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Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers, Open Cup: Stats and quotes

“It’s a lot of hard work by Ezra [Hendrickson], a lot of hard work by the Academy guys, and that’s pushing up to our level. That’s what I like to see. I thought all of the S2 players played extremely well.” -Brian Schmetzer

Jane Gershovich / Sounders FC

You can rewatch the Seattle Sounders’ victory over the Portland Timbers to advance to the round of 16 of the US Open Cup on YouTube.


Seattle Sounders FC 2 - Portland Timbers 1

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Venue: Starfire Stadium

Referee: Allen Chapman

Assistants: Jeremy Hanson, Ian Anderson

Fourth Official: Chipalo Street

Attendance: 3,937

Weather: 60 degrees and cloudy


SEA - Aaron Kovar (Nouhou Tolo) 3'

POR - Augustine Williams (Rennico Clarke, Ben Zemanski) 38'

SEA - Zach Mathers (penalty) 54'


POR - Harold Hanson (caution) 69'


Seattle Sounders FC - Tyler Miller - captain; Jordy Delem, Rodrigue Ele, Sam Rogers, Nouhou Tolo; Ray Saari, Francisco Narbon, Aaron Kovar (Henry Wingo 80'), Zach Mathers (Alvaro Fernandez 72'), Irvin Parra; Felix Chenkam (Seyi Adekoya 74')

Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Brian Nana-Sinkam, Cristian Roldan, Will Bruin

Total shots: 10 (Kovar, 3)

Shots on goal: 4 (Kovar, 2)

Fouls: 14 (Parra, 3)

Offside: 0

Corner-kicks: 4 (Kovar/Mathers, 2)

Saves: 2 (Miller, 2)

Portland Timbers - Jeff Attinella; Harold Hanson, Rennico Clarke, Lamar Batista, Marco Farfan; Omar Mohamed (Russell Cicerone 59'), Andrew Lewis, Ben Zemanski - captain, Victor Arboleda; Augstine Williams, Jeremy Ebobisse (Villyan Bijev 71')

Substitutes not used: Kendall McIntosh, Michael Amick, Max Ornstil, Tomas Granitto, Terrell Lowe

Total shots: 11 (Williams, 4)

Shots on goal: 3 (Williams, 2)

Fouls: 20 (Hanson, 6)

Offside: 3 (Williams, 2)

Corner-kicks: 2 (Zemanski, 2)

Saves: 2 (Attinella, 2)


On the start of the match:

“I was happy with the start. 1-0, but I was also happy with the quality of the goal. It was a pretty good goal. That ball came across with some speed and Aaron [Kovar] came in at the back post, it was a pretty well-crafted goal. That put a smile on my face.”

On Kovar’s performance:

“He did well. The goal was the highlight reel, right? And some of the other stuff he needs to keep improving, working on. We almost forget that he’s still kind of a young guy. I don’t know how many MLS games he has under his belt, but he still needs a little bit of some of that maturity [and] the thought process. I felt after he scored he puffed his chest out – which is great, you want confident players -- but then he was trying a few flicks and things. He’s got to make sure that he sticks with the game plan, sticks with what got him where he was. We’ll address that, but overall he was very, very good. His set pieces were very good.”

On Nouhou’s performance:

“We had it designed like that [to have Nouhou overlap on the left]. We had Aaron staying wide on the right-hand side almost like a true winger, and then [Jordy] Delem was just there to support. But I wanted Irvin Parra to pinch in closer because he’s more of a center forward than he is a winger, and then that opened up that space for Nouhou. So the game plan was designed almost for Nouhou and his strengths.”

On why the team appeared more cohesive than the Timbers:

“I was happy with the first goal, but then after the first goal the learning curve for that group of players was ‘at 1-0 we should be dictating tempo. It was actually the Timbers that came out and had us pinned in for extended periods of time in that first half, so we discussed that at halftime, working on their mentality. I think they came out [well]. It was a well-deserved penalty, could’ve been a goal anyway if [the referee] had played advantage. I think we played much better in the second half. When we went up 2-1, I think we dictated tempo then.”

On which of the S2 players stood out:

“I think they all played well. To me what it says is that the things we’re trying to do at this club – get the Academy integrated and get S2 integrated with the first team – I think some of those things you’re seeing a little bit of bearing some fruit there. It’s a lot of hard work by Ezra [Hendrickson], a lot of hard work by the Academy guys, and that’s pushing up to our level. That’s what I like to see. I thought all of the S2 players played extremely well.”


On the win and moving on to the round of 16:

“It feels great. I mean, we knew it was going to be a hard game, obviously a rivalry we’re really excited. I think everyone had the energy tonight so we put it out there and I think our team was better tonight and we deserved to win and we are ecstatic and we are great to move on.”

On the atmosphere:

“Much more chaotic tonight. Every game is still a war but this one is special. We had more energy I think we were the better team we put our chances away, whatever it was. You know the penalty with the hand ball it doesn’t matter we put it away and we got it.”

