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Seattle Sounders vs. Minnesota United: Highlights, stats and quotes

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“I challenged them at halftime a little bit. ‘You want to be a championship team? Championship teams are able to finish games out, close games out, get that third goal and make sure that the game becomes a little easier.’” -Brian Schmetzer


Match Data

SUMMARY

Seattle Sounders FC 3 - Minnesota United FC 1

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field

Referee: Armando Villarreal

Assistants: Kyle Atkins, Apolinar Mariscal

Fourth Official: Sorin Stoica

VAR: Caleb Mendez

Attendance: 39,477

Weather: 55 degrees and partly cloudy

SCORING SUMMARY

SEA - Gustav Svensson (Cristian Roldan, Osvaldo Alonso) 23’

SEA - Will Bruin (Cristian Roldan, Nicolás Lodeiro) 25’

MIN - Christian Ramirez (Darwin Quintero, Sam Nicholson) 66’

SEA - Jordy Delem (Clint Dempsey) 90’+5’

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

SEA - Nouhou (caution) 58’

SEA - Kelvin Leerdam (caution) 87’

LINEUPS & STATS

Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam, Román Torres, Chad Marshall, Nouhou; Gustav Svensson, Osvaldo Alonso - captain (Magnus Wolff Eikrem 75’), Nicolás Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan, Alex Roldan (Clint Dempsey 60’); Will Bruin (Jordy Delem 90’+2’)

Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Victor Rodriguez, Jordan McCrary, Handwalla Bwana

Total shots: 16 (C. Roldan / Dempsey, 3)

Shots on goal: 7 (C. Roldan / Bruin, 2)

Fouls: 12 (A. Roldan, 4)

Offside: 2 (Nouhou / Lodeiro, 1)

Corner-kicks: 5 (Lodeiro, 5)

Saves: 1 (Frei, 1)

Minnesota United FC - Bobby Shuttleworth; Carter Manley, Jorome Thiesson, Francisco Calvo - captain, Michael Boxall; Ibson, Miguel Ibarra (Mason Toye 84’), Ethan Finlay (Sam Nicholson HT), Rasmus Schuller; Abu Danladi (Christian Ramirez 52’), Darwin Quintero

Substitutes not used: Matthew Lampson, Brent Kallman, Harrison Heath, Collin Martin

Total shots: 12 (Quintero, 5)

Shots on goal: 2 (Ibarra / Ramirez, 1)

Fouls: 9 (Schuller, 4)

Offside: 3 (Three players, 1)

Corner-kicks: 1 (Quintero, 1)

Saves: 4 (Shuttleworth, 4)


Post-Match Quotes

SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH BRIAN SCHMETZER

On scoring two goals in the first 30 minutes of the match:

“It’s great. You saw the energy and enthusiasm for the game that that group put in, so I was very pleased with that first block of 30 minutes.”

On starting Clint Dempsey on the bench:

“It was a combination of trying to incorporate three players into the squad – Ozzie [Osvaldo Alonso], Kelvin [Leerdam] and Clint [Dempsey] – and trying to make good decisions, sound decisions for the best interest of the team. Clint had been off for a long time. But, sometimes, when you’re off for a long time, you’re not as sharp and whatever. If you look historically at Clint’s goals and shots taken, it’s very considerable – he scores more and he shoots more in the second half. So, what we wanted to try to do was run some of the sting out of the game and bring him on and have him be effective while trying to get Ozzie and Kelvin back on the field at the same time, because I didn’t want to have the potential to have three subs. Ozzie was going to come off the field. That was a medical decision. We had always discussed that. That’s one sub. Then you have Kelvin, who made it through 90 minutes. I wouldn’t say he played well through 90 minutes, but he made it through 90 minutes. And then you had Clint, who was another potential sub. That’s three subs. You don’t ever like to start the game knowing that you’re going to make three subs.”

On the conversation he had with Clint about starting the game on the bench:

“It’s a conversation that you have to have. He’s not happy because he wants to play. But he accepts it because he’s a team guy. He gets grumpy a little bit, but all of them do. None of these guys want to come off the field. They all want to play, they all want to contribute, and that’s part of what I appreciate with the guys in that locker room. When you have guys that are like that, then you win more games than you lose.”

