Here's some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say tonight after the Sounders 1-1 draw at Santos wasn't enough to prevent their elimination on 2-1 aggregate:
On the game…) “Obviously we learned from last year, and that’s an important thing. You have to continue to learn and improve. We put ourselves in a position to advance, which was also very good. I think the character that we showed tonight and that we played with, being down at halftime one-nothing was no different that our situation was against Tigres. We knew we needed to score just two goals to advance, not three, and the guys battled. We put ourselves in a position where we could have advanced and won it. Our finishing needed to be better, but I’m proud of our quality and the effort we put in tonight.” On fighting back…) “It shows that we have character. It shows that we’ve closed the gap. But in the game today we had chances in the first half to take the lead before they scored on the free kick, and the free kick to me was a little bit of a harsh call, but still the guy hits a great free kick and they score. We had chances, and right now the onus is on our guys to finish their chances. We haven’t finished chances well enough, and we have to do a better job of that and it’ll make game easier. It’s a lot easier to play up one-nothing than it is to play down one-nothing, and it seems like we’ve been perpetually down. So you have to play with a lot of character, which is tremendous, but you don’t always want to play in that situation.” On Seattle’s defensive play…) “For the most [I was happy]. They’re a dangerous team and they created chances. I thought in the first half we gave [Carlos] Quintero too much room. I thought in the second half we did a much better job of bottling him up. [Oribe] Peralta is a handful. From that standpoint I thought we were okay. They’re the kind of team that we know have enough quality up front up front that they’re going to create some things. We also knew that we could create some things, as well.” On any adjustments Seattle made…) “Today we played Steve Zakuani as a second forward, which is a position we haven’t played him at this year. I thought he had some really, really good looks. We felt that Mario [Martinez] was tiring, so Mauro [Rosales] would be a good addition. I thought Mauro came in and gave us some energy. I thought Lamar [Neagle] came in and gave us energy up front. We wanted to go with a little more speed up front. That’s why we came with them first. Then we wanted to get some size in there, too, with Sammy [Ochoa]—someone that could challenge for some balls in the air, and Sammy almost pulled off that header. A lot of our substitutions worked out well that way. We weren’t sure if Shalrie [Joseph] could get through the 90 minutes because he’s still getting fit, but he was able to play through the 90 minutes really well.” On Lamar Neagle…) “He’d been training a little bit better. He didn’t have a good reserve game the last time he played, but he’d been training better. We just felt that his speed would be something that could help us and his energy was something that we felt we needed at that point.” On having a quick turnaround before returning to MLS play…) “We know what our position is in league. We’re not stupid. We can read the papers and we can look at the standings. Last year, we were very good about coming out after a Champions League game and winning or getting a result on the weekend, and we have to do the same thing. The guys are down a little bit because they’re disappointed, but now we’ve got to give our full concentration to the league. It’s not how we start, it’s how we finish. If we show this effort and this character, I think we’ll get the results that we need. Again, we’ve got to put away chances. We can do everything we want about creating chances, but if we don’t put them away it’s not going to help us.
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