Blaise Nkufo and Alvaro Fernandez each appeared in last night's win over San Jose, giving the Sounders two DPs sharing the pitch for the first time.
A few reactions:
FERNANDEZ (with Taylor Graham serving as interpreter:)On his performance: It was a good game. It was a great game. The first half was a little bit better than the second half. It was a little bit more back and forth in the second half, but we found a way to get a result and it’s a great result for the team.
Early impression of MLS: He’s only been here for a couple of days but he’s watched games on television at home and his impression is that it’s a good league, it’s a technical league, but it’s a very fast and physical league and a good league too.
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BLAISE NKUFOOn the game: I felt tonight it was important that the team won and I'm happy we did. Personally I'm still working to get at my level. ... We are training very hard during the week and I hope every game will be better. That's why we need to talk and work during the training sessions. This will be hard, tough. But we have to because we want to play better.
On the team's turnaround being new: I don't have absolutely anything to do with that. The players respond well and take responsibly. If you want to be successful as they were last year, they have to be take responsibility.
On protecting the lead: We saw they changed a few things, played more directly, more aggressive. We knew we could win this game if we played better, maybe more simple. Always when you play, it's never easy. But we had the possibility to score more.
On the first goal coming: Yes, I think I'm in good shape. I think tonight. I get the ball off Fredy, off Steve too. What can I say? The keeper made a good save. But of course I expect my first goal for the Sounders.
On whether coming to MLS was a good decision: Of course, for me many things didn't have to do with soccer. It's about our choice, our choice of life. I'm still fit, if I can help the Sounders, I'm really happy about that.
KASEY KELLER“(Nkufo is) still trying to work himself into full match fitness, but you saw him tracking back and holding the ball up for us. You saw Alvaro came in and looked like he didn’t skip a beat – he looked like he had been playing with us all year.”