It was a lot of the same for the Seattle Sounders when they took on Real Salt Lake Saturday afternoon on a sun-drenched field. A ton of possession but lacking in the final third. But this time, they found a way to win. A Harry Shipp goal in the 42nd minute was all that was needed for the Sounders to pick up their first win in four games.
Seattle is 3-5-4, -3 GD through 12 games. That’s good for 1.08 points per match and seventh place in the West, for now.
Seattle Sounders FC 1 - Real Salt Lake 0
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Venue: CenturyLink Field
Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistants: Cameron Blanchard, Felisa Mariscal
Fourth Official: Alex Chilowicz
Weather: Sunny and 69 degrees
SEA - Harry Shipp (Gustav Svensson) 42'
RSL - Sunday Stephen (caution) 25'
RSL - Kyle Beckerman (caution) 75'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Brad Evans (Jordy Delem 66'), Chad Marshall, Gustav Svensson; Joevin Jones, Osvaldo Alonso - captain, Cristian Roldan, Harry Shipp (Alvaro Fernandez 63'), Nicolás Lodeiro, Clint Dempsey (Will Bruin 81'); Jordan Morris
Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Oniel Fisher, Nouhou Tolo, Seyi Adekoya
Total shots: 17 (Lodeiro, 5)
Shots on goal: 6 (Morris, 2)
Fouls: 8 (3 players, 2)
Offside: 1 (Morris, 1)
Corner-kicks: 8 (Lodeiro, 7)
Saves: 5 (Frei, 5)
Real Salt Lake - Nick Rimando; Reagan Dunk, Justin Schmidt, Aaron Maund, Chris Schuler; Kyle Beckerman - captain, SundayStephen (Luke Mulholland 75'), Albert Rusnák; Joao Plata, Omar Holness (Jefferson Savarino 57'), Luis Silva (Yura Movaisyan 74')
Substitutes not used: Matt Van Oekel, Chris Wingert, Jose Hernandez, Ricardo Velazco
Total shots: 11 (Plata, 3)
Shots on goal: 5 (Plata, 2)
Fouls: 18 (Stephen, 5)
Offside: 1 (Plata, 1)
Corner-kicks: 3 (Rusnák, 3)
Saves: 5 (Rimando, 5)
Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer
On the team getting a win after a tough road trip...
“We had a couple of tough home games before that. So I’ll say yes, it was very good to get three points. I think everybody in that locker room is pretty happy, including the coaches.”
On the return of Brad Evans...
“[Getting Brad back] was good. You saw what he brings. He brings some experience, brings leadership, his quality of play in the attack is good, so it was good. Very happy to have him back, and I know he’s happy to be able to contribute to the team. I think that was wearing on him a little bit, so I thought it was all around a good day for him.”
On whether the team had a ‘let-off’ after the PK save...
“I think that’s maybe not a let-off from our side. When a goalkeeper of the opposition, or even if it’s Stef [Frei], saves a penalty it usually lifts that team. I think what you saw was a renewed determination by RSL. Not sure that our guys played -- well they didn’t play as well -- but the cause of it was, I think, more RSL picking the tempo up. You’ve got to credit [Nick] Rimando. That’s what he does. He’s the all-time MLS save leader. He made a good play for his team and kept them in the game.”
On Cristian Roldan’s performance...
“They all gutted it out. Cristian was one of the guys that had played all three games in a week and he gutted it out. You could see they were getting a little bit winded at the end, but he’s got a good motor. He continues to work and he continues to play smart, which is why we love that kid.”
On the importance of Harry Shipp’s goal...
“[It was] massive. Because then we could play from 1-0 up, instead of 0-0 at home or 0-1 down or any of the other scenarios we’ve had the first 12 games of the season. So it’s very vital for us to score that goal.”
On whether Shipp is coming into his own...
