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Schmid says Sounders still need improvement on set pieces, timing

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on Feb. 22, 2013 at 9:49 pm with No Comments »
February 22, 2013 9:49 pm

Here’s some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say tonight after the Sounders and Veracruz played to a scoreless draw in Tucson:

On the game: “It was good from a number of standpoints. For one, [it was good] for us to get 90 minutes. Also from the way they play-the style-that’s what we were looking for more than anything else. It gives us some good talking points as to what we can expect when we play Tigres-now that we’re not telling them ‘Just watch the video and see it,’ they actually have played against it…We had opportunities to score three-four goals in the first half. We didn’t finish well. The goalkeeper came up big on one or two, as well. If we we finish those chances then the game would have been a little bit different for us. Overall, I’m pleased that we got 90 minutes in.”

On Mauro Rosales and Eddie Johnson playing up top together: “That was fine. I thought they were good in terms of finding each other. I thought Mario Martinez did a good job of slipping Eddie in on two-three occasions so we’re in behind-that’s how they got the red card, as well. For us, it was important to play 11 vs. 11 so we let them replace that player. It takes time, it takes repetition to get it done, but I was pleased that we created chances. I wasn’t pleased with the finishing, but if we didn’t create chances I’d be more displeased.”

On guys getting into the box: “People got into the box, I thought we were around there. Steve [Zakuani] turned a corner, especially in the first half, even his second half he got in there. He’s got to work on his finishing touch when he comes inside with his right foot. There were a couple of crosses we ended up swinging and missing on. Again, it’s that fine-tuning of finishing under pressure that practice can’t quite replicate. Only games can replicate it so it was good to have a game today to do that.”

On Sounders FC keeping possession: “I thought it was okay. I thought our possession was pretty good. Early on in the game, they had possession very deep in their end of the field and knocked it around a little bit, so it was good for us to deal with that, be patient, and shift and slide. I thought for the most part we did pretty good job with that. Early on, we lost the ball a little bit quickly when we got it, and sometimes when you don’t see the ball for a while you get impatient and want to go forward too quickly. After we settled into a rhythm, we had good sequences of holding onto the ball, and up till about 65 or 70 minutes our sequences were more productive at the end of the day than theirs were. In the last 20 minutes of the game, it definitely changed a little bit and our fatigue showed. As we got tired we decided we weren’t going to try and press more, and that was the wrong time to press.”

On the play of rookie DeAndre Yedlin among veterans: “I thought DeAndre did well, and I think you can see he is a good player and he’s going to become an even better player. I thought he played with confidence. His speed and quickness are his assets. He’s got to use those. He made a couple of good runs forward. His passing ability is pretty good. I was happy with him. He should be happy with what he did.”

On what he still wants to see out his starting group before the first game: “We’ve got to work on our set pieces. We didn’t take advantage of our corners. We had a number of corner and we were off on that service and runs. We’ve got to work on set pieces this week, for sure. We have to work on our finishing, as well. We just have to work on basically dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s when we put together good combinations so we finish them and make a tally on the scoreboard. We also have to look at our timing of playing balls through to people. Sometimes it’s got to be a little bit earlier.”

On the team’s defensive effort: “The defensive effort was alright until the last 10-15 minutes. We got opened up a bit and [Michael] Gspurning had to make a big save on that double header off the corner, but it was okay.”

On what playing Rosales up front does for the team: “We’ve played Mauro as a second forward oftentimes, especially in his first year with us. Fredy [Montero] missed some guys with a wrist injury and such. He can play there. Right now with Martinez playing as well as he is, he needs to be on the field. Zakuani I thought did a good job, and fitness-wise he’s way ahead of where he’s ever been at this stage in preseason. Mauro can play that position underneath, he’s someone that will get into the box, as well, and we think that’s a good combination.”

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