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Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers: Highlights, stats and quotes

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“It’s a group that’s full of pride. I reminded them again that they are the champions still. Nobody’s taken that away from us yet, and I think that mentality showed through.” -Brian Schmetzer

The Seattle Sounders needed a win against the Portland Timbers at home for many reasons. They just needed the points, they needed to win at home, they needed to go on a little run to gain confidence and stay within striking distance of the top of the conference, and the list goes on. Fortunately for Seattle, they put in a strong effort to minimize Portland’s dangerous chances and created many of their own.

Cristian Roldan’s early goal allowed him and his team to play with a lead and put them in a better position to control the tempo of the match. Whenever Portland did make a push, Seattle’s defense was excellent. The Sounders will look to bring the same energy on the road Wednesday against Columbus Crew SC.

Seattle are now 4-5-4, -2 GD, giving them 16 points through 13 games, or 1.23 PPG. They are 8th in the Western Conference.


MATCH SUMMARY

Seattle Sounders FC 1 - Portland Timbers 0

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Venue: CenturyLink Field

Referee: Mark Geiger

Assistants: Jeremy Hanson, Mike Rottersman

Fourth Official: Allen Chapman

Attendance: 47,362

Weather: Sunny and 77 degrees

SCORING SUMMARY

SEA - Cristian Roldan (Chad Marshall, Nico Lodeiro) 4'

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

SEA - Stefan Frei (caution) 41'

POR - Amobi Okugo (caution) 60'

LINEUPS & STATS

Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Brad Evans, Chad Marshall, Gustav Svensson, Joevin Jones; Osvaldo Alonso - captain, Cristian Roldan, Harry Shipp (Jordy Delem 80'), Nicolás Lodeiro, Clint Dempsey; Jordan Morris (Oniel Fisher 90'+1')

Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Alvaro Fernandez, Aaron Kovar, Seyi Adekoya, Tony Alfaro

Total shots: 8 (Marshall, 3)

Shots on goal: 3 (Three players, 1)

Fouls: 11 (Dempsey, 3)

Offside: 1 (Morris, 1)

Corner-kicks: 5 (Lodeiro, 5)

Saves: 3 (Frei, 3)

Portland Timbers - Jake Gleeson; Zarek Valentin, Roy Miller (Jack Barmby 83'), Liam Ridgewell - captain, Vytas, David Guzman (Amobi Okugo HT), Lawrence Olum, Sebastián Blanco (Dairon Asprilla 72'), Diego Valeri, Darlington Nagbe; Fanendo Adi

Substitutes not used: Kendall McIntosh, Alvas Powell, Victor Arboleda, Marco Farfan

Total shots: 19 (Adi, 5)

Shots on goal: 3 (Adi, 2)

Fouls: 15 (Guzmán, 3)

Offside: 4 (Adi, 2)

Corner-kicks: 5 (Guzmán, 4)

Saves: 2 (Gleeson, 2)


POST-MATCH QUOTES:

SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH BRIAN SCHMETZER

Opening statement:

“I just want to go on record publicly and thank the ECS tifo people for that wonderful photo of me prior to the match. It meant a lot. It was good, so thanks. Thank you.”

On his emotions when he saw the tifo:

“It’s a little emotional now when I think about it. At the moment, I was still kind of in game mode. I was surprised, I was taken aback. When you reflect – when you give yourself time to reflect – maybe you get a few more emotions. And certainly the emotions of a big win come out. I’m proud of the effort that the guys put in to help this day be a success, because I know that the tifo people did a good job. They worked hard, long hours. The fans that were in the building made it special, as well. What maybe gave me more chills was in the walk-out when the fans were clapping and [doing the] ‘boom-boom-clap’, and then the players are coming and then the applause. We completely drowned out the opponent’s fan section and it was really good.”

On the Sounders’ defensive performance:

“Well I said before the game a couple of things, and that it was going to require a team effort. And I think what you saw out there was a team effort. I think Brad [Evans] gutted his way through a long, hot afternoon. Gustav [Svensson] and Chad [Marshall] were again very solid. Joevin [Jones] was good when they brought [Dairon] Asprilla on, he didn’t let him go past him. The midfield, the guys in the middle of the park, did well. Another stellar performance for Cristian Roldan and another captain’s performance from Ozzie [Alonso]. And Harry [Shipp] being a creative, attacking type of player did his share, as well. You couple that with Nico [Lodeiro]’s energy. And I don’t know if you guys caught it, but at the beginning of the game [Clint] Dempsey – until we could figure them out – he had to do a lot of defending down that left-channel area, as well. So top-to-bottom today I think it was a good team defensive effort.”