On playing the Roldan brothers and Nico Lodeiro together:

“Alex [Roldan] has shown that he belongs, that he can play. Cristian [Roldan] played very well. The whole team in that first 30 minutes – it was a good 30 minutes. The key is that we need to watch the film and figure out why, after 30 minutes, the team didn’t perform as well as they should have. I challenged them at halftime a little bit. ‘You want to be a championship team? Championship teams are able to finish games out, close games out, get that third goal and make sure that the game becomes a little easier.’ After the game, my opinion changed a little bit and I said, ‘Well, championship teams actually kind of win ugly sometimes, and you’ve got to gut things through.’ That’s another character trait of championship teams. In October, nobody’s going to remember that this was a hard game. They’re just going to say, 3-1 scoreline and that’s three points.”

On if they won ugly today:

“I will say that we can play better.”

On if the team is heading in the right direction:

“Yeah, slowly but surely. We thought the team was capable of winning games early. We put ourselves in a hole with the specific circumstances behind the reasons why we lost the first three league matches. So, those were actually addressable. You could say, ‘OK, this is a big part of the reason why we lost those games.’ So, the last two games where we’ve kept everybody on the field, we’ve been competitive. I think that has something to do with it.”

SOUNDERS FC FORWARD WILL BRUIN

On the first half goal:

“The first one is always huge, especially early on at home, and we are trying to get our first win, so that kind of got us going.”

On the space he had when he received the ball from Cristian Roldan:

“You know I saw both centerbacks sprinting back towards the stick, so I just kind of stood there and it was a curling ball right into my stride and I tried to redirect it back to the near post. I didn’t hit it as well as I would like but hey, it went in.”

On the challenge that the centerbacks provided:

“Yeah those are big strong guys, you know, so I was looking to be an outlet and sometimes get in behind. But once we got that first goal, the game kind of opened up and they were kind of throwing more numbers forward and we were able to get more space, but I think we needed to pick it up in the second half. But sometimes you’ve got to win ugly and we did.”

SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER CRISTIAN ROLDAN

On the importance of winning at home:

“Obviously very important, very nice to get three points for our fans and for us as a team. We have to build on this. We have a tough game ahead of us in LA against a tough side and sometimes you have to win ugly in these situations.”

On breaking down Minnesota after being up 2-0:

“I felt that we were a little cautious in the way we were playing. Realistically, teams pushed a lot of guys forward and at 2-0 up you don’t want to make a stupid play and get hit on the break and now the game is 2-1. It was a dangerous lead and credit to Minnesota, they are a dangerous little team.”

On the competition for spots:

“I think it adds a bit of competitiveness within the team. During practices it’s a lot more intense, guys are fighting for spots at this point and you know even the bench guys can make impacts off the bench. You see Jordy Delem coming in, Clint Dempsey, a guy we don’t see on the bench too much but you know it makes for a competitive team and a deep squad.”

SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER OSVALDO ALONSO

On starting in front of the home crowd:

“It felt great, you know? I’m happy to be back, playing my 70 minutes, that’s a long time. I’m very proud for the team, you know, three points.”

On the possibility of nerves or excitement:

“I was excited to be back after a long time with our fans and play 70 minutes, to get the points and keep going now.”

On the importance of earning the three points:

“We are at home. We have to find a way to score the points, and today we found a way, and we will keep going from here.”

SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER GUSTAV SVENSSON

On the growing confidence:

“After 2-0, I think we got a little scared of losing the three points we had. We really needed it, so without having seen the game afterwards, I think we were really scared of losing those three points and falling back a little too much and letting them into the game again.”

On what they were doing right that had been missing earlier in the season:

“I mean we had pretty good flow in the game, we dominated big parts of the game, I think. We did the runs we were supposed to do, we played where we were supposed to. We helped each other, so I mean the first 25 minutes we played a good game and I think that we have three points now it’s going to be a little bit easier to relax a little more.”

On whether he knew where the ball was going when it left his foot on the goal:

“It goes so fast that you don’t really know you just feel like you got a good shot. Most of the times when you get a good shot like that it doesn’t even go in the frame, but that was a good feeling. Good feeling on the foot and good feeling seeing the ball go in the net.”

