Here's reaction from the Sounders to their 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo tonight at Qwest Field:
COACH SIGI SCHMIDOverview) “We’re happy with the win. Something that we’ve been talking about is getting to .500. We’ve also been talking a lot about making our home games our home games again and making sure that we win at home. Today was a good result, especially against Houston. Last year and in the past when we’ve played teams that are more physical or robust are teams that have given us a hard time. We were able to match that and came out ahead at the end of the day, so I was very pleased.”
On Fredy Montero and Alvaro Fernandez) “On the goal he did a great job because he was able to post the guy up and hold him off, shield the ball and then hit a great shot. And on the ball he slipped through to Flaco was great. He made a good run and then his composure showed because he mistouched it on his first touch, but he was able to recover and his composure on finish was very good. Being able to finish plays is something that allows you to win games and he’s done it twice for us now in the past two games.”
On player combos) “Defensively, Parke and Ianni played really well together in the middle, not to discount our outside backs. I thought they played well also. Sturgis and Alonso have formed a pretty good partnership in the middle of the field that has allowed our wide guys to get sprung forward. We’re working hard. When you look at the game, there’s a lot of shots we blocked, which means guys are really sacrificing themselves. Offensively, we’re getting in behind. I’d still like to see us finish chances a little better. Sanna got in behind a couple times in the first half where I thought we were going to get something out of it. We have to read the runs that Nkufo makes because he was in a couple times, but we found him a lot more often today. I think it’s starting to gel together. We have a little time to practice this week and want to go down to Chivas and get ourselves another result.”
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On strength on the ball) “Strength on the ball has nothing do with size. It’s about body position. It’s how you’re able to technically control the ball as it comes to you. Those are the things that are important, but it’s really your body position. You look at a guy like Guerrmo Sholoto who is very strong on the ball, but he’s not a big guy and Montero is the same. He knows how to get his body positioned well.”
On Blaise Nkufo) “I told him that tonight was going to be a physical night. He was going against two guys who are certainly very aggressive and would play him very tight. He’s not a flopper, so obviously he felt he got taken down a few times. Michael Kennedy saw it one way, the referee saw it one way, we probably saw it a different way. I told him that we both probably needed to watch the game again and then we could talk.”
On offense from Fernandez) “That’s what we felt he could give us. When he was playing in Chile he played as an attacking wide right guy. He’s played on the left and he can also play in the middle of the midfield. He’s definitely someone who can get forward and attack. There were a couple of other times he was almost in as well. He’s not a guy who’s going to dribble at you the way that Zakuani does, but he’s going to one-two around you and he has great speed. He has more speed than people realize because he’s very fluid in his running style.”
On player additions adding physicality) “It certainly helped us. His ability to occupy a defender and be strong on the ball and bring the other players into the game is important. It’s something that Jaqua gave us last year early in the year.
[caption id="attachment_9122" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Montero"] [/caption]FREDY MONTEROOn scoring goals) “For sure in Columbia, I won the title of top scorer twice in 2007 and 2008 and I’d like to be on that path again playing here.”
On Fernandez) “He’s a different type of player. Waiting for him to get used to the field.”
On his goal) “The merit goes to Kasey Keller for the pass. When the defender doesn’t have control of the ball in the air.”
On team getting better) “This is definitely the highest level that the team has had. I’m proud to share the field with my teammates. We’re going to keep building and be able to match up with every team out there.”
[caption id="attachment_9123" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Fernandez"] [/caption]ALVARO FERNANDEZOn his goal) “I’m very happy on the personal level as well as for the team. It’s good to win at home.”
On MLS) “This is a hard league. The teams are very even, so it makes it very interesting to play.”
On preferred position to play) “I can play on the left. I can play on the right. So long as I’m a midfielder, I can play wherever the coach needs me.”