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Seattle Sounders vs. Philadelphia Union: Highlights, stats and quotes

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“Where we lost the game was generating chance and chance and chance, and half-chance and half-chance and half-chance, and not being able to find that one piece of quality to put the score line in our favor.” -Brian Schmetzer


Match Data

SUMMARY

Seattle Sounders FC 0 - Philadelphia Union 1

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field

Referee: Ismail Elfath

Assistants: Jeff Hosking, Jeremy Hanson

Fourth Official: Daniel Radford

VAR: Allen Chapman

Attendance: 39,536

Weather: 62 degrees and partly cloudy

SCORING SUMMARY

PHI - Fafa Picault 90’+3’

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

PHI - Derrick Jones (caution) 52’

PHI - Jack Elliott (caution) 78’

PHI - Jack Elliott (ejection) 89’

LINEUPS & STATS

Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam, Kim Kee-hee, Chad Marshall (Román Torres HT), Brad Smith; Gustav Svensson, Osvaldo Alonso - captain, Cristian Roldan, Nicolás Lodeiro, Víctor Rodríguez (Harry Shipp 74’); Raúl Ruidíaz (Will Bruin 34’)

Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Nouhou, Alex Roldan, Jordy Delem

Total shots: 16 (Three players, 3)

Shots on goal: 4 (Four players, 1)

Fouls: 9 (C. Roldan, 3)

Offside: 2 (Lodeiro/Rodríguez, 1)

Corner-kicks: 6 (Lodeiro, 4)

Saves: 4 (Frei, 4)

Philadelphia Union - Andre Blake; Raymon Gaddis (Fabinho 59’), Auston Trusty, Jack Elliott, Keegan Rosenberry; Haris Medunjanin, Derrick Jones, Alejandro Bedoya - captain, Fafa Picault, CJ Sapong (Fabian Herbers 82’); Cory Burke (Jay Simpson 88’)

Substitutes not used: John McCarthy, Warren Creavalle, Mark McKenzie, David Accam

Total shots: 8 (Burke, 3)

Shots on goal: 5 (Burke, 2)

Fouls: 19 (Jones, 5)

Offside: 1 (Burke, 1)

Corner-kicks: 2 (Medunjanin, 2)

Saves: 4 (Blake, 4)


Post-Match Quotes

SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH BRIAN SCHMETZER

On the emotions in the locker room after the winning streak ended:

“Let me start by talking about my emotions – the coaching staff emotions, the technical staff emotions – we’re very proud of what this team has accomplished. We put ourselves in a massive hole, and we’ve climbed out of it. Now, there’s still work to do. But winning nine games in a row is an accomplishment that was a big one. We all knew it was going to end at some point. We all knew. But the fashion it ended in is what makes it sting. I’m going to go right from the beginning. Stef [Frei] has saved our ass a bunch of times – more times than we can imagine – and goalkeepers have a very tenuous position in the sense that, if they make a mistake, it usually costs a goal. But that’s not what lost the game, that singular play. Where we lost the game was generating chance and chance and chance, and half-chance and half-chance and half-chance, and not being able to find that one piece of quality to put the score line in our favor. So, all credit has to go to Philly for sticking around. Jim [Curtin] does a great job and I wish them luck in the Open Cup final. But, at the end of the day, we needed to finish one of those chances. Then the play at the end of the game is a different outcome. Again, I’m really proud of what the guys have accomplished. It’s a massive, massive record. I doubt it will be challenged in the near future.”

On the injuries to Raúl Ruidíaz and Chad Marshall:

“It was just precautionary on Marshall. We’ll evaluate him tomorrow. Raul has an ankle sprain that prevented him from playing. So, again, it’s too early for me to give you any definitive information on that. But certainly at training I’ll update you guys.”

On the team’s performance in the first 20 minutes:

“With the delayed tactics and the injuries, we kind of lost the momentum after that first 20 minutes. I think we played really well, some of our better soccer after 20 minutes. If Víctor [Rodríguez] gets his toe on the ball, if some of the little balls that we weren’t as sharp on that were half-chances could have been solid chances. Some of that was our own doing. But, certainly, it was challenging after Raul left and just the way the game was unfolding. And then Philly decided, ‘Yeah, okay, we can go after them.’ I thought that we were really good in those first 20 minutes.”

On whether the injuries changed the mentality of the team:

“Well, the guys that came on have good mentalities. Román [Torres] has a good mentality. [Will] Bruin has a good mentality. Harry [Shipp] has a good mentality. I mean, the volley that he had was a very well-taken shot. He had some good movements, good play. I don’t think it shifted. It was unfortunate because the injuries kind of upset the flow of the game. The new guys have to come in and adjust to the speed and the tempo of that. But not that mentality. The mentality was good.”

