Sounders Insider

Sounders surprised by Timbers' conservatism

COACH SIGI SCHMIDOpening Statement:“We were a little bit surprised at the beginning of the game because these games are typically more high-tempo, and they were just very content with pushing the ball around and back and not really going anywhere with it – sort of taking the air out of the ball and to slow things down. I thought we did a good job in the first half of not falling into their trap of getting stretched and pushing up too high. We felt we could have attacked a little bit quicker. There were times we then turned and also had possession, but we weren’t looking to make those runs behind, and those were the things we talked about at halftime. I thought we did a better job in the second half of trying to make runs behind their defense. I thought we caused their defense to turn a little bit. I thought there were times where I thought we could have taken on their outside backs one-v-one, and we didn’t do that enough. We got a goal – I thought we deserved a goal at that point – we certainly put on some pressure by the end. We all went off and we’re happy with the victory.”

On Zach Scott:“I thought Zach was good. Zach’s Mr. Reliable, he just comes through and takes care of business and he does his job – he wins his headers, he’s very good at talking and [being] organized, it’s just something at his stage of his career that games are a little bit easier than practice, at times you see a different level from him in games than you do at practice. I thought both he and [Brad] Evans had a good game. There was only one real mistake there where I thought Brad left his feet one time. Outside of that, I thought the two of them, along with [Tyrone] Mears and the back four, was really solid.” On the message at halftime:“The message at halftime was simply to play balls and move – play the ball and look to get behind. We tried to get Oba [Martins] out a couple of times, even off punts from Stefan Frei…We wanted [Lamar] Neagle to take on [Jorge] Villafana a little bit more because we were happy with him coming to the right side and pushing [Marco] Pappa to the left. We thought we could exploit that and didn’t do it quick enough, we waited a little bit too long.” On the next three matches on the road:“We’ve always shown ourselves to be a good road team, so we are not afraid to go on the road. We just want to keep going on this stage – we’ve won three of our last four, we want to keep that going. We have 13 points in seven games, we are happy with that and want to come back from these three road games with as many points as possible. I don’t go into it and say, ‘Well if we get four points out of these three points, we’ll be happy.’ That’s not the way I look at it. I want to maximize what we can do at all times. I think every time you win a game our team gets a little more confident – last year defensively we gave up some goals, and I think this year if you look at us we’re very close to the top of the league defensively. That will always keep you in games and give you opportunities to win games like tonight.” On Stefan Frei’s near costly mistake in the final minutes:“Stef came up to me after the game and said, ‘Sorry, I made that more exciting than it needed to be.’ And I said, ‘Just think back where you were a year ago, how far you’ve come.’ I am just really happy for him because I think he is showing our fans here and people around the league the quality goalkeeper that he is.” On the Timbers playing conservatively in the first half:“I expected them to play forward a little bit more, to try and be a little more direct, so I was a little surprised they were so conservative at the beginning of the game, and so content to play D. That was their gameplan, and they upped the tempo in the second half.” On winning two matches in a row:“Always, always good to win back to back. You can’t win three in a row until you win two in a row, so now our next objective is to try to win three in a row. We’ll get after it again. Our next game will be an interesting game because it’s on a interesting field – not just the history of Yankee Stadium – it’s just a game that will play differently because it’s going to be a miniscule field, it’s going to be small, there’s going to be a lot of contests in the air. It will be interesting.” On bringing on Leo Gonzalez:“With Leo, with us winning 1-0, we wanted him to help us shore up defensively when we brought him on for Marco Pappa. Leo’s been great, he’s a great pro and he’s been training hard. I know it’s been disappointing for him that I’ve been playing [Dylan Remick], but with Leo you’d never know. He trains hard every day and his opportunities will come. He is an important player for our team and there will be opportunities for him as the season moves forward.” On Clint scoring in four straight matches against the Timbers:“Players get up for derby games and this is a derby game. Clint is trying to leave his impression, and Oba has done well in these games as well. As long as these two guys continue to do well in these games we’ll have opportunities.” On the competition between Leo Gonzalez and Dylan Remick:“I would describe it as that I have two starting left fullbacks, and right now I am playing Remick. If you were to watch us at training, Leo and Remick work together all the time…They are trying to help each other out. Right now I have two starting left fullbacks and I am playing Remick, but I am equally confident in Leo.” FORWARD CLINT DEMPSEY On getting three points at home before three straight road games:“It’s huge. It’s always difficult to get points on the road and…we have [three] games in a row away, so we need to make sure that we’re ready and trying to get points out of those games and not just hoping we can win every game at home. We’ll be looking to get points in those next [three] games, as well.”

On Andy Rose coming in and contributing to the goal:“That’s the good thing about this team – a lot of depth, everybody’s fighting for positions in the team and you need that competition if you’re going to do well in the season and go far. We’re just happy to be moving up the table, get more points and continue on a good run.” On knowing the level of play won’t drop when someone comes in off the bench:“Yeah, that’s what you hope for. I still don’t think we’ve hit our full stride and our full potential in terms of playing our best out there at the moment. I think we’re building towards that point and when we start clicking I think we’ll be really fun to watch.” On the teams combining for just five shots on target:“It was just really tight. Anytime a player got the ball in the pocket and was driving with the ball, he would either get fouled or was having to break from a tackle and try to play somebody. It was kind of a scrappy game. They made it difficult for us strikers to create chances. At times in the first half, it seemed like they didn’t really want to play forward. They were content just keeping the ball in the back and trying to take the steam out of the game. We just kept pushing, kept fighting and it just seems in the second half, teams can’t keep as tight as the first half and it always eventually opens up in the end.” MIDFIELDER GONZALO PINEDA On the match: “At the end of the day we did what we had to do and we got three points. It was hard because it was a tight game, but at the end we had three points and that’s what we wanted before the game and we did that.” On returning to the starting XI:“It was great. It was very good to play in a great game like Portland-Seattle. It’s good to be back and it was so much fun out there.”

On finding a winning form:“It’s great, that’s what we did last year. We had basically the same percentage of winnings last year and we are almost at the same pace as last year, and that’s good. We are almost there.” SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER OSVALDO ALONSOOn Darlington Nagbe:“He is a good player, he is fast. You have to be aware when he has the ball. I think we did and kept him in front of us, at the end of the day we got the three points, and that is what is most important for us.” On Clint Dempsey:“Clint is a good player, in these types of games he will do whatever it takes to win the game. He did it tonight.” On responding to Portland’s slow pace early in the match:“We played together and I think did a good job of keeping them front of us. I think we did a good job defensively."