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Seattle Sounders vs. LAFC: Highlights, stats and quotes

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“It’s pro sports — there are no moral victories. But this is about as close as it gets.” -Brian Schmetzer


Match Data

SUMMARY

Seattle Sounders FC 1 - Los Angeles FC 1

Saturday, April 28, 2019

Venue: CenturyLink Field

Referee: Ted Unkel

Assistants: Jason White, Jeffrey Greeson

Fourth Official: Michael Radchuk

VAR: Hilario Grajeda

Attendance: 38,581

Weather: 55 degrees and partly sunny

SCORING SUMMARY

SEA - Jordan Morris 1’

LAFC - Carlos Vela (Diego Rossi, Jordan Harvey) 4’

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

SEA - Kim Kee-hee (caution) 10’

SEA - Cristian Roldan (ejection) 18’

LAFC - Mark-Anthony Kaye (caution) 18’

LAFC - Tristan Blackmon (caution) 42’

SEA - Nicolás Lodeiro (caution) 59’

SEA - Kelvin Leerdam (ejection) 90’+5’

LINEUPS & STATS

Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam, Román Torres, Kim Kee-hee, Brad Smith; Jordy Delem, Cristian Roldan, Harry Shipp (Alex Roldan 70’), Nicolás Lodeiro - captain, Handwalla Bwana (Henry Wingo 79’); Jordan Morris (Saad Abdul-Salaam 90’+7’)

Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Jonathan Campbell, Danny Leyva

Total shots: 4 (Four players, 1)

Shots on goal: 3 (Three players, 1)

Fouls: 14 (Lodeiro, 5)

Offside: 0

Corner-kicks: 5 (Lodeiro, 5)

Saves: 4 (Frei, 4)

Los Angeles FC - Tyler Miller; Tristan Blackmon (Lee Nguyen HT), Walker Zimmerman, Eddie Segura, Jordan Harvey (Mohamed El-Munir 70’); Eduard Atuesta, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Latif Blessing; Diego Rossi, Christian Ramirez (Adrien Perez 77’), Carlos Vela - captain

Substitutes not used: Pablo Sisniega, Peter-Lee Vassell, Niko Hamalainen, Josh Perez

Total shots: 21 (Vela, 6)

Shots on goal: 5 (Vela, 2)

Fouls: 7 (Seven players, 1)

Offside: 3 (Rossi, 2)

Corner-kicks: 4 (Vela, 4)

Saves: 2 (Miller, 2)


Post-Match Quotes

SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH BRIAN SCHMETZER

On the red card and how it impacted the rest of the match:

“Explosive start to the game. Two teams that wanted to prove a point. Red cards, cards, it obviously impacts games, what you do tactically. Certainly when you go down a goal, what you gain is, okay the guy with 11 can be tactically more creative, which I think is what Bob [Bradley] did. But the guy that’s coaching with 10 gets that mental bump of, ‘Okay, odds are against us, let’s circle the wagons and salvage something out of the game.’ The foul itself, it’s a funny rule because the letter of the law is hands to face is an automatic red, which I don’t dispute. I just watched the replay. I don’t dispute that. Cristian’s [Roldan] hand got into [Eduard] Atuesta’s face. What I’m disputing, though, is just Cristian’s intent and the way his hand got up into [Atuesta’s] face. The intent was completely on Atuesta, who was not in the brawl initially, because it was [Mark-Anthony] Kaye and Cristian, and he deliberately, with intent, went to shove Cristian, and he doesn’t get a yellow. So that doesn’t seem fair. And when he shoves Cristian in the chest, which is not a straight red, Cristian becomes unbalanced and his arms go up, and his hand hits him in the face. I always say this, referees have a tough job. Referees are actually human beings with emotions. They have to make good decisions in critical times under duress, so it’s not easy being a referee. But I just think in those moments if you ever watch Cristian Roldan play, that there is no intent, and somehow that has to factor into it. But like I said, I can live with the call, the thing I don’t like to live with, or I won’t live with, is Atuesta not getting a yellow, because I think he was the instigator.”

On if one point from a draw feels like three:

“It’s pro sports, there are no moral victories. But this is about as close as it gets. I would say that. What I’m most proud of out of that group is that they all came together. After the tough week, it’s their third game in eight days, some of them are tired, heavy-legged, they actually came together as a group and formed a really strong bond amongst themselves that I know is going to help us down the road. Those types of matches are critical to have. It’s critical when your players step up. Look, it’s easy when you’re 5-0-1, you can play, whatever. When the chips are down or you’re under some duress, and the team makes a performance like that, that makes me proud to be a Sounder.”

