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Seattle Sounders vs. Orlando City: Highlights, stats and quotes

“I love the way our team is in the sense that they have a good mindset. At home, on the road, it doesn’t matter. They never quit.” -Brian Schmetzer

Match Data


Seattle Sounders FC 2 - Orlando City SC 1

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Venue: Orlando City Stadium

Referee: Mark Geiger

Assistants: Brian Poeschel, Jose Da Silva

Fourth Official: Rubiel Vazquez

VAR: Chris Penso

Attendance: 22,344

Weather: 82 degrees and clear


SEA - Víctor Rodríguez (Kelvin Leerdam) 3’

SEA - Handwalla Bwana (Víctor Rodríguez) 13’

ORL - Dominic Dwyer (Scott Sutter, Chris Mueller) 57’


SEA - Jordy Delem (caution) 78’

ORL - Carlos Ascues (caution) 90’+2’

SEA - Alex Roldan (caution) 90’+5’


Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam (Waylon Francis 76’), Kim Kee-hee, Chad Marshall, Nouhou; Jordy Delem, Osvaldo Alonso - captain, Cristian Roldan, Víctor Rodríguez, Handwalla Bwana (Alex Roldan 61’); Will Bruin (Jordan McCrary 90’)

Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Tony Alfaro, Raúl Ruidíaz, Henry Wingo

Total shots: 9 (Rodríguez, 3)

Shots on goal: 3 (Rodríguez, 2)

Fouls: 8 (Three players, 2)

Offside: 3 (C. Roldan, 2)

Corner-kicks: 3 (Rodríguez, 3)

Saves: 2 (Frei, 2)

Orlando City SC - Adam Grinwis; Scott Sutter, Shane O’Neill, Lamine Sane, Will Johnson; Carlos Ascues, Oriol Rosell, Cristian Higuita (Josue Colman 58’), Sacha Kljestan, Chris Mueller (Richie Laryea 74’); Dominic Dwyer

Substitutes not used: Joe Bendik, Chris Schuler, Donny Toia, Tony Rocha, Cameron Lindley

Total shots: 15 (Dwyer, 5)

Shots on goal: 3 (Dwyer, 2)

Fouls: 9 (Dwyer, 3)

Offside: 2 (Mueller/Dwyer, 1)

Corner-kicks: 6 (Johnson, 6)

Saves: 1 (Grinwis, 1)

Post-match Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC Head Coach Brian Schmetzer

On clinching a playoff spot with the win

“Congratulations to the Sounder organization for 10 years. That’s a hefty achievement, something we’re all obviously very proud of. I think Ozzie [Alonso], Tom, myself might be the final holdout, you never know, well Adrian I guess you could say that. It was good. The guys are in good spirits, we talked about that before the game. About not backing in, about not waiting for the other games tonight so, a big achievement for the club.”

On the first goal of the night

“It was a great ball by Kelvin [Leerdam], you know, a great touch by Victor [Rodriguez] shows his class and quality again. I mean, obviously starts us off on the right foot.”

On Victor Rodriguez’ recent play

“He was enjoying his football until the last few minutes when he was dead tired and he had to keep running, so you have to give the kid a lot of credit. He is enjoying football but he understands he’s a good pro. I said that, he’s a good pro. He knows what it takes to win games, how to win games, so, I’m very pleased for him.”

On Handwalla Bwana’s performance

“Good. I mean, there were some coachable moments in there but the goal was quality, coming in on his right foot. We need our wide guys to be goal dangerous. I think this is Bwana’s second time this year that he’s scored early in the game and we held on to win. Once now and away in Toronto so the kid’s helped us wrap up six points.”

On the team’s ability to hold on for the win

“We talked at halftime a lot, probably too much, that’s why we were a little bit late coming out. We wanted to clarify, to make sure that the team understood that we’re here to win this game, yes, but also, what can we do to be ready for a deep run in the playoffs? So there were some things said. We’re going to watch the film, their mentality. They gutted the performance out. Some of the soccer we can work on, you know, [Chad] Marshall and those guys they always give me everything that they have. That’s the spirit of this team. So in that sense it was good but we’re still going to try to find tune some stuff.”