“Harry’s been his own. He’s been pretty good for many years, that’s just a reward for him. I asked him before the game – because he’s a really nice kid – don’t be nice today. Take a few more risks, take a few more chances. Not just on the goal, but there was a couple of other times when he was really engaged in the attack. I like that. I need to get some production out of people to free up production from other people. To maybe free up Jordy [Morris], Clint [Dempsey] and Nico [Lodeiro] a little bit. If some other guys start scoring, then it makes the Big Three’s job a little easier.”
SOUNDERS FC GOALKEEPER STEFAN FREI
On getting three points...
“Three points is the most important. We’ve said it numerous times and we believe it, that we’ve had good games but nothing to show for it. At some point it doesn’t really matter how you’re going to score goals and get results, you’re just going to have to do it. Today was a perfect example of that. We force an error, we have to put defenses under pressure. And you know we score one of the uglier goals but it just counts just as much as a perfect goal. So happy with that, probably would have liked to be up by more than just one goal. I think we had the opportunity to do that but to take the positive away from that I think we had to put in a really solid effort defensively the shutout was needed and we had to earn it. It wasn’t an easy 4-0 blowout where the opponent gives up and that’s it. It’s a close game where the opponent is sniffing an opportunity and we really had to be sharp defensively and I think it’s going to give us some confidence defensively going forward.”
On having Evans back...
“It was great. He’s a leader, he’s a veteran, his soccer IQ is extremely high. That allows him to slot into a number of positions. It’s really good to see him play extended minutes and come out of it unscathed, it’s been a bit of an issue for him to stay on the pitch for longer and we need him, we need him to come back not just for one game but for a longer stretch. To me, he’s an integral part of this team and he had a solid game today and showed why he’s important.”
On what worked for the team in the first half...
“I think we were confident, I think we were maybe a bit angry with the way that we have always been coming up a bit short for the last couple of games. Really playing at home and dictating the pace and forcing that goal. We had numerous good chances and then finally it goes in. I think we can do better in finishing this game and taking our chances even better. Most importantly we will take the three points.”
SOUNDERS FC DEFENDER BRAD EVANS
On Evans calling this game a must win...
“Of course [I meant calling this game a must win]. Where we are in the standings is an unfamiliar territory and for me at least it was a must win. This has got to be a place where it’s a guarantee.”
On how Evans feels physically...
“Obviously I’m excited to get back in the starting lineup. I make the first run and he rips me down, it was a nice warm welcome to the game but you know but I powered through 60, 65 minutes, felt like I probably could have gone longer. But it was smart to get the minutes under the belt and go from there.
On what he saw today that worked well...
“In the first half, we created a number of opportunities I think we used Jordan’s [Morris] strengths tonight more than we have in the past, turning around centerbacks. Their line was pretty high for playing away. They felt confident. I thought that with some good balls behind we created some chances and we could have been up two, three-nothing in the first half and we’re easy sailing. Second half we come up and start pretty well and then the game gets away with us. It always seems that Salt Lake is a second half team against us at home. They find their own and made a couple subs and smelled life after an unfortunate penalty miss and then a couple turnovers from multiple guys and we put ourselves under pressure, shot ourselves in the foot a little bit. Good to hang on and get the result.”
SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER HARRY SHIPP
On the deflection goal...
“It started off the corner and we did a good job keeping the ball alive and came back and it was kind of the second time the ball came back to the top of the box, I just wanted to keep it on frame and hit it exactly how I wanted and the first time it deflected I was like, ‘Oh no, here we go again,’ but it ended up in the back of the net so we’ll take it.”
On what Seattle did so well in the first half...
“We controlled the tempo. There were a couple of times we got in behind Jordan and making runs in behind and making it in front of their back four and once we did turn it over we did a good job of getting it back well. That’s definitely positives and we could of done that better in the second half for sure. The first half especially was pretty good.”
On whether or not they felt this was a must-win game...
“I mean it’s still in the first half of the year so I wouldn’t say it’s a must-win game. But that being said I think it was important for us to turn momentum in the locker room I think. I think that it’s kind of easy to sulk and stuff and you think things keep going against you and not putting our chances away so I think for us to not play perfectly and take away three points and go into that Portland game next week, it’s a big mental lift for us.”