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Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake: Highlights, stats and quotes

“Better opportunities will come if you keep possession of the ball and move the ball around. We’re just searching for that one guy to break us out of the slump.” -Brian Schmetzer

In a chippy, rain-soaked match at Rio Tinto Stadium, the Seattle Sounders again failed to put the ball in the back of the net. This time, though, the back line didn’t hold strong, giving up two second-half goals in quick succession as Real Salt Lake took advantage of the Sounders’ aggressive push upfield to attempt to generate chances. RSL then packed it in to cement their 2-0 victory, and the Sounders’ record unbeaten streak ended unceremoniously.

Seattle are now 11-8-11, with a +5 GD. They have 44 points through 30 played, or 1.47 PPG, which is currently good for fourth in the Western Conference.

Match Recap

Seattle Sounders FC 0 - Real Salt Lake 2

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium

Referee: Sorin Stoica

Assistants: Jeff Muschik, Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho

Fourth Official: Drew Fischer

VAR: Jon Freemon

Attendance: 19,786

Weather: Clear


RSL - Jefferson Savarino (Albert Rusnak) 52'

RSL - Luke Mulholland (Jefferson Savarino, Joao Plata) 66'


SEA - Kelvin Leerdam (caution) 57'

SEA - Lamar Neagle (caution) 90'+6'


Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam, Román Torres, Gustav Svensson, Nouhou (Joevin Jones 61'); Osvaldo Alonso - captain; Cristian Roldan, Nicolás Lodeiro (Chad Marshall 86'), Clint Dempsey, Victor Rodriguez; Will Bruin (Lamar Neagle 72')

Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Tony Alfaro, Aaron Kovar, Jordy Delem

Total shots: 11 (Dempsey, 3)

Shots on goal: 4 (Dempsey, 2)

Fouls: 11 (Leerdam, 3)

Offside: 4 (Four players, 1)

Corner-kicks: 2 (Lodeiro/Rodriguez, 1)

Saves: 3 (Frei, 3)

Real Salt Lake - Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Marcelo Silva, Justen Glad, Danilo Acosta; Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland, Joao Plata (David Horst 87'), Albert Rusnak, Jefferson Savarino (Sebastian Saucedo 90'+4'); Brooks Lennon (Sunny 78')

Substitutes not used: Matt Van Oekel, Chris Wingert, Jose Hernandez, Yura Movsisyan

Total shots: 13 (Rusnak, 6)

Shots on goal: 5 (Rusnak, 3)

Fouls: 12 (Rusnak, 3)

Offside: 1 (Savarino, 1)

Corner-kicks: 1 (Rusnak, 1)

Saves: 4 (Rimando, 1)

Post-Match Quotes

Seattle Sounders Head Coach Brian Schmetzer

On the team’s performance:

“I think they caught us on two balls that we gave away on the wrong parts of the field and they made us pay. That’s a team that was hungry, that’s a team that took its chances and came up with 2 goals. As far our team is concerned, we still need to work on playing better. But this is a hard place to win. Good that we had a little scrap at the end but that doesn’t erase the sting of losing.”

On the Vancouver game:

“We need to just finish chances. We had a chance early in the game that goes 1 nothing in our favor. Then after that we didn’t create enough consistent pressure on them. We didn’t play with enough patience at the attacking end of the field. Better opportunities will come if you keep possession of the ball and move the ball around. We’re just searching for that one guy to break us out of the slump.”

On the rest of the season:

“We have a home game and then we go on the road to Philly but with 2 at home, so we’re still in the thick of it.”

On having a rival:

“That will be a tough game. It’s a game that comes fairly fast after this one. The guys are frustrated in there so it’ll be good to get them back on the field.”

On the last ten minutes:

“I guess ugly then. You’re down 2-nothing away from home. Guys have fought for 80, 85 minutes. You know I had Chad up in the sideline for 5 minutes which gave them a chance to get Horst into the game and we just wanted to try to generate something and it wasn’t as effective for us. I think the team needs that one little spark to get them back on track. So that’s what we will search for on Wednesday.”

