Sounders Insider

First-place Sounders: 'We can still do better'

Coach SIGI SCHMIDOpening Statement:“Obviously it was a great goal by Marco Pappa. I thought we played well in the first half – we dominated the first half pretty well. We had a couple of other good looks within that half. In the second half, I thought Colorado picked up their game – [Juan] Ramirez had an impact for them. I thought he played really well coming in for them in the second half and the game sort of changed a little bit. Even then, we had some great chances. Clint [Dempsey] worked his rear end off today coming off of a game on Saturday. He was making some runs and unlucky enough to get a goal and finish. I was really pleased with his effort and I just tried to get him off at the end to save a couple minutes in preparation for Sunday. For me, obviously I am happy with the three points; it is never easy playing mid-week games. There are a lot of young kids who stepped in, [Andy] Rose and [Cristian] Roldan, guys who haven’t been playing a lot, and [Zach] Scott and [Leo] Gonzalez as well, all of those guys helped us. We were able to rest some guys as a result of that. As we prepare for the game on Sunday, I felt a lot of those guys stepped up and did really well.”

On strengths of the club:“I think we can still do better, but that’s me and I am a coach. You never get entirely happy – there is still time for us to find those balls in behind, we need to improve our finish – some of those looks we had and it would have been a very complete game. Our possession has been good, obviously [Gonzalo] Pineda has been a very important part of that, so not having him there today and still being able to keep possession and control for a majority of the game was really important.”

On not playing Chad Marshall:“Just rest, as much as anything. He had taken a knock in the other game, so we felt maybe it’s a good one to rest right now for this one. [Brad] Evans has been doing really well, he’s been really healthy and really fit, so we figured we would go with him.”

On Marco Pappa:“I thought Pappa was good. Obviously he gave us a goal – I thought he was higher up the field and he came back without Pineda we needed him there to keep possession going, as well. We had talked about that – the mix of when to go high and when to go back – and I though he did well. It was [Roldan’s] play that kept the ball alive on that goal. That’s the thing with Cristian - he is a player who is always into the game, always alert, and he competes, he is a competitor. He made a couple of runs there in the second half where he was maybe unlucky as he came inside off of his left foot. Again, for a rookie playing a game, being at home is a little bit different than playing on the road sometimes, and getting the start, and I am very happy with him.”

On Colorado’s improvement in the second half:“Ramirez. I think Ramirez came in for them and had a good impact on the game. He found the ball, he was bright, and he came inside off of [Tyrone] Mears. Mears is playing his second game [in five days] and was maybe a little fatigued. Ramirez made a difference, he started to beat people off of the dribble, and that made us shift some people and slide, and things started to open up. I think he was a key element.”

On Obafemi Martins’ return to the lineup:“Yeah, it’s good to have Oba back on the field. After not training for two weeks, rust, and with us not getting back until Monday it’s not like we’ve had hard training days, so it’s hard to get into the rhythm on those training days because it is less [strenuous]. I thought, as the game went on in the second half, his play and touches improved. He almost had a couple passes there to Clint that almost went in and I thought that was good, but he will get back to form.”

Defender BRAD EVANSOn the game:“I think coming into tonight’s game I don’t think I realized that with a win we’d go to the top until yesterday looking at the standings. A lot of guys try to just focus on how we’re playing versus where we are in the standings, but the reality is once it comes to your attention that you can win this game and go to the top it gives you a little bit of motivation, especially playing at home and the nil-nil draw on the weekend gives you a little something extra to play for.”

On weathering the storm in the second half:“Dylan [Remick] came in [post-match] and said he was really nervous, biting his nails, but on the field it didn’t feel that way. It felt like we were in control. It was a result of a few bad giveaways; it wasn’t a result of them really breaking out and playing really well. It was a result of our mistakes, so from that end as long as we kept the ball we kept them at bay I think so for us on the field we were comfortable. They had a few chances, pretty routine for Stefan [Frei].”

Midfielder MARCO PAPPAOn if it feels good to get first goal:“Yeah, for sure. It always feels good to score goals. I normally score some goals during the season and I was looking for the goal from the beginning of the season. I finally scored a goal but I’m more happy that the team got the points and we’re at the top of the table. Now we’re looking forward to our next game.”

On the difference between the first and second halves:“I think first half was much better than second half for sure. It was keeping the ball, having more chances. In the second half we were defending our goal more but still having good opportunities to score goals.I hope we can continue and build a good team for the rest of the season.”

On last time hitting it that well with right foot:“I don’t remember because it might be my first time. No, maybe a couple of goals with my right foot. It feels good especially because it’s my first goal of the season and I’m not used to scoring goals with my right foot. I hope this can be good for my confidence.”

Midfielder CRISTIAN ROLDANOn getting the start:“Any time you could play with the First Team it’s a positive. Especially being 19 and all, the Coach has confidence in me. Obviously he wanted to rest some players but hopefully I did something with my chance and hopefully I made an impact on the game.”

On his contribution to the goal:“I think I slid – I’m not really too sure how it happened – but I think I recovered a ball or something and Marco just had a really brilliant moment, and when you have players like him and Clint and Oba, you have goals happen out of nowhere.”

On one goal being enough:“I think we defended well. I think the only thing we’ll complain about is the amount of fouls we did on top of our box but I didn’t think they had too many clear chances so I think we’re pretty happy about that.”

Goalkeeper STEFAN FREIOn the shutout:“It’s great. I think it’s no small feat to get three shutouts in a row so I’m super stoked about that and really happy for the team. I think we even had chances to put the game away a bit earlier and let us breathe a bit easier, but we had good resolve defensively, bend and not break, and that’s what we showed again today. Even though we had a couple changes in the back line and also on the wings, all the guys that stepped in did fantastic and we deserved the result today.”

On passing out of the back:“I think we’re just a bit more aware of taking that risk because on the same token you don’t want to play out of the back when it’s too dangerous because you’re going to give opponents – especially opponents that maybe sit back a little bit, you’re going to do risky things you’re going to give them a chance to counter. It’s a fine line and I think we’ve done exceptionally well which is why we gets shutouts because we don’t give away silly balls. We don’t make silly mistakes and, like I said, that’s why we’re limiting opponents to difficult chances where they actually have to build and usually because we’re solid defensively it results in shots from distance and that’s all they got so obviously we’re fine with that.”