While watching the Sounders’ scoreless draw at Vancouver on Saturday, I was thinking the clear man of the match was defender Jeff Parke, who I thought had one of his best days in rave.
However, in an interview after training today, Parke said he didn’t see his effort as anything special/
“I wasn’t overly ecstatic with my play,” he said. “But I thought the team did a really good job. Except for a couple of chances there I thought we held them at bay for the better part of the game.”
Regardless, Parke certainly was involved in two of the flashiest, most memorable plays of the game — one defending, one attacking.
In the 30th minute, he made a risky sliding tackle in the penalty area, cleanly sweeping the ball off the foot of speedy Vancouver forward Darren Mattocks.
“Sometimes it just happens in the flow of the game,” Parke said. “You get your breaks. If you work hard you’re going to get more breaks than if you’re taking plays off or you’re trying to cheat plays.”
In the 79th minute, Parke got his right foot to a cross into the box and redirected the ball on goal, but it was saved off the line by Young-Pyo Lee at the near post.
“I knew I didn’t have enough on it,” Parke said. “I knew that their guy was going to tuck in, so the only way I would have maybe been able to sneak it past him was if I put it arm-height, because then he wouldn’t have been able to stick his arm out, or it would have been a PK if he hits it. I knew that he was inside, and just when I hit it, I thought, ‘Dang, he’s got it covered.’”
After the match coach Sigi Schmid also was given the chance to single out the play of Parke, but he also chose collective praise instead.
I thought we battled defensively,” Schmid said.” I thought everybody together played defensively well. It starts with our frontrunners as well. I thought that Eddie (Johnson) and that Fredy (Montero) helped us out as well. But I thought that the guys at the back (Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez and Adam Johansson) did well. And (defensive midfielder Osvaldo Alonso) is a big part of that effort. I thought we did a good job of keeping the ball in front of us, making sure that their speed didn’t become an impact for us early in the game, and it didn’t.”