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Seattle Sounders vs. San Jose Earthquakes: Highlights, Stats and quotes

“The psychological advantage comes not only from our place in the standings, but also the way we’re winning games. Winning always helps your confidence.” -Brian Schmetzer


Seattle Sounders FC 3 - San Jose Earthquakes 0

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Venue: CenturyLink Field

Referee: Alan Kelly

Assistants: Jeremy Hanson, Jeffrey Hosking

Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal

Attendance: 43,528

Weather: 72 degrees and sunny


SEA - Cristian Roldan (Gustav Svensson, Kelvin Leerdam) 54'

SEA - Cristian Roldan 56'

SEA - Kelvin Leerdam (Joevin Jones) 65'


SJ - Jackson Yueill (caution) 57'

SJ - Anibal Godoy (caution) 60'

SJ - Andres Imperiale (caution) 87'


Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam (Harry Shipp 84'), Román Torres - captain, Chad Marshall, Nouhou; Gustav Svensson, Jordy Delem, Brad Evans (Aaron Kovar 71'), Cristian Roldan, Joevin Jones (Tony Alfaro 86'); Will Bruin

Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Seyi Adekoya, Henry Wingo, Zach Mathers

Total shots: 19 (Roldan, 5)

Shots on goal: 5 (Roldan, 3)

Fouls: 5 (Five players, 1)

Offside: 0

Corner-kicks: 8 (Jones, 6)

Saves: 3 (Frei, 3)

San Jose Earthquakes - David Bingham; Andres Imperiale, Florian Jungwirth, Victor Bernardez; Nick Lima, Jackson Yueill, Jahmir Hyka (Quincy Amarikwa 80'), Anibal Godoy, Tommy Thompson (Shea Salinas 71'); Chris Wondolowski - captain, Danny Hoesen (Vako 62')

Substitutes not used: Andrew Tarbell, Cordell Cato, Fatai Alashe, Simon Dawkins

Total shots: 12 (Hoesen, 3)

Shots on goal: 3 (Three players, 1)

Fouls: 15 (Godoy, 4)

Offside: 2 (Wondolowski/Hoesen, 1)

Corner-kicks: 4 (Hyka, 4)

Saves: 2 (Bingham, 3)



On the confidence of Cristian Roldan:

“You can tell when he came back from national team camp that that kind of energized him a little bit. He senses that he can play at that level, we’ve always believed that he could play at that level, and now he’s actually finding that out for himself. That little bit of self-reflection and confidence, and knowing that he can play at that level, I think certainly helped him down here. Putting him in an advanced position – I know that there’s a lot of pundits out there that think Cristian is more of a [number] six or an eight – I hate to define people by one number. What I feel in Cristian is he can do multiple things, and we’ve almost hindered his notoriety because I’ve used him at right back, and I use him as a 4-2-3-1 and he has to cover when Joevin [Jones] goes up the field. He does so many things just for the good of the team, and he sacrifices parts of his game for the good of the team, and on nights like tonight and the other night, when he’s pushed up a line, he’s certainly capable of providing some statistical numbers to back up his all-around good play.”

On whether playing at a higher level with the USMNT helped him at MLS level:

“I’ll answer the question this way: so today he played against Anibal Godoy, who we all saw on TV [and] has had a terrific career with Panama, and is a very, very high-level international player. There were some learning moments for Cristian in that first half – I thought Godoy was good for them, as always – and Cristian as the game progressed was able to think-through, out-work and get the better of Godoy in the second half. And so I think that is his taste of the international game by training with the national team, and also playing against a guy like Godoy tonight, I think that helps him. I think that helps him a lot.”

On whether the team gets a boost from going above .500:

“Yeah, I think our crack PR staff has an interesting stat that this is the first time we’ve been above .500 since [Decision Day] 2015. But yes, the game the other night, we talked about their character, the ability to come back under adverse situations, [it was] a little bit similar of storyline tonight because in the first half I thought San Jose was very good. They out-possessed us, they had some good moments. I thought we were obviously dangerous on the counter, but that first half they gave us some challenges, and we were able to overcome those challenges and come up with the goals we needed to win the game. So the psychological advantage comes not only from our place in the standings, but also the way we’re winning games. Winning always helps your confidence.”

On the defensive midfield partnership of Gustav Svensson and Jordy Delem:

“Gustav has been great all year, and I want to go on record that his goal the other night was a big part of helping us win. So there’s another statistical thing he can check off – that was his first goal for the Sounders. And Jordy Delem has shown his versatility at right back, he played center back for Martinique in some of those [CONCACAF Gold Cup] games, center back at S2, now he sits in the midfield and does a good job of breaking up plays. So I was very pleased with their performance tonight, both of them.”

On what Kelvin Leerdam’s long throw brings to the team:

“Well a long throw is always a funny one because some purists might say it’s winning ugly, or it’s not the most attractive style of soccer, but it can be effective. But on that goal, if you really watch the replay, it’s just Cristian’s reaction. So he’s reading the game, the flight of the ball, and it gets flicked-on and he’s already on the move. And sometimes – yeah, it’s a chance of Cristian meeting the ball – but all credit to the kid.”

On the versatility of Joevin Jones in midfield:

“He started off playing very well for us at left back. Nouhou has come up and given us a good presence there, so in these games we’re able to push Joevin up a line. I think that suits a lot of his tendencies and traits. He’s got nine assists, one away from the league lead, and he’s consistently given us good speed, good technical ability. Obviously he’s a good crosser of the ball, so he becomes an effective weapon for us [when] pushed up a line.”


