Here's coach Sigi Schmid's opening statement after the Sounders' 2-1 loss to San Jose tonight at CenturyLink Field:
It was a game of two halves. I thought in the first half they were the superior team. I thought they killed us in the first half, to be quite honest. We did well to pull the goal back. But then we gave the goal up. I think it’s a game tonight that we really lost in the first 20 minutes of the game because they were able to press us and disrupt our rhythm, and they were just more aggressive and quicker than we were.
The second half then was a complete turnaround. I think the second half was our game. I think we turned the pressure up on them. We started creating turnovers from them, we started winning the ball back, and then we started creating chances; but now you’re down a goal. We couldn’t find the goal to equalize. We got close a couple of times. We put shots through a bunch of people, off corners, and things got deflections, but nothing really fell for us. But I was pleased with our attitude in the second half, and that’s the way we’ve got to play. If we play like we played in the first half, then we won’t go very far. But if we come out and play like we played in the second half, then we’ll be OK.
More from Schmid:
On playing more balls over the top in the second half) “They put a lot of pressure at midfield, so it’s a little bit of what they were giving us, but we were just doing a better job of running off the ball. When those spaces are there, we still got some balls onto the flanks—I think we still could have gotten a few more onto the flank at times—but we still were whipping in a good amount of crosses. We were getting balls into dangerous positions. The big change was just our aggression and our attitude in the second half.” On the disappointment of the result…) “I think it’s a great game from the standpoint that it happened now, and not six weeks from now. We need to take a lesson from this game, that we cannot play like played in the first half, that we need to play like we played in the second half. If we get that out of this game—fine. They win the supporter’s shield, they finish first or whatever—it doesn’t matter. The playoffs, once we get there—we need to avoid, obviously, fourth or fifth—once we’re in the playoffs it’s a home game and an away game. We gotta win our home game and we gotta get a result on the away game, and we advance. It doesn’t matter whether that game is first or whether that game is second. What matters is our attitude, and if we learned something tonight in terms of how we need to approach that and what attitude we need to have, then tonight was a very successful game for us.” On Sammy Ochoa’s play…) “I thought Sammy played well. We talk about the guys that are on the field and I thought Sammy, on the field, did well. He was obviously integral in terms of getting the assist on our first goal and I think he did a good job of trying to hold up the ball. He was dangerous on a number of occasions. I thought he fought and battled for the team.” On Steve Zakuani scoring his first goal…) “Great for Steve to get a goal. All those things, those little things as they keep happening -- getting an assist, getting a goal -- all those things continue to build his confidence and will help propel him as he continues to improve, get forward, get fitter, and get used to the intensity of the game again.”