Here's what coach Sigi Schmid had to say tonight after the Sounders' 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids in the MLS knockout match. (On the result…) “Obviously we’re happy to win the game and advance, that’s the objective in the playoffs. Now we get ready for Portland, then we can talk about Portland. There’s no need to ask who we would rather play with Portland, but we have to see how we heal up from this game. Obviously some guys got banged around—[DeAndre] Yedlin turned his ankle, that’s the reason we had to take him off at halftime. I thought we created a number of good chances, I thought we played some very good soccer, I thought we had more of the game in the first half. Our finishing left a little bit of something to be desired. The goal Eddie [Johnson] finishes late to make it 2-0 was actually one of our more difficult chances, but overall I thought we deserved to win the game. They battled. Their game plan early on was to send a lot of balls to Atiba Harris and hope he could flick them on. Leo [Gonzalez] stood up to that challenge and had some good help from Adam Moffat in the first half, and I thought that was very important that we won a lot of second balls in that area of the field. That helped us determine possession and helped us go forward and play.” (On the defensive performance…) “DeAndre [Yedlin] did a good job. DeAndre will stand up to challenges and he knows that Deshorn Brown torched him the last time and so we talked about it and said, ‘It’s time for you to pay him back.’ I thought he did the same thing with [Gyasi] Zardes, where he actually moved Zardes to the other wing. He stood up to that challenge. In the second half, when he was out, the decision was to move [Brad] Evans back there because we felt Zach Scott may have been an alternative, but Evans’ feet would be better. That worked out well for us.” (On the lineup for Saturday…) “If we can keep guys healthy, keep them on the field and start playing together, we’re pretty close to playing the same guys today as did on Sunday against LA. That little bit of continuity helped, too. The understanding of the midfield was really, really good. It says a lot of the team and its character and knowing we got to get through this—we got to battle, we got to win. I thought Clint [Dempsey] fought hard, I thought Eddie fought hard. There wasn’t a guy on the field that I didn’t think battled and did what they needed to do to help us win this game.” (On the team’s first win in over a month…) “It’s a win. It’s been a long time since we won a game. We get reminded of that all the time. For us to win a game is just a good feeling. It’s always been our belief that when we get our people on the field, we are a team that can win games. For us it’s a win over a team that embarrassed us the last time. It’s not just a win; it’s the way we played as well. I thought we played well. It’s not where we were hanging on and scrapping to get by, I thought we played well and had some good offensive sequences going forward. So from that standpoint it’s a little more than a win—it’s not just a win, it’s knowing we played well and we’re starting to understand how we want to play in this system.” (On Hahnemann filling in…) “I told Marcus after the game he’s definitely starting the next game. I wanted to make sure there’s no confusion, going into practice Thursday and Friday not sure if he’s going to play or not. Marcus is a quality goalkeeper, it’s not going to be an issue.” (On Eddie Johnson’s yellow card…) It happens. Sometimes emotion is there and sometimes it gets the best of you. Obviously we want to avoid yellows as much possible, and we know what the rules are in the playoffs, but we just have to play smart.
(On the shutout…) “I thought our defense played well today. I think they had one good look where Brown came inside and tried to bend one in with his right foot that Gspurning kind of batted and pounced on. There were a couple of headers there that ended up going over the goal, but I didn’t think we gave them a lot of very, very clean looks. I thought defensively we did a very good job of forcing the play away—we had our gameplan and our guys did a very good job of sticking to the game plan. We wanted to force the ball a little more to the right hand side, which we did, with [Shane] O’Neill handling the ball more. I think [Chris] Klute is a guy who is pretty dangerous coming forward and I don’t think Klute got forward at all today until the very end of the game. I think that’s a tribute to Brad [Evans] and to DeAndre on that side.” (On Gspurning’s red card…) “I talked to him. He felt that if he would have been sideways on that he might have noticed that there was no one from their team that was going to break in behind him and he could have let the ball go over his head and he could have picked it up in the 18-yard box. But he wasn’t sure and he wanted to come out and head the ball, and realized the ball had bounced too high for him to head it. He thought he had jumped back into the box and then caught the ball, and then he was outside the box. The referee decided it was a red card—I don’t know how their goalkeeper doesn’t get a red card on the play earlier, but that’s the referee’s decisions.” (On the team’s goalkepeper situation…) “Hahnemann is an experienced goalkeeper. I think our goalkeeper situation—people make a lot out of it over the last few weeks—like I said before I think it was just two bad games, not entirely attributed to the goalkeeper, but also to us not playing good defense in those two games. I feel very confident, I always have, that we have two of the better goalkeepers in the league, so we don’t lose anything, we don’t gain anything. Hahnemann’s kicking is a little better than Michael’s, so he might try to score a goal off of a goal kick or something, but that’s about it.” (On preparing for Portland…) “We got to play them, we got to see. They play a similar formation to Colorado. Formations can be similar—it’s players and personalities that make it different. We’ll develop our game plan and be ready for them.” (On tonight’s formation…) “I thought we played well in it—especially when it was [Brad] Evans, Ozzie [Alonso] and [Adam] Moffat—I thought their cohesion was pretty good and allowed Clint the freedom to go. I think when we changed Burch in, he hadn’t really trained in that position. He’s more of a wide guy or full back so he played a little bit wider and that threw us off a bit, but that wasn’t his fault. He just hadn’t had his time in there, but I think we’ll be OK.” (On the injury status for Saturday…) “We’ll have to see how people recover. It’s a short turnaround for us so we’ll have to see how people recover and how they feel.” (On Dempsey’s performance…) “I think he has taken to the role playing as the attacking midfielder. I thought he was unlucky with his one shot—his one left-footed shot he had. He had some other good looks, but as we develop more understanding of where we’re going to be then that just allows him to get more balls in dangerous positions. I thought he did well. I’m sure he would want to take one or two passes back where he had a chance to slip somebody in, but overall I thought it was good.” (On advancing in the playoffs…) “Some could call it rhythm; some will call, ‘You play three games in seven days.’ So it all depends on how you choose to look at it. I think right now it’s mind over matter and you just have to go out and play—that’s just the way it is. There’s no tomorrow, you just have to go out and play.”
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