Here was coach Sigi Schmid’s reaction after the Sounders opened their CCL quarterfinal series with a 1-0 loss at Tigres:
We’re happy that we’re in a position where we can win this thing in Seattle. Obviously our history in the last two years in two-game series in the league is when you go down 3-0, and I thought it was important – even though the goal looked like an offside goal; I haven’t seen the replay yet – that once we took that goal that we maintained our defensive integrity and made sure that we didn’t take another goal. That was a mistake that we made in the past games, so I feel good where we’re at. We’re still at the beginning of our season, so I don’t think it was our best soccer. I think better soccer is still ahead of us. And being at home in front of our fans with a chance to advance is where we wanted to be.
On defense improving as game went on: I thought we did all right defensively. We dodged a few bullets. I think they had three really good chances in the first half. … Obviously we got fortunate in there because they missed some chances they might normally score. But that’s part of the game too. We had a couple of counters that I thought we could have done a little better with. But overall, as a whole, I thought the defense stayed organized and stayed disciplined, which was important tonight.
On 1-0 against what might be best club in Mexico: It’s important. They’ve only taken three goals all year. They’ve outscored most everybody they’ve played. They haven’t lost a game yet — they’re 6-0-3. So for us to play a team like that when they’re there in a good rhythm, and for us to play them as early as we have in our season — still missing some players, missing Zakuani tonight, Shalrie still not there, we still don’t have the situation resolved with our DP — so there are certain guys that we’re missing, and fitness of guys is still coming along. So to come here in a very difficult environment with a great atmosphere, a very supportive Tigres crowd, to be able to have the character to do what we did tonight, it was very important.
On Tigres support: The crowd was fantastic. They’re very supportive of their team, which they should be because they have a very, very good team here. It was just another element that we had to play against. You heard right away, the very first time we touched the ball, a loud boo, and everything else. And that’s something guys have to get used to. It was good for Djimi Traore playing his first game, so that’s good. DeAndre Yedlin gets on the field and contributes some good minutes for us. We had to shift Mario Martinez around in a few different positions, and he’s got a little bit of a knock on his knee, so we weren’t sure how many minutes we were going to get out of him tonight. So considering all that, I thought it was good.
On Traore’s Sounders debut: I thought Djimi did well. I thought he helped us in securing our defense, organized us well, cleared the ball when he needed to. Where he helped us, he had good calm and composure back there, and that helped us.
On what he needs for club to advance to semifinals: We need to play better soccer. We need to do a better job possessing the ball, we need to create attacking movements of our own, we need to play with that confidence, we need to put a little more pressure on their midfield so that we can win the ball back a little bit sooner, and early in the game we turned the ball over at times when we really shouldn’t have turned it over, so we’ve got to be sure we avoid those.
I’ll be back with more Sounders’ reaction soon.