Here's some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say tonight after the Sounders' 3-2 win at Marathon, a win that puts them through to the quarterfinals regardless of the result of their group finale Oct. 24 when Marathon visits CenturyLink.
"It’s tremendous," he said. "It’s a goal that we set for ourselves, that we wanted to qualify tonight and we were able to accomplish that. It means the last game now – which is during the last week of our season, right before an important game with LA – it means we can go into that game relaxed and free of mind. I was really proud. Obviously we put a lot of people out there who aren’t regularly in our starting lineup, and I though they came through and played very, very well."
On the first goal: First goal) We knew going into the game, we felt confident we’d get chances. We knew they were going to get some chances too, because of their style of play and they’re wide open and they were going to press the issue. It was certainly a great cross from Mario, and Sammy got good position. It was a great header. … It was a great ball, a great header and a great service. I thought Sammy Ochoa was very good tonight.
On second-half changes: What we tried to do was just stay a little bit deeper, with Andy Rose and Carrasco and have the outside midfielders pinch in a little bit more: Caskey and Mario, get Mario a little more freedom to come inside. It opened up the flanks for them a little bit, but I also thought it gave us some good situations to counter off of. Again, we were unlucky maybe not to get a couple more. It’s the kind of game when you play down here in the heat and humidity, and the size of the field, against a team that knows they’ve got to get a result, the game’s going to be wide open. So it should have been an exciting game.
Evans game-winner: It was great. Obviously we’ve taken four goals in this competition so far, and all four have been on PKs. So we were afraid they were going to call another PK on the other end. We were disappointed in the second one to give up, when it was 2-2. But then obviously Alonso played the ball over, and it was a great cross, and Brad – very similar to Sammy Ochoa – got good position, hit a good header and put it into the back of the net. His heading ability is a quality that Brad brings for us.
On San Jose on Saturday: We want to win. It’s a six-point against San Jose. We were disappointed in Portland that we didn’t pick up the three points there; we ended up only coming away with one. We need to get three points (Saturday) to put ourselves in serious contention for the Western division title and keep our distance from the Galaxy and the teams chasing up behind us as well. It’s definitely a big game, a six-point game, and it’s great that we were able to rest some guys.
More quotes coming soon.