Here's coach Sigi Schmid's opening statement after the Sounders' 2-1 win over Chicago tonight:
Obviously we’re happy to win the game. I thought in the first half we created a number of chances: missing a PK, Oba had a real good look. I think it was a little disappointing that we weren’t up at halftime. So, it was one of those games. In the second half it became a little more of a midfield battle, per se. We didn’t create as many clear chances, but we kept plugging away, kept battling away. Zach makes a great run at the end, puts that ball into a dangerous position. We always talk about hitting those balls low across the box behind the defenders and you never know what happens: It goes in off a defender, it goes in off of one of our guys, who knows? Obviously that’s what he did, and we ended up with the 2-1 victory, so we’re very pleased.
More from Schmid:
(On subbing Zach Scott on late…) “I thought [Marc] Burch was running out of gas a little bit, so we wanted to push Leo [Gonzalez] up the line. He still looked fresh to me, it looked like he could get in behind. Zach can play left fullback, he can play help us there on some of the set pieces, but when they took [Mike] Magee out they brought in the [Juan Luis Anangono], so it was a good matchup for him defensively on set pieces. So it was really two things that it helped us with.” (On Chicago scoring after a number of Seattle chances…) “Invariably in our sport that seems to happen when you negate a few chances or you don’t take advantage of the chances you get. Usually right after you have a good chance they come down and score. That happened to us a little bit in the first half. I thought Oba was really energetic and bright in that first half. He got behind them—you look at the first 10 minutes of the game and he was goal-dangerous three-four times. Obviously when he gets back into rhythm with training he’ll feel a little more comfortable with some of those things.” (On the possession play of his team…) “We didn’t do a good job of holding on to the ball and connecting passes early in the second half. It also seemed like when we played balls into our front runners they were being handled physically and that was allowed to go on. I think that created some turnovers, where in the first half we were getting some of those calls. That allows [Martins] to put possession into their end of the field. Once we settled a little bit in maybe the last 15-20 minutes of the game, I think we did a better job of holding on to the ball and that created more chances for us.” (On Lamar Neagle…) “He’s certainly been a consistent goal-scorer for us when he’s had the opportunities up front and you can’t take that away from him. He gives you a lot of hard work, a lot of effort, and sometimes, as with everyone, we want a little more at times. But he’s there, he’s around the box, he’s looking to pounce on things that fall free. The thing about him too is he can hit a ball left or right footed, so that’s a good thing to have, as well.”
(On the depth of the team…) “It’s fantastic. Obviously different people stepped up. Andy Rose hasn’t started in a long time, he came through tonight. He played really well, helped us as well in the air, helped us defensively. We rotated center backs a little bit, so our depth there—being able to stay fresh—I think helped us also. Getting Oba [Martins] back onto the team was another fresh set of legs, so I think the depth of our team has been good and guys have been called upon have stepped up and played.” (On Chicago’s goal…) “I thought we did all right. I thought the goal was against the run of play. It was a really touch-and-go play whether he was offside or not. It looked like he slipped in. The time of his run was good and he obviously he finished it well. You’re not going to shut everyone out down the line, but what’s really encouraging and has been nice is our ability to go down and come back. Obviously it’s a big stat that when we score first we continue on to win, but I think now in our last four games we’re 2-1-1 when we go down. It’s good to be able to come back and win those games or ties those games up. So tonight was really pleasing from that point.” (On Gspurning allowing the goal…) “I thought he did all right […] It was a really touchy go play, whether he was offside or not it looked like he slipped in. His run was good, obviously he finished it well. You’re not going to shut everyone out down the line, but what was really encouraging and nice is our ability and get it back.”