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Seattle Sounders vs. Chicago Fire: Highlights, stats and quotes

“We’re starting to look at the standings and do the math. Today was two points dropped. So, we’re being realistic with them, but telling them they need to be positive.” -Brian Schmetzer


MATCH SUMMARY

Seattle Sounders FC 1 - Chicago Fire 1

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field

Referee: Armando Villarreal

Assistants: Kyle Atkins, Jeffrey Greeson

Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal

VAR: Kevin Terry, Jr.

Attendance: 39,513

Weather: 72 degrees and mostly sunny

SCORING SUMMARY

CHI - Aleksandar Katai (Brandt Bronico) 9’

SEA - Clint Dempsey (Will Bruin, Harry Shipp) 22’

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

CHI - Bastian Schweinsteiger (caution) 44’

CHI - Jonathan Campbell (caution) 61’

CHI - Elliot Collier (caution) 85’

SEA - Cristian Roldan (caution) 87’

SEA - Nouhou (caution) 90’+1’

LINEUPS & STATS

Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Cristian Roldan, Kim Kee-hee, Chad Marshall, Nouhou; Osvaldo Alonso - captain (Alex Roldan 84’), Nicolás Lodeiro, Harry Shipp (Jordan McCrary 72’), Clint Dempsey, Victor Rodriguez (Magnus Wolff Eikrem 69’); Will Bruin

Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Tony Alfaro, Jordy Delem, Waylon Francis

Total shots: 18 (Dempsey, 7)

Shots on goal: 7 (Dempsey, 3)

Fouls: 8 (Three players, 2)

Offside: 4 (Four players, 1)

Corner-kicks: 6 (Lodeiro, 6)

Saves: 6 (Frei, 6)

Chicago Fire - Richard Sanchez; Brandon Vincent, Jorge Corrales, Jonathan Campbell, Diego Campos (Rafael Ramos 72’); Brandt Bronico, Dax McCarty - captain, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Aleksandar Katai, Luis Solignac (Elliot Collier 60’); Nemanja Nikolic (Alan Gordon 89’)

Substitutes not used: Stefan Cleveland, Tony Tchani, Mo Adams, Christian Dean

Total shots: 15 (Katai, 6)

Shots on goal: 7 (Katai, 4)

Fouls: 11 (Katai, 3)

Offside: 6 (Nikolic, 4)

Corner-kicks: 7 (Katai, 4)

Saves: 6 (Sanchez, 6)


Post-Match Quotes

SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH BRIAN SCHMETZER

On Clint Dempsey’s first goal of the season:

“Getting him on track, getting him scoring goals – goal-scorers can be streaky at times – so getting him going was great. Tying Fredy Montero’s regular-season record, that’s all great. But, he’s a team guy. I’m sure he would have loved to score one more and help the team win. But it’s good. He’s been getting lots of shots. He had a couple of other good looks on goal, so that’s a positive.”

On the match:

“Well, if you’re a soccer fan, it was end-to-end action. If you’re a coach, you don’t like all of the action down at the opposite end of the field, where Stef [Frei] had to come up big and save us far too many times in the second half. As far as the attacking core that we had, I think it’s getting a little better. I think against D.C. United, we had 15 shots. Tonight [we had] 19 shots. Some good looks, some stuff around the goal. But, again, we’re pressing so hard to score that sometimes you leave yourself open at the back. So, a little too undisciplined in certain moments. Could we have manufactured a few more chances with extended possession? Yeah, maybe. But it’s hard when guys are going in on goal, and Víctor [Rodríguez] is driving at guys and Nico [Lodeiro] is trying to play guys in. That’s part of who we are. But we’re just trying to find that little bit of balance of just making sure we extend our possessions a little longer, and also playing with one eye of where the goal is and trying to play guys in when it’s the right pass.

