Sounders Insider

Sounders blame slow start vs. hungry Whitecaps

Here's some of what the Sounders had to say tonight after their 1-0 loss at Vancouver:

SIGI SCHMID: On missing Pineda and Alonso:“It doesn’t matter who’s missing – it’s talking about the players who played. We had enough quality on the field to get a result and to play. I thought Evans played very well and worked really, really hard. Azira took a little bit of time to get into the game, but afterwards, he was much better. He had a good open shot as well, similar to Fernandez’s space, where he ended up scoring the goal from. I think different people stepped up – Marco Pappa was very good tonight, was very active. It’s been a long time since Chad Barrett played 90 minutes and I thought he gave a good account of himself over 90 minutes. There were a lot of guys that had decent performances. On the improvements Seattle made in the second half:I think it’s just that we were better. We were better about possessing the ball. I thought in the first half, we gave the ball away a bit too easily, especially when we got balls into our forwards back to goal. We turned the ball over and we needed to hold on to the ball to give our team a chance to push forward as a team, as a unit. Once we started doing that in the second half, we started to get better looks, better chances, get around the goal. In the end, it wasn’t enough. BRAD EVANSGeneral thoughts on the match:“I think the guys were hungry. It took us a little while to get in the game, and all it was in the first half was not holding the ball up front. It makes it difficult to play the way that we want to play, and get our forwards and outside wingers involved. It was a difficult day for us in the first 35-40 minutes. After that, I feel we settled in the second half, played much better challenging for balls. Obviously, the guys that were missing are game-changers, that’s why they’re DPs and that’s why they’ve played in World Cups and some of the biggest games. Obviously, you’re going to miss that quality, but that’s no excuse not to play your game and not to play the game the way it should be played. I thought that in the second half, we got a little ripping into and we came out much stronger. Aside from their phenomenal strike, not too much from Vancouver tonight. We were unlucky not too get one ourselves and tie it up.” On Vancouver disrupting Seattle early on in the match:“I think they were challenging for every ball and playing physical. In the beginning, we weren’t up to the challenge and it shouldn’t take us a goal to get us to get going, so it’s just a mentality thing and next game we’ll be better I’m sure.” TRISTAN BOWENOn dealing with Whitecaps FC’s front line:“I think my speed is as good as anyone’s in this league. It’s just a matter of getting that final ball, final shot on goal. I think when that comes, that’ll be something that sets me apart from the rest of the guys in the league. I think it was decent, and it’s just something to build off of.” On piecing games together without the missing players:“It’s been difficult but I think that’s one of the things that the team focused on in the off season. Which was to create a lot more depth within the team. And you see that the guys that came in, they didn’t really miss a step. So I think that’s one thing the team did well this off season, but it’s just a matter of going out there and getting results. Whether it’s guys that haven’t played much minutes, or guys that have been playing minutes, it’s a matter of getting out there, and getting a result for the team.” CHAD BARRETTOn the team’s slow start:“First half we weren’t really here. Especially with the way they came out against us the first fifteen minutes of the game last time. We just let them come at us for the first forty-five minutes, but a lot of it was the forwards’ fault. We couldn’t hold the ball the first half to save our lives, me included. In the second half, coach came in and said a few words, and lit a fire under us, and I thought we came at it, and at least competed. They really buckled down with the defence. I thought we probably had the possession in the second half, but still the soccer had to be better.” On what to take away:“That you can’t take everything for granted. You can’t just take that you have a ten point cushion that people are going to respect you. They came out and they wanted to show that this was a game changer for them, because they came out flat in the games before this, and they came out, and they scored a great goal, and I think that really lifted them, and got the fans involved. When you get the fans involved, that can really change the game for a team. For us, it’s not a big deal. Yeah we have some points to sit on, but we don’t want that. We want to keep building, and building, and building, and try to build our lead as much as we can, make playoffs as quickly as we can. You know it was tough without some of the guys here tonight, but we have a very deep team, and we put out a team that we thought could win, and we just didn’t get it done tonight.” On it being the first loss to a west coast team:“I didn’t even know that. But Vancouver is a good team, even when we tied them up here, we all thought they were a good team. They go forward well, they counter well, and they can hold possession. They put out a very strong lineup against us tonight, and they deserved the win, and we didn’t deserve to win today. With the guys we came out with we could have won, but we didn’t have the right mindset I don’t think.”