Here's some reaction from tonight's 1-1 draw between the Sounders and Timbers before a record crowd at rainy Qwest Field. Bottom line: Both sides left with some disappointment.
SIGI SCHMID OverviewObviously we’re not pleased with the standpoint that we got a lead and we gave them a goal back. Their game, as we talked about early in the week, is predicated on free kicks and set pieces, that’s what their danger is, that’s what they look for. The referee gave them quite a few. … We’ve got to defend those things.
On Brad Evans groin strain that limited him to 42 minutesLosing a player like Evans certainly changes things. Losing a player like (Erik) Friberg as we prepare for the game certainly changes things as well.
On Seattle's goal and thereafterI thought we scored a good goal. In the beginning of the second half we got ahold of the game based on what we talked about – settling the game down a little bit – which was hard in this weather. I think the weather suited them a little bit more in the sense that they just try to go direct anyway to a certain extent to knock it up to their big men, and they’re a little better at that game than we were.
On the atmosphere) I thought the atmosphere was great. Obviously you had their fans, so that something that normally you don’t have: a loud group from the opposing team. So that added to the pageantry of the game. But at the end of the day, we’re at home. We need to get three points when we’re at home.
NATE JAQUAOn the game) It was a good battle. It was obviously very disappointing having the lead the way we did. You would figure that we could close that game out and get a good victory, get three points at home, so that’s disappointing.
On the atmosphere) There was definitely a little bit more to it. I think everybody was kind of flying around a little bit more. I think they did a little better job in the first half of not letting us get into a good rhythm. But I thought we came out in the second half and started playing well, got the goal, were kind of getting after them. We had a couple of chances to put it away and we weren’t able to do that. They were about to get a little bit of momentum, they’re dangerous on free kicks and they made us pay.
KASEY KELLERIt’s a little disappointing. The first half was pretty even. They had some shots, we had some shots. The first 10, 15 minutes of the second half, I thought we came out and did some pretty good stuff, got the reward, got the goal, then we just kind of took our foot off a little bit, which is frustrating. We know they’re a dangerous team on set pieces, we talked about it all week. They started winning a few more set pieces in dangerous positions, and Jewsbury hits a great ball in, and they’ve got some big bodies in there. We’re a little frustrated because we all feel that we dropped our line a little bit too quick and let them get on top of us. You get a big kid like Danso in there, and he’s going to win some stuff. Unfortunately he just beat me to the ball. I couldn’t quite get there quick enough, which is frustrating. Result more frustrating because you blew a lead or because of rivalry?Combo. Of course we would have loved for 500 fans to drive home disappointed and wet and frustrated. And we would love for our fans to be celebrating into the night, but—and it’s hard to say—but overall on merit, it was probably a draw. But at the same time, you get the 1-0 lead, can we fight like hell to keep that?
M/F ROGER LEVESQUEOn the match) “Having that one goal lead and the excitement that created…keep the pressure on after we scored the goal. We had a few chances to put it out of reach – didn’t do that. We know they’re strong on set pieces, a lucky bounce or whatever it was, a good goal by their center back. The atmosphere was great. The fans were great. There’s no question about that. It was electric. The best atmosphere that I think we’ve had. That’s definitely something to feed off of. Now I’m just looking forward to going down there and playing at their place.”
On the supporter’s group pre-game display) “I’m definitely honored to be in that group of players who was honored. I thought there were a lot of good players up there. It was pretty amazing to be a part of that.”
M ALVARO FERNANDEZOn the goal) “When I saw the play shaping up I started yelling and calling the play, especially when I saw the two defenders going after Fredy (Montero). After the flick I was one on one with the keeper and I was able to finalize.”
On if it felt any different going up against a rival in Portland) “It was a derby. I’m lucky that I’ve had the chance to play many of those in my career. They are sort of similar. Sometimes the teams don’t start playing very well, but it’s not only about that, it’s also about the will and how much you really want it and how much effort you put in it. Thankfully we started ahead, but unfortunately we wound up giving up the lead.”
Portland coach JOHN SPENCEROn the Sounders pressing to start the second half) "Obviously they are going to start and go after it. We were ready for it to start the first half, but got complacent. I gave them a good positive team talk at halftime. I told them how happy I was with them and the effort they were giving. The good thing we regrouped being a goal down. I felt they were terrified with us during every set piece. They were worried about giving up a goal."
On his impressions of the Timbers goal) "Jack Jewsbury has been fantastic for us, that is why we brought him here and made him captain. He has lived up to everything and more. Jorge Perlaza has to be given credit, the runs he makes are on par with some of the top strikers of the world. We need to try to get him some more service throughout the match."
On the environment surrounding the match) "It is always great to come up here. Everybody will realize when they leave Jeld-Wenn that it is more authentic. This environment is more close and connected to the team and the playing field. To be fair it is two great experiences. It is wonderful for MLS soccer to have two great setups first in Portland and second the Seattle Sounders."
On his view of the Seattle goal) "It hit the back of the net. I can't really remember the goal. A couple of times the ball got into the box that we didn't pick up properly. Eric [Brunner] and [James] Hall challenged for the ball but Fernandez was able to find it in the back and finished it well. He is a high quality player. We showed a lot for coming back tonight."
On leaving this match with a tie) "We take a lot of confidence with us. Sigi Schmid has done a tremendous job here and the whole organization is fantastic. They are a good team, and we have come up here four-month old and played well. We have to start showing that belief we have at home on to the road. I think we should that tonight."
Portland goalkeeper TROY PERKINSOn coming up to Seattle and matching their performance) "We wanted to come on up here and prove we belonged. I think all the guys were committed to do that."
On the goal Seattle scored) "Both defenders went for the same ball, a little bit of a miss communication. The ball just fell right to him and he made a good play."
On the weather causing any problems during the match) "Typical Northwest weather. A little bit of rain, the field played incredibly fast. Our FieldTurf is a little bit different; it doesn't play as fast when it is wet."
Portland defender MAMADOU DANSOOn being satisfied with the draw) "We came here for the win we didn't come here for the tie."
On coming through with a goal) "I'm very excited to get the goal. I have been here for two seasons and I understand the rivalry. We just wanted to win here and it is really an over the top feeling. We have been practicing free kicks all week. The ball was really just a fifty-fifty ball and I was able to make a play on it."
UW forward KENNY COOPEROn the importance of getting a draw in Seattle) "I think some teams find it difficult to come on up here and play. They get amazing support and the crowds support them really well. To be down and come back I think we should great character. It was a great point for us."
On the game living up to the hype) "I think this is a game that fans have starting circling their calendars when the schedule comes out. The lead up to the game was a lot fun. As a player you crave to play in these games."