The Sounders sounded what is becoming a familiar tune in their locker room tonight after their 1-1 draw with Columbus.
They believe they're playing well. They believe the 4-3-3 formation fits them well. They believe they're close: close to goals, close to going on a roll. But until then, they're being punished by just enough mistakes each match to cost them points.
Kasey Keller put it well, as he often does:
"You keep teams in games, you get punished. ... It’s close. I keep feeling that it’s going to happen and it’s getting better and better. But better and better without the victories doesn’t really mean a whole lot. At some stage it’s all about winning games or picking up points that we should pick up. And today we should have picked up three points and we didn’t."
SIGI SCHMID“We obviously wanted to play more offensive, we’ve been working on that. We wanted to do a better job possessing the ball, creating opportunities again because in Toronto we did a little better with that but we wanted to grow. I thought the 4-3-3 suited us well. I thought we created a number of chances. We fell asleep right before the end of the first half and gave away a goal that we shouldn’t give away, those things are starting to become very bothersome and something that we have to address. Overall I thought when I looked at the majority of the game I was very proud of how our team played, the effort we put in I thought was very good. We created and if we continue to play along that vein, I think luck will return to us.”
"… I thought it was one of our more complete efforts of the season, for sure. From that standpoint I thought it was solid, but again, it was elementary mistakes on the goal. (Steven) Lenhart’s their best header of the ball and to have him to be unmarked in the box is criminal.”
More on the 4-3-3…) “I think it was good, early on especially. You look at the spaces Freddie Ljungerg got, he was able to slip people in, he was able to make some runs from deep. It’s a position I want him playing deeper than he was been playing for us, it’s something we’ll continue to work on and grow with, but I think it’s something that suits us.”
STEVE ZAKUANIOn his goal) “In the first half of the game, I checked the clock and there were three minutes in and I hadn’t touched the ball yet. So I kind of wanted to find the ball and they stepped up high and beat the outside and I was just one-on-one. I waited for him to make a move. He didn’t. He stood up well. So then I just took it around him because he had space behind him and fortunately I got around him and got a goal.”
On Columbus’ goal) “I think it was a great ball first of all. At the same time, we should probably be more clean in the box but I think it comes from before that. I think we played fantastic for the first 40 minutes. The last five we kind of sat off them and waited for them to come at us. I think it starts from the defensive end, put full pressure on them and maybe the ball doesn’t get there. So it’s all around but of course I’m disappointed. I thought we had enough chances. First half we could have been up two or three maybe and we would’ve beat a good team. I think we dominated and that’s great for our club.”
PETER VAGENASOn the match:) "For me, you see a team like Columbus and they have been together for years now. Their movement is probably a tad bit sharper in the final third but, at the end of the day, I think we created a little more and that’s just from sheer quality of players. I think as those guys get more comfortable, again it’s a new formation, guys are tweaked a little bit, but at the same time I think we are so talented in the final third that it’s important that guys like Zakuani, Ljungberg, Montero and Evans sort of don’t really worry about the defensive end but when we win the ball they got to make things go. I know they are disappointed we only put one in the back of the net because that’s their job. But at the same time, I think we can do a little better job of getting the ball in the right places.”
CREW COACH ROBERT WARZYCHAOn the match) “I think Seattle probably had the better game, they controlled the possession. They were playing pretty well; we played better in the second half. We were happy with the result.”
CREW GOALKEEPER WILLIAM HESMEROn his second-half saves:) “I don’t think we had our best half with the ball, but our defending has been great all year. I’m proud of our guys on how we defended throughout this season. We got our rhythm this second half, and I thought we were the better team the second half. I’m sure Seattle is disappointed they didn’t come out of here with three points, but you have to defend. We have been successful because of our defense.”
CREW FORWARD STEVEN LENHARTOn his goal:) “First goal if the year, it was a great ball by Danny O’Rourke. I just headed it back where it came from. Danny had a better red card. I’m just kidding. I didn’t do much, it felt good to score.”