Here's some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say about tonight's 2-1 series-opening loss to Portland:
“I thought from the run of play we did enough to deserve a result. Obviously our finish wasn’t as sharp as Portland’s—they finished far less opportunities than we had. Our finishing needed to be a little bit better… The goal at the end of the game was very important for us, it gives us an opportunity to go down there and win. I think when you look at possession and where the ball was on the field and who created more chances—whether it’s corner kicks or things like that—we showed that we can carry the game, too. We just have to go down there and carry the game to them and score.” (On Portland’s strategy…) “I thought they tried to counter and play very direct and just try to spring counters and try to take advantage of their fresh legs over ours. I think at certain times in the game and on the field we looked a little more fatigued, obviously, because it was our third game. Like I said to the guys just now, when we go to Portland we’re going to be sharp, we’re going to be rested, and we’re not going to have heavy legs.” (On DeAndre Yedlin’s status for Thursday…) “He’ll be ready. It was touch and go today. But he’s a young player, I’ve never really seen him play injured, so you don’t know how he could carry though. A guy like Leo (Gonzalez) has played through a lot of pain and, as I said, 80% of players wouldn’t play if they had the pain he had. But I know Leo knows how to manage his pain and play and so he gave us a good 75, 80 minutes out there. With DeAndre we weren’t quite sure, but he’ll be ready to go on Thursday.” (On Scott’s injury…) “He got hit in the ribs. I don’t know how he got in the ribs, it wasn’t a foul, but he got he got hit in the ribs and it really tightened up on him and in the second half it felt tight, he made a movement, and he felt something pop.” (On Dempsey’s health…) “I think for him it’s not only his shoulder but also fitness. He has played three games now in a week without preseason so a little bit of fatigue [fatigue] affects your sharpness. Again, the way we created our system I think we create opportunities where we are in dangerous positions. At times we need to be a little more dynamic—take that risk in the final third, take that risk and take that shot. Maybe go for it a little more.” (On the late goal…) “It’s an important goal because we are down by a goal, it’s halftime of the game. We feel very confident we can go to Portland and win. Just as Portland came here and won, we feel very confident we can go there and win.” (On Mauro Rosales’ performance…) “Mauro did well for us. He came in, we felt we needed to add something if we could and we knew that we could also get him on some set pieces. At first we brought him in centrally, he’s just not very comfortable centrally. So we shifted back into a 4-4-2 with him and (Lamar) Neagle on the flanks, so he could attack on the flank a little more. For us right now it’s just better to stay in the diamond.” (On defensive weaknesses…) “Obviously on the second goal I thought there were a number of times I thought we could win the ball—we could have double teamed the guy in the corner, we had a chance to win the ball. Djimi Traore probably needs to stay on his feet there. If you’re going to leave your feet in the box you need to win the ball. He knows that, he’s a veteran player. Early in the game we gave too much space to (Jack) Jewsury. Adam (Moffat) was tucked in too far, as was Leo. So Jewsbury got a number of touches, you saw in the second half that really disappeared… So he got forward, Ryan Johnson makes a good near post run, we don’t follow him all the way and he hits the ball first.” (On Martins’ status…) “We got to see where [Martins] is. Hopefully he will be able to play some in the next game. Obviously Lamar (Neagle) does a lot of work for us. Hasn’t had the production, necessarily, but he has gotten close and has been unlucky at times. For sure we are going to miss his work rate, but we will figure it out.) (On set pieces…) “Dempsey has been taking our corners for the last three games… I just didn’t think we lined up well. We had chances to win some balls at the near post, and we didn’t take advantage of that. Maybe he didn’t work the corners as well as he may have liked, but it was either him or Brad (Evans) taking the corners and he felt comfortable hitting them. He was unlucky on his free kick in the first half as well.” (On Dempsey’s fitness…) “I think you’re going to see a guy pretty close to fitness next Thursday. This is a hard week. When you play three games you’re certainly have built a lot of fitness, so we just got to give him a chance to recover and I think you’ll see a fully fit guy on Thursday.” (On the number of offensive chances…) “When the ball doesn’t go in the net, that’s challenging. It’s not like you sit there and we say ‘are we tight in the first legs or whatever.’ I thought we came out and we played. I thought they tried to sit back and counter early on and they had some success with that. I thought we carried the game to them. If we could have finished… Obviously the free kick of Dempsey in the first half, I think someone had a header, someone had a good header in the first half. There were times we were right around the box and our last pass just wasn’t there. We got to execute that. In terms of dominating the game territorially, being in the right part of the field, putting pressure on them, I thought we did a job.” (On the team’s mindset for Thursday…) “Our feeling is we were down by a goal at halftime—that’s what we’re talking about. We just got to go down there and play a good second half. We know we got to go down to Portland and win. It’s no different. It’s a one-off game that we got to win. If Portland comes out and says ‘we’re going to attack it from the back and play for a tie’ that’s obviously something Caleb Porter could choose to do.” (On the team’s confidence…) “We lost 1-0 (last time in Portland) and I think we hit the crossbar three times. We feel confident we can go there and win.” (On Shalrie Joseph’s appearance…) “He’s been healthier, he’s been training better. He was someone we kept on the bench in case we just needed a big option up front. He had won the flick on the throw-in that set up the goal for (Osvaldo Alonzo), so he gives us that. Sometimes it takes a few minutes to get into the game, and into the rhythm of that game, which was fairly end-to-end at that juncture, and we’re changing systems again to put him into the game, but I thought he contributed on that goal, which was an extremely important moment for our team.” (On Marcus Hahnemann’s performance…) “I don’t think there was a whole lot he could do on the first goal and I don’t think there’s a whole lot he could do on the second goal. Outside of that, I thought he handled what he needed to do. His kicking was good and he didn’t have a ton to do.”
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