Sounders Insider

Schmid: ‘We are fighting for our lives’

Here’s some of what the Sounders had to say after their 2-0 loss to Real Salt Lake tonight, which dropped them into a tie for sixth/seventh place in the Western Conference and marked a franchise-record 13th loss of the season:

Coach Sigi Schmid

On his impressions of the game.

“I thought we lost the game in the first 20 minutes. Obviously the goal was a penalty. Like I said I haven’t had a chance to see the replay yet. It looked a little harsh. There was no one from Salt Lake there. It wasn’t going to run onto any of their players. I don’t even know if he was in the box. I thought that was a harsh call. We didn’t react well on the second call. They outworked us in the first 20 minutes. We told our team to be prepared for that, that they would come out hard. That’s where we lost the game. When you are down 2-0, it’s tough to come back against them because they are a good possession team. Maybe if we had gotten Oba’s not hitting the post at the end of the first half going in, maybe that makes the difference. But at the end of the day it wasn’t good enough.”

On his team’s response to the loss:

“No it wasn’t good enough. If you ask any of our guys I think they will tell you the same thing. I just think tonight our effort wasn’t of the standard that we want it to be. Like I said, we lost the game in the first 20 minutes.”

On the disappearance of his offense tonight:

“Every game is different. Obviously when you are down 2-0 and they are holding the ball and you’re chasing the ball a lot, it makes it harder. We are a team that likes to have possession of the ball as well. We gave away a lot of possession. If you look at the duels won, they won the majority of the duels and that is a big difference in the game.”

On his concern of player fatigue:

“That’s why we are trying to rest players and almost play two different units. We tried to play a pretty different unit when we played Olimpia. But still there are guys that have to go onto the bench and even though you are not playing, you have to prepare psychologically. It takes a little bit out of you. We are still missing some guys. We are still missing Dempsey, we are still missing Alonso. We are still missing Leo Gonzalez. So there are certainly still guys that have an impact and are good players for this team that are not available right now.”

On player availability for the game against Portland:

“We’ll see.”

On a team record 13th regular season loss:

“The guys have to realize that we are fighting for our lives. That’s a realization that has to set in. A gambler told me long ago, ‘Never bet against a desperate team.’ I think they were more desperate than we were today. We have to get that point of desperation as well. Then you’ll see us stand up.”

Goalkeeper Stefan Frei

On what he saw of the PK call

“From my side, it does touch his hand. With that being said, it is a difficult one because there is no one around. He has his hands down on the side, the ball bounces and hits him from underneath. It’s not like he is redirecting a ball that is going towards one of them so he is not really altering a play in a way. It is what it is.”

On coming into this game on a positive note and then losing in the manner they did:

“I think it is difficult because we were in the game. We were giving away two sloppy goals. The first one is a PK. They had a chance to go one on one with me and we kept the ball out of the net. Then about 30 or 40 seconds later we gave up the PK. The second one, same thing. They had a wonder-strike and we were relieved that it didn’t go in and we forgot to remark and make sure we were following up. I think we kind of shoot ourselves in the foot there with those two goals. Like I said, otherwise I think we are in this game. When you come to Salt Lake, it is a really tough place to play. You get played off the park. We were in it. We had possession, we had our chances but we have nothing to show for it.”

On what Coach Sigi Schmid told them after the game:

“Nothing yet. I think we all know what transpired here and every game is big. Especially in a conference where every team is fighting for their lives. They are in the same boat as us. If we think that those two results we have had in the past week are going to put us in the clear then that is not going to happen. Every weekend we are going to have to be sure we get those points whether it’s home or away. It’s do or die right now and every point matters.”

On San Jose pulling even tonight:

“I tend to not look at the standings because when you have had a run like we have had you should know whereabouts you are. At this point it is do or die. With the quality that we have in our locker room, we have to start getting on a run and then get in to the playoffs first and foremost obviously. But we have to make sure that once we are in the playoffs we can keep on going and use that momentum to get us far.”

Midfielder Brad Evans

On if Seattle met Salt Lake in terms of effort tonight:

“No. Definitely not. From minute one, things just weren’t clicking. They won every second ball and obviously by the twelfth minute they had the penalty kick. Playing here and scoring early goals make here a difficult place to play especially when they settle in and start switching the point of attack and crowd the midfield. Then the come back and the ball comes off the post and they score six minutes later. Then the heads go down. But without saying that we had a chance. One comes off the crossbar and could have made it 2-1, that would change things. But we never really stopped playing in the game, we pushed till the final minute. We weren’t cohesive tonight. Thinking back on the past two games, LA and Orlando, us as central midfielders we were allowed to play a little bit and today with that midfield, with three in there, there was constant pressure. We weren’t able to find space to turn and get the forwards involved and really get in behind and create anything. From that standpoint their game plan worked better than ours.”

On if the new players are plugging in well to the team:

“Yeah I think so. I think Nelson (Valdez) up top is playing as a striker should and I thought that he held the ball up well today. He drew a lot of fouls for us today and in a game like this away from home you ask for that. From that standpoint, it’s going to take more time to get that cohesiveness but at the same time we have got to know that it is so tight right now. We can’t let any more points slip like this.”

On reaching a point of desperation as a squad:

“I think after this we are there. Whether everybody realizes it is up to them. But I think that that will be addressed this week. Looking at the standings, we have a massive game against Salt Lake at home at the end of the year. We’ve still got at San Jose and Portland. So there are still plenty of massive games coming up that could swing either way. Those three games especially are going to be indicative of where we finish the season. It’s up to us to put our head down. We’ve got a rivalry game against Portland on Sunday and if we want to make a step forward we have got to get a result.”