Sounders Insider

Man U 7-0: Sigi embarrassed, Sir Alex gracious

Here is reaction from the two coaches after Manchester United manhandled Sounders FC 7-0 tonight before a Northwest-record crowd of 67,052 at CenturyLink Field.

SIGI SCHMIDOverview) It was 1-0 at halftime. Were they six goals better than us in the second half? Yeah, they were. Because they finished their chances and we didn’t finish ours. I thought we had an equal amount of good chances, but that’s the difference obviously in the quality and the level of play and their ability to finish.

I need to apologize to our fans because I thought we embarrassed ourselves in the second half. Not to take anything away from Man United, because they’re a great team and they scored some great goals and the movement was superb. We wanted to reward all of the guys on our team – we wanted to reward everybody. I think in retrospect that was a mistake. I should have just played guys and brought some guys off the bench and not try to get everybody in the game. But we’ve had a hard season. We’ve worked very hard. We’ve played very well. I wanted to reward all the guys with the opportunity to get on the field against Man United. Unfortunately, they didn’t reward themselves.

Obviously it was going to be a difficult game from the beginning because it’s a quality team. But if we play our starters for a longer period of time … you know Tyson Wahl getting injured the day before and not playing, that’s one starter down. Brad Evans going down right away when he goes in again doesn’t help us. I think we could have kept the game in check. If we finish the chances we had in the first half we also get a little bit more of the game. But this is definitely for me, I know it’s my most embarrassing loss personally – and again it’s not to take anything away because I think they’re an unbelievably good team.

First half) I think in the first half we did well. I thought we struggled against some of their corners. I thought they had some good opportunities with their corners, and we struggled a little bit on our left side defensively. I thought on that side Nani in conjunction with Rafael definitely got in behind us and caused some problems. But I also through we were able to hold the ball, we were able to get in on them, we got some good chances. Montero had some good chances. The one he had, if he lifts his head and gets it to Fernandez, Fernandez is naked. The other one that Ozzie hits and gets deflected, Roger is naked at the back post. A little more cleaverness, a little more sharpness, and we might have had a goal or two. Overall I wasn’t displeased with what we did in the first half. I thought the first half was good.

On Wahl and Evans) Tyson should be all right. With Brad (hamstring) we don’t know yet.

On Man U's John Rooney, who scored three goals) We’d like to have him. It would be good for us. Obviously he’s a good player. Again, if you look at it they had very few wasted chances. Keller came up with a big save in the first half. I think they might have pulled one wide in the second half, and Boss came up with a save. But outside of that, every time they had a clean look on goal – and every time Wayne Rooney had a clean look on goal – it ended up in the back of the net. I’ve said this before to our reporters from here: That’s the difference still between our league and the leagues overseas.

On when the night became less fun) 3-0? 3-0, 4-0? You had the early goal in the second half and the goal right after that. If I could have turned the clock back by 10 minutes I would have sent the same team back out that finished the first half. But by then it was too late.

Man U’s second half lineup) Obviously we saw their bench. When you come with Rooney off the bench and you come with Park off the bench you’re going to create some problems. And our bench is not the same, for sure. And that’s not to say – I don’t want to take this away from my team – that’s not to say in the second half we didn’t also create some chances. Neagle had a couple of good looks – he’s got to score on that one and not put it over the top. Ngassa had the one he slid into. Noonan had two good chances. So we had chances to score, but our defending was absolutely atrocious in the second half. I didn’t think our attacking play was that bad, I thought our defending was absolutely horrendous because they made good runs off the ball, their movement was good, and we were slow and we were just reacting.

SIR ALEX FERGUSONGeneral comments) “A strange game because the score didn’t reflect the chances. In the first half, the Sounders had two or three good chances and our goalkeeper made two great saves. Kasey Keller made a couple good saves himself. I think our second goal opened the game for us. Our keeper, even though he’s a young goalkeeper, he made a couple of fantastic saves. The Sounders could have really scored a few goals. I’m pleased by our attack in the second half and our finish. It was good. It was good to see a string of goals and by different players. That’s always encouraging. Last year we depended on three players for all our goals.”

On Rooney) “I’m pleased with all the goal scorers. He’s worked hard. He’s done really well in training.” On Sounders) “For them, the countryside was good in the first half. I think Alonso is a good player. I like him. He’s a player who knows how to play. He has experience. Rosales was good also. He created danger. Fernandez did some good things in the first half also.”

On why play in the U.S.) “The purpose is threefold. We think that the United States is an emerging country in terms of soccer and there’s also potential for us to increase our support base, which we’re always conscious of. We have seen tonight that we had good support tonight. It’s pleasing to us when we try to spread the gospel about the way we play, the romance of the club, the history of the club. The United States is a growing market in terms of support.” On most enjoyable part of the game) “It was brilliant. The pleasing thing for me was the number of fans all mixed together. That was like the old days of England and Scotland, when fans could mix together and no trouble. I don’t know if we could ever get back to that, but it was a pleasure to watch that tonight. The atmosphere was always good. The Sounders’ support is fantastic. It’s a plus-point that, it’s a big plus-point, to see fans mingling together and enjoying it.”