Sounders Insider

Sounders react after taking it 'on the chin'

Here is some additional reaction from the Sounders after their 2-0 loss to Philadelphia tonight at CenturyLink Field, which knocked them out of the race for the Supporters Shield.

Coach SIGI SCHMIDOpening comments) "I thought especially for the first half that Philadelphia was the better team. It was sort of a strange game because I thought they really dominated the first half and we were still 0-0. I thought the second half was less dominating, but that's when they got the goals. I think they did well to finish their goals. Obviously we could have done a better job shielding the ball and we got caught on the counter on the corner because some guys were in the wrong positions, but it happened. For us it wasn't our best game. I know we've been through a lot as a team. I think we've had some emotional highs in the last two weeks and sometimes you come out a little bit flat and they were a little bit flat today, especially in the first half, and we left it for a little bit too late. It just serves as a reminder that in this league everything is so tight that if you come and aren't wholly prepared to do all the work you need to do, you end up coming up short. Thankfully that's not our normal operation style so we take what it is. We'll take it on the chin and we'll learn from it." On if they can use this as a lesson for a run in the playoffs) "I think at the end of July we went to Houston and we lost a game there 3-1 and everybody was like, 'Oh geez, woe is me,' and we had a pretty good run after that so to serve itself again. I played on a team at UCLA where we used to kill everybody all the way through the playoffs. We didn't know what the pain of losing felt like and then all the sudden we get to the playoffs and we lose the NCAA title game because we had never gone through that pain of losing. So sometimes the pain of losing is the best motivator of all." On losing their top three players tonight to suspension/injury) "It was a hard one. [Alvaro] Fernandez got cleared late yesterday, so he really hadn't gone through a full training, so he hadn't trained since Tuesday. It's sort of ironic we've lost two guys with concussions in the last two games, but there was no foul called on the one in Chicago and there was no foul called today. But again, we can say, 'OK, we were missing those guys [Montero, Rosales, Fernandez].' But we had enough people on the field. We had enough people who could do it. We just had too many people who didn't have a good game." On Jeff Parke) "We had to pull him at halftime because they felt he was concussed. So we've got to see from here." On Pat Noonan getting the start) "Well, we wanted to keep the same sort of balance up front. The way we play is we have the one forward high and Fredy [Montero] finds his space underneath. Noonan is more comfortable doing that. Rather in the end we went with the two big guys up front, so the thing was to try and keep us in a rhythm. But again, like I said we had too many guys with bad games so we never got into a rhythm."

On the possibility of facing a rested Kyle Beckerman with Real Salt Lake in the playoffs) "Obviously it gives them some time to rest, so that might be on the plus side for them. But he's [Kyle Beckerman] getting a couple of national team games so he's going to stay in game rhythm. He's played enough games this year to stay in rhythm and he'll be highly motivated when the playoffs come around. We have to deal with Salt Lake. It's not just Beckerman. That thing can go either way. It can either be a plus or a minus. It depends on how he reacts to it."

On the goal by Freddy Adu) "I think [James] Riley was trying to shield the ball going out of bounds. The referee was pretty liberal in terms of allowing you to shield and disregard the ball and Riley got too close to the ball as he was trying to shield and Farfan tips it through his legs and it just goes past [Patrick] Ianni. So everybody sort of relaxes because they expect the ball to go out of bounds for a goal kick because he's shielding, and then he pokes it through and everybody was a little late reacting. So it was an opportunistic goal." On if any particular players' play stood out to him tonight) "I thought [Kasey] Keller came up with a huge save in the 53rd minute that looked like it was going to keep us in it for awhile, but I don't think there's anybody you can point to on our team and say they had a good game or a game that they normally have." On Philly rookie goalkeeper Zac MacMath handing Seattle's crosses) "I don't think our crossing was real sharp. A lot of them were lolly-pops, so you could come out there and it was like picking grapes - you could just run out there and catch the ball. Too many of them were too close to the 6-yard box and they were hung up in the air too much. So we made it a little easier for them than it needed to be." On what he thinks is the biggest difference between this year's Philadelphia team and last year's) "I said in preparation for the game that they've just solidified themselves defensively with the addition of [Carlos] Valdes, the addition of Brian Carroll and the addition of [Faryd] Mondragon when he's in goal. Those are three guys out on the field that are all defensive players and that's helped them. They play a 4-5-1. They play very conservative and they try to pack the midfield and they hope to spring Sebastien [Le Toux] for an opportunity here or there. Even though they had possession on us in the first half they really didn't have any real clear quality chances in the second half, but obviously they converted on the chances that they got." Midfielder BRAD EVANSOn whether there was a letdown after winning Open Cup) "No, I don't think so. That's not the excuse, just coming out slow the past couple games seems to be the case. If we play with half the intensity that we did in the second half, then we come on top. We came out slow, that's the bottom line. We absorbed pressure--they had good possession but they weren't dangerous. They didn't get any good clear opportunities the first half. When we did get possession we didn't connect enough passes. That's the name of the game, I guess. They got two soft goals that we gifted them, too, and that was it."

If not having Montero, Fernandez, or Rosales put pressure on others to score) "Nobody even thought about it, I don't think. Whoever is in is expected to score. It is what it is." On the goals) "The first one [Gabriel Farfan] just beats him down line, [James Riley] was trying to shield it out of bounds and he just gets unlucky. [Farfan] sneaks around him and takes him out at the same time. Fredy [Adu] makes a good run on it. He was anticipating it a little better than we were and he puts it away. The second one we just pushed too many guys forward trying to get that goal a little too early. I think it was too early in the game to be pushing forward with that many guys. They caught us on a counter-attack and a little mis-clearance. We gave it to them."

Goalkeeper KASEY KELLEROn if the absence of Seattle's top goal-scorers added pressure for a clean sheet) "It was just one of those bad days. Everybody can look at whatever different excuse you want to come up with but at the same time we just weren't good enough today and we have to hold our hands up and say, 'That's not good enough. Let's get that out of our system and get ready to roll through the rest of the season.' That's at least how I'm looking at it." On a letdown after Open Cup) "No question. That's all part of the game...As a professional, you have to be ready for stuff like this. You have to be able to compartmentalize your season. You have to say, 'Tuesday night was great, now I have to get ready for Saturday.' You're going to have a lot of time in November, December, January to go celebrate or commiserate on what you did for the last eight months, so it's frustrating for everybody. Obviously we had a lot of fans go home that weren't happy, everybody leaving this locker room isn't going to be happy. We can't, I think, just push it under the rug and say, 'OK, that's a bad day and a bad thing or whatever.' We have to still accept that it's not good enough and be ready for next weekend and the weekend after that and then get ready for the playoffs. Looking at what some teams have done below us and maybe chucked it in a little bit, but other teams are fighting for their playoff positions. We're too good for that. We have too good of individuals, too good of a team as a collective to just say, 'Alright, don't worry about it, we're in the playoffs,' because we're better than we are today."

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