On whether playing in front of a big crowd makes it easier for him to motivate the team:

“I think that’s all on them. I’ve said it before, it’s a group that’s full of pride. I reminded them again that they are the champions still. Nobody’s taken that away from us yet, and I think that mentality showed through. I wasn’t quite sure that early in the year in the year we were playing good and I was up here talking about how good we played. And I could look at stats and say we played really well, but we never got points and we never got results. We might not have played our prettiest soccer the last couple of games, but they’ve figured out ways to win. And part of that was sacrificing their bodies to block shots and do what they needed to do.”

On the what stood out from the performance of Roldan:

“His overall effort, and work rate, and thinking and his tactical acumen. We like to push up the field on the left-hand side. Clint likes that little left-hand pocket. Cristian had to deal with [Diego] Valeri and [David] Guzman in the first half and a bunch of midfielders. But he was also able to cover the left-back position as needed when Joevin and Deuce were in there. He had a massive performance.”

SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER OSVALDO ALONSO

On shutting out Portland:

“When you shut out a big team like Portland, especially here in front of our fans, it’s good. Our main goal today was to get the three points, doesn’t matter how and we did it. We played good defensively and scored a goal that gave us three points.”

On not caring about the win looking pretty:

“No, we don’t care. Sometimes we play well and we don’t get a result. Today wasn’t the best game but we got the result and we walk always with the three points.”

On if the officiating was an issue:

“No, it was okay. The referee did well today. We do our part, play good soccer and winning the game is most important for us.”

On being the champs being an obstacle:

“Yeah, now they look at us like a champion. They come here and say we’re playing the champions so we have to prepare to battle. Every time any team comes here they want to win and we have to give everything we have to win the game.”

SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER CRISTIAN ROLDAN

On the goal:

“Just trying to do my job and [be in the] right place at the right time. It was a great cross and a great header by Chad [Marshall] I think it might of gone if I wasn’t there. Just redirected it and it just happened to go in the back of the the net – very fortunate.”

On the week of practice before this match:

“We practiced that play in particular quite a bit. It was something that we felt that we had an advantage at, and obviously Chad is a monster in the air and a competitor and he’ll do anything for the team and he put his body on the line and I was just able to follow up with what the coaches wanted me to do. And that’s all credit to them.”

On the importance of a shutout:

“It’s good for our morale. I don’t think it was the cleanest two games for us but we somehow managed to find a way to get clean sheets and that’s why we had so much success last year and we just found ways to win and it’s a matter of doing that every gameday and whether we are on the road or at home, if you keep a clean sheet you are always gonna be in the running.”

SOUNDERS GOALKEEPER STEFAN FREI

On the effort of the defensive side:

“Great. Two games in a row we play well defensively and I think it does good for our confidence. We’ve struggled at times, you know, responding to how the games are shaping up and our chances and maybe almost falling into the same traps again or going down a goal and then kind of surrendering if you will. But now knowing that we have two games where we only needed one goal and we kept it really clean in the back, I think that’s really good for us going forward. I have to say it’s a total team effort and all 11 guys played well defensively and it’s a well-deserved shutout.”

On what Brad Evans brings to the team:

“He’s a very smart player, which is why he’s been able to slide into numerous positions. It’s good to have someone like him on one of the outsides. With wingbacks these days it’s tricky because you’re asked to go join the offense but you’re still a defender. You have to pick your spots very wisely and I think he does that. He goes forward when he knows he can go forward and puts in dangerous balls and puts people in dangerous positions. We know we are secure on the right side. Very good to see him play two full games now without picking up a knock. That’s a really good sign.”

On adapting to playing as the defending champs:

“I think we just were confident with our possession and now I think we are coming to grips with how teams are trying to play games against us, which is a possession based game. It’s taking care of being sharp defensively when we are acutally on offense. The game is turning into a game of transitions and we have to be much better switching from offense to defense and I feel like that’s what we showed in the last two games and it’s going to be a huge key for us moving forward.”

PORTLAND TIMBERS HEAD COACH CALEB PORTER

On the match:

“We’re obviously very disappointed not to get anything out of the game. We leave empty handed. The reason we’re disappointed is because we played extremely well. It’s undeniable to me that we were the better team on the day. You look at every category – in terms of chances, in terms of possession, in terms of everything… every metric you want to measure, we were the better team. That’s what makes it disappointing. I thought the guys deserved to get something out of the game and it didn’t happen. When you leave a game and play so well and leave empty handed, it’s tough to swallow. It also leaves you with a lot of optimism and hope moving forward because the play was good. It was the best we’ve played against this team here. That doesn’t make anybody feel any better. Moving into the next game, it means not a lot needs to change. We just need to keep playing that way and make a few more plays. Obviously we didn’t make a play – everybody is marked up on the set piece four minutes in and we just don’t make a couple plays there. That was the difference on the day.”

