Here's some Sounders reaction after their 2-1 win tonight at New England: Coach SIGI SCHMIDThis team has a lot of character and in the last couple of games, it seems that once the opponent scores, we wake up and play a little bit better. I thought in the first half we were pretty sluggish. We were lucky that we made them pay for their mistake. (Freddy) Montero did a great job of making (Ryan) Cochrane pay for that mistake and finished a great goal for us. It wasn’t our best half of soccer by a long shot, and I thought the second half we did what we needed to do. I thought we were much better, we were more compact and I thought we did what we had to do today.
(Fredy Montero is) in great form right now and when a goal scorer’s hot, you sort of continue to bet on him and ride him. That was one of the reasons why we started Fredy tonight. We were looking to get somewhere between 45 and 60 to 70 minutes out of him, and then get him off the field. He rewarded us with two goals. Hopefully he’ll carry that form into Tuesday’s Open Cup game.
(Kasey Keller) was good. I think some of the saves were obviously good; some of the saves were routine for a guy like him. I thought we did a better job of just keeping the shots from distance that weren’t as dangerous. I know he didn’t feel well about the goal he gave up down in Guatemala, but he’s a great pro, he’s a great goalkeeper. He’s one of the best the U.S. has ever seen.
It was hard because we have to look at different players who we needed to rest, and who needed to be out there to see if we had the balance right. With James Riley having been out injured, right back was a little of a concern for us, but I thought Roger Levesque did a good job out there for us. So then the midfield became a concern for us and with Osvaldo (Alonso) being out and we didn’t want to play Brad Evans tonight, I thought David Estrada came in and played well for us. It was good that those two guys had good games, but it’s always a little bit of a chess match when we’re trying to set the lineups. I think the lineup for Tuesday will be a little easier.
I thought (Diego Fagundez) did well. Obviously, we completely lost him on the mark on the corner kick, and he did a good job of finishing it. He’s got good skills. He’s got good field awareness. He’s going to be a good player. It’s important with young players not to go overboard too quickly because that puts too much pressure on them, but I think Stevie’s (Nicol) doing a good job of bringing him along and letting him grow. I think he’s going to be a fine player.
Obviously getting the goal right away was crucial for us because it wasn’t a good first half and we were very happy to come out at half time 1-1. We were concerned that once they got that first goal and went up 1-0 that we might lose or concede another goal. So to get that goal back was nice.
It was more of what we did (in the first half). We didn’t close them down in the midfield. Benny Feilhaber and Shalrie Joseph are good players, so if you give them time and space, they’re going to play well. We gave them way too many free kicks, too many fouls. They’re dangerous when (Chris) Tierney swings a good ball; they’ve got some big bodies up there. So between giving them the free kicks and giving them too much space in midfield, those are the things we shouldn’t have done in the first half.
FREDY MONTEROWhen you are down one goal, you try to score and tie the game. Then I had the opportunity to score again, (and) we were up, so it was easier for us to defend the rest of the game. We got the result, we got the three points in this place, (which is) very hard, and we are happy about that. We were looking for what we could do, and for sure the coach is happy because we always try to be the best. That’s what we were thinking before we went onto the field and we are happy.
(Sigi Schmid) told us to keep fighting. I don’t think it was a fun game, or a beautiful game, but it was the result we needed. We are happy about that.
I took a hit in the first half but I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. The change was simply technical. It had its reasons, and we as players have to respect the decisions of the coach. With the home game we have on Tuesday, I think we have accumulated games, trips, effort and I think it’s reasonable that he is taking that into account.
KASEY KELLER We knew we probably wouldn’t be as cohesive as maybe we have been so maybe instead of playing out of the back as much as we like to we had to play a little bit more direct, which kind of suited kind of the way that (New England) plays as well because they try to stop teams from playing out of the back. So we knew we probably had to play a little bit more direct. But we were disappointed with the way we played first half and pretty pleased with the way we came out second half.
It’s been a long trip and we were a little bit weary of a slow start and unfortunately we did exactly that. But credit, we capitalized off of a mistake immediately and equalized, and that made a big difference for us. I think if we had gone in 1-0 down at halftime it would have been a little different story. But for Fredy (Montero) to be able to pounce on that so quickly after they scored, we could just kind of erase what had happened.
Good kid, you know, (Diego Fagundez has) a lot of movement for his size, he’s strong on the ball - he’s got to do something about that haircut - but other than that, I think he’s got a bright future. He just has to keep working hard and you see that there’s something there, definitely.
Well (Diego Fagundez) was wide open in the middle of the goal and he finished it very well. He hit it hard, he hit it off the inside of the crossbar and it was a good goal.
We were able to rest some people tonight and still get the result and that shows the strength of our squad. We’re very pleased with where we’re at right now.”
Really I thought we got very lucky. I thought New England very easily could have beat us tonight. They were better than we were, especially the first half. The second half we kind of equaled out a little bit, but mistakes can hurt you and we were able to capitalize on some stuff today that maybe we didn’t quite make those chances (in June). We made the one mistake - the big mistake - I was able to make a save on one. Another time they scored and like I said we hit them straight back and then got one second half and really closed up shot really well second half.
(New England is) a good team and their record shouldn’t be what it is. But when you get into that situation where you are – we’re at the moment at the top of the table finding ways to win and get results and New England right now is finding ways not to get results and that happens when you’re down at the bottom of the table. But they’re a good team.