Sounders Insider

Sounders happy with friendly draw, and preparation for return to MLS

LogoSoundersHere's more of what the Sounders had to say after their 3-3 draw with Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday before 55,349 at CenturyLink Field"

Coach Sigi Schmid(Opening Statement....) "I think it was a good game, a good game for the fans. It was entertaining, lots of goals-lots of great goals and PK'S. I thought the game was good from that account. I was happy with how we played in the first half, not all that happy with the finishing of the first half, I thought we had opportunities that we needed to finish more of and could have been leading at halftime. For the second half, when they brought on their new group, the second group played a little quicker, a little more energy than the first group and it took us about 10 minutes to catch the rhythm of the game again... From a fan perspective I thought this was a good game." (On choosing the lineup...) "With Obafemi Martins we felt that 60 minutes was what we wanted to go with him, Chad Marshall has played a lot of minutes this year so we wanted to get him off and get Djimi Traore back out there, and some other changes came as the game went along. We didn't have a plan with other guys to say 'OK, you can only play this many minutes.'" (On playing international competition...) "They are at the beginning of their season. I think the main thing that our guys and our team is always interested in is that we can play. I thought the first half was really good-at times I thought it was much better than theirs. In the run of play they were very clinical, but we can take away that we could out-possess a team like that. We could be a bit better on our finishing for sure. And we could compete. The issue for American teams is competing at that level week after week. Once you get in the grind of it it becomes a little different. When I was a college coach there would be a team from Division II or III that would play a Division I team and make the game close or equal, then those guys would get all excited and say 'Oh we can play Division I.' But week in and week out, it's a little different. Although when you play week in and week out, you adjust to the tempo and rhythm and you find that." (On preparing for this match...) "Everything was about preparation. We wanted to make sure we got minutes and our rhythm, and we kept playing. It was good for Oba and Clint [Dempsey] to get some time together in the first half. We got the minutes we needed from the starters and the fitness." (On the rhythm of different leagues...) "Rhythm is different. People say it's faster at the international level. It's faster at certain times, but it's also slower a lot of times because it is more tactical and methodical, but when it goes it goes. I think their first goal was an example of that. It was slow and methodical and then it is very decisive and incisive... For DeAndre [Yedlin] I thought he had a good game except for that one cross he over-hit. He had some good crosses and I thought defensively he did well also." (On Make-a-Wish player Xander Bailey...) "I mean it is fantastic. The support from ownership on down for Make-A-Wish group and Xander Bailey to give him this opportunity is just fantastic. I saw the look in his eyes and I could tell he was overwhelmed and so appreciative. It makes for a day that I know he will never forget. Our guys will never forget it either because it impacts us-we see what it means to him to be able to help in that regard and be a part of that sort of situation is unique." (On fan support...) "Seattle: Hats off. Respect has got to be given to our soccer culture here, to our fans who come out. It's a big motivating factor and helps us play well, because they come out and support us and we've put on a good show the last couple of days and we want to continue to do that. (On the youthfulness of the substitutions...) "Obviously Sean Okoli is able to jump on a good run on the far side for Tristan Bowen. He laid a good ball across that Brad [Friedel] couldn't get to. Brad had to respect the idea of beating him near post, and the ball came through and Tristan was there. At that point we felt we needed fresh legs and little bit of speed, so we came in with Tristan instead of Cam Weaver, who has a different game. But we had Aaron Kovar out there, Okoli, and Bowen and I don't think anyone is over 22 in that group, so that is good." (On the penalty kicks...) "The first was just that the ball was played over the back of us. That's what they were starting to do and that's something that we didn't handle well at the beginning of the second half. The second one-Traore makes a great play in the corner, doesn't clear it, and we turn over the ball-it gets through and hits the hand. It's going to happen. For me, it is interesting because I thought we could have had the second penalty in the first half when Lamar Neagle went down." (On Pineda's chipped penalty kick...) "Everybody hits penalties different ways. Gonzo practices them all the time. I know he can hit them with power, placement, and do it like that one. He picks and chooses which one. He saw Friedel jump a little early and I think he decided to go with that one." Forward Tristan Bowen(On scoring goal...) "I was just excited to be on the pitch. Sean Okoli got the ball down the wing and saw he was in a crossing position and I just tried my best to get in front of the goal and he played a good ball and I just tapped it in." (On mindset coming into the game...) "I think my mindset was a little bit different form everyone else's. I just wanted to make the most of the opportunity because I haven't had too many this season. I just wanted to get on the pitch, do the best I can and show the coach I can contribute and obviously a goal looks good. I thought it was a good performance on the little time I had and just tried to build off it." (On atmosphere of the game...) "It got a little chippy towards the end but it was incredible to play against an English Premier League team and see guys in person that you see on television every weekend. It was awesome to get on the field with them, compare yourself and compete." (On carrying momentum forward...) "I think it showed that although they're in preseason we have a lot of quality on our team and for me personally getting a goal against Tottenham is a confidence builder. I think you just take in stride and try to not to get ahead of yourself, understand that it is a preseason for them but at the same time take the good points and use it as a confidence builder." Midfielder Gonzalo Pineda(On scoring penalty kick...) "It was fun. It was a very good game today and to score is always a good thing for everybody, fans and my teammates. The game was special for me, to be able score against a big team like Tottenham from the English Premier League. I was really happy about that." Goalkeeper Josh Ford(On playing in the match...) "It was a great experience, happy to be back out here. Especially with the injury that happened before, to get my legs back. I've been doing well in training, so I am glad to be back. The atmosphere was unreal. You can never be disappointed with the fans here-they always give it their full 90, so it's good." (On playing against elite competition...) "Every game that you can get in and everything you experience while playing is something that you can take away. Playing against guys of that caliber-watching them play, watching their moves and how they play-a guy like Brad Friedel, a great American goalkeeper, it is special to watch and learn from those guys." (On the team's performance...) "I think it's definitely a great game, a great experience to get in and not be scared to go against guys you see on TV in the EPL. You want to show what you can do. We are all good players here-the league is getting better every year and when you get here you realize the league is very good. If you watch the game and you know we competed and the guys who came in the game definitely competed. It was a great opportunity to do what we can do, and that is to perform." Defender DeAndre Yedlin(On Seattle's soccer atmosphere...) "This matches some of the best crowds we had in Brazil, so it's an amazing atmosphere and it's the best in MLS, so I feel lucky to play here." (On contributions from substitutes...) "A lot of players got a chance to play and get their confidence up. Some guys came in and did really well. Sean Okoli got an assist and Tristan Bowen got a goal, and everyone else who came off the bench did really well. It's a big confidence builder to let some other guys play and compare themselves to where they need to be and compare ourselves to a top team in Europe." (On the approach to friendlies...) "Any game you can learn from. We take the mistakes we learn from this game to help for the next game. We also take the mistakes from this game and build on them. Any game is a learning opportunity-whether it is a friendly or regular game-you just have to build on your weaknesses and keep building on your strengths."