In some posts below I have reaction from coach Sigi Schmid and the Chicago Fire. Here's what some Sounders players had to say about their 2-0 win in the U.S. Open Cup final:
Defender JEFF PARKEOn his almost-goal that Montero eventually scored) "Any way it goes in. It's be nice to score, but Fredy got it and knocked it in."
On if they thought it wasn't their night after two shots hitting the post) "I didn't want to believe it. I was thinking that a little bit, but then I was like, 'We're gonna knock one in and open this game up.'"
On if he and the team prefers the south end) "I guess I can see the ball a little better in that corner."
On how the defense neutralized Chicago's speed up front) "We just gave them a little space and talked a lot. It goes to our midfield, they got after their midfield and didn't let them pick their head up too long and took those guys out. Hats off to our midfield, they did really well, and the back line did well, as well."
On what was the key to the game) "It was the pressure. The pressure definitely never quit on them. We didn't make it easy for them, and it showed because they didn't play too many balls over the top and when they did, we were there."
On how hard it is to play so many knock-out games) "It's tough, but you get used to it. Some of the guys get a bit more mature, they get used to the level of the play. We've got plenty of guys that do so good and have been in these big moments before."
Midfielder BRAD EVANSOn the play of the midfielders) "They looked for the long ball first and foremost, so we talked about before the game, 'Let's make their backs play as much as possible, especially [Dan] Gargan,' so I think we did a good job of that. I think we stepped up. [Pavel] Pardo wasn't really involved until the middle of the second half-early in the second half. We did a good job, but a player like that is going to find his way into the game somehow. Other than that I thought we did a pretty good job in midfield."
On neutralizing Chicago's better players) "We talk about that every game. You look at a [Landon] Donovan or a [David] Beckham, whatever it is, you try to make them play square or backwards as much as possible. So tonight, we knew that their two forwards were going to look for the ball behind, so we closed the service. It's kind of a little bit of math, I guess. I thought we did a good job."
On the emotional aspect of winning this game) "I think the most important thing is that we're all in this together, regardless. At some point, everybody has played a part in this tournament or this season. We've got a deep team, and like I said, everybody's played part. It's a testament to our team and these guys, and it's great to win for guys that can't be involved."
On celebrating in front of the home crowd) "It's insane. Once they started getting into it in the second half, I knew we were going to get a goal for sure. Once we get one, we get two. They were insane tonight, so it was awesome."
On the togetherness of this team) "It pays dividends. Hopefully this pays dividends down the line. We can get the Supporter's Shield with that other result tonight, so we'll celebrate this for a couple days, but we have a big game Saturday. If we can get three points there and catch some ground again, we put ourselves in a good position to possibly get the Supporter's Shield and carry this to the MLS Cup."
On if the game got rough in the second half) "When you're down 1-0, you try to do anything you can to scrape a goal somehow. You expect it, it's part of the game, but it's great to see everybody fired up."
On winning after 9,000-mile trip) "In a game like this, you throw travel out the window. You don't even think about it. It doesn't play a part. I don't think anybody was thinking we had tired legs or anything."
On Osvaldo Alonso's goal) "It was ridiculous. I thought for sure he was going to shoot, then he took another touch...unbelievable. Couldn't have happened to a better player, better person. It's fitting."
Goalkeeper KASEY KELLEROn winning a championship) "To be able to win a cup, at any time, is a tremendous feeling. To win a league, unfortunately I haven't been able to win a league yet, hopefully we still have a chance at that. Whenever you get a chance to lift a trophy, you know it's a special occasion. We were so disappointed that first year, that we weren't able to host the final--we thought we deserved it, we thought our fans deserved it--but we had a great travel support to D.C. and we were able to win there. Then last year, can we get back here and be able to host the event and win it in front of our fans, which we were able to do, break all kinds of records for MLS Open Cup. Then to think, can we do this a third time and host it once again?"
On playing the game at home) "I don't think you can take away from the fact our ownership group is willing to out-bid to get us home draws. The tremendous atmosphere we have at Starfire for games is a huge advantage to us. You can't look only at the team, it's a total club effort to have days like this. Big thanks to them. Then what do our fans do? They come down here and break their own record from last year, but what makes it even more special, is something from day one--it's one thing to have a great crowd...but to be able to back it up and be successful for that crowd is something that I'm so proud of in these last three years that we've been able to accomplish."
On the differences from last year) "There was a little bit different feeling last year. We left it kind of late. I think we had such a huge relief after qualifying for the playoffs, we kind of let down a little bit. You say, 'How is that possible?' Sometimes you have that subconscious that's like, 'We made it. Okay.' The goal this year was different. We've been up there all year...We knew we were going to make the playoffs... We're ready this year to go as far as we possibly can, and that's a cool mentality that we've had."
Forward and goal-scorer FREDY MONTEROOn not being able to score until late in the game) "Our expectations were always high and they were very positive. We kept trying and trying again until that first goal arrived, and were going to keep trying and trying again until that first goal arrived."
On the atmosphere) "As our coach said, we have the opportunity to make history. We were able to do it not just for our families, but also our fans, and now we have to keep looking forward to the next cups and wins that we have ahead."