Here's some of what the Sounders had to say tonight after their 3-1 win over Tigres sent them into the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals.
Coach SIGI SCHMIDOn the game) “Obviously we’re happy with the result. I felt in the first half we were around the goal and had some chances. We gave up a goal a little bit on the counter and a little bit while Brad Evans was hurt. We were trying to get Brad Evans off the field, it wasn’t being recognized. He went down and sat down on the corner kick they allowed them to play the corners. Then he had to get up and try to play and we got caught a little bit and didn’t handle it well. Very proud of the way we came back in the second half. Certainly, the red card helped us in that regard. It allowed us to go into a more offensive set in the second half. We went a lot more of a 3-5-2, pushed DeAndre [Yedlin] high on that right side and pushed Mauro Rosales, and later Mario Martinez, inside. Obviously you can’t say anything but outstanding things about all three goals. Those were some fantastic goals by DeAndre, but Djimi Traore, and by Eddie Johnson.” On making history by beating a Mexican team the knockout stage…) “It feels great. We wanted to win. We felt we could win. We felt we could step up the pressure and play much better than we played down there. I’m very proud of what the guys accomplished and to be the first is always a good thing.” On what he said at halftime…) “A lot of words that I can’t repeat here. I wasn’t too happy with how we played in the first half. I wasn’t too happy in terms of some individual efforts, which we sort of identified at halftime very directly, but we also said, ‘This is how we’re going to play in the second half, this is what I need.’ I thought you saw definitely Steve Zakuani step up in the second half. I think DeAndre definitely stepped up. We said, ‘Three goals is very possible. Three goals is not impossible for us in the second half. Let’s score three goals, let’s go do it.’”
Defender DJIMI TRAOREOn the meaning of this win) "Tonight I think that we showed the character of our team. We were all disappointed with ourselves in the first half because we knew we hadn't done enough, but we came out in the second half with more determination and more desire. I think that was the difference." On the Sounders having more energy in the second half) "Well first they were only playing with ten men. We decided to change the shape of the team and only play three in the back which makes a difference because we have one extra man and we can play good futbol. That is what we did in the second half."
Forward EDDIE JOHNSONOn the difference between the halves) “We came out and played and took risks. We were down 2-0 and really had nothing to lose. We just went out there to make the most of our chances. We had some chances in the first half and the first half wasn’t our best, but we still had chances to put ourselves back in the game. But when you score two goals like that, the way (DeAndre) Yedlin scored and (Djimi) Traore scored, you feed off that energy and we had the momentum. [Tigres] going down a man really helped us out.” On momentum for Portland's visit on Saturday) “(The win) gives us momentum, but at the same time we haven’t won in the league and we didn’t win in Tigres, but there’s a lot of positives. You lose two games and everyone starts to panic, but the main thing is about us believing in ourselves and believing in everyone in this locker room. We know we are a team that is good at home and we create chances, but it is a matter of putting them away. It does give us a good sense of confidence in as far as being front of the goal and taking chances.” Defender DEANDRE YEDLIN:On the team's attitude at halftime) "We were pretty disappointed, but it was positive. I think that was a good mindset for us to be in going into the second half. Sigi just told us to stay positive and that we had nothing to lose. We could go out and make history. All we had to do was go out and score a couple of goals. Everybody was pretty positive. I mean you cannot be negative in those situations. Everybody was just supporting each other and making sure we knew what we had to do going to the second half." On how it feels to be a part of the first MLS team to beat a team from Mexico in CCL) “It’s amazing. It is a story you can pass on to your kids and grandkids and it makes the city proud. It’s good for us.” Goalkeeper MICHAEL GSPURNINGOn the game) "I think that it was a great soccer night. When we went into the locker room Sigi said that we are not playing like us, and we knew that. We knew that we needed a quick first goal and we knew it was possible. When Tigres made the mistake of getting the second yellow card they gave us a chance we never would have had. When they gave us that chance we took care of the rest.”