Sounders Insider

Despite scoreless first half, Schmid saw goals ahead

I've scattered some Sigi Schmid reaction to tonight's game throughout several posts below and yet to come. Here are some others:

On what the attitude was at halftime) “Our attitude was good. It was a little bit frustrating, but it was good. We had talked about and we had prepared the team to move into a 3-5-2 formation if we weren’t having success because obviously we normally play a 4-4-2 and we didn’t have success in Salt Lake. I didn’t feel there was a need to change because we were dominating the game and creating chances, so we continued to push out of that formation. We told them they had been a little bit fortunate with the balls they saved off the line and if you keep doing what you’re doing the goals will come, and we ended up getting two goals. The injuries in the first half hurt us because what ends up happening then is when you get with 20 minutes to go in the game, you could use some fresh legs and we couldn’t bring in any fresh legs anymore. Like Erik Friberg was pretty dead tired. Generally [Brad] Evans is a little fitter than him, so we would have been able to slide that around. There are certain things that we could have done without those injuries.”

On Beltran’s header save in the first half) “It was huge because if we get a goal in the first half then…you saw what happened when we got the first goal and they started to teeter a little bit and if we would have got that goal in the first half this place would have been even louder and just given us more time to get the third one.”

On Kasey Keller’s save in the second half) “Yeah, it kept us in the game because at that point we’ve obviously got to fill bodies forward and so they got in. The linesman I thought missed two or three offside calls prior to that, so that was a little bit frustrating. He comes up big on that save, but we thought it should have been offside anyway.”

On improvement in midfield) “It was just our aggression level. I thought in the last game we were very passive and today we were more aggressive. We talked to our center backs and said it’s going to be man against man. You’ve got to win your duels. You’ve got to be better than [Alvaro] Saborio. You’ve got to be better than [Fabian] Espindola and what-not. Look for help. So we zoned less, we got on to people, we got closer and as a result of that we were able to regain the ball much quicker and as we got the ball back much quicker we also connected our first two or three passes most times and that allowed us to get a hold of the game.”

(On how they will go about the offseason…) “We’ll be around. We’ll do things until Thanksgiving. We’ve got things to do, meetings to do and things like that and get offseason programs organized. We have an early start to our program next year because we’re in the Champions League, so we’ve got to be prepared for that. We’ve got some guys…[Brad] Evans’ ankle is about four times the size of this microphone right now on a non-foul, so there’s some guys that got beat up tonight.”

On the play of Lamar Neagle) “I think he would have had the same impact if we would have brought him on with 20 minutes to go, or 25 minutes to go – which was the plan. He’s another one. He’s a young player in terms of experience and he’s learning every time he gets out there. Yeah, I do think in Salt Lake it was probably too big a game for him even in the first half, he really didn’t come into the game until the second half. We talked about it and I think he grew up today a little bit in terms of being a little stronger, a little tougher. Then obviously he scored a good goal and was involved in a lot of our offensive actions and almost beat [Nick] Rimando on another one that he tried to bend to the far post like the one he scored in Salt Lake during the regular season. He continues to grow and improve.”

On what the taste in their mouth is right now after tonight’s result) “I don’t know if it’s in our mouths, it’s definitely a very empty, hallow feeling in our stomachs at this stage. As I told the team, I’m happy we got our first playoff win. We won a playoff game, so we got our first playoff win tonight. We had to overcome a lot of obstacles tonight. But we still have an empty feeling from the standpoint that we know we should have done better in Salt Lake. We know we should be going on to the next round if we had done better and so that’s disappointing. But we’re also proud of the fact that we showed our character and we showed our true colors today.”