On Román Torres’ character:

“Román has always been a team guy. Since he’s been here, he’s been a big part of this club. So, for him I think that’s just the normal course of business. Even when he’s not playing he will still provide leadership, and that’s something that doesn’t surprise me a bit. I think you could go down through the team, every single person in the locker room is supportive of Stef. That stuff happens. So, everybody to a tee was building him up because he’s taking it pretty hard. You know, Stef is a pretty competitive guy, and that’s going to sting.”

SOUNDERS FC GOALKEEPER STEFAN FREI

On the match:

“I thought we actually came out really well in the beginning and put them under a lot of pressure. Then a couple of our guys went down and that destroyed our rhythm a little bit. For the last few minutes, they put us on our heels. Overall, I thought it was a really good first half. The second half was alright. A little sloppy here and there. It shows how difficult it is to keep a winning streak going. There’s no room for error. You need to be taking care of your chances and be very, very sharp in the back. That was a big mistake on my part there. It was just under cleared maybe. It is what it is and we have to get on a new streak now.”

On the first 10-15 minutes of the second half:

“For the most part, we played well when we had possession and calmed down a little bit. There were times when we could’ve been a little more calm and not so straightforward in going to the goal so quickly and just wear them down a bit more. The pressure that we mounted in the first 15-20 [minutes]…I think if we could’ve maintained that a bit longer, they would’ve cracked at some point. For some weird reason, in the second half, I don’t think we were really able to get into sustained pressure mode. We were throwing a lot of things at them, but it was never sustained pressure really. That made it an open, back and forth game. They had a couple looks and then the crap at the end kind of sums it up.”

On Brian Schmetzer saying Frei had saved the team a lot during the win streak:

“Saving my teammates’ butts is my job – that’s what I’m here to do. I try to do that to the best of my ability and when it works out, it’s great. When you make a mistake as a goalkeeper, it never leads to anything pretty. It’s frustrating when it’s not even the goalkeeping that leads to a goal, but something we’ve been working hard on – trying to not boot balls away and keep possession. We’d been very, very good. You take a risk there passing the ball around closer to your own goal. I think so far we’ve done exceptionally well and this is the first time we’ve gotten bit by it. It doesn’t make it easier. It sucks. I lost us a point today and ended a streak. We have a quick turnaround and we’ll have to keep going for it in a big game this weekend.”

SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER NICOLÁS LODEIRO (THROUGH TRANSLATION)

On if players getting injured made the game more difficult:

“No. It’s not an excuse because it was for two short periods of time, and then we had plenty of time to put up our game. We actually had opportunities and chances, and we didn’t take them, so it’s not an excuse.

On the first 15-20 minutes of the game:

“Yes, we were playing really, really well. After those initial 20 minutes, they started to play better on defense, and it was harder and harder to continue to create opportunities and chances.”

SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER CRISTIAN ROLDAN

On the match:

“It’s a little frustrating. We were pretty good at times. I felt like we created loads of chances, especially in the first 20 minutes of the game. This is the MLS. If you don’t take advantage of your opportunities and you’re sloppy at times, it’ll hurt you and cost you the game. That was what happened today.”

On his message to Stefan Frei after the game:

“It wasn’t his fault by any means. For me, I put this game on players like myself who can’t finish an opportunity. We put Stef in that situation. We’re not chasing the game if I score that goal. We’re not chasing the game if we put two goals away in the first 20 minutes. It’s a team sport and yes, mistakes happen. The story line is going to be Stef makes a mistake, but we all made mistakes in the final third and it cost us the game honestly. We put the game away at two or three zero in the first 20 minutes and it’s a different story line.”

On his missed goal:

“I couldn’t see most of it until it came my way. I was trying to react with my right foot naturally . I went with it. Looking back, two seconds later, I felt like I should’ve gone left foot. The opportunity was there for me to take advantage of it. Same thing with Will [Bruin] at the end of that play – he wished he got that one back, but he also couldn’t see it. We created a lot of those chances today and it was just one of those games where we couldn’t take advantage of it. Like I said, it’s a team sport. We all go down together. I’m very proud of what we’ve done, but this should add fuel to the fire going into the LA Galaxy game.”

PHILADELPHIA UNION HEAD COACH JIM CURTIN

On the match:

“Obviously coming into a very difficult place to play and couldn’t be prouder of the guys to get a result here. Congrats to Seattle, too, on the run that they were on setting the record for wins in a row. A really good team, a hostile environment and one where we maybe changed our tactics a bit and sat and looked to hit on the counter. Weathered the storm in the first 15 minutes, took their best punch and were able to keep it at zero. Then as the game opened up, we were able to create some chances. We talked a lot about the character of our team is going to be shown in how we respond after a difficult and disappointing performance against Montreal. I thought that the players deserve a lot of credit for stepping up. It looked more like us tonight in terms of the competitiveness, the team defending and also breaking pretty quickly on the counter and giving a really good Seattle team some problems.”

