Sounders Insider

Sounders move to 2-0-0 with 2-0 win over RSL

Here's my game story. And here's how it looked to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Coach Sigi Schmid was happy with the three points in the standings, but he wasn't giving any extra style points tonight. He clearly wasn't pleased with the way the Sounders played with their lead.

It was certainly not a scintilating second half for us," he said. "They pretty much kept us pinned in in our end of the field. They did a good job in terms of their work rate and their effort was tremendous."

That said, his team is 2-0-0 after two games and hasn't given up a goal yet, so he didn't go overboard on that kind of stuff.

"Three points is three points," he said. "You need to win games in different ways throughout the course of the season. Sometimes you win them solidly like we did last week. Sometimes you have to work a little bit. Kasey Keller comes up with big saves at key moments, and that's what we got to do. Overall, we were pleased.

Schmid also was pleased with the way that Fredy Montero handled the rough play Salt Lake threw at him, with the play of Steve Zakuani who had a brilliant assist of the first goal, and of Freddie Ljungberg's first 29 minutes of action as a Sounder.

"I thought he looked good," Schmid said. "It's his first competitive minutes in a long time. It's his first competitive minutes since June in 2008 -- so, when someone's out for nine months, he's going to get better. He was able to hold the ball for us at times. He's going to help us connect passes. ... Freddie's minutes, I thought, were very good. It'll only get better."

Ljungberg said he came through healthy and also seemed happy with his introduction to MLS.

"I felt great," he said. "It was nice to be back on the pitch. I got some nice touches on the ball. And we won the game. It was great."

Ljungberg also seemed impressed by Montero's sizzling dipping swerving second-half goal from about 30 yards out, which iced the game.

"That's a great goal," Ljungberg said. "It was from far out, which we're not complaining about at all. It was a great shot. Killed the game. Happy days.

Happy days, indeed.

Final: Sounders 2, Real Salt Lake 0.

Seattle moves to 2-0-0 on the season, and still hasn't allowed a goal.

Tonight's crowd, a (more than) sellout of 28,548

The Sounders go on the road for the first time next week, visiting Toronto on Saturday afternoon.

I'll be back with notes and quotes.

77th minute: Fredy Montero just whistled one in from about 28 yards a sizzling shot that would have impressed in any league.

Sounders ahead, 2-0.

61st minute: Freddie Ljungberg just reported into the Seattle lineup replacing Steve Zakuani, who assisted the game's only goal. Very nice hand from the sellout crowd.

46th minute: No substitutions on either side to start the second half. However, Freddie Ljungberg is warming up, taking a few sprints behind the RSL goal.

Halftime: Sounders took the lead on a Nate Jaqua finish from point-blank range after a brilliant run into the penalty area by Stave Zakuani.

It was Jaqua's sixth goal over his last six games against Salt Lake.

Sounders controlled the early going. Real had a strong period around the 30-minutes mark where they started getting into the box, and had some chances.

Real has been knocking Fredy Montero around. He's been dropped at least four times, twice on hits that drew yellow cards.

No Freddie Ljungberg yet, but that's still expected about midway through the second half.

Kickoff: Game 2 has begun. Sounders in green; Real in red.

The pregame gold scarf was awarded to Jimmy Gabriel, coach of the original Sounders from 1977-79.

A trend: Three MLS finals tonight. All 1-1.

Lineup: For Seattle, Keller, Riley, Hurtado, Marshall, Scott, Le Toux, Alonso, Evans, Zakuani, Montero, Jaqua.

For Real, Rimando, Wingert, Norchers, Olave, Beltran, Mathis, Beckerman, Morales, Johnson, Findley, Movsisyan.

I just took a little walk around the stadium to pick up some local color. Once again, the main local color is rave green. I bumped into the band performing. The souvenir stands remained swamped. Lots of fans seeming to have fun despite a pretty cold and drizzly night.

At the pitch: Judging from the drive to the match, this week's March to the Match from Pioneer Square is going to be a wet one.

However, I'm here early. The gates aren't open yet. On the field, the Sounders' flag folks are practicing their pregame duties.

Up on the big screen, they are showing the Revolution-Red Bulls game, although I can't see a score. (However, I do notice that the Qwest Field folks have done a much better job of removing the Seahawks football lines from this pitch than the Giants Stadium folks have done of removing the NFL lines from their field.)

A reminder that tonight's game will be on KONG 6/16, 97.3 FM and 710 AM. And, of course, on this blog. Please feel free to tell me what kind of game-day blogging serves your needs. My plan is to mimic what I've done for UW football and basketball: pregame news if it happens, in-game updates, a halftime update, and then back here with postgame notes and quotes.

Gameday: Were any of you guys at that USL Sounders-Timbers match where the Portland supporters taunted Seattle with the chant of "Salt Lake City ... Salt Lake City" because Salt Lake was chosen over Seattle for MLS expansion?

Well, as things turned out, Seattle got the last laugh on Portland, as MLS arrived here two seasons before it will appear there.

And the Sounders get their shot at Salt Lake tonight when RAY-al shows up at Qwest Field at 7:30.

Anyway, that's the focus of my preview story in today's paper.

And here are a few leftover preview quotes from coach Sigi Schmid:

On turning that 1-0-0 start into a 2-0-0 start: "It's a matter of making sure that we take the same energy into the game that we brought into the first game. And that's our responsibility as a team and as players to make sure that we come in with the same enthusiasm and the same commitment to work hard for each other."

On Freddie Ljungberg's expected debut: "Ljungberg will be on the 18. We'll see how the game goes. But my anticipation would be that he's going to appear for us in the second half. How many minutes? We'll see how the game dictates that."

On Qwest Field crowd support: "It's tremendous. That's a great motivating factor. The players are always motivated to play in front of fans. When the fans are as g'ed up and reved up for the auction that makes it easier to get out there and perform."