Notes & Quotes: Whitecaps FC 0-2 Sounders FC

Hear from Rennie, O'Brien, and members of Sounders FC

NOTES

  • Whitecaps FC fall to 10W-9L-7D on the season with the loss
  • Today's crowd of 55,718 was the largest for a Whitecaps FC match since 1983
  • After four matches in this year’s Cascadia Cup, Portland lead the three-club standings with a 1W-0L-1D record (four points), followed by Seattle with a 1W-1L-1D record (four point) and Vancouver at 0W-0L-2D (two points)
  • Kenny Miller played his first full 90 for Whitecaps FC
  • Barry Robson and Martin Bonjour served their one-match suspensions and will be available for selection for next Saturday's match at Portland Timbers

Whitecaps FC - QUOTES

HEAD COACH MARTIN RENNIE

Overall thoughts on the match:

“I think it was an exciting game. Obviously not the outcome that we wanted, but overall I felt like the performance through most of the game was pretty good. I'm disappointed with the goals that we lost. I think playing two games in a week cost us a little bit at the end where we were getting a little bit tired and had a number of players missing during the week from international games. I think for us right now we've got a little bit of adversity missing a couple of key players and players that have come in aren't really match fit yet. Now Andy O'Brien got ninety minutes and Kenny Miller got ninety minutes and that's going to help us going forward. For me there are a lot of positive things from it. It's always disappointing to lose. It hurts, especially with the fans making the trip down here, but I thought it was a good game between two very good teams and a rivalry that can grow and become very strong in the league. We're just disappointed that tonight we didn't come out better from it.”

On missing Robson:

“He's a very key player. He's been arguably our best player since he joined the club. He takes our set plays, he's been our captain, so it was a big, big miss for us for sure.”

On missing DeMerit and Bonjour:

“As a team right now we're facing a little bit of adversity but that happens. Generally this season we've done very well. We've had a good season up until this point. Right now little things aren't going our way, maybe even the goal that they got that I didn't really feel was a free kick, and then we get punished with a goal against us. So those things right now are happening, and in a season it happens. But what's really important is how you bounce back from it and how you react. Do you take responsibility and figure out how to get better, or do you blame other people and put your head down. I know this group will take responsibility; we've got a lot of character. The exciting thing for us is with players like Jay DeMerit and Barry Robson coming back into the lineup hopefully we'll gain a chance to be fresh for next week. I feel like the team's really coming together well. Today was a disappointment, but we've bounced back before.”

On DeMerit's status:

“I think it seems like he's recovering well so hopefully he'll be back.”

On Robson's game suspension:

“I think he would agree that's something that's not acceptable and deserves the one game. The issue is that we didn't know until nine o'clock last night and that was very, very hard because we'd already put together all of our training, we'd already picked our 18 and picked our starting lineup and gone through all of our set plays. So it was very hard to have a key player like that who's going to be your captain and is involved in everything you're doing when you're already missing your captain is tough. I thought that given all of that adversity we were a little unfortunate not to get anything out of the game because we had chances or at least a couple of half-chances in the first half. In the second half we definitely could've defended better, but the overall performance of the team was good and I think it was a very good game.”

On Kenny Miller's play:

“I thought he and Darren linked up well. He was dangerous. He's in need of games, like I said with Andy O'Brien and with Kenny they need a few games to get themselves in form but again we had to change our back four and hopefully we can get a settled team for the run in and if we do I think we'll be very strong.”

On the goal that was called back:

“It was a difficult one. I felt given that they got a free kick that wasn't a free kick that resulted in the first goal then maybe, if things were even enough, we would've got that goal. But at the moment those little decisions have gone against us and as I say, that does happen at times, but over the course of the season you tend to find that if you keep working hard and show character and confidence then those things will go for you at different times as well. So we look forward to that because right now it's not been happening for a while and it would be nice to get that rolling for us soon.”

On the physicality of the match:

“I don't think it was that physical. If there's contact in the game and someone goes down, that's not necessarily a free kick. Unfortunately if the referee blows every time there's contact or someone goes down the game will never ever get going. I feel like there were a couple of decisions that were big decisions that were arguable, but I thought that the referee did well and that it was a good game. If the game's stopping all the time then the fans don't get to see anything and I don't think the ref was too involved today.”

