Sounders Insider

Sounders "incredibly disappointed" by early exit

Here's some of what the Sounders had to say tonight after their 1-0 loss to Tampa Bay in the U.S. Open Cup:

Coach Sigi Schmid On what went wrong for Sounders FC…) “It’s a big week in terms of travel for us. Take nothing away from the Rowdies, they played well. Obviously we made the decision that we were going to rest some guys and play some other people. I thought we pretty much had control of the game in the second half. We gave up that one shot and they scored on that and you come back and obviously you have to score the penalty. You get a penalty and a red card, that could have equalized 1-1, then I would have felt pretty good about it. Kennedy has a chance right after it to make it 1-1, as well, and he puts it right over the top. At the end of the day, it wasn’t good enough. Our quality wasn’t as good in the first half—a lot of it had to do with Tampa playing their game and direct and winning a lot of duels. Some might have to do with the field a little bit—the bumpiness of it—but at the end of the day, tonight they were better.”

On not advancing in the Open Cup…) “It’ll definitely be strange in that regard because we’ve done well in this tournament. For a change, we have no distractions as we move forward. Without those distractions, hopefully it will allow us to focus on MLS and be a little fresher when we go into the playoffs.”

On Tampa Bay’s home field advantage…) “The home field advantage is always important, especially this field because it’s a hard field to play on. It’s small, it suits [them]. They know how to play on it and their style is pretty much drop-it-back, play-it-in, drop-it-back, play-it-in. So there’s a lot of duels that way for us. It’s also just a trip cross-country. It wasn’t the easiest travel for us because we couldn’t get in to Tampa—we had to fly into Orlando and bus from Orlando down to here. Our flight got delayed for one group, so it’s one where we leave our hotel at seven in the morning in LA and we don’t get in to the hotel here until eight-nine at night. Those are all little things, but those aren’t the reason. We still should have won the game if we would have played better.”

On the Rowdies…) “They battled and fought. Obviously, it was a game for them to showcase themselves and to make a name for themselves in front of their home fans. It’s what the Open Cup competition is all about, so they took advantage of that opportunity.”

On the game against Chivas USA on Saturday…) “We really can’t train. A lot of it is just recovery is what the guys do. We’re up early again tomorrow, get to the airport and fly to LA. Then try and get things going there and make sure that we recover. We sent some guys back to Seattle, so hopefully they got a little bit of rest and maybe Alonso will be able to play again for us on Saturday because we’re pretty thin at midfield right now with Evans and Johnson being gone and Zakuani being injured, so there’s a few guys missing there.”

Zach Scott – Sounders FC Defender (On tonight’s result…) “We are incredibly disappointed. I don’t even know what to say, especially me. I’ve been in this tournament for many, many years and we have always done really well. This one hurts a little worse for some reason. Credit to Tampa. They played well. They capitalized on their quality chance that they had. I thought we did good really eliminating any clear looks that they had. But that’s the nature of this tournament. It’s a one-off game. You don’t get to play these teams three times sometimes like we do in MLS. In a one-off game absolutely anything can happen and the cards didn’t fall our way today.”

(On the Tampa Bay Rowdies…) “Just ecstatic. The chance to move on, the prestige of this tournament, the chance to win some money, that’s what these guys are in it for. If they can get a chance to show an MLS coach that they belong on a squad like ours then that’s exactly what this tournament does for them. It’s a stepping stone.”

(On the game…) “The conditions weren’t ideal but we don’t make excuses. I don’t think we played to the strengths of the field as much as we probably should have. We try not to be a long ball team and that’s how it ended up playing out the way the field played for us. […] But then again, there’s such a short turnaround for this game on Saturday that we have got to right the ship quickly and get some guys healthy and move on as fast as possible.”

Marcus Hahnemann – Sounders FC Goalkeeper (On the game…) “Everybody was gutted. We worked our butts off, tough conditions today, the wind was howling like crazy. My first couple of goal kicks were like, ‘Where’s that thing going?’ I swear, I started out right in the middle of the field, and one went straight out for a throw-in. Really tough conditions—the field got a lot of rain the last couple of days and was really chewed up. The ball was bouncing all over the place, you couldn’t play in the middle. And we didn’t create enough chances. We should have been able to get more stuff on target and then towards the end of the game when we were putting them under pressure, we just got too anxious I think. We didn’t take our time then—hitting crosses from too deep where we should have worked the ball in a little better and got the ball closer to the goal line. For most of the guys who played today, this was our chance. You know you’re going to get runs in the Open Cup, for myself in particular because Michael’s been playing well…that’s the disappointing part.”

(On the Tampa Bay attack…) “They didn’t really have anything. The defense had played really well…Disappointed for myself, too, because you make a good save and then it goes right to somebody wide open. It was just frustrating.”

(On how the team will bounce back…) “We have to forget about it a little bit and look on to Chivas on Saturday. It wasn’t that long ago that we seemed untouchable and that’s the part that we have to remember. The hard work that we put in today with a bit more quality and we’re there again.”

(On the positives in having a quick turnaround…) “That’s the one thing in a game coming quick. When you lose these games and you don’t have a game for a couple weeks, it’s an absolute nightmare. But having a game quickly again—like Saturday, a quick turnaround—is one of those things where you have a good chance to make it right again and get back on the winning run that we were on and playing well. That’s what it’s about.”

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