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Coaches share feelings on scoreless draw

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on April 13, 2013 at 5:25 pm with No Comments »
April 13, 2013 5:25 pm

Here’s what the respective coaches had to say today after the Sounders and Revolution played to a scoreless draw at CenturyLink Field:

Sounders coach SIGI SCHMID
On if the team was pressing to score…)
“I don’t know if we were pressing to score a goal-you want to score a goal. Pressing would be if guys are taking shots from ridiculous angles or trying stupid things. The shots we’re getting-breakaway, across the goal mouth pass, those kind of opportunities are good opportunities, you just have to finish them.”

On being unable to finish a chance…) “They’re all soccer players so they should all finish. If you had an actual forward there-maybe if he gets that opportunity, maybe his quality is better. That’s why some guys start and other guys don’t. The guys right now today were Neagle and Zakuani and it was their opportunity to try to finish something. The next time we’ll have to see. We’ll obviously have to find somebody who can finish consistently and at the same time supply us, as well, with the work rate we need. The work rate was good, and part of the opportunities that got created were because of the work rate. Lamar making those inside out runs-he’s getting the ball, getting at them-that’s what creates those opportunities and so we need the work rate and the quality.”

On controlling the run of play…) “For the first 70 minutes, for sure. I thought for the last 15 minutes we had lost the plot a little bit. Shalrie was really fatigued, that’s why I had to take him out. But it disrupted our rhythm a little bit of our play and they came into the game a little bit when they switched to a 4-4-2. That’s probably a point in the game where you say maybe we were pressing a little bit looking for that goal. Guys were starting to think, ‘Oh jeez, it’s not going to come,’ and put some pressure on themselves, but for the first 70 minutes I thought it was good.”

On the play of Lamar Neagle…) “I thought Lamar was alright. He needs to maybe get a few more looks himself onto goal. It’s just little things like the cross at the end where the cross was just a little high, if Caskey hits that cross and it ends up being a foot lower, Lamar can step up and bury that ball into the back of the net. So he put himself in a good position, but the service was a little bit high. I thought Lamar did what I asked him to do-he stayed high, he occupied the back two, he made runs in behind the defense, he won his duel with A.J. Soares in terms of the aerial dual and things like that which we felt he could…I was happy with how he played. I thought he put in a good shift.”

On Steve Zakuani’s play at forward…) “I thought in the Santos game he was the guy that was most closely involved with the majority of our chances, so that’s why I decided to give him another game there-hopefully a little more relaxed and understanding what we want. I thought he did an even better job this game through, especially the first 45, staying high and being more of a threat to their back line. Again, he had two really quality looks in the first half, then he had a quality look that he created himself in the second half off the dribble. If you finish one of those three-we don’t need all three, I just need one of those three-and we’re there, and I’m sure he feels the same way. There’s nobody that feels worse than he does.”

On Philip Lund’s debut …) “Lund has been training well. He’s busy and he’s active. He hits a heavy shot with either foot so we felt like giving him a go. I think he was maybe little bit overwhelmed his first game so I don’t think he got into it or got involved as much as I think he could have. But it’s based upon what he’s been doing.”

On getting the first shutout of the year …) “It’s great to have a shutout and hopefully we’ll have more. I think Djimi Traore got beat up pretty bad today in the game. At the end of the game he was struggling a bit and we were fortunate to even hold a shutout at the end. That’s the good part – we got the shutout. It feels hollow right now because I know the guys sitting in there, they wanted the win and it was there for us to take.”

On guaranteeing a win and whether the players rose to the occasion …) “It was all about me showing my support for the players because I believe in the group and I believe in what we have. I thought it was great. Apparently (New England coach) Jay Heaps thought I was taking a shot at his team. I’m not worried about his team. I could care less about what they’re about. What I’m worried about is my team. It was about showing them that I’m behind them and that I believe in them. We talked about starting it off today … that today is the day we start it. We sort of started it with a tie, but we need to start it with a win.”

On if he was happy with the effort the players turned in …) “I thought through the first 70 minutes, we played well. Soccer-wise, it was decent, it was as good as we’ve played at times. It’s just a matter of finishing.”

On why they have been unable to finish chances this season…) “It’s hard to say. In training we’ve done a lot of things in terms of going offense against defense, numbers up, numbers down in terms of going to goal, trying to put them in front of goal. We try to play goals in tight and put them in situations where they’re comfortable finishing. But the psychological part you can’t measure. Sometimes you do press and it’s just not happening. It’s like when you’re trying to water your lawn and your hose gets that little kink in it. When you’re around the corner, you’re looking to see where that kink is. If you get that kink out, then all of a sudden there it goes. It all looks so easy. Right now we just can’t find the little kink in the hose.”

On the play of Osvaldo Alonso…) “I think Ozzie played well. I thought for the most part that we controlled the midfield. I thought Ozzie and Shalrie had good control of the midfield and we were in possession of the ball. He helped us recover a lot of balls. It was good, he was busy, he was active. Ozzie and I had talked about that being the strength and always being able a hallmark of his game…Again, he won his job, he won the ball and played it on, and guys have to their job from there on.”

On the play of Shalrie Joseph…) “Shalrie’s helping us. I think it’s still a little rough at times because he’s still getting into his game rhythm and his fitness rhythm. For him to play two games this week and play basically around 160 minutes in those two games is going to go a long way towards really improving his game as we move forward. I think he’s been a combination. If we can get Evans out there, as well…and it’ll all come together. For now, that’s not the situation.”

New England coach JAY HEAPS
On the game overall…)
“I thought our first half wasn’t very good. We weren’t good enough with the ball and weren’t creating enough. The second half was definitely a little bit better for us. It’s a tough place to play and our guys stepped up to the challenge. We did a nice job defensively. We have to continue to push forward and get chances. As the game went on, we got stronger and had more chances that were dangerous toward the end. We just have to get those earlier in the match.”

On the message at halftime…) “We had to be better with the ball. It was clear that a lot of our giveaways were unforced errors. It has to be a little bit better in that regard. This is a hard place to come with the travel and everything involved with it. But in terms of how we handled ourselves the last few minutes of the game I thought was pretty good, and we have to make sure that we continue to do things like that.”

On both teams are fighting for points…) “Both teams are struggling to get wins so we knew they were going to come out flying and they did. That was part of our job – to manage the first 20 minutes of the game, then try to take the game on. We never really did that until the second half. I thought (Andy) Dorman came in and did an excellent job as did all of our subs. Saer (Sene) came in and you could tell we were a little more aggressive offensively when he was on. That’s what we need to bring and it was a good first step for him.”

On Saer Sene…) “He’s not 100-percent yet, but you can see some of the things he can do. He kept the ball for us, made some good runs and his fitness is going to come along. His body is good, but we just need to get his fitness up. He definitely helped us.”

On the decision to play Bobby Shuttleworth…) “Really it came down to a week of training and Matt (Reis) was starting to get a little bit better. Ultimately the decision came down to who was stronger at this time. It was clear that Matt wasn’t at 100-percent – he probably wasn’t even at 90-percent. Bobby has been in big moments for us this season already. He’s had a couple of tough goals against and (today) he really stepped up and made a huge save in the first half and a huge save in the second half.”

On the backline posting another shutout…) “I think (Chris) Tierney did a nice job defensively for us and stepped in. It was his first game back and getting him settled in. Chris going forward will really help us, but (today) I think he was more worried about defensive responsibilities.”

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