Román Torres 84'), Joevin Jones; Osvaldo Alonso - captain, Cristian Roldan, Nicolás Lodeiro, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris (Harry Shipp 68'); Will Bruin

Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Alvaro Fernandez, Seyi Adekoya, Zach Mathers

Total shots: 26 (Dempsey, 5)

Shots on goal: 8 (Alonso/Bruin, 2)

Fouls: 4 (4 players, 1)

Offside: 1 (Torres, 1)

Corner-kicks: 5 (Lodeiro, 5)

Saves: 3 (Frei, 3)

New England Revolution - Cody Cropper; Antonio Mlinar Delamea, Andrew Farrell, Benjamin Angoua (Je-Vaughn Watson 66'); Scott Caldwell, Xavier Kouassi, Lee Nguyen - captain (Teal Bunbury 77'), Daigo Kobayashi (Femi Hollinger-Janzen 85'), Kelyn Rowe; Juan Agudelo, Diego Fagundez

Substitutes not used: Brad Knighton, Brian Wright, Joshua Smith, London Woodberry

Total shots: 13 (Fagundez, 5)

Shots on goal: 6 (3 players, 2)

Fouls: 6 (2 players, 2)

Offside: 1 (Agudelo, 1)

Corner-kicks: 4 (Nguyen, 2)

Saves: 5 (Cropper, 5)


POST-MATCH QUOTES:

SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH BRIAN SCHMETZER

On if the match felt like a win:

“No, no, no. I don’t know how to elaborate on that because it’s a draw. Yes, we came back. Okay, you can talk about the time we came back in Montreal and it gives the team spirit and life. But at home, we [must] do a better job than going down by three goals. That’s the sting, that’s the hurt. That’s the only comment I would make – the fight and the determination that group of players is the mentality of champions. That’s what I would say. That’s the only positive.”

On the flow of the match:

“We were controlling the match from early parts in the first half, and they were fortunate to get that first goal that allowed them to tactically play a bunker-and-counter game, which they did very well. But I think we were on top of them from early parts in the first half.”

On subbing Jordy Delem for Henry Wingo:

“We were trying to get Henry into some one-vs-one situations out on the flanks because of Henry’s speed and his ability to break down guys on the dribble is something that Jordy doesn’t possess. Jordy played OK in the first half – he swung a couple good balls in and made a couple errors, but that’s normal. I just needed someone to break guys down. Joevin [Jones] on the [left] side is able to break guys down, and we had hoped Henry could provide that to us.”

On subbing Román Torres as a forward:

He was a forward when he was younger; he told me that today. He was sent in to go up front and get on the end of crosses and lofted balls in the box, and he did that. When we went 3-3 we kept him up there on purpose because I felt we could get another one, so we kept him up there.”

On the home support:

“I thought they were loud even in the first half. When we walked out at halftime, they were still cheering. When they scored the third goal, they were still cheering. Obviously they get amped up when the home team does score, but those fans never stop. It’s something we will never take for granted.”

On New England’s defensive positioning:

“Their half-circle of defending the goal was pretty obvious. I am trying to recall in the first half, before they scored in the 15 minute-mark, did we have some chances, did we have some plays – we had some combination plays in the middle of the field. Once they scored, they bunkered in. That was just by necessity.”

On the frustration of not winning:

“I am most frustrated about, again, those guys put so much effort and so much of themselves into the team and into the game, that they cannot reward themselves with a performance that rewards us with all three points. I am certainly disappointed that we took three at home – that is something we can work on… Again, it’s testament to the group, to the team, that they [could] persevere and find a way to get [a point], but the effort they put into the game they deserved to get three points.”

SOUNDERS FC GOALKEEPER STEFAN FREI

On the first goal NE scored:

“No I didn’t take my eye off it. It moved and I tried to stay with it but I gifted them a goal. As we know goals are vital in soccer there’re even when they are against the flow of play. We were starting to really get into a groove and dominate possession and I gift them a goal. Obviously it’s difficult, it throws our rhythm out. Error on my part, simple as that.”

On the importance of mentality after first goal:

“It’s important for us as a team to keep on staying in it and believing and fighting. For me personally it was important for me to forget that one right away and make some saves in that first half. It’s difficult when you go down 3-0 beginning of second half. We never want to give up three goals at home. We can’t. It’s not that we don’t want to it’s that we can’t. The character we showed to get back is amazing. That’s the one positive take from this, the spirit. Togetherness to try to bail your teammates out to try to save them. [We stepped up] as a whole unit. Every point counts.”

On the importance of making saves after he let in the goal

“It’s difficult to get right back into it. You’re not a field player who can chase after the ball and make things happen. You get put into situations that are do or die right away again, it’s nice if you make them, it sucks if you can’t. I’m happy that I got opportunities right away to rebound and contribute a little bit but obviously most of the game was in the response of our teammates and I’m thankful of how they played today.”

SOUNDERS FC FORWARD WILL BRUIN

On addressing the feeling after the game:

“It’s definitely a good feeling coming back and getting a point, but at the end of the day we are back at home where you can’t be giving up three goals and being down three-nothing at home and that’s collective eleven as a unit being tough to play against and not just focus on the attack. We need to be a strong block. If we can shore that up we know we can get the goals.”

