The top theme of Sounders' postgame comments tonight involved their ability to win with what projects as an all-reserve lineup.
Here's some of what they had to say:
Coach Sigi Schmid(On the game...) "We got 90 minutes for our starters yesterday and we got 90 minutes out of most of the guys tonight, as well. I thought the guys played great. It shows the depth of our team-we're playing with three rookies back in the back four. I thought the center backs played very well, a big improvement over the last game, but I thought they were solid and they were playing against [Alvaro] Saborio and [Robbie] Findley. There were 15 minutes or so there at the end of the first half where we were scrambling. We were on our heels a bit, but after that we caught ourselves and I thought we did well." (On the play of Alex Caskey and Lamar Neagle...) "I thought they played very well. Lamar is a gamer-that's why we traded for him back. Sometimes at training you're not quite sure, but when the game comes he's there and he makes good decisions. He was unlucky tonight not to get a goal. And Caskey, that's Caskey. He might give away a few balls, but then he'll do something that'll impact the game. He did it the other night on the first goal against New York, then he did tonight. He just cut [Chris] Schuler in the box and hits a great shot." (On continuing to press after scoring the goal...) "After we scored, I think the young guys certainly got confidence. At the end of the first half, the feeling was like, 'Hopefully we can hang in here.' After we got the goal, I think the feeling all of a sudden became, 'We can win this thing.' They were confident and they played with a lot more composure. Salt Lake started to press the issue, so that gave us a little better chance to counter. If we would have gotten a second one it would have been nice." (On the confidence of the team a week before the season starts...) "The team feels good about themselves, but preseason doesn't mean anything-they know that. What was really good was we were able to finish this week. We're a week out and we were able to get almost all of our players 90 minutes and that's what we feel really good about." Midfielder Alex Caskey(On his goal...) "I knew the guy was going to slide if I cut it back in, so that's what I ended up doing and just hit it near post." (On winning the Desert Diamond Cup...) "Every competition we're in we're trying to win. We just want to have a winning mentality throughout the season. I think we showed in this game we have a lot of depth going on, and that could be important considering the length of the season." Midfielder Lamar Neagle(On the adjustments made a halftime...) "We started to slow down and they started to play a little bit better towards the end of the first half. Coach brought us in, told us to calm down, and play our game. We were a little too direct towards the end. Then we came out in the second half great obviously. Caskey had a great goal. Just a good job by our younger guys. They had a great opportunity against a really good first team." (On the opportunity for the younger players...) "It's another chance for our young guys to prove themselves, to prove that they can play in this league. We're playing their first team. It'll be a good confidence booster not to be intimidated or anything like that and to focus on playing our game, not who we're playing."
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