On how the second team stepped up tonight:

“I mean everyone I think Fransisco and Saari had great games tonight they really controlled the middle and picked up a lot of loose balls for us and were an outlet for us. I thought Chenkam did real well for us and yeah I think they did real well for us.”

On who would decide to take the penalty:

“I honestly though that Parra was going to take it because he did an unbelievable job to get the penalty. He got taken down and didn’t take the foul then eventually got the call with the handball, and Schmetzer either pointed at me or raised his eyebrow so I’m like, ‘I’m going to take this.’”


On how his health feels at this point:

“I felt pretty good. It was my first competitive start in a while so it was good to get back on and it’s always good to get on the score sheet.”

On what he saw on the goal:

“I mean it was just a really good ball, it was kinda put on an arc in and I didn’t really know I was there and then I just kind of went in back post and I think it was my first touch of the game. I hadn’t touched the ball before that so that was kind of weird.”

On being in the round of 16:

“It’s good. I mean we got a good, deep group so it’ll be fun to make a run this club has had a lot of success in this tournament. I won it one year and so that was pretty cool, a pretty cool experience so it would be fun to win it again.”


On how this debut ranks in his lifetime moments:

“This is one of my best days ever, it’s a great feeling to play in front of a home crowd like this, a packed stadium, Open Cup, it’s a dream. I mean, it’s happening.”

On what it was like starting for the first team tonight:

“I mean I didn’t think it would happen this quick and I’ve been working hard, pushing myself, signing and then getting this opportunity is just fantastic. Little nervous, I mean it’s a big stage but you just gotta remember to keep calm and I was playing with a bunch of my S2 teammates so it felt like we were just playing together so it was a lot more relaxing.”

On how much his previous experience helped him:

“I mean in the academy, I didn’t really play in front of big crowds. We get a good amount of people out here and it’s a good start to see what it’s like to play in front of a big crowd it was great hearing everyone chanting and hearing my name a couple of times is great. It’s an amazing feeling that I get to have playing on this field and I’m excited.”

On how much school he has left:

“We get out Friday. I have finals Wednesday, Thursday, Friday so just a few more days then I’m done.”


On the game tonight:

“I think we are competitors. I never like losing ever. In saying that we knew what the lineup would put out, that it was more about giving guys a run, giving guys experience, seeing how guys do and putting them in a real game, a real situation. I lot of these guys play in T2 games and it is great for them to learn that the next jump up into a first team game, even though Seattle had a lot of S2 guys as well, that it is a higher level and it requires a little bit more. I thought there were some really positive performance out of guys. I thought specifically out of the T2 guys, Harold Hanson, 17 years old, right back, He looked up for it. Augi [Williams], you know, scored the goal and I thought he grew into the game. He didn't look overwhelmed. I thought Andre Lewis [played well]. I thought out of the guys that our first team guys, there were a few guys that I would have liked to see a little bit more. These are guys that are at the back end of our roster and don't play always. When you put them in a game like this you want to see a little bit more. I think that is great for them to see and feel and understand. It is great for me also to be able to at the end of the game say. You know in this type of game you need a little more. So I look at nothing but positives from the experience of it. Obviously any game we play as a club we are always going to be disappointed when we don't win.”

On giving the first team a rest and not having injuries:

“Well, that was definitely what we were looking to do. Obviously we kept basically the starting eleven back because we have a tough window, we have injuries. We didn't have the luxury of playing a Darren Maddocks who would have normally played in this game because he is a second guy. Chance Myers, Jack Barmby, because these guys are injured. And that means Amobi Okugo, Lawrence Olum become now in the starting lineup. So it is a downward effect. That is why we played mostly the back end of our roster and T2 guys. When we made the decision to do that, it was a decision because we wanted to give guys and experience. We played, I think it was eight guys who were 21 or younger in the game. It is great for people to see you know because everyone sees them 10 minutes, five minutes, 15 minutes. It is great to see them at this level, it is great for us to see them, and it is great for them to get that experience. Now we are fresh going into Colorado with a full eleven that didn't play the match. We didn’t feel like we had the luxury of playing anyone in that eleven because if we get any thinner we are going to have a hard time putting out a lineup out in the next game.”

On focusing now on Colorado:

“Yeah I think again when the committee sent us here our priorities changed. Ultimately, unless you win all five games and win the Cup it doesn't help you to advance. And yet you saw by my body language and by my energy and the guys energy at the end of the game we still wanted to win this game. We just chose to do that and try to get a result with younger guys. But now our focus completely moves into the league and we don't have to manage another round or another coin flip, where we are going to be. With the guys who we have, honestly that is probably a positive. We are really thin right now we don't have a lot of depth and we have an extremely difficult window. Where we are at Colorado, we are at Minnesota, we are back with Seattle and then were at KC. So we can throw everything into the league now and we don't have to compartmentalize and try to manage this extra competition.”

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