On the team’s mentality when scoring first

“That’s part of the mentality but for sure that’s MLS. Most teams that score first -- and I don’t know what the percentages are -- but they give themselves a much, much, much better chance of closing out games. P

On Will Bruin’s performance

“Fighting against two and in the second half three center backs. Tough kid.”

On the last two games

“We’re not going to count until we see what happens tonight. At the end of the day, the only thing we control is those last two games. We control performance in Houston and we’ll try to get them recovered and ready for that. It’ll be a tough match. And then we’ll get ready for the last home game on Decision Day.”

On second-half substitutions

“They were great. All the subs came on and did a really nice job. [Jordan] McCrary there at the end did exactly what he needed to do. Very pleased with all the guys that came on. It was a team effort.”

Seattle Sounders Forward Handwalla Bwana

On his performance tonight

“I thought I played well, I thought coming back from my first start since May, it’s been a hard four months due to injury. Just coming back was a good feeling.”

On the hard work coming back from injury

“It’s tough mentally because I’ve never been out for that long, so it’s been really stressful, really hard, but when you have the First Team guys always helping you, the staff, it’s incredible.”

On the first 15-20 minutes of the match looking easier than the rest of the match

“I think it seemed easy just because our movement was better in the first half. We were moving for each other, so it looked a lot easier because the movement created space to get the ball and we were confident on the ball.”

On Victor Rodriguez’s influence on the offense

“For a young guy to see Victor training, I always pay attention to what he does. After training he’s the last person in the weight room, he’s always working. He’s been incredible, he’s a big part of our team and I try to learn as much as I can from him.”

Seattle Sounders FC Midfielder Cristian Roldan

On tonight’s performance

”Well happy that we came away with a W, you know we put ourselves in a difficult position at times during games and you know, we’re able to dig ourselves out. But in the end, all that matters is we come away with three points and we got to look forward to the Houston game.

On clinching playoff spot and importance in moving on to postseason

“Well I feel a little spoiled just being part of this organization and you know, playing in the playoffs each year. You know it’s a difficult thing to do, this is a quality organization. We’re very proud of what we’re doing and hopefully we can continue this and from what I hear, beat a record next year and make the playoffs. But it’s about this year and hopefully we can make an impact in the playoffs.”

On Victor’s form playing for Seattle

“Well Victor was instrumental for us today in the game. He’s a guy that has a lot of quality going forward, very smart player, picks and chooses his spots offensively and defensively he makes his impact too. But you know, we were missing a couple guys and Victor stepped in and did his job. We’re very happy and fortunate to have him on the team and you know, it’s going to be dangerous if he continues his form going into the playoffs.”

On getting early goals and hanging on

“Yeah, like you said I think we hung on. I think we suffered a little bit and you know maybe that’s part of playing away on the road. At times we would like to dominate the game as much as possible, but it is pretty hard when you’re away from home and the other team is pressing. I think Orlando did an extremely good job in the second half. Credit to those guys but I still think we could’ve done a better job at maintaining that tempo that we had in the first half. But, like I said all that really doesn’t matter, the game would’ve been much easier if we did all those things, but we ended up winning.”

Jordy Delem returning to partner up with Osvaldo Alonso

“Jordy Delem is another fantastic player. Him and Ozzy compliment each other extremely well. You know Jordy broke up a lot of plays today and it’s really hard to do in this. He was able to do so and also be very patient and composed on the ball. You know that’s credit to him.”

Orlando City Head Coach James O’Connor

Opening Statement

“Obviously first half started really poorly. Give away two really poor goals. Second half I felt we came at them a little bit, had a little bit more energy. I thought we started to cause them a few more problems, have more pressure in their half. Obviously got the goal. When we get the goal we’re hopeful that we’re going to go on and get something from the game. We needed to get more numbers in the box as the ball has gone wide. It’s indicative of how the season has gone for us with the type of goals that we’ve given away so early on and made it really difficult for ourselves to get back into the game.”