On Cristian Roldan playing right back over Jordan McCrary:

“Well, Jordan is still fighting plantar fasciitis, so he’s been a game kid. He and Will [Bruin] are tough kids, they play through a lot of pain. But what I couldn’t afford to have happen was two guys playing on bum wheels starting the game, and I had to make a choice. Will obviously guts through a lot of stuff and Cristian has played there in the past, albeit in late-game situations where the games are opened up a little bit. But I thought Cristian did well for being in a new position from the start.”

On Harry Shipp’s performance and potential injury:

“[He’s] good, it was just a knock. He’ll be fine. Harry has continued to help us keep possession and do little things that are critical for the team’s success. So, he’s been playing okay.”

On playing through the Fire’s high press:

“Well, I thought in the first half we were much better playing out of the back. Then in the second half, again, we got a little tired. They continued to press us and some of our guys weren’t connecting the passes they made in the first half. But overall, I thought our play from back to front was fairly good. I think lot of that is [having] Nico in there, Ozzie [Alonso] in there, they’re guys that are clean on the ball and want the ball. So I think that was a positive.”

On whether the referee let the game get too physical:

“No. They only had 11, by my count, fouls. We only had eight. That play at the end, we’ll certainly take a look that because Alan Gordon came in very egregiously on Stef, so that’s certainly one we can flag. But, other than that, the crowd booing [Bastian] Schweinsteiger, I didn’t think there was much in that, other than he’s just trying to help his team win. There are days when I think we should maybe play a little bit firmer. We’ve got to make sure that teams know you’re not coming here and dictating tempo to us. So, overall, I don’t think the referee had any challenges other than that late call.”

On his message to the team after the match:

“Just that we’ve got to keep going. We’re starting to look at the standings and do the math. Today was two points dropped. So, we’re being realistic with them, but telling them they need to be positive. We still have another home game. We’ve got a couple of winnable road games. Every game has to become a final. Every game has to be one where we maximize our chances of getting points. So, again, the 19 shots, the chances that we created, I thought our set-piece delivery was good tonight, so there are some things that we can be positive about.”

SOUNDERS FC FORWARD CLINT DEMPSEY

On tying Fredy Montero’s record of goals scored in regular-season MLS games:

“It just felt good to score. It was a great play. [Harry] Shipp played a good ball to Will [Bruin] who cut the ball back well, then all I had to do was tap it in. Anytime you get good service in the box, it’s always good as an attacking player because it gives you more opportunites to score. We had some good looks tonight and I thought the team cleaned it up tonight. Keep pushing, and hopefully try to get some points and make a late push.”

On how to look at the rest of the season game by game:

“Well, I mean, it’s just every game you’re just trying to get as many points as you can. We aren’t looking that far, we are looking for the next game, so it’s a must win. That’s how we are approaching every game. Hopefully we can get on a good run.”

On the team’s creativity in the midfield:

“Yeah, the last few games having Víctor [Rodríguez] back and Nico [Lodeiro] back it adds to the team. It opens the game up for other players, we have more possession in the attacking third and we play more of an attacking style than when they weren’t in there.”

SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER HARRY SHIPP

On his physical health:

“I’m feeling alright. I’m obviously upset I rolled my ankle and hurt kind of a ligament on the inside of my foot. I thought I still had a lot to give in the last 20 minutes or so to go for the winner and, you know, obviously disappointed that you’re forced to come out with this injury.”

On the feeling around the team:

“We needed to win tonight. It’s frustrating. We did a good job offensively tonight, creating stuff. But we were too loose defensively. It was way too easy for them to play through us and we needed to prepare better in terms of how they play in terms of hanging out with guys out wide. We did the best we could, but I think that we could have closed down harder and we didn’t to kind of win possession back instead of letting them string together passes.”

On Chicago’s press:

“Yeah we had a couple of times we kind of turned it over. There were times we could have been a little more patient, especially them coming off a game, we could have kept the ball for longer spells of possession. But offensively, I think we did a decent job. That wasn’t our issue.”

SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER CRISTIAN ROLDAN

On playing right back tonight:

“I think our team is very left-sided, our team likes to drift that way. Nico, Nouhou, also very good on the ball, likes that spot. When I stepped into right back, I felt that I wasn’t going to get the ball too much, and obviously my game changes when I’m not involved. At right back, you have to be a little more conservative in terms of your defensive stance. You receive a lot of help when you are at right back and at times, I like to go in for tackles. It’s still the same mentality and that’s to play for the team and hopefully get a win.”

On viewing each game on its own and not as a huge chunk:

“We are looking at every game as a final at this point. Every game is a final. You can’t lose these games. Mathematically, if we lose a couple more, we are done. It’s already been a failure to the season, but at this point, we have to turn that around. If we lose those couple of games, it’s a complete failure. We have a little bit left to save ourselves from this. It’s a matter of not saying it and actually doing it.”

Oh if he feels motivated or pressured by the fact that the team has never missed the playoffs:

“I think it’s pressure. We don’t motivate ourselves on making the playoffs, we motivate ourselves on winning championships. We motivate ourselves on winning trophies. For me, it’s pressure. Within our fans, ourselves, front office. We owe a lot to the city of Seattle for all the support that they give us, so it’s vital and crucial that we make the playoffs. There’s no giving up on this team. You are fighting for your paycheck and that comes with results and better play.”

CHICAGO FIRE HEAD COACH VELJKO PAUNOVIC

On the match:

“I think that this was definitely one of the best games we’ve played this season and I’m very proud of our team. It’s very difficult for us to go home after this match and look at the fact that we didn’t win the game. It was a great game for the fans. Both teams had a lot of opportunities and it was a great soccer night. That’s the way our team always has to play. I’m so happy with the performance of the team. I know in the past I was a little bit harsh with [Aleksandar] Katai, but he had a fantastic game and I knew that he could do that. He has to work and figure out a way to work for the team both directions. Together with the others, he had a fantastic game. It was good to see how we managed to play with the ball, having possession, creating a lot of opportunities and finding the right spots to receive the ball to commit their defenders.

On the other side, I think we also were solid defending. We did concede one goal and we had some difficult situations to deal with in the second half with opportunities that Seattle created, but we definitely were capable of fixing things and saving the situations that were dangerous. I think it was fantastic to see the performance in the attack with how many chances we created. We just needed to be a little bit more sharp. That will come. We just need to keep growing. The games like this, even though you feel like you swallowed the rock because you didn’t win, you’re happy to see your team playing this way.”

On having a week to prepare for the next match:

“It’s important always. We are a team that doesn’t complain or give excuses. We are the team that just wants to get better and learn to compete so we can win. That’s our mindset. If we have to play a game in two days, we’ll play the game. Now we have a little more time so we’ll recover, prepare and we’ll go with this confidence and this huge boost of great energy and atmosphere in the locker room to try to get the three points against New York City FC. They’re another great team and another difficult opponent, but we’re growing and getting to the point where all the pieces will tuck in together.”

CHICAGO FIRE MIDFIELDER ALEKSANDAR KATAI

On his goal:

“It’s important to me continue to score goals. It’s good for me and good for the team, and it’s a big shame that we didn’t win the game.”

On getting a point in a tough environment:

“I thought we deserved three points. Also needed to collect points in the game against Colorado. We need to collect points if we need to be in the playoffs.”

CHICAGO FIRE MIDFIELDER BRANDT BRONICO

On the goal:

“I think me and Katai have developed a good chemistry over the last couple of weeks. I play off him and look for him going forward. He took a great first touch and it was a great finish.”

On having a week off before playing NYCFC:

“It’s extremely important [to come out strong]. Now that we have a whole week to prepare, we can get fresh legs back and hopefully take care of business against New York City at home. It’s a great opportunity for us and looking forward to it.”

On no one scoring in the last 10-15 minutes of the game:

“Yeah, I was surprised we didn’t score. I think we created a lot of chances and we gave our best efforts towards the goal. That’s sometimes just how the game is.”