Did the game really feel as tilted as it looked:

“I don’t think they were dangerous all game unless they had the counter when we had numbers forward. I think the start of the second half was exactly what we didn’t want to happen…You know, credit to all of the guys for keeping grinding and not putting your head down. Because there were many times tonight we could of put our heads down, ‘You know, it wasn’t our night, off the post, off the crossbar.’ And then put three in after that.”

On the success of the crosses:

“We had a lot of guys inside the 18 you know vertical up the field – that was the kind of way that they defended, so we knew that the open areas wre wide. And there was times where you gotta force it and times you gotta be patient, swing it around get them to move, so I think we did a good job of that finding that balance. We can’t be susceptible to the counter.”

SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER OSVALDO ALONSO

On the result:

“I think it’s tough when you come out and get a point. For me, we have to play better defense and not allow three goals at home. Not play like we did… We showed a lot of courage to come back and tie the game.”

On the feeling of the eruption of the stadium after third goal:

“I think today, 3-0, no one believed we were going to tie the game. But we fought till the end and I scored the goal that gave us the point but now we have to learn what happened today and focus on the next one.”

On being able to move the other team around:

“They wait for us to move the ball and then counter attack. I think they play really really good in that way so that’s why they scored the first three goals. I think we keep the ball in the second half, find a way to score to tie the game.”

On needing to possibly say something at halftime to Frei:

“We don’t have to say anything to him. He is one of the best goalkeepers in the league… For me I’m very, very happy to have Stefan with us.”

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION HEAD COACH JAY HEAPS

On the result:

“It’s always a tough place to come and play. We were thrilled to get the lead… our game plan was very good and once they started putting numbers into the box, we didn’t deal with it very well. We just have to be better at clearing our lines, making sure we get to clearances, and not let them keep coming down. It just felt like the last 20 minutes we just stopped playing and it cost us.”

On whether the deflected goal changed the momentum:

“I think that turned the momentum for sure, because up until that point we had dealt with everything really well and that moment caused a big gap in the game, in terms of the momentum. But we were still up 3-1 at that point with about 25 minutes left. It felt like we should have done a better job to close out the game.”

On the play of the New England midfielders:

“It helped. We wanted to win the midfield and I felt we did a nice job of that. We really switched formations after we scored the first goal because we felt that we were getting not enough in midfield, and so we wanted to make sure that we had guys that could break and keep it at the same time. Overall, Diego [Fagundez] coming in was what we wanted, and we felt like we could break with Lee [Nguyen] and Juan [Agudelo], and Diego, and that’s what happened.”

On the overall lesson to take away:

“We’re gutted in there, in the sense that we had it in our hand. It’s one of those [games] where we let two points slip away. That said, I think it’s a good road game. It’s tough to come here and get three goals, so I think we can focus on the positive but we have to correct the negative. This is one of those where I think we’re going to spend a lot of time reviewing it, and it’s not going to be one of those we can just forget because there were so many little things we noticed during the game. If we could have called a 20-second timeout I felt like we could have corrected it and made the plays. I just wish we could have been able to do it in the course of the match.”

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION FORWARD JUAN AGUDELO

On the feeling in the locker room:

“Everyone is really disappointed. We’re extremely happy with how our teammates fought for 75-minutes. The last 15 [minutes] weren’t good enough and they were able to get three goals on us. We’ll try to keep as positive as possible, but this one hurts.”

On what worked so well for the team in the first 75 minutes:

“I thought we had a bit more composure [than in previous game] once we did get the ball. I know towards the end of the game it was tough to keep it because a bunch of guys were a bit exhausted. At the end of the day, when the possession is 80 percent to 20 percent, it’s to win games. Even so, maybe go out with a win at 3-2, but never 3-3.”

On his current form:

“I don’t want to talk too much about myself right now. But on a personal level, I feel very good. I feel like I’m able to help my teammates, whether it’s holding the ball and keeping possession or scoring goals, so hopefully I can keep this run going because the most important thing is to make the playoffs.”

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION MIDFIELDER KELYN ROWE

On the frustration level of the group after the game:

“Like I said before the game, it’s going to be a 90-minute battle. This is a very good team. If we give them cross after cross after cross, then they’re going to finish some chances. But we’ve got to step out to crosses and make sure we have a guy. They obviously pushed numbers forward because they were 3-0 down at home, but we needed to find a way to break up their rhythm and kill some time. It was not a very professional time for us towards the end of the game.”

On the response of the team after Seattle’s first goal:

“I don’t think we put our heads down too much. I don’t think our confidence went down. It was just a combination of things. Again, we were sitting back a little too far. It was definitely a bit of tired legs, myself included. But it’s one of those [games] mentally when you’re up two goals, at that time with the 3-1 lead, and you’ve got to bunker down and do better. That’s on us mentally and unfortunately it’s a learning lesson, and not one we want to learn but at least it’s happening early in the season on a hard away game. It’s tough to swallow.”

On what was going well for the team when up 3-0

“They pushed a lot of guys forward, especially on the outside where they pushed their outside backs really high. Once we won that ball we had a lot of space. I thought Juan Agudelo did really well about holding the ball up, and I think guys like Diego [Fagundez], and towards the end Teal [Bunbury], got in for fun because they were spread and they were looking for goals. I thought we played very well for I would say about 65 minutes.”