Here's some of what the Sounders had to say tonight after opening their aggregate-score series with a 2-1 loss to the Portland Timbers:
Midfielder OSVALDO ALONSO(On his goal...) "That goal gave us the confidence to go down there and play our game. We will see what happens Thursday." (On tonight's game...) "They just scored an early goal. We had some offensive opportunities that we missed, but we were able to score the late goal and that gives us an opportunity on Thursday." (On getting ready for Thursday...) "We have to take care of our bodies. We have to relax before the next game.
(On the physicality...) "You have to know that a game between Portland and Seattle is going to be like that."
(On how important the late goal was...) "It was good because now we are only one down for the next game. It just gives us a chance to win the game."
(On if scoring late gives you more confidence for Thursday...) "Yeah, that goal makes you confident. Better to go down there down 2-1 instead of 2-0. Just one less goal that we have to score to advance to the next round." Midfielder MAURO ROSALES(On chances created giving the team confidence...) "Yeah, of course. Having the chances shows that we are in the right positions and moving the right way. Making chances for the strikers and making chances for anyone else gives us a way to win the game. This is why we have to keep the same mentality that we had this game. I think we are in a position where we can turn around."
(On getting the late goal...) "We know that the goal that we got is something that is really important for us. We have to stay positive. We didn't play a bad game. I think it was a really good game. Taking out the goals that came against us, I think the team played the way we did against Colorado. The energy and the willingness to put effort in the team was there. We had a couple of offensive chances that we missed, but I think scoring the late goal was really good for our team."
Goalkeeper MARCUS HAHNEMANN (On the situation being down 2-1...) "When you see 2-0 up on the scoreboard that's not what you want to see. But it's a different concept for a lot of people to understand. Every time talk to somebody you have to explain it. But it's just total goals so it doesn't really change. Right now I know it's not nice but it doesn't change how we approach the game in Portland. We're still going to go out to win the game and that's all we have to do. If we win 2-1, 1-0 or whatever it is it goes on total goals and we go onto overtime, which is what we'd need to do anyway if we had a draw. Sometimes when you win (in the next game) you're playing for a draw it doesn't turn out so well normally. So it's better that you have to approach the game and you have to go win."
(On the mindset after Alonso's late goal...) "That goal was huge for us. We were so unlucky today. We hit the bar a couple of times. The one that Clint headed into the ground got cleared hit the bar. We were putting them under tons of pressure at that stage. The ref didn't see it; it happened so quick and gave them a goal kick that lets off the pressure a bit. Obviously that goal is huge for us." (On Dempsey's chances...) "I think that's what we expect from Clint, creating chances. Sometimes they go in and sometimes they hit the bar and sometimes the keeper makes a really good save like on the free kick but eventually if you hit the ball on target enough it's going to go in. No matter how bad it is, it's going to go in eventually. We're creating tons of good chances and I think the game was exciting. The result is not what we wanted to see but we're creating a lot. And obviously I'm disappointed; I let in two goals today. That's pretty frustrating." Midfielder CLINT DEMPSEY (On the impact of Alonso's goal...) "Yeah it's important. Going into the last game you'd think out of two games that you'd have to win one of them if you wanted to advance so if we can win 1-0 and take it into overtime. You'd expect you'd have to win a game in a two game series to go through." (On many chances tonight...) "Yeah, I had a free kick, he made a save for a corner. I had another free kick that hit the post. I had a left footed shot that went just wide. Then I had a header that hit someone on the line. It hit their knee; it ended up being a goal kick but it should have been a corner. Then I had the header at the end but I had my chances tonight. I was happy with the looks that I got and getting touches on the ball. It just seemed like one of those nights where it wasn't going to go in for me. It's important that we got the goal that we did get and like I said you'd think in two games that if you wanted to advance you'd have to win one of them and if we win 1-0 during regulation then that will take us into overtime. So, hopefully we can get the job done." (On impact of preparation due to late goal...) "I mean it's going to be a difficult game but you have to go out there and play your best if you're trying to stay alive. You don't want to go home, you don't want it to end and out of two games you think you'd have win one to go through. We have to make sure we get the job done and I think we have the quality and with a few days' more rest because we've kind of been running and gunning here of late maybe that will help us do that."