Here's some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say tonight after his Sounders advanced to the Western Conference finals when their 0-0 result against Dallas combined with a 1-1 draw last week to put them through on away goals.
Opening statement: "We’re very excited. Being able to defend well is an important part of trying to win a championship. I know all during the season the pundits were saying do they have a good enough defense to win the championship. And I think we’ve proven over the last three or four weeks that we can play good enough defense for sure. Chad Marshall was outstanding back there again today – that’s why I think he’s the defender of the year for me. On the other end of the field I thought we had some really, really good looks. Their goalkeeper came up with some big saves. … I thought we had some good looks but missed a little on our shots. But that will come. If you’re creating chances that’s what you’re happy about as a coach. If you’re not creating any chances, then you worry, but I think we created chances, so I was happy that way. Great effort by the guys putting ourselves in the conference finals, and we’ll continue to go forward.
On if the away-goal rule changed his tactics: We said we’re not going to give up a goal, we’re going to show that we can defend. But on the same token, we’re going to get our opportunities to score. I thought we had good opportunities, we had good looks, we had more shots than them, more opportunities, more shots on target well, so I was pleased with that part of it. It’s not tactically we went out with a different plan. We would have played the exact same way.
On this step along the playoff road: In order to win MLS Cup you’ve got to get into the next series, and that’s what we did. We don’t lose at home when we play our second game at home … and that’s something that we want to continue to do. We have to keep moving along. It’s a journey.
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On confidence from going 1-0-1 vs. LA in final two games of the regular season: We know LA’s a good team. … We know we have to be ready and we have to play well, but we also know that we can play them and that even if we’re down we can come back. I know with LA there’s going to be even more opportunities for Clint and Oba and there’s going to be more chances just because of the way they play. It’s going to be a great series.