Sounders Insider

Schmid says win showed character

Here's was coach Sigi Schmid's opening overview of the 1-0 win tonight against Chivas USA:

"Obviously we had to make a lot of changes tonight with the players that we were missing and injuries and so forth. But again, I thought we showed a lot of character. Obviously the first half I think was better than our second. What we did in the first, I thought was pretty good. I thought we were unfortunately maybe not to be up by more than one. In the second, I think they got a hold of the game a little bit more, they became more dangerous on their set pieces -- they got a lot of them. They went with extra forwards and we didn’t do as good a job of holding onto the ball – lost our shape a little bit. But again, I’m pleased with our fight and our character, and sometimes games go that way and you’ve got to battle, and that’s what we did in the second half."

Here's more from Schmid:

(On whether or not the depth is best in the league…) “I don’t know if you can say that. There are some teams that have good depth and throughout the season you have to play different people all the time. Certainly some guys stepped up today. David Estrada hasn’t played in a long time and I thought he stepped up with a really good effort. His first 60 minutes and just his activity was really good. (Marc) Burch is a guy who has played a lot of left midfield for us because we’ve been short on people there, and he stepped up and played well. We needed Zach (Scott) to go to outside back because we tried to keep a little more veterans on the field and he came on and did well. You always want to have a team that has good depth. Is it the best team in the league? I can’t say that for sure.” (On the team’s opportunities from set pieces…) “We felt it was important for Lamar (Neagle) to do well. We also felt we’ve been very good on free kicks and set pieces lately. Mauro (Rosales) has been serving a good ball; Burch was serving a good ball at practice. We said that was something we wanted to take advantage of and we did again. We wanted to make sure that Lamar and David, normally we have one or two forwards drop in a little bit more, but with their quality we wanted them both to stay higher and just be active and just create problems and not to be playing back-to-goal against their defenders, but be active and be running off their defenders.”

(On the team’s chances in the first half…) “I thought they did a good job in the first half. I thought we got behind Chivas a number of times and got into good crossing situations, balls being cut back and so forth. Just in the final touch, final pass, final shot didn’t come off as well as it should have. I think we certainly took the game to them in the first half.” (On the 1-0 result…) “A win is a win. I think a win is a win and Chivas, with the exception of Bocanegra, they’ve basically played the same lineup the last three games and they should have won in Vancouver, they were the better team in Vancouver. I think they have played much better. I think if the season were to start today, I don’t think Chivas would be in last place. I think the coach has done a good job with them, I think he has organized them well. He’s put guys into positions, he’s got combinations he feels good about. And I think they are a much-improved team. I would rather play them early in the season twice than having to play them late twice.” (On the outlook of more goals in future games…) “I think the goals will come. We are very confident the goals will come. Obviously today we’re missing Eddie Johnson and we’re missing (Clint) Dempsey and we’re missing (Martins)… We made a commitment after the Houston game that we got to play better defense, and we haven’t given up a goal since then. At the end of the day that’s something very important. To win an MLS Cup, we got to be solid in the back. I think there’s a Galaxy team that won the Supporters’ Shield, I think they won eight or nine games that season 1-0. So winning 1-0 is not the worst.” (On the injury status for Saturday’s game…) “We’ll have to see how the hospital ward looks. After everyone gets their bruises and injuries taken care of today, and we’ll see how everyone feels and recovers. It’s a tight turnaround for us. Chicago hasn’t played in a week and for us now we only got 72 hours and we got to play again. But we’ll be ready. We’ll play and figure out who should be on the field.” (On his view of luck…) “Yeah, the game seemed to turn on us a little bit early in the season, where the smidgen of luck didn’t come our way. Today at the game, smidgen of luck, (Michael) Gspurning makes a mistake, drops the ball, and the referee blows the end of the game. Some other referee might have said, ‘Oh he dropped it and picked it up, indirect free kick’ and we would have been scrambling there at the end.” (On grinding out the victory…) “You always need some results like that. You need to win games, you need to control games, you need to dominate games, then there’s the hard games in there where you got to just figure out a win to win it. The last two games have been difficult games for us, playing a man down and today with all of the people missing, we had to figure out a way to win games and we did that.” (On feeling more pressure to win…) “Pressure? There’s no pressure. Winning back-to-back MLS Cups would be good because it would take the pressure off. But there’s no more pressure than I’ve put on myself. I always want to see the team do well and I want to see us do well. There’s nothing I would rather do than bring a championship to the people of Seattle, because they deserve it. At the end of the day you have to go into each game, you got to have a gamplan and figure out a way to win the game. You want the team to work for you, to be committed to you, and I think they’ve shown they are and the rest is sometimes out of your hands. That smidgen of good luck and good fortune—you work for that, you’ve earned that to a certain extent, and sometimes it just happens. But pressure is opportunity.” (On Neagle stepping up…) “I think his goal tonight is his career-high. Lamar has been great for us. When we’ve traded for him and got him here at the start of the season from Montreal, we started to look at him and say ‘what happened to this guy? Doesn’t look like the same guy.’ He started to find his feet again in training and started to do much better and when the opportunity came, he seized it. He’s really done well and obviously a very influential player for us this year.”