I've got some reaction to some specific issues in the Sounders' 0-0 draw with Chivas USA. Here is our game report, and some leftover observations from both clubs:
SIGI SCHMID:"I thought in the first half they were a little bit the better team. I thought they had a little more of the game in the first half. Obviously, we had a penalty kick that we hit the post on. That didn't help us. ... In the second half we came out a lot better and took away their passing game. We did a better job of possessing the ball and as a result we created some good chances. [Dan] Kennedy came up with some saves. Some people were saving shots on the line and we didn't quite get clean hits on the ball. At the end it's 0-0. I'm proud of our defensive effort. I thought our defensive effort was good. We really only got exposed one time on the save that Kasey [Keller] made in the first half on a nice little touch by Alejandro [Moreno]. Outside of that, I thought we were a lot better defensively. It just didn't go in at the other end."
On Seattle's historic trouble scoring against Chivas) "Maybe more snake bitten because it has been three different coaches so it's not like they play the same defensively. I thought we had opportunities. I think we opened them up a little bit in the second half especially. It just seems for some reason that scoring goals against them they're a little bit of a boogey team for us, a hard luck team."
On forward play) "I thought they did a decent job. I thought [Pat] Noonan did a decent job holing the ball up with some combinations. I thought it was better in the second half than in the first. I Think Fredy Montero had a couple good looks. I'm sure he'd like to hit the ball again. The one that he put past the far post was a pretty good look for him. He usually hits that a little better. At the end, we went with [Nate] Jaqua and [Mauro] Rosales up there to have some size and fresh legs on the flanks and keep Rosales, who I thought was our most effective player, there."
On play to stop Nick LaBrocca) "To be aware of where he was. Ozzie [Osvaldo Alonso] did a good job of that and when he pushed up high one of our defenders came over. I think we kept him pretty quiet for most of the game."
On Pat Noonan's first start of the season) "I thought he played well. I thought he played well against the Panamanian team, San Francisco. I thought he did some good things holding the ball up for us. He's a smart player. He needs to stay high. He had a couple chances in the first half on headers. He made some good slashing runs in there. Whenever you can get him on the field, it helps your team."
On Zach Scott) "Zach gives you endeavor and energy and effort. He's been solid about winning his aerial duals. It's about winning those 50/50 balls and Zach gives you that. If you can do that, it gives you possession of the ball and allows you to do things."
Goalkeeper KASEY KELLER On defensive improvement)"It was solid, defensively, for the most part. Just a little bit of frustration because at the moment. We seem to either be playing well offensively and not so well defensively, or well defensively and not so well offensively. If we want to really make a run into the playoffs, we've got to be able to put them both together. We've got to be able to play on both sides of the ball. In games like this, we could see this game out two-nil, three-nil, which we're more than capable of doing. But in saying that, we haven't had a clean sheet in the league for a while, so that's a nice positive. But this is a game we should have won and we're frustrated because of that."
LAMAR NEAGLE On whether the Sounders expected yet another late game-winner) "Towards the end, we had the momentum and we were going at their goal. Whenever it's a situation like that, we're pressing to get a goal towards the end. We definitely had our chances. We had a few chances to get them. It's definitely possible. When I come on towards the end of the game, I'm just trying to run it. I'm trying to bring as much energy because I know everyone is pretty tired by then."
NOONAN On how he feels about his first MLS start since July 15, 2010) "Very frustrated. We deserved to win the game. The team deserved better. Offensively, I had one or two chances that I've got to finish. We've got a PK, maybe a second... The whole of play was shocking. It just wasn't clinical in the final third. I take a lot of responsibility for that."
On whether he especially wanted to validate Schmid's decision to start him) "Of course. There's a lot of guys fighting for spots. I had chances tonight to finish opportunities and I didn't do it, so it's very frustrating."
ALVARO FERNANDEZ On Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy) "He was very good indeed. We created many chances and made him a character of the game. Merit to him. He played very well."
On his team be energized after the missed penalty kick) "I thought we started off with really good energy. We had a few turnovers and at that point our confidence was shaken a bit. After that penalty we were re-energized. It was huge and in this arena with the crowd to be down a goal is a big. To get out of that without giving up a goal is fantastic. It gave the team new energy that helped us get through the first half."
On David Lopes making his debut today) "It was a difficult situation to put him into. In retrospect maybe it wasn't fair to him. Nate Jaqua had just been subbed in and we thought size for size it was a good idea to get him in on crosses that were coming. It is very difficult as a defender to come in on the second half and match the speed of the game. He played in the reserve game earlier in the week but he looks like he needs some minutes to get up to game speed."
On his team only having four shots on goal) "That is not a concern. It is poor execution. If we are not scoring goals and creating chances then I would be concerned. Today, we had some opportunities in the first half. Our final pass and final run just wasn't aggressive enough. We are not aggressive in the final third when we have only four shots."
On getting a point in a difficult environment) "Absolutely. At the end of the day given the fact that both teams played well at times, they created more dangerous chances than we did. Given all those facts I can live with one point.
Chivas goalkeeper DAN KENNEDYOn having a busy day today) "I think more so in the second half. They stepped [Erik] Friberg up and got a little bit of momentum. Thankfully, they didn't come with anything that we couldn't deal with."
On the team's response following the missed PK) "There will always be little breaks throughout the game that you need. That was one of them. When you're on the road you sometimes need things to go your way, with the penalty missed that was one of them."
On getting a hand on the PK miss) "We are going to have to look at the replay. I was pumped up on the play and was happy it didn't hit me and go in. I think if it was on frame I would have had it."
On his save in the second half) "The one off my knee? It was a really well played ball across in a spot where I tried to cut off the cross. Whoever crossed it was able to get it up and over me, which is tough to do and the best that I could do is cover angles and stay big. I didn't want to commit to anything til I saw the ball, fortunately that was enough."
On the play of David Lopes) "It is really hard to come into a game like that and a stadium like this as a defender and be successful. ... I thought he showed great composure. I think he will continue to get better and the speed of the game will continue to catch up with it more and more.