Sounders Insider

Discussion: Seattle win 1-0, lose Zakuani

The game has gone final: Seattle 1, Colorado 0.

The Sounders move to 2-2-3 on the season and are unbeaten over their last five, and their was their first clean sheet. However, the cost could be staggeringly high as Steve Zakuani was taken to a Denver-area hospital with what has been diagnosed as a fractured right fibula and tibia. Surgery is being scheduled.

Zakuani was injured on a sliding tackle by midfielder Brian Mullan, which drew an immediate red card.

I'll be back with quotes later. But for now, the Sounders have announced this information on how to send best wishes to Steve Zakuani.

And btw, in everyone's fully justified anger, it's useful to at least consider what James Riley has just tweeted: "Also praying for Brian Mullan. He is a tremendous competitor. A harsh and unfortunate incident. I know he didn't mean for that to happen." (Riley's previous tweet had said: "Praying for my good friend Zakuani. Be strong! We are all with you. Bless")

I cover some reaction to the Zakuani injury in a new post above. Meanwhile, here are some reactions dealing with the other aspects of the game:

SIGI SCHMIDOn losing a player in the first three minutes“It’s a major blow for the guys psychologically to try to refocus on the game and try to not talk about it at halftime. Nobody really mentioned it but you definitely felt it hanging in the air. We tried to take care of business at hand and continue to play.”

On Fredy Montero’s goal:“It’s good that he got the goal and it’s good for Fredy. He should have some confidence that he can hopefully carry with him into the next game.”

On the team’s past five games:“We wanted to get four points out of these two games on the road and we want to come back home next week and win and that’s an important aspect for now. We’ve collected nine points in the last five games and we’re on a pretty good streak and we want to continue to do that.”

JAMES RILEYOn the game:“It’s tough. We’ve never had to handle that as a team. We’ve never really played a man up. I think I can remember the last time was probably against Columbus when they got a guy sent off. There are a few things that you’re trying to manage. Trying to play against 10 guys is new for us. We got through the first half and the second half is a representation of how we were able to fare playing up a guy after Zakuani was injured.”

On the win:“To be honest I thought the first couple of games of the season we played some very good soccer and it’s unfortunate not to get results. This was probably one of our worst games yet even though we were able to get a result of 1-0 with a man up. We’ll take it as it comes. It’s an ugly win, but it’s a win on the road against a very good Colorado team.”

FREDY MONTEROOn the goal:“The first goal came at a good moment. I’m happy that team is doing well in the last five games. It was a great pass from Moro. I tried to go to the near post it ended up going between the legs of the goalkeeper.”

On the road win:“We have to continue scoring goals, especially at Qwest Field. The fans deserve that.”

Colorado coach GARY SMITHOn Fredy Montero’s goal:“The goal that they scored was their first attack, and I would think their mindset changed a little bit when they scored. And after that they did a very good job of keeping their goal intact. I though the players attacked it well, with good energy, reasonable possession. I thought all in all we couldn’t threaten their goal enough and were not able to get back in it.”

On not being able to get back in it: “Honestly I think there were so many things that didn’t go our way. I’m sure the call was right (red card), but going down to 10 men after three minutes is certainly not going your way. I know we have our own control over that, but the goal was pretty soft. It goes through Matt’s (Pickens) legs. Maybe the fact he didn’t strike it properly was the problem.

There were so many things that weren’t right. I don’t know whether that was because of the injury, or we were playing a man down. Our final pass wasn’t good enough; when we got in good areas we never made enough of it - there wasn’t enough cutting edge. When we ended up 2-v-3, the inspiration to make the chance just wasn’t there tonight. Even the guys that came into the game, while they added some energy, the impact you’re looking for from guys like Sanna (Nyassi), who are very talented, wasn’t there. You’re asking a lot of these guys, with ten men and really playing against the odds, somebody’s got to step forward and make a name for themselves.”

Midfielder PABLO MASTROENIOn if the injury to Zakuani affected the team:“Obviously it affects anyone, regardless of what team your on you never want to see. It’s real unfortunate. I think at the end of the day, I think the response was great from the guys. We were able to find some decent possession on their side of the field with ten men, so I think we did a good job of quickly putting that behind us and focusing on the task at hand.”

And the stats:

SEA - Fredy Montero 1 (Rosales 3, White 2) 19

Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl, Mauro Rosales (Erik Friberg 74), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Steve Zakuani (Alvaro Fernandez 9, Leo Gonzalez 82), Fredy Montero, O'Brian White. Substitutes Not Used: Terry Boss, Jeff Parke, Leo Gonzalez, Erik Friberg, Nate Jaqua, Mike Fucito TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Alonso 4) ; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Montero 2); FOULS: 19 (White 3, Montero 3); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: Keller 2 Colorado Rapids - Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, Tyrone Marshall (Anthony Wallace 66), Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Brian Mullan, Pablo Mastroeni (Wells Thompson 68), Jeff Larentowicz, Jamie Smith (Sanna Nyassi 72), Caleb Folan, Omar Cummings. Substitutes Not Used: Steward Ceus, Scott Palguta, Joseph Nane, Andre Akpan TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Kimura 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Kimura 1, Larentowicz 1); FOULS: 7 (Smith 3); OFFSIDE: 0; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: Pickens 3

Misconduct Summary: COL - Brian Mullan (ejection, Serious Foul Play) 3

COL - Caleb Folan (caution, Reckless Foul) 75

SEA - Fredy Montero (caution, Reckless Foul) 81

Referee: Silviu Petrescu

Referee's Assistants:-Daniel Belleau; Eric Proctor

4th Official: Geoff Gamble

Attendance: 14,185

Weather: Partly Cloudy and 46 degrees

Second half:

Has begun.

Halftime: Sounders up, 1-0. Colorado a man down. Sounders without Steve Zakuani, probably for a long time, although we're still awaiting official word.

19t minute: GOAL Sounders jump ahead 1-0 on Fredy Monteros first goal since August. White to Rosales to Montero from just inside the top of the box.

Zakuani update: Sounders report Zakuani on his way to the hospital for X-rays.

Fourth minute: Steve Zakuani down with what announcers are calling a broken leg. Colorado's Brian Mullan gets straight red. Sounders will be a man up the rest of the way ... but at quite a cost.

Alvaro Fernandez comes in for Zakuani.

Kickoff: The game has begun. Sounders in green/green; Rapids in burgundy/white.

Lineup: Hmm. I wondered if something was up yesterday when I asked coach Sigi Schmid about his best starting lineup now that just about everyone is healthy ... and his answer veered over to the fact that the Sounders don't have any shutouts yet this year. So, I thought, hmmm, are defensive changes coming?

Today they came, with this lineup: GK Keller; D Riley, Ianni, Hurtado, Wahl; M Rosales, Alonso, Evans, Zakuani; F Montero, White. The reserves are Boss, Parke, Gonzalez, Fernandez, Friberg, Jaqua, Fucito.

For Colorado, Tyrone Marshall is starting, but Sanna Nyassi isn't. Neither is Conor Casey, still out with injury.

Pregame: Just a reminder that it will be Sounders at Rapids at 6:30 p.m. on Fox Soccer channel. I'll keep this post open for pregame news, lineups, in-game highlights, postgame notes and quotes ... and most of all your comments.

And because I know not all of you have access to FSC, I'll also try to post a little more running on out Twitter account (link in column at left.)