MINNESOTA UNITED FC HEAD COACH ADRIAN HEATH

On the match:

“The problem we have is that we started so slowly again. I’m honestly at a loss to explain that. We can’t speak about it enough. We can’t show people enough. It’s the third or fourth time on the road that it’s happened. I feel like a broken record. I said this time last week – we can’t give teams a head start. We just can’t do it. I don’t know what the issue is because it’s not like we’re not warming up properly, it’s not like we don’t speak about it in the dressing room. I will repeat what I said last week, I will repeat what I said at San Jose, I will repeat what I said at the Red Bulls – we can’t give teams a two or three goal start and expect to win a game. I know we’re capable of playing the type of futbol that we played in the second half, otherwise it’s catch-up futbol the entire time. It’s desperation futbol – we have to take so many risks and chances to create these opportunities. It’s something that we need to address, whether that’s in the shape of the team or personnel … it can’t continue.”

On trying to play catch up:

“It’s all desperation futbol because you know if it goes to 3-0 then it’s virtually over. Every time you attack, you attack with numbers to try and get back in the game, then you leave yourself vulnerable. It’s a conundrum that we have to solve because I know we can play, but I’m not sure at this time that we know how to win. There’s a big difference between playing well and winning games.”

On playing Bobby Shuttleworth in goal for his first start of the season:

“He’s had to wait for his chance and I had a gut feeling that it was the right time to bring him back. He really couldn’t have done much with the goals. It was a great first strike and the other two he was left with not many options. The second goal was a poor goal for us and the third one we were charging forward and it was just a cheap turnover, so he can’t be at fault for the goals.”

On Christian Ramirez:

“I thought Christian did well when he came on. He gave us a bit of life and can be pleased with what he did.”

On moving forward from here:

“We have a big next game at home and five of the next six there so hopefully this will be a turning point for us. I do know one thing – if we keep conceding soft goals like that it’s going to be very difficult for us to mount a playoff charge this year, and we are capable of it with the group we have.”

MINNESOTA UNITED FC FORWARD CHRISTIAN RAMIREZ

On his goal:

“I just redirected it back where it game from. Quintero did a good job to find me on the back post. I know we have been working on more and more of my movement with his service, so just continuing to get comfortable with him. He is going to pick you out if you get an open spot.”

On the changes going into the second half:

“I don’t know, I think we just brought up our energy levels. I don’t think we started the game off matching the crowd intensity and Seattle’s energy. I think that is something we have to continue to work on - figure out a way how to start the game with that type of energy.”

On the flow of the game being down 2-0 on the road:

“It is pretty difficult being down 1-0, and then two minutes later shooting yourself in the foot. This is a continued story with us so far, something that we have to fix. Whether it’s if we give up a goal to go along for the next couple minutes, weather that storm. More and more teams are starting to punish us as we turn off once we give in a goal. That can’t continue to happen.”

On almost scoring a second goal:

“Yeah, I thought there was another goal in the game. We just didn’t finish that final ball at the end. Francisco (Calvo) had a great chance that he almost put away. I thought we came up a little short and again the score line is not going to say that. We fought until the end. We just came up a bit short and we have to figure out how to bring that from the beginning.”

MINNESOTA UNITED FC GOALKEEPER BOBBY SHUTTLEWORTH

On the game and being back:

“Yeah, of course, I was excited to play. I think we let ourselves down again. We conceited two goals in the first half. To come back out, we had some good play in the second half. We just let ourselves down. Again, I don’t know for how many games in a row now, we are not good enough.”

On the pressure in the first half and flow of the game:

“Yeah, to be honest with you, we rode out the first bit of the game fine. I think the first goal was a good strike. We put our heads down and conceited right away again. We have done that two or three times this season and it is something we need to cut out.”

On if his strategy changes down two goals:

“No. I am back there to keep the ball out of the net. So obviously watching two goals go past you is not great. 2-0 down I think we responded well in the second half, but, again too little too late. We are trying to dig ourselves out of a massive hole on the road, in front of 30,000 people against us. From that point on you have to be perfect, get some luck, and unfortunately we don’t get that in the second half.”

On moving forward to the next match:

“I think you know we need as a group to take more responsibility for what we are doing. We are conceding two, three goals on the road. You know it’s not as if we don’t go over this stuff in training. The manager is all over us about it. I think it starts with the week of training. Us taking responsibility trying to push forward and put a couple of results together.”