Sounders Insider

Hot dog to hero: Sounders-LA react to draw

Crowd of 56,097 at CenturyLink Field today moments before Sounders-Galaxy first kick.
Crowd of 56,097 at CenturyLink Field today moments before Sounders-Galaxy first kick. Staff writer

Here’s what the Sounders and Galaxy had to say tonight, after Chad Barrett from from dinner to roster to pitch to the scorer of the equalizing goal in Seattle’s 1-1 draw with league-leading LA:

SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID

Opening statement:

“Obviously I thought our second half was much better than our first. Even the first half – even though it wasn’t reflective in the shot total – I thought we were getting forward and into the box, and some balls were just beyond some people or hit too hard at times. There was a ball that scooted past (Obafemi Martins), there was one where [Clint] Dempsey just had too hard of a touch in there. Obviously we made a mistake – we gave up a goal on a mistake, and they punished us for that mistake. In the second half, I thought the team played very well. That’s what we have to build upon – what was there in the second half. I thought we controlled the game in the second half; we dominated, we got ourselves forward, we got the outside backs forward. We got an equalizer late, but we were right around the goal. Andreas (Ivanschitz) had a good chance; (Chad) Barrett had a good chance as well. There were some good looks. Dempsey had a tough angle, but we’ve seen him score that goal before. I thought we did a much better job getting forward.”

On the tightly-bunched Western Conference:

“It’s such a hard thing to say…Like I’ve said, the bottom team in this league can beat the top team any given day – that’s how tight things are. Today, yeah, we gathered a point back, but we wanted three because we’re at home. I think we deserved three based upon the overall game, but especially by the way we performed in the second half. It seemed like the way things went for us early in the season is that we would either win or lose, and now we are starting to tie some games. If we would have gotten some ties when we were in that bad stretch, we would have more points right now and be in better shape. The main thing is that I was very pleased with the way we played in the second half and we’ve got to make sure we carry that forward.”

On starting Lamar Neagle over Nelson Valdez on a last-minute scratch:

“Valdez will get checked tomorrow. He was hurting with a little bit of a calf strain and he felt during warmups that it wasn’t something he could go with. We’ll take some precautions now and get that checked out. The change was to put in [Lamar] Neagle and then bring [Chad] Barrett away from his hot dog and sodas and bring him down to the locker room. It’s a good thing we did because he ended up getting a good goal.”

On what to take away from this match moving forward:

“As I said, we have to build upon what we did in the second half, and there’s no one in this league that we can’t play with or can’t beat. That’s the main thing. Our guys are still getting to know each other. Andreas (Ivanschitz) was much stronger in the second half than he was in the first half. When we brought [Marco] Pappa in, he came inside and opened up that space to let Tyrone [Mears] attack more. That’s an understanding that now has to develop again because he was out of the team for a while. Obviously the Galaxy are a good team and things are going to be there for them – we think we are a good team, as well. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how we go into the playoffs, it’s that we go into the playoffs.”

On starting Neagle over Marco Pappa or Cristian Roldan:

“A little bit maybe because we know Neagle is a guy who can go 90 minutes if need be. Pappa, right now, is probably not 90-minute fit; we didn’t know how long Ivanschitz was going to be able to go, so we didn’t want to have guys out there where it’s, ‘Okay, those are two subs we have to make.’ We wanted to be able to make our subs tactically. It was a little more of a choice of that. Also, when we lost Valdez, we lost someone who’s a good header of the ball, and if we would have gone straight with Pappa we would have gotten a lot smaller. That was a little bit of a concern for us at the start, but I thought Pappa came in and played very, very well. I was very happy with him.”

SOUNDERS FC DEFENDER BRAD EVANS

On what a point means:

“Obviously ties come in different shapes, sizes, and forms and last week against Kansas City was much different than this week’s feel in the locker room and how we carry on from here. We obviously created a number of chances and we make one mistake, they make us pay. At the end of the day we salvage a point and I think the guys coming into the locker room were obviously happy about that. It showed a lot of fight, a lot of character. I thought we played very well tonight. I though overall it just was a very good. One from the back watching there was some very good soccer being played. At this point in the season a point is a point we have to take and we have to take it in stride.”

On the significance of this result vs. LA:

“I always think about this; it’s very difficult to beat a team three times in a year and they almost had our number there. That says a lot about that team that they’re able to grind out results. That’s why they’re just out of Supporters’ Shield reach right now. They’re a good team and like I said it’s difficult to win three games against one team so at the end of the day against the Galaxy it’s a good result for us.”

On whether you address Scott’s mistake that led to LA goal:

“You don’t say anything there. It’s, let’s go, pick the ball out of the net and we carry on. Zach will be the first one to tell you that, he’ll raise his hand and it’s squashed and it’s done. A guy who’s done so much for the club and a guy who bleeds rave green, you don’t say [anything]. You put your head up, you move on and you get after it.”

SOUNDERS FC FORWARD CHAD BARRETT

On finding out being on the roster:

“Well I think I saw a lot of you upstairs on the way up and the way down. I came in obviously disheartened not to be in the 18 to start. I knew Valdez was struggling with something all week but he seemed like he was good to go. I’m sitting up there next to Tyler Miller and Andy Craven and I look down. I was like, ‘Valdez is out, he’s not going to make it’ and then I get a call from Kurt Schmid telling me to come down and that’s why you’ve got to show up to the stadium. That’s why you’ve got to do it and I wasn’t starting so I had a good amount of time to get my head around it. Once I got out there and heard the fans, they were singing when I came out, I was ready to go. I was just hoping I could get in. When we went 1-0 down I thought there was a chance I could get in. Everybody kept coming up to me asking “Are you good for 10? Are you good for 15?” I said yes. Then I came in and the first ball Oba played me I thought I had and I hadn’t seen a ball bounce on the field yet so the ball skips away from me and I lose my angle and I thought that was going to go in. I was just like, give me one more chance. Great ball by Pappa, great flick by Brad. We’d been putting great balls into the box and nobody had been crashing so I was like, just take a chance, beat my man Zardes and perfect ball right to me. All I had to do was run into it.”

