Team Manager John HackworthOn Sheanon Williams’ red cardI mean to be fair to Mark Geiger the fourth official, I don’t think he knew what was going on either. There’s so many calls. Michael Farfan gets a yellow card in the first half and gets a two hand shove as he is trying to track down the ball and gets a yellow for it. So there’s not just one play, forget that we should have had a penalty kick on the clearest handball you can see on video. There’s so many little plays in that game. It wasn’t against us necessarily. It was just bizarre. It can’t happen in this league.
On the defense response after Jeff Parke was injuredGreat response. Really good but then we let up and we let the second one in. you work so hard to get back in that game and we put a lot of energy to get back in that game. Should have been back at halftime, for sure and we are down a goal. Get two back in the second, do all the right things, should have got a third. Our fault for giving up that second one for sure. On Cruz stepping up in the second halfWe talked about the fact that we just had to come out with as much urgency, and as much pressure and as much...we were playing good at the end of that first half, we had put a lot of balls into the box but execution was really poor and I said to the guys, there is nothing I can say as a coach to get you to execute a skill that you guys are all really good at, but I can get you to play harder and you have got to just keep going, you have got to keep your foot on the gas and know that it is coming and believe in it and thank goodness....For Danny it was especially pleasing because he probably has been microscoped a little bit and criticized for some missed chances and for sure he takes two great chances there. So I am really happy for him.
On changing strategy when going down menIt changes everything. You have to make major adjustments every time a red card is given and when two red cards are given and you are making some subs, it is very difficult. But to be fair, I think we made the right ones. I don’t want to keep beating the dead horse on this but I don’t know how there is 3 minutes of injury time when it looked like it took 3 minutes for him to decide to give the first red cards alone. There were 3 goals scored, I think there were 6 subs. So a lot of those little decisions. Ill try not to talk about it the rest of the press conference.
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On Gabe Farfan’s performanceI’m really happy for Gabe. He continues to work hard. He is a guy that I trust immensely on a personal and professional level and he is a really good player. He is competing right now with his brother for playing time, but when called upon today he did his job and he did it very well.
On McInerney substitutionJack had emptied the tank. He had done so much work. We had tried to put Antoine on and put Jack at right mid but he just didn’t have anything left. So we ended up having to put him back up high and moving Antoine back at right midfield. So at the end there we wanted to bring in fresh legs and the thought is Sebastian is equally as good at those opportunities so...wish we would have had a little more playing time to execute though.
On second half numbersI think in the end it is execution is the answer, but we pushed Gabe forward into the midfield and essentially came out with 3 players in the back to start the second half. That allowed Michael to push up and inside and I think that was, early, very hard for them to deal with. They tried to compensate by pushing guys to their right hand side, which opened up our right hand side on their left hand side and we got the matchup we wanted against Cruz and Gonzalez.
Amobi OkugoOn how the team’s defensive alignment altered with the injury to Jeff Parke…We switched (Raymond Gaddis)—once (Jeff Parke) went off with his injury, (Sheanon Williams) came inside with me and Ray tucked in. He was on the right. (Gabriel Farfan) was kind of playing hybrid, or left mid—he came back when needed … once we got the second goal, we dropped Gabe back. It was fine, and then the whole debacle with Sheanon and (Lamar Neagle) happened. It was three in the back, and then (Brian Carroll) decided to hold the fort.
On how the team’s defense might look next week given Sheanon Williams’ suspension and Jeff Parke’s possible injury…We feel comfortable playing with whoever’s back there. At practice we work on all different types of formations, and different people, whether it’s me and (Bakary Soumare), me and (Jeff Parke), or Parke and Baki. Hopefully, we are going to come out ready. It’s a big game vs. Chicago. Hopefully we can get a result.
On the Union’s defense of late…We’ve limited the shots on goal to about less than three a game, but the chances that we’re giving up are clear chances, and the other teams have been doing a good job of capitalizing on them. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board. Defensively, I thought we did well today, but they had two good chances—three good chances, and they capitalized on two of them. If we could just limit the chances that they get, maybe we can get a shutout, or keep them to one goal.
Sheanon Williams On apparent Sounders hand ball near end of the match…We got to see the replay, which I know our guys didn’t get to see, but we got to see it pretty clearly. Nothing you can do about it now, game’s over, but…no PK given, so, move on.
On his interaction with the referee following his sending off…(The referee) said that we both headbutted each other, which is false. I didn’t headbutt (Lamar Neagle); he didn’t headbutt me either. I asked (Neagle) when we were going off if he thought that I headbutted him, and he said ‘no.’ He didn’t headbutt me, and that’s the explanation that the referee gave us. If you want to give us a yellow for a shoving match, that’s fine, but to throw us out of a game for something that we both didn’t do, I thought that was just a little unfair.
On the match overall…I thought we played better than they did. I thought we played one hundred times better than they did. The score doesn’t show that, we tied…two great goals from Danny coming out of the second half. We wanted to start the second half that way, and we did. He finished two great opportunities that we didn’t finish off in the first half. I thought we had a number of good chances in the first half, and then they got that goal back. I haven’t had a chance to see that replay, just a cross into the box that they finished off. I think even after that, we got a number of chances, still, during the run of play, and if we can continue to play like that, that’s more to our style, and that’s something that suits us.
Brian CarrollOn the timing of Danny Cruz’s two goals (just after halftime)…We’ll take them before that, too, but I’m happy that (Cruz) was able to stick two in the net. It comes from multiple chances that maybe we had in the first and second half. He puts them away, I’m happy for him, but maybe a bounce here or there, off the post, and we’re winning three to two, or even more, perhaps—but I’m proud of the effort that the guys put in today.
On the Union’s defense …I’ll have to take a look at the two goals. Obviously, the first goal is a set piece, so we need to find a way to clean that up. We’ve been better with that so far this year. The second goal, I’ll have to take a look—I thought from my angle that it was a handball, but we’ll have to take a look at the whole sequence and see what we could have done to prevent that.
On the Union limiting chances but still allowing goals…We’re doing our absolute best to limit the chances that the other team gets. Maybe we just need to do an even better job to not let them get anything. Credit to all the guys and the work that they put in to get back in the game. You’re never satisfied with a home draw, but everyone put in a great work rate, intensity, and there’s nobody that you can really point to or anything negatively at all.
On the Union midfield contributing two goals today…We need goals from everybody—forwards, midfielders, defenders, set pieces, through the run of play. To see someone like (Danny Cruz), who’s been knocking on the door for a while, given a few chances, I’m happy to see him put two in one game … maybe it’ll relieve (Jack McInerney) a little bit and give him an extra bit of space to start creating some more goals.
On the Union’s development from last season to this season…We’ve seen a lot of growth from some of our younger guys. They’ve really stepped up this year, and we’re going to continue to need them to step up and be a more integral part of our team moving forward.
On the ending of the match and the referee’s amount of stoppage time decision…Yeah, there could have been (more stoppage time). I think both teams put it all out there. I know a lot of our guys put everything they had into that game. Three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, I mean, who knows what would have happened. Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know.
On the appeals for handball in the waning seconds of the match…We had multiple chances tonight, and that’s from the guys’ work rates, getting forward, trying to create things and get into the box—slightly off, hitting the post a couple times. A bounce here, a bounce there, and we’re winning 3-2 or more. The guys put everything they had into the game, and I’m proud of that. I know the goals will continue to come, maybe even more so, going forward.