Sounders Insider

Schmid: Weren't as sharp as we needed to be

Here's coach Sigi Schmid's opening statement after the Sounders' opened their season with a 1-0 home loss to Montreal:

Obviously disappointed because we always want to win when we’re at home. We had bits and pieces in the first half, but I don’t know how connected we were. I thought it was better in the second half. I thought we had a good opportunity when Evans hit the post. Eddie had a pretty open shot that he hit off the crossbar. Close on a couple of corners, a couple of scrambles in there. At the end of the day, I think we can play better. But hats off to Montreal. I thought they did a good job defensively. They made it tough. They compacted the middle. We didn’t get wide enough – especially on the left-hand side in the first half. We were a little bit better in the second. At the end of the day, I thought we carried the game. They caught us on a counter. They could have maybe had another counter on us when they almost caught us again. Obviously they forced us to carry the game, which we needed to do, but we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be.

On his lineup decisions: I thought DeAndre’s played well in preseason, and based on where we were injury-wise and everything, he was the logical choice to play there. Again, Rosales up front, we didn’t have a lot of options with the guys being out injured. … I don’t think it was so much those choices, as maybe we thought because we had gone undefeated we thought it would just keep going, because we had won the Desert Cup it would just keep going. So we’ve all got to look at it and say, hey, we’ve got to come out a little hungrier and a little sharper.

On why David Estrada and Lamar Neagle were not in the 18: “David Estrada was not available due to an ankle injury because he turned his ankle. Lamar Neagle was not able to play because that was one of the conditions of the trade.” On if they suffered because of lack of player availability: “Leo [Gonzalez] has been playing left back for us, so [Marc] Burch being out, it wouldn’t have changed our lineup. [Pat] Ianni being injured, [Adam] Johansson being injured, Estrada being injured, Neagle not being available. Those definitely affected things in terms of our lineup and our lineup choices. This group has played together. They played together against Veracruz, as well. I think they know and we know we have to be better. Our quality of crossing wasn’t very good today. We hit too many people with crosses. Every time we were looking to cross the ball, it seemed we hit somebody instead of getting the ball around them or past them. Against a team like Montreal that likes to pack the middle, you have to get behind them and you gotta have quality service in behind them, and we didn’t do that often enough. Finally at the end, Sammy Ochoa slid into one, and that was one of the few balls that got behind their back two.” On the play of the defense: “I thought we did all right, except in a game like this when you’re a defender, you get caught making one mistake and then it becomes a punishment. We got caught on the counter and it was sort of like everybody was in sixes and sevens on that play—a couple of deflections. It started with a cross that we hit that got blocked. Some of the guys thought it was a hand ball, obviously it wasn’t called so it wasn’t a hand ball. Then we got caught a little bit disorganized and gave up a goal.” On what the team can learn from the loss: “Anytime you get slapped in the face like this in a game, hopefully you rise from it and you become a little more determined and motivated—a little more focused. That’s something we certainly have to be in the Champions League and that’s something we certainly have to be in our next league game. It’s important how we finish, and it’s not so important how we start. What’s really important is how we finish things, so this maybe is a good little wakeup for all of us.” On starting slow in the first half: “Montreal came in with a very defensive game plan. That was their plan, so it was a bit tough to break them down. I didn’t think we played with enough width early on, especially on the left as I said earlier. We didn’t play with the energy that we played with in the second half, so we need to make sure we bring that energy from the very beginning. That may be a little bit from when you have a good preseason, you’re maybe a little complacent.” On the injury status of Andy Rose: “Okay. I think it’s an elbow, but I haven’t talked to the doctors yet.” (Rose said afterward that he's fine.)

On bouncing back before the CCL match at Tigres on Wednesday: “This team will bounce back. There’s enough quality in that locker room, there’s enough pride in that locker room. It’s a difficult opponent, it’s a difficult place to play in Monterrey, but we’re a proud team. There’s a lot of proud guys over there that are disappointed today and we’ll come back.”