Here are some notes from the Sounders 2-0 win over D.C. United at CenturyLink Field, with club reaction below:
• Seattle’s four straight home wins matches a club record set from July 7 to September 8, 2012. The four consecutive home wins is tied for the second-longest home winning streak in MLS this season. FC Dallas set the record this season with five straight home wins from March 2 to April 20.
• Sounders FC is now unbeaten over the past six home games (4-0-2), which is tied for fifth-longest streak in MLS this season. FC Dallas is yet to lose at home in 2013, posting a nine-match home unbeaten streak. Seattle’s record home unbeaten streak is eight games (4-0-4) from April 25 to July 25, 2009.
• Sounders FC broke its club record for most goals (13) over a four-game home span.
• Seattle improved to 32-0-8 when scoring first, the longest active streak in MLS and second-longest in league history. New York holds the all-time record at 58 games.
• Obafemi Martins scored his team-high fifth and sixth goals of the MLS Regular Season. Martins’ six goals in 636 minutes is a club record, making him the 11th player in club history to score six or more league goals.
• Sounders FC improved to 6-0-0 when Obafemi Martins scores or assists. He leads the team with three game-winning goals.
• Seattle improved to 4-2-2 all-time against D.C. United in MLS play, and has posted 308 shutout minutes against D.C. United. The shutout was Michael Gspurning’s sixth this season, tied for the fourth-most in MLS.
• Brad Evans recorded his third assist of the MLS regular season, matching Lamar Neagle and Mauro Rosales for the team lead.
• Eddie Johnson is now one game away from receiving the good behavior incentive. He is currently the only Sounders FC player with four yellow card cautions.
• Head Coach Sigi Schmid is now one game away from becoming the first to coach 400 MLS regular season matches.
• Tonight’s attendance of 39,180 was the third-largest Seattle crowd this season, ranking behind Portland (40,150) and Vancouver (53,679). It was the 75th consecutive home sellout.
Coach SIGI SCHMID
On the game…) “I think tonight was one of those games that you have to grind out. I don’t think it was necessarily our best soccer, per se. There were a couple of opportunistic goals-a good ball from Brad Evans to Obafemi [Martins] for the first goal and Obafemi with a lot of heart and determination on the second goal. Not having played in a while, having played irregularly over the last month-practice is not the same as games-it takes you a while to get your rhythm. I thought we were a little dis-jointed, and it’s one of those games you just have to roll up your sleeves and grind out. You have to take a victory on certain days and say, ‘It’s not going to be beautiful, it’s not going to be necessarily artistic, so we just roll up the sleeves and still get it done. You have to find different ways to win games throughout the season, and today I thought we accomplished that, so I was happy with that.”
(On the play of Eddie Johnson and Obafemi Martins up front…) “In the first half, one of the things we talked about was I thought Eddie [Johnson] was dropping too deep and was too deep in midfield. At halftime we asked him to move his game forward 20 yards and be in closer connection to each other. There were some combinations where they got very close at times. When Lamar [Neagle] came in there was the one ball he should have connected with Oba inside. That would have been a good combination between the three of them. It’s there, it’s just going to take a few more games to get it done.”
(On getting the forwards the ball…) “The challenge is they’re players who are very explosive who like to run forward, so it’s important that our midfielders look forward a little quicker…The other thing we talked about at halftime was our midfielders looking forward quicker. Andy Rose playing a little bit higher, so he can get balls off of them, and we asked the same thing from Shalrie [Joseph], and I thought Shalrie came in and did a good job for us tonight in the last 15-20 minutes…We need to look forward, we need to see that ball into their feet when they’re one-v-one, when they’re isolated making that quick, explosive run to get behind. It’s just a matter of getting that timing down.”
(On the first goal…) “It was a good ball from Brad. He popped on to the ball as it popped free and did a good job of leading Oba with the ball, and then Oba did a good job finishing. Those are opportunities…There’s combination play between the two of them that you can get behind, as well. It’s a matter of just continuing to work.”
(On the lineup decisions…) “We made those decisions. We thought that Lamar really, at most, had 50-60 minutes in him, so we decided we’d rather bring him off the bench for this game because he’s still-was he 100% after that injury? With DeAndre [Yedlin], we felt it was better to try and save him for Saturday. His shoulder was a little bit sore. If it was getting better each day, he could have probably played, but at some point he would have been a sub, as well. So we decided not to go with him.” (Schmid added that Shalrie Joseph was healthy and the choice to use him off the bench was pure coach’s decision.)
(On the rehab of a few injured players…) “Alonso had an easy day training [today], and tomorrow we will see where he is at. We will see how Lamar came through with his 30 minutes today and DeAndre rehabbed today, so we will see how he feels tomorrow.”
Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning
On playing in front of the home fans for the first time in nearly a month…) “It was great of course, like always. Especially today the weather was nice and it was a great atmosphere, so it was good and we knew we had to win and not disappoint our fans. We didn’t have the best game, but we won and [earned] three points.”
On posting another a shutout…) “Shutouts are always good, but there is not a lot of time to celebrate the shutout. Three points are more important and there is another game coming up very shortly. “
On team’s position to perform well in busy upcoming stretch…) “This month is critical for us. We have a lot of games at hand and we have to make the points. This month we have a lot of games and a lot of games at home, where we always want to win. At the end of the month we want to be in a better position then we are now.”
Midfielder Brad Evans
On the potential danger the offense can create…) “The potential is frightening. We still have to get those games under our belt and the best way that happens is multiple games in a short period of time. It’s tough coming off a 10-day break…I think the most important thing is coming out and getting the three points off a long break.”
On the first half assist to Martins…) “I was able to turn and find myself some space. The defense immediately dropped and when you have two dangerous forwards like that they are going to automatically retreat to defend the space behind. [It was] a great run by [Obafemi Martins] and I had him in my sights the whole time. I was lucky to squeeze through a small little gap and the finish from there was top class.”
On returning to play in front of the fans…) “First game back in front of the home fans was phenomenal. You always get a special feeling playing in front of these fans. It’s definitely something you never forget and try not to take for granted, but it was a great night.”