Herculez Gomez scored the lone goal tonight as Santos Laguna took a 1-0 result over Seattle in the opening match of the CCL semifinal series.
Afterward, he discussed the game and also recalled the time he spent with the USL Sounders in 2003.
On his goal: “I don’t recall whose shot forced a good save out of Marcus Hahnemann, but I was fortunate to get on the end of the rebound, that was pretty much all that happened, after that it was just a blur. It feels good coming back. The objective for us was to come out of it with a win. We wanted to definitely put them on their heels, and definitely try to go at them at home, and set a good tone for the second match. We know they’re a good team so we’re happy with our performance. Obviously like coach said we could do a lot better, especially on the defensive side of our organization, but we’ll take the win.”
On how confident is the team with going home after a win like this: “I think that is the great thing about our team. This team keeps working for more. Our coaches have kept us pretty humble up until this point. We know that we’re playing a good team, and they have done a great job to get here so we have to respect our opponent. By no means is this already assured for the next leg. We still have a lot to play for.”
On his history with the Sounders and the fans: “I love it. Being called a Sounders’ reject, being called any kind of reject digs deep and it fuels fire. I didn’t have the easiest go at the beginning of my career so any chance I can get to redeem myself is a good chance. I thought t was a good play on that on my first shot. I thought that Zach Scott did a great job on closing me down and closing that angle to help Marcus Hahnemann out. I couldn’t get it quite on frame like I wanted to, but that’s part of being a striker, you have to keep working. They always say that the next play is the most important play, so that is what I was looking forward to, and fortunately for us we came out on top.”
On DeAndre Yedlin: “He’s a good player, a good little kid. I told him after the game to keep his head up, I — what is he, 19? — it’s his first year as a professional, he can only get better, he’s going to learn, he has a good group of guys around him, I think the Sounders are well coached, and I think he is going to learn a lot. I was impressed with him.”
On his time in Seattle: “Well I was 21 so I don’t remember much. I was here for maybe two months, and it was probably one of the best summers that I have ever had. It was like 50 straight days of sunshine and 70 degrees weather, which is unheard of in Seattle, so I had a blast. Adrian and the Seattle organization are top notch, even back then when they were A league it was impressive. I’m proud of how far they have come, I’m proud of what they have established up here because it is something special around the league. I was proud to be a Seattle Sounder.”
On his reaction from the fans: “I think the reaction I got from the fans was a pretty good one after the game. Fans were pretty appreciative, and they know that when the 90 minutes were over, I became a national team player again, they let me know how they felt, and that was pretty special
“… Brian Schmetzer was a coach, Zach Scott was there. I spoke to him some during the game and asked him how his family was, how he was doing. I know he was one of the few players that have played a decade with the Sounders, and that’s pretty impressive playing a decade alone, yet with just one team, I’m happy for him. It’s always good to see good people get rewarded in that way. It’s good to see old faces you know, Brad Evans and Marcus Hahnemann. Marcus was with me in the World Cu, and I thought he was just hilarious. It’s always good to see the guys, and like I said, coming back to the states for me is always special. I enjoy my time in Mexico, but there is nothing like being home.”