On how important it was for all three units to perform well:

“Again, credit to the assistant coaches. They do a good job. They make sure that every player on the field knows exactly what their job is. The players out there executed what we needed them to do in critical moments. The desire and determination starting with our captain, starting with Román [Torres], Stef [Frei], everybody, it spread throughout the team. Brad Smith almost scoring at the end, I mean we had some pretty monster performances there. Jordan [Morris] up there on his own for 88 minutes, there were some big performances in that game that showed that they didn’t only have the heart and determination, but they were able to execute tactically what we wanted to stay in the side. We’ll let them cross balls in from out wide because we have Román and Kim [Kee-hee] in there cleaning stuff up. I think our objective tactically worked in some small way, shape, or form.”

SOUNDERS FC DEFENDER BRAD SMITH

On the emotional, physical game:

“From the get-go, it was a tough team to go up against. We wanted some revenge from last week and yeah, it was just a crazy game. For Cristian to get sent off early on, we knew it was going to be a tough afternoon and we dug deep and defended well, it was good to get a point.”

On nearly scoring a goal near the end of the match:

“I stayed forward because I knew they were really high and there was a lot of space behind them, and lucky it came, I wanted to take it around Tyler [Miller] and he just got a touch to it and bobbled it up and then the angle was really tight. Then, I think it was [Latif] Blessing who was on the post, it was a really tight angle and I had just decided to chop it and get it on my right to score, but credit to the team that they came back and the goalkeeper was there and I thought Jordan would tap it in but it was a bit of a scramble but it happens. I thought I was going to score my first goal.”

On staying disciplined against a team like LAFC:

“That’s what we worked on, that’s what happened. They were in these pockets getting in between us so we wanted to have two banks of four with the wingers in really tight. That helped so much today to get two vs. two out wide and keep them out there and let the fullbacks have the ball because their danger men are their wide men. We wanted to get two men on them and just leave their fullbacks.”

SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER JORDAN MORRIS

On his goal in the first minute:

“I think it was Harry [Shipp] that was putting him under pressure, or Cristian [Roldan] too, so I just gambled on it and was fortunate to intercept it and finish, but I think that was the start that we wanted. We were going to be aggressive with this team and we knew if we gave them time and space, they’re a good team, and so we wanted to try to put them under pressure and I think it was a good start to the game.”

On his thought process when scoring the goal against former teammate and friend Tyler Miller:

“It happens quick. Tyler [Miller] is my buddy and we joke about that stuff all the time. He’s a great goalie and I was just fortunate to finish the play off. I wasn’t thinking about that at the time.”

On his first goal since scoring against Chicago Fire:

“It’s whatever I can do to help the team win. I don’t think too much about that, it’s just trying to help the team win and do whatever I can, but obviously it feels good to get on the scoresheet.”

On Cristian Roldan’s red card:

“It’s tough. I think it’s a tough, tough play. Of course I don’t think it was a red card. In a game like that it changes a lot of things. I thought we were putting the pressure on them and doing well. I mean, it’s the ref’s decision so you have to respect it and move on. For us to get a point out of this game it is big. It’s a testament to this game and a testament to how hard we work and it feels good to come out with a draw.”

SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER CRISTIAN ROLDAN

On his red card in the 18th minute:

“Well I don’t want to go too far, but it’s a big game, it’s a huge game. There’s contact, there’s issues going on throughout the field. I do think that you have to treat it as a big game. For me, from what I saw, I make a good tackle, the ball goes out of bounds, I’m rushed by [Mark-Anthony] Kaye, I get pushed, I defend myself and push him back, I get pushed again from another guy, my hands go up in the air, completely accidental. Look, I’m not a guy that puts his hands up pretty often. I’m a guy that plays as honest as I can. I’m not here to disagree, but to be honest it was not deliberate. That’s really the whole message behind this. It’s a huge game and I never want to hurt my team in any way and the fact that it may have looked like it was deliberate, I’m getting pushed and my hands go up. There’s contact to the face, there’s a little bit of embellishment, but like I said, it’s a huge game and I think it should be treated like that.”

