A few quotes from the Sounders' locker room after advancing to the CONCACAF Champions League group stage over Metapan. (Quotes kindly provided by Matt Gaschk of SoundersFC.com.)
SIGI SCHMID“When Metapan scored early that put us back on our heels a little bit. But after that I thought we kept possession better and I knew we’d have a chance to score. The field was heavy. It demanded a lot from our condition, but I was very happy with our team physically.”
On Alvaro Fernandez (starting with a little joke, presumably): “He didn’t score his first game, so he needed to score this game. It’s just not the goal, it’s how he’s fit in with the team, how he’s part of the group already and how comfortable the group feels with him.”
On Metapán: “The most difficult part tonight was certainly the first 20 minutes of the game because they did a good job of keeping possession. They ended up scoring the goal. They are technically a good team. They spread the field very well. They play, more or less, a 3-5-2, which is different than a lot of teams play in the States so it’s a different system. They are a well-coached team. They are very disciplined in their style of play and they are a very difficult team to beat.”
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On the second half: “It’s all about the character of our team. I think our character is good. The team works hard for each other. If we make mistakes, we fight and try to get the ball back again. Our character right now is exemplified by Fredy Montero because the effort he is putting in game after game. He is leading the way for us but everyone is stepping up to the opportunities that get presented and nobody is letting anybody down.”
On substitutions: “I thought our team played better in the second half than it did the first. I thought it took us 20 minutes to get into the game. I was more concerned with our changes. When we brought on Alvaro [Fernandez], when we brought on [Nate] Jaqua, I think that helped change the game for us because we were able to keep possession better and we had a physical presence up front.”
KASEY KELLER“Obviously, we’re disappointed with the way that we played in the first half, but let’s be honest: That’s not the best conditions to play a game under. But we’ve got a young team and these experiences we’ve got to learn from. And hopefully we learned a bit … because if we play like that in Monterrey or somewhere we could take a big number. So we’ve got to learn from that and figure out that we can be better.
On the win: “One of the most important things about it, irrespectable of going and making sure we have six more games in this competition, is that we never should have lost to that team over two legs. I think what that shows is we are finding ways to get results now where 10, 12 games ago we were finding ways to lose games or draw games and now we are finding ways to get the results we need. A great team spirit. We make a mistake, give up a goal and we don’t panic. We have decent chances. Then Alvaro (Fernandez) is able to come off the bench and score a great goal for us. We were pretty comfortable after that, I think.”
On the goal allowed: “I think we fell asleep a little bit. We let them play the ball quickly and then the ball got chipped in, we got pulled out of the middle. The one guy who basically is going to head the ball in for them we didn’t mark. We are disappointed. We will have to obviously look at it on tape and dissect it and try to learn from it and make sure that doesn’t happen again. But those kinds of things do happen and I’m just proud of the response.”
FREDY MONTEROOn playing with Fernandez: “I enjoy playing with him. It gives me more opportunities to score and he is the perfect guy to have on the team.”