On what went wrong in the first half

“When you look at the natural position when the ball is on the right hand side, if it’s an attacking play then equally our shape should be better. It should be more compact and it should be across. The hole that opens up there, that shouldn’t happen. We all know where players should be. We shouldn’t have that type of shape when the ball is in the position it’s in. It becomes really easy when you’ve got players of that caliber to play balls into areas of space that are that big. It’s basic defending principles, you deny space when you’re trying to defend. You need to be compact. When you start the game like that, the way that we are on the run we’re on, confidence gets really affected. We said at halftime, ‘Look, we need to change things a little bit. We need to tweak the formation and then we need to get out, we need to try to get forward, get numbers into the box, try to get the ball wide, get crosses in and try to create some problems for them.’ Because we felt that if we could get a goal, with the supporters that we have, that we could really try to go on and get something out of the game.”

On the approach for the last two games

“We need to stop defending the way we’re defending. When you look at the games, we’re chasing the game. We put ourselves in a position where we’re 1-nil down after two and a half minutes or three minutes. It’s something we continually do. It becomes very difficult to go and win games when you’re defending like we’re defending. It affects confidence, it affects play going forward and it becomes a test of character and a test of mentality. I think the important piece is to have much better shape when we don’t have the ball. Equally then when we are getting forward and having some pressure in their half, good decisions on the ball, more penetrating runs. Too often the balls in front of their back four or in front of the midfield so we need to pass quicker and we need to penetrate lines. If we can start the game with a little bit more intensity and stop giving away such poor goals, we’ll give ourselves a chance of going on and trying to get something out of the game.”

On the change in formation

“Regardless of formation, basic principles of defending are to deny space, to be compact. Whether you’re playing with a back three or a back four, you need to be compact vertically and horizontally. It’s basic stuff, really. It’s stuff that for us, we’ve started multiple games where we’re wide open. We make it too easy for teams to be able to play through us. It’s stuff that we’ve worked on, we’ve spoken about and I think it becomes really important when you’re trying to deny space that you do deny space. You don’t have such a big, massive gaps that people are able to just slide through, because I don’t see opposition teams giving us that kind of space when we’re trying to attack. We find it more difficult because their shape is more compact and harder for us to break down.”

On what he can do to fix basic defending mistakes

“You have to get your head down, not going to quit or give up. You get your head down and you go through and you keep going through the messages and you try to find a way. When you’re teaching you need to try to understand how the people learn. There’s different learning techniques for every individual, whether it’s visual, whether it’s audio, whether it’s both. We’re trying multiple things to get the messages across to make sure that when we’re defending, we need to deny space and be more compact. Credit to the players second half, I thought we were able to play in better areas and make it a little bit more difficult for them. But again, when you’re 2-nil down, it becomes a battle to try to get into the game. That’s something that true of our time here, we’ve made it very difficult for ourselves to get into a game from the off.”

On ending the scoring drought

“Obviously it was a fantastic ball from Scott [Sutter], really good finish from Dom [Dwyer]. There’s instances after that where Dom’s the only one in the box so there’s balls that are going in there and that’s when we need to have more numbers in the box. It’s great that we’re able to get a goal but we really need to stop [hurting ourselves]. It becomes really difficult when we’re defending like that to have an expectation for us to win games, we’re having to score three goals to win a game. You go back even to the Galaxy game when we’ve scored three goals and end up losing the game. For us it’s been a problem we haven’t been able to fix. We keep conceding goals and it’s something that’s very problematic. When you concede goals it makes it really difficult to go and win games. Especially when they’re as cheap as the goals we are giving away.”