On scoring his first goal and his reaction to it:

“Great great, it took me a little bit longer [with] my older club. But it was great.”

On his defensive mindset:

“I think it’s important for us as defenders to keep it zero. When you’re three-nil up, it’s also a plus for the goalkeeping, they love it. It’s good to keep as many games zero [as possible]. I think it’s important for them and the guys who are coming from a defensive mindset.”

On his feeling fitness wise:

“It’s still tough for me because I didn’t play for like 90 days and now I’ve played two games in four or five days and after 90 days without a game it’s tough.”

On the long throw in:

“I think you can force a little bit with that. If you can create chances then you have the set pieces. I see them as a set piece and it was good. I think that if you make good use of it, I can’t complain.”


On scoring three goals and the team’s current form:

“The team is clicking at the moment. We’ve scored seven goals in two games without our big-time guys so you know anytime you can do that it’s definitely a positive and for me, especially me personally. Obviously the international level is a little bit faster…you have to take a better first touch and you know maybe in the first part of the season I wasn’t able to play as a number ten because the speed of play is so much faster. You’re always on the hot seat. But now that it’s slowed down a little bit I can come up and play my part.”

On the last time Roldan has had two goals in a game:

“College. San Diego State. Haven’t had three goals in a while. Unfortunately, I was little bit selfish on that last one.”

On seeing the replay of his missed goal:

“No [I haven’t seen it.] I don’t want to see it. Joevin was shaking his head at me I’ve already apologized to him like six times on the field and off the field so I hope he’s not too mad at me tomorrow.”


On the clean sheet at home:

“Really important obviously. Have to win your in-conference games and [we’ve] been struggling earlier in the season, but if you want to turn the ship it starts at home. Hopefully the confidence we’ve gained we can take it on the road and get something in LA.”

On Gustav Svensson’s play:

“He’s a really good player, he’s really smart. He can slot into a lot of positions which is good. A good veteran. It’s good to be able to bring a veteran like that on to the squad, someone who understands the game really, really well. Very versatile. It goes a long way for us.”

On the adjustments made in the second half:

“Yeah they dictated a little too much for our liking in the first half, but that’s soccer for you. You have to adjust to what’s happening on the pitch and at halftime we made some good changes and came out really good in the second half. We knew that sometimes we are going to be under pressure. In the first half we were under pressure but we were able to play good defensively and that allowed us to get a couple chances in the second half because we played good defensively in the first half. And those chances were go-ahead goals. Whether you go down a goal or up a goal can make a huge difference. It allowed us to shine offensively in the second half.”


On what changed between the first and second half:

“It’s a game, right? We take chances to go after our goals and we don’t get it. We concede one and then shortly thereafter concede two. And then 10 minutes later off of another set piece…so two set pieces. The second one wasn’t necessarily off of great play, it was just a mistake on our part. I thought we were moving the ball well in the first half and even parts of the second, but we have to be a little more assertive in that final bit.”

On what needs to happen to get better defensively:

“We’re playing to try and get the first goal, that’s for sure. We think defensively we have enough cover back there to withstand the opposition’s attack so when you don’t get the first goal, it makes it tough. [Seattle is] dangerous in transition, coming at us in transition, but I thought we did a decent enough job to slow that down. Like I said, if you look at their goals – two off set pieces and one off of more of a mistake by us.”

On what prevented them from getting that final finishing touch:

“Goals are hard to score. I thought we had some good movement for sure, but again, we’re just missing that final piece, that final play to come off and put one in the back of the net. Obviously it’s the hardest thing to do in the game and we didn’t do any of it tonight.”

On how tough it is to mark a player like Cristian Roldan:

“Good players. It’s a good roster and they work really hard. It’s a good environment so credit to them. Obviously Roldan has been getting in good form and rolling with it, that’s for sure. A number of their guys had good games tonight, but like I said, especially in the first half I thought we moved the ball well, stopped some of their transition-type stuff. Just couldn’t come up with the final goal in the end.”


On the game tonight:

“It is frustrating. You never want to lose a game. Especially three-zero. I think we ended the first half well with a lot of possession and a few chances. That just didn't seem to carry over. In the first part of the second half they jumped on us early. Got three goals pretty quickly and then sat back. It was a frustrating 15 minutes there at the start of the second half.”

On the message from the coaches going into the second half:

“Overall they were pretty encouraging. We were keeping the ball well at the end of the first half. Playing pretty well. Just be careful on set pieces where they got us a few times. That was about it.”

On what kept the team from breaking through in the second half:

“I don’t know exactly. I think we ended the first half playing well, we had a lot of possession there. We had a few chances. Our shots, we just couldn't seem to keep down. We did have quite a few shots there. I think if we get a few more of those on target, get around it. If we come into half one-zero, I think it is a completely different game.”


On the game tonight:

“We are disappointed with the result. I thought we were getting a little bit of momentum towards the end of the first half. It continued into the second half. Once we conceited one, I think we got our heads down a little bit. The good news is we have two home games coming up, so I’m looking forward to bouncing back at Avaya.”

On coming back home and re-grouping:

“I think we have performed well at home. We have done great in our last couple games besides the New York Red Bull game. We can’t let two or three bad results let us down. I think there is a lot of talent in this locker room. I think we are going to be fine once we get back to playing at home.”

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