On when he was told he was in the 18:

“End of warmups.”

On whether he had eaten:

“I just finished a coke and had a plate of food in front of me. It’s been a funny day.”

On getting a late equalizer vs. his former team:

“I mean it doesn’t matter who it’s against. Obviously the LA-Seattle clash has always been great when I was on the LA side, when I’m on the Seattle side. I’m so happy to be here now and anyway I can help the team I’m happy to help. [Zach] makes a play today, a play he never makes, and he comes up to me and says thank you. It was so unnecessary; he does so much for our club and he played so great throughout the game. It’s just one slip-up; anybody could do it and it happens and it was great to be able to repay him and just to hear that crowd. I love hearing that crowd. Like I said it was like the first time scored against KC and I couldn’t hear myself and I just love it.”

SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER OSVALDO ALONSO

On playing in front of his dad:

“I’m very happy. In the beginning very nervous but right now very happy to have my dad here, see me play and unfortunately we couldn’t get three points but we got one point, a very important point.”

On if it gave you a lift:

“Yeah, I always know he’s watching me…When part of your family’s here you have to give everything you have. After eight years I come to the field to play my game. I gave everything I had to win the game. I’m very happy to have him watching me play.”

On if he was looking to the stands:

“No, when you get into the game you forget about everything else. You play and now I think about what I did. I think I played good, I played for the team and we got a good point.”

LA GALAXY HEAD COACH BRUCE ARENA

On the match and clinching a playoff spot with the result:

“That’s a positive. It would’ve felt a little better getting three points tonight, but give Seattle credit. They push hard, get the goal and earned it at the end.”

On a strong defensive performance:

“Yeah, yeah. We, for the most part, played pretty well tonight.”

On the playing surface:

“What’s the point of worrying about the surface? It’s been there for seven years now. It’s the same and that’s the way it is. It’s not easy for either team.”

On how gratifying it is to clinch a playoff spot:

“Oh, well, I think we’re going to have a parade in downtown Los Angeles tomorrow. We’re a team that expects to be in the playoffs, to be honest with you. Obviously it’s an achievement for the team in such a competitive league this year and conference. That’s good, but we certainly want to accomplish a little bit more than making the playoffs.”

On if he’s happy with his team’s performance tonight:

“We played okay. To get a point in a game like this, under these conditions – big crowd, difficult field to play on. We weren’t sure if we were in the NFL or Major League Soccer tonight so it wasn’t easy.”

LA GALAXY FORWARD ROBBIE KEANE

On the game:

“I am disappointed we didn’t win the game. It is as simple as that. Hard work that everyone put in to get a clean sheet. The effort we poured in to win that game. First of all we have to stop giving away corners. Last minute of the game. When you put everybody in the box. It is always going to be dangerous. You got the left foot of Pappa. He has a great left foot. You have to avoid giving corners. It is a lesson for Dave [Romney]. He has to stay with his man. But definitely two points dropped.”

On taking any solace clinching a playoff spot:

“I’m not interested. We should have won the game.”

On what changed in the second half:

“We defend well. That is always going to happen playing away from home. They are going to have possession more. But mostly they were just kicking it in the box. We dealt with it fine. I keep saying football it is about more than one half. It is about ninety minutes. Ninety plus minuets always. We have to be always focus for ninety plus minutes. Disappointing.”

On his message to the team after today’s tie:

“Not really. Just learn from your mistakes. Move on. Swiftly. You have to learn quickly because these are the games now that we need to be winning. When you are putting the effort in like we did. You want to be coming out of here with three points. You deserve the three points the way we defended as a team. But it wasn’t to be.”

On the last-minute goal and correcting it:

“Concentration. Concentration. Not letting players go. It is no ones fault. We take it as a team. I keep saying it. I keep saying it every week. It doesn’t matter if it is individual mistakes. We all take it on the chin because we are a team. So, we all messed up tonight because we didn’t finish the game. It is good if you learn the lesson. It is important that we rectify these last minute mistakes and try to avoid giving corners up during the last minute of the game. Don’t give the corner away. These are the little things we have to be clever about. Manage the game. We have to manage the game well. Don’t give a team that is good at set pieces and a couple of players that can get the ball in, with good technique and put a great ball in. So we have to be a little bit clever in terms of that moving forward.”

LA GALAXY DEFENDER OMAR GONZALEZ

On clinching a playoff spot:

“It feels great to clinch. We are in the playoffs now. Now it is a matter of what spot we are in. The table is really tight and so we have to keep on moving forward. You know a couple teams have a couple games in hand so you know we have to make sure our next two games we get six points.”

On the strong defensive performance tonight to limit Dempsey and Martins:

“You know I thought Juninho and Stevie were really good tonight on putting pressure on their defensive mid and also making it really obvious for me and Leo. You know they would cut off some passing lanes and that allowed me and (Leonardo) to be really aggressive on Dempsey and Oba. It was a good team effort and a good defensive outing for us tonight. I just wish we would have held off for a couple more minutes.”

On Seattle’s goal:

“It was a good whipped in near post ball that got flicked on and you know Chad Barrett was streaking down the middle and just got a good shot in.”

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