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Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting KC: Highlights, stats and quotes

“I think after that two minutes when they scored, it was like, okay, shoot, we’re in a big game here. And their response was a well-taken goal by Raúl (Ruidíaz), and the team coming together and saying, ‘That’s not going to happen again.’” -Brian Schmetzer


Seattle Sounders FC 3 - Sporting Kansas City 1

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field

Referee: Baldomero Toledo

Assistants: Eduardo Mariscal, Ian Anderson

Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal

VAR: David Gantar

Attendance: 39,530

Weather: 65 degrees and mostly cloudy


SKC - Diego Rubio (Gerso Fernandes) 2’

SEA - Raúl Ruidíaz (Brad Smith, Osvaldo Alonso) 12’

SEA - Own Goal (Graham Zusi) 52’

SEA - Nicolas Lodeiro (penalty) 56’


SEA - Kim Kee-hee (caution) 27’

SKC - Diego Rubio (caution) 32’

SKC - Ilie Sanchez (caution) 43’

SKC - Ike Opara (caution) 45’+1’

SEA - Chad Marshall (ejection) 81’

SEA - Stefan Frei (caution) 82’


Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam, Kim Kee-hee, Chad Marshall, Brad Smith; Gustav Svensson, Osvaldo Alonso - captain, Cristian Roldan, Nicolás Lodeiro (90’+6’), Harry Shipp (Román Torres 85’); Raúl Ruidíaz (Will Bruin 89’)

Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Alex Roldan, Jordy Delem, Henry Wingo

Total shots: 9 (Ruidíaz, 4)

Shots on goal: 3 (Three players, 1)

Fouls: 14 (Marshall, 3)

Offside: 1 (Smith, 1)

Corner-kicks: 4 (Lodeiro, 3)

Saves: 4 (Frei, 4)

Sporting Kansas City - Tim Melia; Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Matt Besler - captain, Seth Sinovic (Yohan Croizet 86’); Ilie Sanchez, Roger Espinoza, Felipe Gutierrez, Gerso Fernandes, Daniel Salloi (Johnny Russell 62’); Diego Rubio (Krisztian Nemeth 75’)

Substitutes not used: Eric Dick, Gianluca Busio, Jaylin Lindsey, Andreu Fontas

Total shots: 19 (Rubio, 4)

Shots on goal: 5 (Rubio, 2)

Fouls: 17 (Four players, 3)

Offside: 0

Corner-kicks: 7 (Zusi, 4)

Saves: 1 (Melia, 1)


On if the team’s luck has balanced out:

“Thank Jimmy Gabriel for that. He’s the one that gave me that bit of information. It always evens out at the end of the year. Look, you make your own luck as well. Let’s be honest, we let a center back dribble down the middle of the field and Stef (Frei) had to come up with a massive save. Is that luck? Should (Ike Opara) have scored? We make our own luck with Stef working hard in training every day, and that bounce goes our way. That group in there is starting to make their own luck. Yes, we were a bit unlucky during the beginning of the year. I’m not going to deny that. But I do think in the overall, full season it does even out. Now, Harry Shipp is a guy who is making his own luck. He’s come on and done great. So, credit to him. Kim Kee-hee against Portland, you can say that was lucky, sure, but he put the ball in a dangerous spot. Harry was trying to put the ball in a dangerous spot. When you put pressure on opponents, good things happen.”

On the role of the outside backs:

“It’s been a hallmark of our team. We’ve always pinched our wide midfielders in and have our outside backs create a lot of attacking threats for us. So, that’s kind of just who we are and what we do. The first goal was a great assist (by Brad Smith). Kelvin (Leerdam) had a good performance. He still had a dinged-up ankle but he gutted through that. So, I was very pleased with the outside backs’ movements. It’s also all about timing. I think Harry and Cristian (Roldan), their timing… We made some adjustments at halftime on when they were going to push inside. I think that really benefitted Kelvin in the second half.”

On whether SKC’s goal was unlucky:

“That wasn’t unlucky. We weren’t ready for what they brought. They lined up on the kickoff with five guys to come and press us. We needed to say, ‘Okay, here they come.’ You know Peter Vermes is a great coach, and he gets his teams fired up. We should have realized that. Those first two minutes, they put us under pressure. That’s all on me. That’s all on me. I need to make sure that the team was ready for a playoff-type game. We, the coaching staff, talked about it. That’s on us. And it won’t happen again.”

On the team’s ability to get results:

“Again, it’s a testament to the resilience of the group. I mean, I think our road record is pretty good this year. I have gone on record on many, many, many occasions that MLS is a league filled with parity. We understand how challenging it is. But, again, those guys in there, they never gave up. I think the response after our two-minute patch of not thinking about things was great. I think after that two minutes when they scored, it was like, okay, shoot, we’re in a big game here. And their response was a well-taken goal by Raúl (Ruidíaz), and the team coming together and saying, ‘That’s not going to happen again.’ So, again, all credit to them.”

On the second half:

“I think overall, according to the stats, it was 60% possession for them. They are a very good possession team, especially in that middle block. In the midfield, you can’t really close them down because Illie Sanchez is very good and they keep the ball. So, that was the problem in the first half. We tried to solve that a little bit in the second half by being a little bit more aggressive and stepping our pressure higher up the field with everybody, because I thought we were a little stretched at times. I think Nico would press, Raúl would press, and the rest of the team wasn’t quite with them. And I think that turned the table a little bit. I think we got on the front foot, and it was through our pressing defense, the openings that Kelvin was getting, our transition moments – they’ve taken a few transition goals – I think all of that played a factor.”


