Here was coach Sigi Schmid's overview of the Sounders' 1-1 draw with Houston tonight at the Carolina Challenge Cup in Charleston, S.C.:
I thought it was OK. I thought in the first half we played pretty well. We created a number of good chances and I thought we had a little more of the game. The goal we took was a little unfortunate. I can’t tell if it was offsides or not. From my perspective it looked a little bit, but only you can tell if you’re sitting on line with it. I thought we did well. I thought we deserved a goal in that half. It would have been a little bit unjust if we would have come out behind at halftime. Second half, I thought they had a little more of the game – early on especially in the second half. I think we actually had the better of the chances, but they had the better of the ball possession. I think we countered a little bit more to get forward at them with speed. But at the end we couldn’t put anything away. Weaver’s header was probably the closest chance we had in the second half, but we were around the goal a few times.
On Chad Marshall and set pieces: The service was important. I think our set pieces were dangerous. Obviously that’s an element that Chad brings with him when he comes to a team, and one of the reasons that we wanted to go get him as well. That gives us some danger. And we haven’t done a ton of work yet on corners and free kicks. As we work on that more from here to the start of the first regular-season game, I think that will be something that will become more dangerous for us. ... It’s always something in a tight game. Often games are decided by a set piece or a corner kick or something like that. Knowing that you as a team always feels comfortable in those situations or feels dangerous, is important.
On judging talent among so many changing lineups: Houston played pretty much almost their whole first team in the first half. We mixed our guys a little bit more. So from that standpoint, I thought it was a good test for us. We’re trying to make some final decisions on some players in terms of roster decisions. We had made the decision before the game that we’d play 45 minutes, two groups. It worked out OK at the end.
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On the goalkeeper competition: Frei played well today. And Hahnemann’s played well as well. I think their goals-against are pretty close or pretty similar, but I don’t know.