On if the team needs more than Dom Dwyer in the attack

“I think when the ball goes wide you have to have energy and you have to have people in the box. That’s the biggest thing. When the ball goes wide, you need to really have, especially the way we were playing second half, you need to have more numbers in the box. We’ve got quite a few that are showing enough to get the ball but if the ball is going to be crossed, we’ve got too many on the outside the box. We need more numbers inside the box and a couple backing up play in behind. There needs to be a better understanding around us when the ball goes wide, we want to get numbers into the box. There was one I think shortly after the goal where it does get crossed and Sacha [Kljestan] does try to get in there and the ‘keeper comes in and catches it. We have to have more numbers in the box when the ball goes wide. We have to have people getting back quickly so your element of forward movement, forward runs becomes really important.”

Orlando City Defender Scott Sutter

On the team’s mood after they scored

“That definitely gave us a lift. We were looking for getting that much-needed 2-1 to get a bit of momentum. We did that in the second half. I think the second half was a good all around effort by the team. We were knocking on the door for quite a while before the goal and after as well. Just a shame really. I think we deserved a draw. I think we put a lot of effort. It’s just a shame that the slow start punished us.”

On what went wrong to start

“When you’re in a situation like we are at the moment and after two minutes or two and a half minutes you concede the first goal against a team that is a good team, it’s a struggle. You’re low in confidence and you think you can’t get any lower and two minutes in and you’re 1-nil down. Not what we wanted. Not what we hoped for. And then the 2-nil after that, I’ve got to do better. There’s no question there. It was an unlucky deflection. It’s just another bit of a bad rub of the green and it goes quick to 2-nil down and we’ve gotta react and I think we did that. There were times in the first half where we pushed and got shots on goal, attempts at goal. Just wasn’t meant to be.”

On the next two games

“Kind of feel sorry for you guys asking the same questions. I feel bad giving you the same answers as well. We desperately want to finish strong. We want to give the fans something they can celebrate. We’ll give it our all on Sunday so we can at least go into the offseason with a little bit of a good feeling, with a couple of good results or good performances. We’ll do our best. I feel for the fans as well. Like I said before, we’ve definitely had performances. It’s not really much I can say. Just I’m sorry to everyone.”

On setting MLS record for goals conceded

“it’s not a great thing. It’s not something you can be proud of, breaking a record for most goals. It’s a shame. That’s the way it is. There’s not really much we can do. Just gotta focus on the last two games and then the offseason and try to figure it out for next season.”

Orlando City Forward Dom Dwyer

On helping teammates provide support inside the box

“You know, I think it’s something we are going to work on as a squad. We need to focus on how we can get numbers forward, first, and then get the ball wide once we have numbers forward and we have numbers in the box. It’s something we’re working on in training. I think it’s something that we need a bit of hunger from the guys. Hunger to score goals, hunger to get in the box and want to get on the end of things. I think we had a couple of opportunities tonight, we were close, but we just couldn’t get back in the game.”

On what the team needs to add on the offensive end

“I think we’ve just got to keep working hard, grind out this season. Two more games left and then we’ll look at the offseason and see from there.”

On how to finish the season on a high note

“I think it’s just pride now. Obviously the season’s done for us, there’s no chance of getting into the playoffs. We’ve understood that for a while now so it’s just really showing that pride and that will to win. We have guys who want to win, now we just have to go out there and do it.”

On biggest difference between the two halves

“I wouldn’t say it was the change in shape, I think it was just our mentality. We came out a little bit better, a little bit sharper and, you know, if we could play the whole game like that we’d have a better chance.”

On how to play the whole game like that

“We started off a bit slow, we were punished early and that’s how the game goes sometimes. We almost got ourselves back into the game. I think we had another 10 minutes we probably would have.”

On the team’s feeling after going down two goals early

“It’s never easy but I think we really battled second half. We’ve had a tendency recently to slow toward the end of games, but I think we were going for it at the end today and I think that’s a big positive to take from it.”

On the team’s feeling after his goal

“I wasn’t sure if it was offside or not but we were optimistic. We had 20 minutes or so to get another one and we kept pushing but just couldn’t get it

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