On what the team has changed during the current winning streak:

“If there was a clear-cut answer, we would have addressed it and be on our way, but it’s not that simple. The answer lies during the work we put in when things weren’t going our way. Putting the hard, hard work in on the training ground and knowing that when we do get a couple of results a little bit of confidence will come our way.”

On SKC’s early goal:

“It’s early on, we’ve had experiences being down. There’s a long time to play, we have to regroup and find a way back into the game. We need to look at that and address that. We are a high pressing team. Happy with the response in the first half, a well-crafted goal. Then we were able to mount a little bit of pressure in the second half. Good ‘W’ for us.”

On his save against Ike Opara:

“I think you try to judge how close he is to the ball. Is he taking touches or preparing to shoot? It looked like he was taking another touch that allowed me to close in on him and make myself as wide as I can. I’m happy I was able to get a little more compact and get my underarm on it.”


On if today’s game had a playoff atmosphere:

“Yes, I feel like this was a tough game. More important was that we won.”

On the level of control they had in the game:

“We were always calm. We know these types of games are hard. But we knew we were at home and if we could stay calm - even though their goal came quickly - that we could come back.”

On the team’s mindset after allowing an early goal:

“We knew we needed one because they were more important for us. We needed to win for the record, for the team, for us. It was more important for us.”

On the makeup of the team:

“We are special because we all work for the team in the same way. Everyone knows what we need to win, what we need for the team. It’s very special for the team.”


On allowing an early goal:

“I think the team is flowing with confidence at the moment. To go a goal behind wasn’t ideal, but to show what we can do and comfortably win the game. I thought that we defended well and that we deserved to win.”

On Seattle’s first goal:

“That’s what I like to do. It works well when (Harry) Shipp comes inside and it worked really well. I’m glad to get my first assist for the club and hopefully there’s many more to come.”

On Coach Schmetzer’s message at halftime:

“The moment I hit the cross, I knew it his his hand. I knew Nico (Lodeiro) was going to put it away and I was very happy when I saw the ball go in. Then all we had to do was sit back and defend. Eight wins in a row - I can’t ask for more than that.”


On the game:

“I actually thought we played very well. To be able to come into the opposing team’s home field and play the way we did, we deserved more. The two goals they scored – two and three – were unlucky on our part. A deflection and then if that’s a hand ball, then there were probably two hand balls in the second half that should’ve been the same. Just a little unlucky, but we played very well. I thought our performance was really good.”

On the play of Diego Rubio:

“He’s finding the back of the net and he’s feeling it. That’s what happens with goal scorers and he’s in a good place, in good form. Also, he’s playing well within the group. It’s not just the balls are dropping for him, but he’s also moving very well off the ball and he’s involved in the build of play, which is great. His run of form is excellent at a good time.”

On what he saw on the red card:

“Right now I can’t see any of the replays. I’ve been trying to see the replays. I mean, I saw the player’s leg. The player’s leg didn’t look good, but it was very difficult for me to see live. From what I understand, the replays were terrible in the game.”

On the next match vs. Orlando City SC and being shorthanded due to international duty:

“It is what it is. That’s the way the league is, but it’s a good contest for us coming back home. We’re going to have to be good on the ball. We’ll miss a few guys, but we’ll be able to put some other guys in to play.”


On the game:

“First of all, I thought it was a very good game from both sides. Each team did what they needed to do. I thought in the first half, you know we came out and played very well, took it to them right away. We were able to score the first goal. We fell asleep in their goal, in the second goal of the game. I felt that we pressured until the end. Props to them for them being able to break us down and serving the ball. I think Ruidiaz was able to put it in right there. I thought overall it was an amazing game. Then, second half, both teams came out and played. A little unlucky though. It hits I think (Graham Zusi) and goes in. And then the third goal for them came right away and then that kind of slowed the game down for us. But overall you know, I thought we did really well. We came and played in a very difficult area, hostile area. I thought we kept the ball, I thought we had the better part of the ball, but that is how the game goes sometimes, and congratulations to them for the win.”

On Coach Vermes changing the strategy at halftime:

“Obviously, he had to change it a little bit, but overall, he thought we were playing well. We needed to play the game faster, we needed to get more 50/50 balls, we needed to control the game. That is the advice he pretty much gave us.”

On the positives to take from today:

“I thought we played well. Soccer is a funny game, but sometimes you have to score the goals. That is what we did. They were unlucky goals for us, for them coming against us, but we have to do better next time.”


On the game:

“I thought it was a pretty hard-fought game. I thought for long stretches we played very well. I thought we were the better team. We got a little unlucky and they capitalized on some chances and that is how it goes sometimes. Difficult game, tough team, tough place to play, but I thought we played well and controlled a lot of the game.”

On Seattle’s goals:

“Yeah, the first one, I think, we can point to as one we feel like we can do better on. The second two I think were a little unlucky. One was a deflection, and one was just kind of one of those you can’t get the hand out of the way things. It’s kind of how it goes sometimes, but like I said, I thought we played really well for long stretches, created a lot of good stuff. I don’t think anybody can look at this game and say we came in and set back. I thought we imposed our style, and if we continue to do that, I think we will come out on top more often than not.”

On the positives to take from today:

“One thing we stress every time we play a game home or away, we want to impose our style of play on the game, we want to possess and put them under pressure. I think for large stretches, I think we did that in the game. This is something we can build off of. We have to minimize mistakes, and learn from situations and things like that. But, overall, I think there is a lot to build on from this game.”

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