Seattle Sounders Goalkeeper Stefan Frei

On the team tonight:

“The effort was there. Difficult conditions for both teams, but we weren’t as sharp as I know we can be. We turned the ball over sloppily. Possession, and we gave away some silly balls in the back and got punished. Every streak comes to an end and the ending could be a new beginning. We have a quick turn around now, with Wednesday a big game at home and hopefully we can start another streak.”

On the RSL attack:

“They were efficient with their chances. They weren’t shy to shoot for distance. They nearly missed a few goals at times. When they had their big chances where they counter on us they punished us. Something we have to look at in tape and get better at but a quick turn around like I said so there’s not much time to really harken this game. I think that the good thing was that we stuck together as a team and we busted our butts. It just wasn’t enough today.”

Seattle Sounders Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso

Real Salt Lake Head Coach Mike Petke

On the tempo:

“We talk a lot about we are at home, we're at home, and we're a very dangerous team at home. Altitude plays a part for every team, so we don't want teams to come in and take it to us in the first 20 minutes because they know they are going to tire out. We want to take it at them and I thought yes we did at times but I think I said I thought it wasn't our best 45 minutes. I even thought after Albert hit the cross bar early on I thought Seattle had control for a balance of that half. But overall if you put both halves together I thought we were the better team on the night.”

On starting Brooks Lennon:

“Luis is out right now. Yura has done a good job for us coming off of the bench for us. And I just looked at it as Torres and Swenson as center backs, Brooks with his pace, Brooks with his youthfulness and energy, I thought that could occupy them. And we just made a decision and we decided to go with Brooks.”

On Rimando:

“Nick is incredible, I don't know what the right word is. Nick is ageless, does that make sense? If anyone would walk in not knowing anything about Nick Rimando or Real Salt Lake and say he is 38 years old, he just comes up big when it is needed. Just the one that sticks out is that last save where he just, the two saves at the end the one time when he got his hand up against Dempsey the other one was the shot low to his left that he saved off the post. You need key players in every position but someone like a goalie is an isolated position who is the last man out there just one incredible save a game can win you the game for you and can spark something in the team and he had 2,3,4 tonight as usual. Nick could play until he is 45 perhaps if he keeps going like this. Age is just a number, he is incredible.”

On Justen Glad’s play:

“I have said it before Justen plays beyond his years and that is the one big credit. There is so many tangibles I could go on about Justen, about his touch on the ball, his pace, his athleticism but he reads the game far, far better then any player his age, I think, in this league and that is just one example even when there is a miscue in the back like there was there and they send someone through. His positioning, and being able to track back, and get back there and get that ball away. I have said all along the sky is the limit for him if he keeps continuing to work hard and improve.”

On the mentality:

“This is 3 points tonight that we needed and wanted and thought that we could get. Before the first goal went in, if we had gotten into the 75th-80th minute we were going three in the back that early. We were really pushing this and our mentality right now is that we need to get 3 points every game. Our mentality going into the LA game might change a little bit tactically because we are on the road, but our mindset stays the same. We are not going to sit back, we have to go. There will be times where we have to sit back but we have to go, go, go. And we have the players that can do that with the pace, explosiveness, the technique. And we have to get 3 points out of LA, we have to get 3 points out of Colorado and we have to get 3 points out of Kansas City. That is the way we look at it.”

On a perfect game:

“I don't think tonight was the perfect game or close to the perfect game. I can think of 5 off the top of my head, some that we honestly haven't won, that I thought we played better. But the one thing I can't take away from this team is the mindset shift that they have had over the last couple of months. Perhaps before I took over this is a game we would have lost but the mentality has shifted dramatically and that is all the players. You sprinkle the phenomenal soccer that you played at times tonight, I am very pleased with the performance, I am very pleased with the 3 points but I don't think this was our perfect game.”

RSL Midfielder Luke Mulholland

On his goal:

“I blacked out. I just saw it on the replay now. No, to be honest it’s been awhile since I’ve hit the back of the net so I forgot how to celebrate and then just face planted. I didn’t see anybody get into the mixer so I knew I just had to make that run--whether it was to take defenders away or if Savarino was going to play me and, you know, fortunately I was able to keep it under the crossbar.”