On losing the past two matches:

“We've had tough stretches before but we've bounced back from those. I think you forget about those tough stretches. There's times in the past we've lost a couple of games and been disappointed. Everybody always overreacts and thinks how badly things are going but I think things are going well and the four games before these last two were actually some of our best. So I'm not concerned about that. We just need to get our players back together, we need a little break – we've had a tough week – and get ourselves going. This is a hard place to come, it's a game that we did lose, but at the end of the day for us we'll get all our players back and we'll be ready to go for the next one, and the next one's a really exciting one for us as well.”

Thought's on the 55,000+ in attendance:

“It's fantastic. It just shows you how big soccer is getting in North American and how big soccer is here in the Pacific Northwest. To get crowds like that is fantastic and it seems sustainable, and something that can grow. We have a big, big base of fans in Vancouver, Seattle has it here, Portland has it. Portland and Vancouver are just growing, we're a few years behind Seattle, but I think it can grow to this level and it's exciting for everybody to be involved. For people who've seen soccer grow in North America in the last few years it's fantastic.”

ANDY O’BRIEN

On today’s rivalry match:

“It’s disappointing because of the result. Hopefully next time we come here we get a better result.”

On his and Carlyle Mitchel’s communication:

“Yah, that is something you become more comfortable with the older you get. You’re always talking and communicating, but through your younger years I suppose it’s more of a learning experience. Yeah, it’s something that I developed in my game over the years I guess.”

On how he is managing to get adjusted to the pitches they have here:

They’re different, but the pitch is still the same size and everything is still the same. So it’s not too different.”

 

Seattle Sounders FC - QUOTES

HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID

On the game:

 “Obviously we’re happy with the two-nothing win. They’re a tough team, it was a tough game. It was a physical game, as well, but I thought our guys did well. I thought we had a good period of time in the first half where we dominated for a little bit. The start of the game was a little bit theirs, I thought the end of the first half a little bit theirs, but then as the second half rolled on I thought we got more and more opportunities. At the end of the day, I thought we had the clearer of the chances, so we’re obviously pleased with the two-nothing win.”

On adjustments he made:

“There weren’t a whole lot of adjustments. We felt that we could really find some joy on the right-hand side. We felt that [Alain] Rochat was really tucking in an awful lot, so then we felt whoever was on the right wing--[Brad] Evans, and later we pushed [Mauro] Rosales out there--if they just stayed close to the touch line, they would find space. And obviously our second goal came from that, as well. We wanted Eddie [Johnson] to play a little bit higher, so he was playing a little more off the shoulder of the last defender, and we looked to play more balls in. We talked about that, and keeping possession on their end of the field.”

On Fredy Montero not starting:

“Fredy missed practice on Friday. It was an excused absence, he had to attend to a family matter. It was no problem. It wasn’t a punishment or anything, he just missed a practice and we wanted to make sure his mind was clear going into the game, which it was. We’re not going to turn him into super-sub, or the 12th man of the year, or something like that, even though he does well when he comes off the bench. As we’ve always said, goal scorers are streaky a little bit. I always get a special joy when we win a game and there’s a Montero goal and a Johnson goal. I think it substantiates what we’re trying to do with those two guys, and when you start adding it up now, they’re starting to get to a place where they’re probably one of the three-four combinations in the league in terms of goal production.”

On his personnel changes:

“Like I said, we felt we could find some joy on the right, so I wanted to bring Mauro out to the right because I felt he could use that space a little bit. The reason we took [Alex] Caskey off is because we needed to keep some height on the field because of their danger on set pieces. As a group we didn’t want to go too small. I thought [Christian] Tiffert, especially in the first half, I thought he had a very good game. He started to run our game for us a little bit, and that was helpful in midfield, and there were times he was doing it in the second half, as well.”

