Sounders Insider

After 3-1 loss to Houston, Sounders say defense needs tightening, chances need finishing

Here's more of what the Sounders had to say tonight after their 3-1 loss at Houston:

Coach SIGI SCHMIDOverview on the game: "Obviously we gave up some goals early. I thought our body language early in the game wasn't good. We handed them opportunities early. The first goal was a little bit of a mistake on our part. Second goal that guy hits a great goal. There was nothing you could do. After that I thought we were in as much of the game as they were. It's easily a game that could've been 3-3 or 4-4 based on the chances we had if we finish our chances. Mauro has that chance in the first half. Finish that chance. Lamar Neagle has a chance right before they score the first goal. We finish that chance. We hit the post in the second half. It comes off. We opened up a little bit, so that gave them some chances late, but that's more because we were opening up than anything they were doing. I thought we fought and battled all the way until the end. I don't think we gave up, even in injury time we were still looking for goals.

More on his "body language" comment: I just thought a couple of guys were just reacting instead of anticipating. I doidn't it was the whole group. I thought in the first 20 mintues there were guys who were reacting to the game and not anticipating the game., You’ve got to anticipate the game.

On Djimi Traore's health: He's OK. He just took a knock. It's an ankle that's been sore, so he took a knock there.

On Houston's third goal taking wind out of Seattle: Well, we felt confident we could get to 2-2 and we talked about that at halftime. Obviously their third goal took a little bit of the wind out of the sails. I still thought we continued to fight and battle. I think we hit the post after that. Lmaar hit the post and Evans has an open header that he hits wide from inside the box. WE continued to create chances so I don't think we hung our heads.

On the lineup without Eddie Johnson and Obafemi Martins: The group did all right. Our issue for us a little bit was when Dempsey dropped into the hole to collect the ball, Mauro and Burch maybe weren't offensive enough to push up on the flanks to give us another option. Lamar was sometimes stranded on his own, so having an extra forward up there obviously could've made a difference.

On seven road losses: That's not a concern for me. You win on the road, you lose on the road. Sometimes you have more difficult games on the road. We lost some games early in the season on the road, so it's just one of those things. Records are made to be broken, so you're going to have a season where you win more gmaes and you're going to have a season where you lose more games.

On improvement before Portland next week: We're going to be happy to go back home. We've got a little break. Make sure that guys are healthy. Obviously Oba should be back next week. Eddie is off of his suspension. Brad doesn't have a midweek national team game that he's got to play. Right there is three guys that are normal starters for us who should help us.

SHALRIE JOSEPHOn his goal: Burch played me a great ball and I just got up and tried to head it down. I got good contact on it and it took a nice bounce and went in. it felt great, unfortunately for us the result didn't go the way we wanted tonight, offensively we played great, we created a lot of chances and we got what we wanted. Defensively we just have to be better, forward to the midfield to the defense. We just have to be better defensively.

On if did it felt like the goal was going to start comeback: "Oh yeah. We've had been knocking on the door earlier, even in the first half. We had the mauro header. Lamar who shot just wide. We had a couple of chances and we knew we could get back in the game. When that one came it was just a matter of trying to get the second one. We started pushing forward. We left ourselves a little too exposed and they got the third one and then the game was over from there. We just have to do better defensively. We're getting what we want when go forward as a team, but we're leaving too many holes and we have to do better. Coming up this week we have to do better as a team and work on what we need to do better on.

On starting again: "I felt great going 90 today. My legs felt great. I got to cover a lot of ground, I kept the ball well, I made some passes, but at the end of the day it was frustrating because we weren't able to get the tghree points. We'd been playing so well as a team and tonight we just didn't do enough to get the three points that we needed.

On what to improve on: Just cover up our holes defensively. We just left too many hoels exposed. We left our back four on an insland, didn't give them cover, didn't work together as a team. Offensively we created so many chances. I think we probably got 20-something shots on goal. We know what we can do. We know what we're capable of. We know we've got some guys returning. WE just have to have a good week of practice and I'm looking forward to that game against Portland.

On if the heat was a factor: not so much. Definitely one of those games where there was a little bit of humidity and we felt a little bit tired, but we kept pushing and we kept knocking on the door. We did what we needed to do offensively, as I said. Defensively we weren't able to cover the ground and put pressure onto their creative players like brad and bruin and barnes. We just gave them too much space and too much time. You can't do that against good players in this league. That one came back to haunt us tonight. But we're going to adjust, because Sigi is going to take care of those mistakes in practice this week. We'll make sure we're ready to practice hard this week and get ready for Portland.