After opening the season with a five-game winless streak, Seattle Sounders FC suddenly finds itself on a five-game unbeaten streak.
The abrupt turnaround reached new heights today, as the Sounders routed recent nemesis San Jose, 4-0, at CenturyLink Field.
Here's some of what the club had to say afterward:
Coach SIGI SCHMIDOn the reason for the turnaround) "We're getting healthier for sure. I think something we started talking about was, we've got to find our passion and our determination and our grip. If we can find that part of our game, as I told the team, the soccer will follow. On the road trip we played with a lot of passion and determination and grit, and today the soccer followed a little bit. We have to continue to that. We were talking about climbing the ladder of the standings, and we're starting to do that now. The team's confidence certainly is growing. We're getting there. A couple of guys who didn't play today will be able to put some minutes in tomorrow at the reserve game because the reserve game is a different proposition-you're allowed five subs, so if the guy plays 20 minutes or 30 minutes and feels it, he can come off the field, which is something you can't do in this sort of game. From that standpoint, we are getting healthier and tomorrow will give us a good check and balance as to how far some of the other players are." More on the turnaround) "There's a lot of pride in that locker room and there was a lot of disappointment when we didn't get off to the start we wanted. We had a little bit of a distraction called the Champions League, as well, that held our focus and we accomplished some things there. We were the first U.S. team to knock off a Mexican team in a head to head, and I think that can't be minimized as to how big that was. And we were right there-we were one goal away from possibly advancing to the finals. We did well there and maybe our focus was a little too gray on that in those games sometimes. I just think the guys know their quality, they know they're better than that, and since that game everybody's sort of been very determined about turning it around." On not having to face Steven Lenhart) "It doesn't change much because you have Alan Gordon, and the style of play is the same. Steven is maybe a little more rambunctious than Gordon, but in terms of style of play they're both big, strong, physical forwards who look for a lot of air balls and they look to run off those guys-off their flick-ons. [Chris Wondolowski] feeds off that. Thought we did a good job of knowing where Wondo was when the ball was up in the air." On Lamar Neagle's two goals) "I think in the games he's played up front he's deserved some goals. He was unlucky-I think he hit the crossbar in one game and he barely missed wide in another. I think from his standpoint, it was great to see him get a couple of goals. We made the decision to push him up front, while we'd mostly played him wide before that because we thought maybe that's where he could succeed for us, as well. Now he's finding his confidence. He's always been-I've said it before-he's one of those guys that's a gamer. Sometimes at practice you sort of scratch your head and you say, 'what's going on?' but then once he gets the opportunity in the games and he performs well, it's his game performances that'll keep getting him on the field. Obviously, this afternoon's performance was pretty solid." On the team's defensive play) "It's been good. I still want us to be better defensively at times. I thought against Kansas City, I was really pleased because I don't think we gave away a lot of good opportunities. Tonight, there were a couple things where you started to get a little nervous that they almost slipped in, but it was still much better than it was against Philly. Against Philly I thought we were open at times and really gave away opportunities. It's good again to get a clean sheet, it's good for them in the back-slightly different group of people with DeAndre [Yedlin] coming back into the team, but I think overall the team understands the commitment as well from the outside midfielders has to be towards the defensive side of things also. I think those guys have been committed, so it's not just the backs who create these things, it's the whole team and they're willingness to force the other team in, their willingness to put some pressure on service, etc." On the play of Michael Gspurning) "I think there was one good opportunity where he had to go down to his right that I thought he made a good save on. I know he's had harder games, but I'd be more than happy to have him have games where he doesn't have to make any saves. I'd be happy with that. I wouldn't want our goalkeeper to lead the league in saves." On defending San Jose) "We're talking about getting in front of crosses, getting in front of crosses, getting tighter to people when the ball gets laid back. I think it's a culmination of that getting through to the guys and stepping up. I think there was a good job done by Servando and Alonso stepping