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Coaches react to Sounders-Timbers draw

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on March 16, 2013 at 10:08 pm with No Comments »
March 16, 2013 10:09 pm

Here’s some of what the respective coaches had to say tonight after the Sounders (0-1-1) and Timbers (0-1-2) played to a 1-1 draw at CenturyLink Field.

Seattle coach SIGI SCHMID
On the game:
“Obviously we’re disappointed with the result, giving up a late goal. I thought the first 20-25 minutes were good. I thought we stretched them and I thought we created some chances, got our goal, as well. After that, I think we let them into the game a little bit. I think our play was a little bit too slow. Our movement to the ball was too slow. It seemed like they were obviously pressing and were more ambitious in terms of winning 50-50 balls than we were, and that certainly turned the tide of the game. In the second half, we really didn’t turn that around as much as we should have, maybe Tuesday was still in our legs a little bit. As a whole, we could have walked away tonight winning one-nothing, even though it wasn’t a good performance. The good news is the group is here now, the team is here, so it gives us a chance to start working together and getting our cohesion down. We’re still throwing out different people at different times, so it makes it hard to get that cohesion.”

On Portland’s equalizing goal: “Wallace was a wide player who made a run inside so he goes unmarked a little bit. He’s coming from DeAndre [Yedlin’s] side. When you’re in the box there you’ve maybe got to follow because it’s a dangerous time to pass players on because other people maybe have marks and already have responsibilities. We didn’t get pressure on [Andrew Jean-Baptiste], who played the ball in, and then Wallace runs through naked.”

On allowing Portland to equalize: “We have to manage the game through to the end of the game. A lot of times we brought pressure on ourselves in the last 15 minutes of the game by, instead of going forward with the ball, we’d come backward with the ball, when we could have put more pressure on them. They were tight defensively, which we knew they would be, and we knew there would be space behind, but we kept trying to play the feet and a couple of times it looked like we were getting behind. We were almost there, but there was a lot of physical play there, as well.”

On the strategy in the early part of the game: “We wanted to force them out on their right side, which would force them into Steve [Zakuani], as well. That’s why the ball was a little more there, and I thought the first 20 minutes we did a good job of that and we forced the ball over to that side. Then Steve had opportunities to run at [Ben] Zemanski and we also created some turnovers by the ball coming out there. After that, we lost the plot a little bit.”

On what was different in the second half: “I think our wide midfielders were too wide in the second half, and as a result of that it gave Portland the room inside and outnumbered our two central midfielders. We knew that was the case, but we knew we could shut that down, and we did at the beginning of the game. Like I said, we forgot to back to that and then they started connecting passes. As I said, the 50-50 balls went their way because they were a little better in terms of trying to win those balls back. Our team had a tough game on Tuesday, an emotional game. We came back, I thought we started well. We haven’t started games well this season, so I thought this was our best start to a game and we got the lead. Normally we make that stand up. Now there’s something that went right and you have built on what went right and eliminate what went wrong.”

On allowing the late goal in a derby match: “It doesn’t matter who it is, it’s ‘They had a late goal.’ We don’t need them to have late goals and we’ve got to finish out games better.”

On the play of Osvaldo Alonso: “Ozzie I thought defensively was very good and recovered a lot of balls and did some good things for us, but offensively I think his game has got to get a little bit sharper for us, as well. I think sometimes there’s some extra touches, but I’ll never fault Ozzie for his effort and for his ability to win the ball back. If he does lose the ball, he’s the first guy in there fighting and battling to try and get it back. Part of our game starts there in the middle of midfield, and today the movement of the ball in the middle of midfield wasn’t quick enough.”

Portland coach CALEB PORTER
On coming away with a draw…)
“Not only did we get a point, but they lost two points. It gives us a lot of belief moving forward. This team has a lot of mettle. I’m most proud of our effort defensively. We dug deep. We gave up a goal and obviously it was a counter again and we got punished for it. But overall, for 90 minutes, we defended very well against that team. That’s a very dynamic team.”

On Rodney Wallace’s goal: “He came off the bench for us and made a goal so I’m real happy with him, but it was a team effort. Everybody, at the end of the game, I thought really went to another level. It wasn’t pretty, but they dug deep, they battled, they fought, never gave up, never quit. In the end, to score that goal, it was fair because they were rewarded for their effort.”

On what he told the team at halftime: “I was very composed and even-keeled with them because I really believed we’d come back. There was evidence of that in the first half with the way we were playing. I thought it was a very even half to be honest with you. In terms of flow and rhythm, we probably had the better of it. That’s one of the nice things about the way we play, if we go down a goal, nothing changes, we’re still going to have the ball, we’re still going to push the game. You’re going to see an even better level once we’re up goals. But I never underestimate this team, I really don’t.”

On if he got the sense that the team was going to come back: Very much. Part of that is that we’ve been down in games and we have a lot of belief. We’ve come back in games. Even in the Montreal match, we were pushing the game and had chances to tie the game. This team, they have that ability to come back so I think we were all very composed. We knew we had at least 45 minutes to score a goal and at least get a point out of it.”

On including Jack Jewsbury and Ben Zemanski in the starting lineup: “We wanted a couple more guys on the field that bring a little bit of fight and bite and grit. Those two guys certainly bring that. I thought they both had good games.”

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