The key moment of Seattle’s 1-0 loss to San Jose tonight came when defender Marc Burch was whistled for knocking down Quakes forward Steven Lenhart in the penalty area. That led to a Chris Wondolowski PK, the game’s only goal.
Lenhart has a reputation for trying to goad and distract players into mistakes. Coach Sigi Schmid spoke of it in the days leading up to the game.
Here’s what they had to say after the match:
It was my fault, 100 percent. I went up for a header, he gave me a little elbow in the back, so he started running around the far post, and I just tried to jump into his path, and he sold it pretty well. I don’t think I swung, I don’t think I kicked him, I don’t think I tried to take him down on purpose, but I jumped in his path and I shouldn’t have.
On if the call was warranted)
I think the foul before that was warranted. I think me going up in the air and getting pushed in the back on a goal-scoring opportunity is a little bit worse than him running by me and me jumping in his path. I don’t know, I have to watch the replay. Maybe it looked a lot worse. He sells fouls pretty well, and I’m sure he sold that one as well as he could. Sometimes the ref buys into and sometimes he doesn’t.
On if it’s hard not to let Lenhart bait him)
It’s 100 percent my fault. I have to be bigger than that, better than that. He’s the kind of player that that’s exactly what he looks for for an entire season, and he got one. I should be better than that. I’ve watched him enough, I’ve seen him enough, and it’s the same tricks every single game he plays. I don’t think it’s the best soccer, but that’s his game, that’s what he does.
On an incident when Lenhart pointed to his head)
That’s what he says, it’s just his mind games. That’s his thing, that’s what he does. I don’t think he got in my head, I just think I made a play and he dove.
“I didn’t think, from my angle, that it was necessarily a PK. I thought it was sort of what they say in basketball when you initiate the contact kind of thing.
On how he thinks his team responded to the penalty kick goal) “I think what resulted in the PK was us reacting to get a hit before the PK. There was contact made by I think [Steven] Lenhart before and so it was a little bit of, ‘OK, let me show you. I can stand my ground, too.’ But I thought our reaction – I don’t know what you mean by reaction – but I thought our reaction was OK. We tried to come out and play soccer and score a goal. I thought we put pressure on them in second half.”
On the number of fouls in the match — 15 by SJ, 12 by Seattle) “When look at their two big forwards – Lenhart and [Alan] Gordon – they committed seven fouls between the two of them. That’s a ton of fouls to commit out of that one position. But for the most part I thought we handled it fairly well. Obviously they got the better of us in that particular circumstance.”
On what he said to the referees after the game) “I just thanked him for the game and told him he needed to watch the replay of the PK.”
On if he thought there should have been a PK called when Estrada went down in the box) “I heard Estrada slipped. I never saw the replay. The linesman on the side told me that Estrada slipped and that it wasn’t a PK, so I said fair enough. But then why call that one in the first half? So it’s the same thing. It’s the same thing how we picked up a couple of yellow cards on tackles and there were tackles that went the other way, like Zach Scott’s tackle. I was upset with that because they gave Zach a yellow card. I wasn’t upset – it was a yellow card. I think Zach’s tackle was a yellow card tackle, but I was upset because I think there had been comparable tackles earlier that hadn’t been yellow carded.”
On Steven Lenhart’s play committing fouls) “That’s Steven’s game. That’s what he does all the time. He does that all the time and then afterwards he apologizes. That’s his thing.”