On getting the three points:

“Yeah, yeah we were aware of that. But I can say right now the last dozen games we’ve turned the corner on the season and we’re slowly but surely turning Rio Tinto into a fortress so obviously now we’ve got three games left and with the games today played before us, so obviously we were aware of the results going into the game but really we just got to concentrate on ourselves. I think if we can take care of business, especially at home and then see what we can do on the road we’ll leave ourselves with a good opportunity to get into the playoffs, which will take, considering the first five games of the season--we had a four game losing streak as well--so I think we keep grinding slowly but surely and turn Rio Tinto back into a fortress.”

On the first half:

“Yeah, that’s how we treated the game before the first kick. It’s a playoff push. For us every game is a must win for us, that’s the attitude we’re using to approach the games. Like I said, the first half didn’t necessarily go our way but we were aware of the fact that it was going to take 90 minutes to beat a team like Seattle. What was it 13 games they hadn’t lost? So we knew that going into the game it was going to be tough. They’ve got players like Dempsey and Lodeiro who can do wonders with the ball so we had to keep an eye on those guys and had to be disciplined going forward. I think in the first half we were a bit sloppy with the ball at times so we tightened up the screw for the second half and obviously a little bit of class from Savarino to give us a lead and then we just grinded it out from there.”

On the team’s form:

“Us against the world attitude. Small market team. Don’t expect any favors from anybody. I think the unity in the team right now is really strong and everyone’s fighting for each other so I think that’s a compliment to the squad and to the coaching staff.”

On the camaraderie of the team:

“I think we’ve definitely turn the corner but don’t want to jinx anything. Right now we’ll enjoy tonight and then we’ll turn our focus to LA next week before the international break so right now we’ll enjoy tonight and then take care of business next week--give ourselves a good opportunity to get into the playoffs and I feel like if we make the playoffs, no one will want to play us.”

RSL Midfielder Albert Rusnák

On the first goal:

“He [Savarino] played a nice ball into me and my first though was to shoot. But I heard him screaming Albert, Albert so I kind of played it half blindly. I was aiming to play through the defender’s legs but I was hoping he’d get there before the defender. I’m very glad and that was a very important first goal.”

On the team’s chemistry:

“I think the more time we spend on the field with each other, the better we understand each other. You can see that on the field the last few months. I guess all the attacking players are all similar and we’re all on the same page so it’s always easier when you’ve got similar kind of players in a thinking way and players that want to play forward. Of course you’re going to lose the ball every now and again but I mean if you’re going to create something you’ve got to lose the ball sometimes.”

On other results going the team’s way:

“I said it last game, if we want to make it to the playoffs we have to win the rest of our games. So far we’ve done that and it’s a huge win and it’s even better when other team’s drop points and it’s a relief. I think we’ll still try and look at ourselves and try to win the next game. One game at a time and look where we stand after the first 45 minutes.”

On the first half:

“We were sloppy but that is due to having more pressure on us than Seattle did. We need the points more than they do. We tried to create chances from minute one and try to score an early goal. It didn’t happen in the first half and they were hitting us with a counter attack. If we play for a win from minute one, this is going to happen. I’m just glad we turned it around in the second half.”

On the halftime talk:

“We just said we have to be better on the ball, more quality. Not to turn the ball over in the middle because they have some quick players to counter attack and that’s one of their strengths. Overall they’re a great team. You can’t give the ball away easily and that’s what we did in the first half but most of that is because we tried to score the goal and create and we were eager to get the first goal.”

On his shot early on:

“As soon as I hit it I had a good feeling it was going on the frame. But in the end it bounced off the crossbar for a goal kick. Unlucky. Even my shot proves we went for a win from minute one. We were trying to press them and quickly attack. Not so much possession as we usually have, we just tried to go directly to goal. That cost us in the first half.”

On the team’s form:

“The good play got us into form. LA Galaxy, Portland, they were great performances from us in every aspect of the game. I wouldn’t focus on the form, just trying to get the three points.”

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