On if the referee Ted Unkel communicated anything with him:

“Like I said, I don’t want this to be taken the wrong way, but I was not told anything. I was not spoken to. I asked Ted Unkel if they looked at it with VAR, he said, ‘yes,’ and that was pretty much the whole conversation. He did not say if it was deliberate or not. He did not mention anything to me about what he saw. But like I said, it’s a huge game, I think we have to try to use VAR as much as possible. Like I said, I don’t want to hurt my team in any way. It was completely accidental and just an unfortunate play. The reality was I played the ball and I’m getting rushed at.”

On what the LAFC players said about why they took exception to his tackle on Vela:

“I don’t think Kaye liked the force I play with. The fact that I am not necessarily targeting, I’m just playing hard defense and too many people are afraid, or may take it personal, that I’m just playing my part, I’m doing my part to help the team and playing aggressive defense. At times it frustrates teams but the reality is it can’t frustrate the whole game. It can’t create chaos. It can’t lead to what happened like I said. I want to be completely neutral about this, but it’s hard to and I never want to speak bad about anybody or those officials.”

On if he had any history with the players or referee:

“This is my first red card, guys. It’s unknown territory for me. I am very good friends with a lot of guys on LAFC. I don’t have any history of being overly aggressive or being close to getting a red card. The reality is that this is a sport that we play. It’s not completely black and white. We have to move forward and there hopefully will be some kind of talk between myself and the league.”

SOUNDERS FC DEFENDER KELVIN LEERDAM

LOS ANGELES FC HEAD COACH BOB BRADLEY

On taking four points in two games against Seattle but not winning today with the early man advantage:

“We give up an early goal, we respond really well, then we have a long time to get another goal. It is just a matter in those situations, can you be sharp, can you get the timing, can you really make a play. I thought we kept trying, but it is a day when we just couldn’t make the play when it mattered. They get credit, man. They worked hard. They were determined to hang in there. For us it is a bit frustrating, but that is also how it works some days.”

On Christian Ramirez missing early and its effect on the team:

“We created a good chance. The ball is coming across hopping a little bit. Christian feels bad because he is a goal scorer. But that is football. He is still the guy that we have, just great confidence in, in terms of his ability to score goals, and I think in this last stretch he has played really well. I don’t think anybody thinks about it more than that.”

On if you saw a different Seattle team today:

“Ah, this game was crazy. This game was – early goal, cards. So you can’t really compare this game, in any way. Like I said, they get credit because when they went down a man, they battened down the hatches, they worked for each other. You always give credit for that. We always look at us. Look at the moments now where now you have a little advantage and see if the understanding, the timing, the execution, those things are good. We won’t be happy when we go back on that side of things.”

On the emotions and how the referee managed the game:

“Overall I think it wasn’t easy for the referee to handle the game. I don’t think it was a tough game but I don’t think on that end it was handled in the best way.”

LOS ANGELES FC GOALKEEPER TYLER MILLER

On today’s game:

“I mean I think it was a very exciting game at times. I think that both teams had their spells of opportunity. In the end it was a fair result. We definitely had some good opportunities that we could have come away here with a win, but I think the guys fought until the end.”

On the last 10 minutes of the game:

“That just goes to show you in the game of football anything can happen no matter how many guys you have on the field. I mean I think at that point they had nine guys and they are still able to get the ball and a good chance to come away here with a win. We also went down and had a good chance to go away with a win as well, so it just goes to show how crazy this game can be.”

On your thoughts on Seattle’s opening goal:

“It is a miscommunication. Eddie didn’t see Jordan was sneaking in behind him. I think those things happen. That is part of the chemistry that we continue to work on and build. This is a difficult place to come in and play. I think that after that though he responded well and had a really solid game.”

On your thoughts on being back in Seattle:

“It is always nice to be back here. I had a lot of good memories in my two and a half years here. It is fun to be able to come back here and play.”

LOS ANGELES FORWARD CARLOS VELA

On today’s game:

“I think we had a bad mistake in the first minute. Outside of that it was all in our way. We had a lot of chances to win the game because we scored quickly back. Then they had the red card. So we had a lot of time with the advantage. We didn’t finish the work in the way we needed to do it. It is football. We had chances. We created a lot of chances. We had the possession. We tried until the end but sometimes the ball just doesn’t want to go in. I think we had a good game. Before the game for sure [if you asked us] coming here and take a draw is not a bad result. We are still working. We want to keep in a good way and we are doing well.”

On the team scoring quickly after Seattle scored early:

“Yeah I think it was the most important part of the game. We never gave up. We were never down. That is a good character for our team. It shows it doesn’t matter what situation we are in. We always want to score. We always want to play good football. We are trying to show every game.”