Sounders FC

Sounders welcome road point against ‘bogey team’ Quakes

A plane prepares to land just across the street from Avaya Stadium, the new home of the San Jose Earthquakes, where the Seattle Sounders played for the first time.
A plane prepares to land just across the street from Avaya Stadium, the new home of the San Jose Earthquakes, where the Seattle Sounders played for the first time. Staff Writer

Here’s some of what the Sounders had to say tonight after the Sounders came from behind for a 1-1 draw at San Jose in their first visit to Avaya Stadium:

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC COACH BRIAN SCHMETZER

On whether he was nervous in the last 20 minutes:

“No. We had Oba [Obafemi Martins] on the field. We had [Andreas] Ivanschitz on the field. We had [Chad] Marshall on the field. We had Fri [Erik Friberg] on the field. No nerves at all.”

On Obafemi Martins’ finishing on the Seattle goal

“It’s a good goal, number one. He draws the foul. And then Ivanschitz plays in a good ball, we fight to keep it alive and it drops to Oba and he does what he does. He’s a natural finisher and it was a very, very good, world-class finish.”

On Andreas Ivanschitz’ performance

“Good. Very good. I think he’ll be a little bit better when he’s moved off to the left side, which may be perhaps his more natural position, and Lamar [Neagle] had to go to the other side, but it was overall a good performance, a good start for him.”

On the importance of getting at least a point on the road

“A draw on the road is certainly okay. We certainly play to win in all competitions, so for us it’s a good result because San Jose was a little bit our bogey team. But at the end of the game, our players were looking for the forwards. They were looking for the ball more to try and win the game. So that’s another sign of a committed team, and that’s what I appreciate about the group.”

On earning a point in the first game of a three-game road stretch

“Training this week will carry us forward, because we gave up another set-piece goal, so we’ll work on that. And then we’ll just take each opponent one at a time and we’ll try and go places to win. We don’t go places, we don’t travel long distances not to try and win games.”

On the team’s character and ability to fight back

“Great. Gonzo [Gonzalo Pineda] was out there with half a leg. I mean, the guy gutted it out. Friberg got stepped on, Marshall, Zach [Scott], the back four, Tyrone [Mears], Fish [Oniel Fisher], they all did their jobs today. So it was ultimately again a team performance.”

On first road point against San Jose in league play since 2011

“A point at this stage against our bogey team is great. But like I said, I think the guys, my group, our group, at the end of the day, they were pushing to try and win a game here, which would have been even a better result for us.”

On whether he had spoken to head coach Sigi Schmid yet after the game

“I had not, we spoke to the team first. I spoke with the coaching staff and I haven’t been able to call him. But I’m sure he’ll be pleased, and I know he was watching.”

ANDREAS IVANSCHITZ

On his first minutes with the team

“Actually, I’m very happy. I’m happy that we in the end took the point, at least one point. We said before that we want to play some high up from the first seconds. I think we started well. And then in the second half I think we dropped back too much. We gave them too much space to play, to keep the ball. But in the end, I think after 1-0, we showed a good performance. I think we showed that we want to take at least one point and in the end of course we were lucky, but it doesn’t matter. It’s a good point for us.”

On his free kick that led to the goal

“The coach told me when I came in that I should take all the set pieces, and that’s one of my qualities, and of course I wanted to help the team, to push the team. I was still fresh, so he wanted to try something, and very happy that we scored and that we now have I think one very good point for us.”

On Obafemi Martins’ goal

“He’s a fantastic striker. He’s waiting for those opportunities. He’s very experience and he scores many goals for us. He’s a key player for us so I’m very happy that he was there to make the goal. As I said before I think we did a good effort. We stayed focused during the 90 minutes and at the end we deserved to take one point.”

On whether he expected to play

“I didn’t know it before. He just told me in the halftime that I should go out to warm up and that I would start the second half from the beginning.”

On communication with the rest of the team in the first game

“Still I’m new, of course. Unfortunately, I came in and after 7, 8 days I got injured. I think it’s the worst timing you can have as a new player. But I found that in this period you have to be very patient and I think the team, each player from the first moment on, they supported me very well, and it was easy for me to get settled and I’m very happy that I made my first minutes today. I will try to work very hard in the next days, in the next weeks to get in good shape and what I still miss after the injury of course is the rhythm of playing. So this will come in the next weeks for sure.”

On the team’s road struggles this year and the importance of earning a point

“I think very important. It was a game between two teams who need points, who need points to get to the playoffs. So we said before at least we want to take one point. When you see the game, after 0-1, you have to fight back and it’s not easy. It’s not easy against them because they have a very strong team and they played well. So I’m very happy that we took this point, and I think this point will give a lot of confidence for the next weeks and the next games.”

ERIK FRIBERG

On the team fighting back for a point

“It was good. I thought we played pretty good in the first half. We had Oba [Obafemi Martins], Clint [Dempsey] and Nelson [Valdez] in good positions. I thought we had a couple of 3 against 3. So unfortunately we didn’t score, but at the end I think 1-1 was an okay result.”

On Obafemi Martins’ finishing

“It’s very good. He scores practically every game. So that’s what it’s about, scoring goals, so it’s big for us of course. And having Clint behind him playing good every game too, it’s big players for us so it’s good to have.”

On getting a point on the road

“Of course it’s good to get a point and especially that they don’t get three points. Now we need to continue to get points, and three points next week.”

On overcoming the team’s early injuries in the game

“It put us behind, but we had guys come on and did a great job. But of course it’s tough when good players are injured. In soccer it happens and we continue.”

On why the team has struggled on the road this year

“I don’t know. It’s just been talked about the last couple games when I’ve been here and I think we’ve been struggling with a lot of injuries and you just have to get the points I think and we have given up early goals and not been able to come back. But I think today we showed we can come back, and hopefully we continue to do that and stop giving goals away on set pieces.”

On getting Andreas Ivanschitz into the lineup

“He’s a good player. I think he showed that in the second half today. He has an amazing left foot, it’s very big for us on set pieces.”

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