On the offside call on the first goal and the team’s response:

“I haven’t seen the goal, but I have been told even by our own staff that it was slightly offside. It was a great ball played in by Haris [Medunjanin] and it sounds like Cory [Burke] was just ahead. Obviously everybody has the emotions of what you think is scoring a goal and start to think about protecting the lead. They go to the video review … at the end of the day, you want them to get these calls right. Sometimes you’re on the good end of them, sometimes you’re on the bad end. Tonight it went against us, but I think our guys showed a lot of strength and character in the commitment they showed even going down a man and getting a goal and continuing to push. It’s a rollercoaster of emotion when you have the VAR, but again, you want the referees to get it right and they did.”

On the team’s response to the red card and getting the winning goal:

“It’s a strong group. The locker room is together. After a pretty good six-game run, we had a performance against Montreal that no one was happy with. I think we showed some character tonight, even down a man still going for it at the end. Good pressure by Jay Simpson, who we called upon, and Fafa [Picault] did good to read it and we make a play. I think the hard work and the defensive work of the guys got rewarded. I thought that Derrick Jones and Haris were asked to do a job of breaking up plays in the middle. They had a lot more recoveries than maybe on a typical night and really started some good attacks for us. I thought the defending as a team – we raised our level. And you’re rewarded when you defend collectively as a team and we were rewarded with a goal, as late as it was. I appreciate the effort from the guys and we have to move on now with a quick turnaround and assess things. We get back and maybe lose Ray [Gaddis] with an ankle, but we’ve shown that our full squad can step in and contribute. We’ll utilize everybody now going into Kansas City and then the Open Cup Final.”

On if it’s extra satisfying ending Seattle’s win streak:

“Listen, they’re a good team. You see their quality. We catch a little bit of a break when [Raul] Ruidiaz gets injured. In the first 15 minutes, they had us back on our heels so we were kind of overwhelmed a little bit. We navigated that and Andre [Blake] made a save or two, which you always need from your goalkeeper. The guys stuck with it. It’s an incredible streak that they’ve been on. Nine wins in a row is a record in our league by a good way so we’re happy to end it, but it’s not really about streaks at this point. It’s about getting points and I thought that our guys stuck with things and deserved the three points tonight against a really good team.”

PHILADELPHIA UNION MIDFIELDER FAFA PICAULT

On the goal:

“I think we were working hard. We had a lot of calls against us. It was hard over here in Seattle – long flight, long travel, time difference. On top of that, the turf. We just had to fight this game out towards the end of the game. I was reading a lot of passes throughout the game. I thought maybe if I step higher, Jay [Simpson] did a good job to pressure up high. I saw the cut off pass and had the option maybe to play to him. Goalie came out and made a good block of the angles, so I had to slip it through his legs.”

On ending Seattle’s nine-match win streak:

“Yeah, we don’t care about other teams. We don’t care about what they’re doing – nine, 10, 15 – I don’t even care. It’s important that we do our job every time we play. Every game is new, every day is new, so we have to come out and do our job. That’s the most important thing. It wasn’t the prettiest game, but we came out and got the job done and now we go back to Philly.”

On Philadelphia’s character after a long week:

“It’s tough, but we’ve been proving over the last few months that we’re able to do it at home and on the road. I think we proved it one more time tonight and I’m proud of the whole group.”

On Philadelphia’s mindset after the VAR-overturned goal:

“It’s still 0-0. When the goal is taken away, you just have to keep going as if nothing happened and set your mind to get another one and we did that.”

PHILADELPHIA UNION GOALKEEPER ANDRE BLAKE

On Philadelphia’s character:

“I think it was a great game. Seattle is a very good team. I think the guys did a great job tonight, we stuck to the game plan. It was very tough at the beginning of the game. We kind of found a way to stay in the game and we knew that once we stay in the game and once we keep them off the scoreboard, we were very close to getting a goal or three points and that’s all we did tonight.”

On ending Seattle’s nine-match win streak:

“It was a great game. A big three points for us to come across the country in a very tough environment to play as you said, against a team that’s been probably the hottest team in the league right now. It’s definitely big for us and I just think it’s important coming off a poor performance from the guys back home against Montreal. Hopefully we can just keep going.”

On their defense against Seattle’s forwards:

“We knew that they have a great front four and we knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy night. We had to stick together and grind it out. Even when we went down a man, we just pulled together. It’s not just the back four and me, it’s the entire team.”

PHILADELPHIA UNION FORWARD JAY SIMPSON

Overall thoughts on their performance:

“I think it’s a massive three points. It’s always difficult to play on the road and with travel, it’s a long way from home. Any three points on the road is massive, especially coming to the West Coast.”

On ending Seattle’s nine-match win streak:

“I think for us, we concentrate on ourselves. We want to make the playoffs. We went into the game to try and get three points, especially after the result we had last week.”

On playing after the red card:

“You start wondering if it’s going to be your night or if it’s a night where everything’s against you. You go down a man, I think we would have been happy to get out of there with a point, but like I said we’re delighted to get three points and we look forward to the next game.”