On the play of Brad Evans:

“His versatility helps us, and we play enough games where people are going to get on the field and people are going to play. But right now with new players coming in, you still have to find--and it will take some time--to find the right mix and to see how it mixes together the right way. Today, the mix worked. [Jhon] Kennedy [Hurtado] in the back was also a good one-on-one solution for us defensively, but he didn’t start the last game for example. Sometimes there’s just matchups that are a little better, and I think we have the depth where we can adjust to some of them.”

On the crowd:

“It’s a tremendous reflection of what Seattle is doing. I told Adrian [Hanauer] if he keeps getting more than 50,000 we’ll keep winning because every league game over 50,000 we’ve won. So we don’t mind if in the next game they want to open up some more seats and get another 55,000 in there.”

On if Steve Zakuani and Mario Martinez will play in the Reserve Match tomorrow:

“Definitely, Steve will start in the reserve game and we’re going to give Mario some minutes, as well. I asked [Mario] what he thought of the crowd, if it was like Real Espana, and he just started laughing. He said, ‘No, this is tremendous.’ He’s excited and we’re excited to see him play. He trained with the group [yesterday] and it was good.”

On what makes Montero so good coming off the bench:

“Fredy wants to play the whole game, too. He’s a team guy, he’s very respectful of all situations. He accepts them from the standpoint of, even if it’s maybe not the decision that he’s thrilled about, he’s very professional in his approach, and when he gets on the field he’s going to do the best he can. But it’s no different than other guys, as well. Fredy’s mentality is that he wants to get out there, he wants to make a difference, he wants to be a game-changer, whether he starts or it ends up he doesn’t start. He still wants to do the same when he comes in the game.”

On Eddie Johnson’s strong run of play lately:

“You’re always looking to get better, you’re always looking to improve. I’m sure Eddie will tell you the same thing. He probably over-dribbled the one, he probably should have hit it with his right foot when he beat the guy and he cut back. He had a great left-footed effort in the first half, had a couple headers that were right around there. He had the one that I know he’d like to have back off the cross, which also came from the right. It shows you that we got in on that side. I’m fine, as long as [Johnson and Montero] both stay hot, I’m happy.”

On Mauro Rosales’ strong play of recent:

“Obviously, he’s getting involved. He’s getting assists, which is what he did for us last year and we need him to continue to do that...He’s important for our flow and as we get to understand even each other better and better, I think our cohesion will get stronger, as well.”

On Michael Gspurning:

“He’s a big presence back there. He’s a guy you look back and you’re confident in. When you play against a team that sends a lot of crosses in or hits free kicks in there, when you look back and you say, ‘If he’s coming off the line, he’s probably going to get a hand on it or he’s going to punch it clear or definitely get to it.’ He’s been solid, his organization is good for us, as well. He’s a tremendous asset for our team, not just in what he can do as a goalkeeper, but in the voice he brings to the field. His experience has been important, and it was great tonight to get a shutout. I thought that was very important for us, as well.”

 

EDDIE JOHNSON

On scoring goals in Cascadia Cup matches:

“These games are meaningful. These are the big games. This is what our fans look forward to every season, Cascadia games. We know the importance of the game. I had a few opportunities that I didn’t put away…If I miss one then it’s always the next one. If I keep putting myself in spots where I can get goals then it’s going to come. Before the game I told Brad [Evans] if he ever got time and space out wide that if they give me the back post I’ll come like I’m coming to the near if he’s cheating and I’ll go to the back post, and vice-versa. Brad played an amazing ball across the box. To be fair, those are the hard ones…I made that run. I was committed to the whole play. It was just good build-up…All the credit to Brad. I just had to get on the end of it.”

On the forward pairings in MLS:

“We aren’t worried about anybody else. We are just worried about ourselves…We are just focused on what we are trying to do here in Seattle, trying to establish our identity as a team here. I think we are doing a good job as far as the new players that have come in and contributed to the team this season. It’s all about us. We are not worried about who is the best striking pair in the league. Every striker, every team, every pair has their own style of play. Fredy and I have a style of play that is a lot different from other teams in the league. At the end of the day it is about us. Fredy is competitive. I’m competitive. I think he’s trying to be the leading goal scorer. That’s one of my goals, too. So if we’re both trying to be leading goal scorers it’s going to get more goals from both of us so it’s good for the team.”