On what changed between the first and second half:

“It’s hot and they’re going to make a better push. They didn’t play well in the first half so their coach is going to ramp it up, but I thought we got a little bit tired. But let’s look at the whole game and let’s talk about the first half and how dominant it was because, ultimately, we had three times as many shots. We dominated the game, dominated the possession, dominated the chances so it doesn’t mean we feel better losing points. From a coaching standpoint, it means we don’t have to change a lot. We just need to keep playing the same way. If we do, I’m confident we’ll get points. Between all of us in the room – the players, the coaches – we’re the ones that need to have the right perspective.”

On how he felt the changes he made in the lineup worked out:

“We got good performances across the board from everybody. Even Amobi Okugo had to go in because [David] Guzman takes a concussion due to an elbow to the head. Happened twice on the day. We’re just not getting some of those breaks right now. It will turn. That’s the way it rolls a little bit in the league. We’re not getting some of these breaks – maybe it’s a PK, maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s a red card, but the same play for us we’re getting a call and we’re not getting it the other way. We can’t lose energy. We can’t worry about that stuff. We have to keep focusing on the positive stuff and play. If we do that, we know that we’re going to get points out of it.”

On what needs to happen or change to get back on track:

“Just being together. This is the first game that we’ve had to front four together 11-v-11. It’s that simple. We lost a little bit of continuity and rhythm and contact time on the training ground. But listen, it’s not always whether or not the ball goes in the back of the net – it’s the chances. You’ve got to look at the chances. The chances are there so in terms of correcting that, I don’t want to correct anything, other than obviously the final touch and make a play on a corner kick.”

On what exactly happened with David Guzman and his status:

“He took an elbow to the head. It happened twice on the day. Like I said, those are some of the breaks we’re not getting. If we do get them, then we probably get points out of the game. Just like we lose points last game because the call gets made the other way. You can’t dwell on it. You can’t complain about it. I’m not making excuses about it. I just hope this starts to even out a little bit. If we’re getting the wrong end of these calls one week and not getting the right end the other week, then for me, it’s not a fair shake.”

PORTLAND TIMBERS GOALKEEPER JAKE GLEESON

On the feeling in the locker room after a loss:

“Yeah, obviously it is rough to play a game like that and come away not getting the result. I definitely thought we were the better team on the day. At the end of the day it is about three points, and putting the ball in the back of the net and keeping the ball out of ours. Unfortunately, we didn't make the play on one instance and you know they capitalized on it and we walk away with zero points.

On refocusing after conceding an early goal:

“Yeah it’s your job. It is tough. Especially because I felt we started so well. It was definitely against the run of play. But knowing if we just continue what we were doing, that eventually we would get an opportunity to score. Unfortunately, we didn't get a ball in the back of the net, but you know the lads did such a good job of creating chances and playing well.”

On if results will come in upcoming games with the current play:

“Definitely. I think if we continue the trend we are on. If we take the positives out of this game and move forward then we will move and we will get results. There is no doubt about that. It is just those little breaks you need, those little instances that don't fall your way and unfortunately we were the team that needed to take them today. If we keep focused and keep doing what we are doing we will be in a good position.”

PORTLAND TIMBERS DEFENDER LIAM RIDGEWELL

On the feel out there for today’s derby game:

“Yeah, obviously it was a good game to be part of. You know, disappointing, obviously the first five minutes concede a goal, but obviously after that I felt we dominated the game and I felt we should have been able to come back into it. You know that is what these games are about and you keep going and hopefully get a bit of a break.”

On moving forward after an early goal conceded:

“We started so well. It is just a corner obviously, flick on and then it is just a flick into the goal. So, disappointed to concede from a corner obviously, but we were still confident in the game and creating chances and playing so well. That is probably the hardest thing about it, to play so well, certainly in the first half and to come out with nothing.”

On your thoughts on playing so well but not getting the result:

“That’s football sometimes… you have to go with the highs and not get too low and stand on an even-keel. We will bounce back. We have got a big game on Friday back at home and you know two games at home now so games we have got to pick points up.”

On what positives you can take from today into next week's games:

“I think there were a lot of big positives today. I think we played very well. We passed the ball very well. We got back to keeping the ball. We created a lot of chances and it just didn’t fall for us. Hopefully at home, we will have that crowd behind us where we can hear them, not so far up in the sky. I think when those chances go in we have gotten to win games. So, a lot of positives and now back to home.”

REFEREE MARK GEIGER (VIA POOL REPORTER)

Why didn’t you issue a penalty for the Portland Timbers when a shot from Darlington Nagbe struck the outstretched arm of Chad Marshall in the 54th minute?

“When considering the speed, distance and the fact that Marshall’s arm did not go to the ball, this was not considered a handball offense.”