to their midfielders so they couldn't line it up from distance." On the play of Servando Carrasco) "He's playing well. I know everybody loves saying, 'Oh, coach just doesn't like me right now,' but if you're playing well I think I'll try and get you on the field. He's playing well right now, and the way it's worked is he's sat maybe a little deeper at times than Ozzie has, and Ozzie has gone a little more forward. Whereas before, Ozzie was the deeper one and Servando is not as comfortable in that role in front of Ozzie as much. They're more or less side-by-side at times, but there's probably more times where Ozzie is in front of Servando than it was when they played in the past." On subbing for Mauro Rosales) "When he got hit on that play in the first half and taken down he fell on his shoulder, so it was uncomfortable. He actually took a pain shot at halftime, but I was watching him and he seemed to still be carrying the arm a little bit, so we wanted to get him off the field at that point when it was 3-0." On beating San Jose) "San Jose is a good team. Obviously it went our way today, it didn't go theirs. It's been going their way for quite a few games, so it was nice to see it go our way for a change. Hopefully we start winning more than our fair share against them." On looking ahead to Dallas next week) "Obviously that's going to be a big game. Dallas is in first in our division, and one of the things we talked to our team about is we want to win season series against teams. This is our first game with them and it becomes a really good measuring stick for us. They're a good team, they're an exciting team, they score goals, they've played a good amount of games at home at this stage, as well, so us catching them here is good for us." Goalkeeper Michael GspurningOn team's performance) "It was a great game for us and a great game for me, too. I had a couple of important early saves early on and we did a great job. Four-nil, that's great." On breaking slump vs. San Jose) "We showed from the beginning that we really wanted to win this game. The road trip was nice but of course you have to win the games at home, too." On team starting to reach its peak) "Yeah, I think the start was not that bad like it looked like, because we had chances and we had good games, it just didn't have a result. And now we have all the results and it's good now we're coming close to the target." On returning to the home pitch after a month of being away) "Absolutely, it's the best feeling...it was great weather, great atmosphere and very nice coming back." Lamar NeagleOn two goals scored) "I knew I had to take advantage of the chances I was given so it ended up working out. The first one was from a little closer, so that wasn't as hard." On playing after suspension last game) "Whenever that happens you feel like you've let your teammates down a bit and let them out to dry. So coming back I had a lot of adrenaline and wanted to prove that I was supposed to be there." On performing at a high level at practice and at matches) "[Practice] is where you earn your chances, so if I'm not performing in practice then chances are going to be slim when it comes to games. Luckily in games I've done well so my chances keep coming... I'm a little bit disappointed with myself so far. This game obviously turned out well but in the last couple games I've had chances I should have put away for sure." On moving to midfield with Martins and Johnson at forward) "Yeah, having these guys on the field is just going to be better for the team. These guys are amazing up top. They are experienced and veterans, so anything I can do to help the team I'm there." On hearing chants for his name) "Yeah, I could definitely hear it. Reminded me of 2011 when I had the hat trick. I was hoping for the same thing-something about these one o'clock games in the sun." Forward Obafemi MartinsOn today's performance) "We played very well. We won 4-0 and that's big." On the injured knee) "I feel a lot better now. I'm running now and keeping fit. I'm just ready to go." On if injury will stay gone or be something he has to work around) "It's going away now, with the training. I definitely have to treat it and continue to play." On getting used to home matches) "For me, I don't want to think too much about playing a home game or away, I just want to help my team. Try to score goals and win." Midfielder Mauro RosalesOn the team's effort) "The effort that we put in the last eight days with these three games was magnificent. I am very proud of the team and the hard work we have been doing. It shows because we want to get better and be a tough team. Today we showed that." On having the team together) "One of the reasons is because we are a full group training every day, full group in the locker room trying to do our best. When we are like this, with all of the players that stepped up today, we were in good form and it's much easier." On team's capability) "This is something that we want. We know also we can play much better than we did today. "