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Sounders say PK choice showed unity: "They love Ozzie, Ozzie loves our team"

Sounders coach Sigi Schmid explained Saturday that Osvaldo Alonso was allowed to take a PK against Colorado as a tribute to his family: his wife is expecting and his daughter was celebrating a birthday.

The PK was saved, and today Schmid was asked what he thought of that team decision.

"It’s the way it played out," he said. "We’ve talked about our ability to fight back and our character as a team. I think that comes from within the locker room, and I think there’s a tremendous character in there, and there’s a respect for each other. As a result of that they made a decision that they came to as a unit and as a group and they backed each other up on that and they fought for each other. I think our team maybe fought especially hard because of that. Again it just speaks to our character: They love Ozzie, Ozzie loves our team. He wouldn’t do anything to hurt our team, and they wouldn’t do anything to allow Ozzie to get hurt. So I think it’s just another expression of the unity that we’ve shown."

Brad Evans said something similar Saturday after the game. And after training today, Lamar Neagle and Djimi Traore also stressed that theme.

"That’s what a team does," Neagle said. "We’re a team. We all support each other and we all believe in each other."

Traore: "It’s not like Ozzie is a young player or rookie step in to take the PK. Of course, yes, it’s not like the final or something like that. It was a great opportunity for him to score. Unfortunately he missed, but you can see the response of the team."