Seattle Sounders 1-2 Toronto FC
Clint Dempsey scored in the second half and Jermain Defoe netted a first-half brace as Seattle Sounders FC (1-1-0, 3 points) fell, 2-1, to Toronto FC (1-0-0, 3 points) on Saturday afternoon on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.
Toronto FC opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Jonathan Osorio played a through ball to Defoe at the top of the box. Defoe got behind the Seattle defense and finished a low right-footed shot past Stefan Frei.
Defoe added his second goal of the match in the 24th minute when he collected a giveaway at midfield and beat Frei with a right-footed shot.
Dempsey pulled one back for Seattle in the 68th minute. Lamar Neagle played a ball down the sideline to Obafemi Martins, who collected it and found Dempsey at the top of the box. Dempsey fired a right-footed shot from the center of the box for his first goal of the 2014 regular season.
Sigi Schmid – Sounders FC Head Coach
(On his thoughts on the result…) “[We’re] obviously disappointed, especially since we gave up two goals that were really soft. We gave them two gifts. The first was at a time when [Brad] Evans was off injured and wasn’t back on the field-we didn’t cover the position, so that’s our fault. We didn’t do that well. The second one was a bad back pass. It went right to him. Obviously when you’re going to do that against a good player like [Jermain] Defoe, and give him two good looks on goal, he is going to show you he is a good player and he did. I thought the majority of the game we carried the game. Their danger was off counters or off steals, but we hurt ourselves because we created those opportunities by playing too many square passes when we needed to go forward with it. Too many passes went back and it put us in a hole. We had enough chances in the second half to equalize the game.”
(On another physical game…) “[The opposition] can’t keep averaging 25 fouls against us every game. It’s one way that disrupts the rhythm of play a little bit, when teams are fouling us that much. If you add that up for a whole season I don’t know if it’s a team record for us or for any team in the league to get fouled that often. Certainly there were quite a few fouls.”
(On the team’s second half performance…) “I thought we came out in the second half and carried it to them. I thought we played to win. I thought our attitude was good. I thought some of our guys lifted their game-I thought (Obafemi Martins) lifted his game, I thought (Lamar) Neagle was better in the second half than the first, and Clint (Dempsey) began to see the ball more. From that standpoint I thought it was good. How you deal with adversity is what defines your character. Today was a little bit of adversity and we put ourselves into that situation, and now we have to come back from that.”
(On Gonzalo Pineda filling in for Brad Evans…) “I thought Gonzalo did well for us. Obviously he is still new to the team a little bit. He still needs to gain a bit on his fitness, but I thought his passing today helped us. His vision is good. We felt he was the right guy to go with because we felt there was space to play, and we were possessing the ball, so we thought that was the right decision. Brad got kicked in the calf-it is pretty black, blue, and swollen, so obviously he couldn’t continue.”
(On Brad Evans’ injury…) “We will get a better response over the next day or two and see how he responds to treatment. ”
(On the positioning up top…) “We felt that we could get the ball forward so we went with (Marco) Pappa in that slot on the right hand side, and we felt that (Lamar) Neagle could stretch their defense on the left because he has the ability to do that. For the first 15, 20 minutes of the game I felt we were doing that. We were having some success. There were too many times when we got the ball behind their midfield line, but we didn’t get the ball behind their back four. That’s when we went back to square instead of going forward, and that’s something we will work on and get better with.”
(On game tactics…) “Our tactics were that we wanted (Marco) Pappa tucked in on the right and we wanted (Lamar) Neagle to be high and wide on the left. Those were our tactics going into the game and I think we had the better of the run-play. We had the tactics that I thought were working, but we didn’t convert them into goals.”
(On creating chances…) “All we can do is create chances and try to convert the chances you create. I think we created chances, enough chances to win the game, but you’re happy that there is some good soccer that we played, but unhappy with the turnovers we gave and really unhappy with the fact we didn’t deal well with the situation when Brad (Evans) was off the field injured. I think that is something we have to deal with better.”
(On Toronto’s improvement…) “Obviously they are a better team. When you have players like (Michael) Bradley and (Jermain) Defoe, you’re going to be a better team. But when you look at the game I think we carried the game, we possessed the ball, they were looking to counterattack […] I don’t know if they could play week in, week out and be on the wrong side of possession, as they were today. When you have as much possession as we had, you’ve got to do a better job on converting final chances. They are certainly an improved team-Julio Cesar is a quality goalkeeper, Bradley certainly helps them as well, and Defoe is an experienced player.”
(On Gonzalo Pineda’s playing time in the future…) “We’ll have to see. I thought the first 15, 20 minutes, we were good. Pineda wasn’t on the field there and we carried the game to them. We felt that when Brad got injured, we needed to bring in a change and we felt that he was the guy who could help us keep playing the way we were playing.”
Clint Dempsey – Sounders FC Midfielder
(On his first goal…) “It’s bittersweet. It feels good to have contributed in a positive way, but at the same time we’re not happy with the result. I thought we did a better job in the second half moving the ball. They kind of set back and we’re trying to grind out the three points. I thought we created some good chances, we just weren’t able to get the equalizer goal.”
(On the loss…) “I mean it’s frustrating, but at the same time you just have to learn from the mistakes that you make and try to keep pushing forward. We’ll look at the tape, see the good things that we did well also and try to enforce that, but we’ll work hard in this next week and make sure we get it right for Montreal.”
(On Head Coach Sigi Schmid being pleased with the way the team came out in the second half…) “We were on the front foot. We were pushing to try to get something out of the game. We weren’t just sitting back and accepting the situation of being down 2-0 and thinking we didn’t have a chance. I thought we showed character, we kept fighting and pushing for the goal, and it looked like the equalizer was going to come. Unfortunately we weren’t able to make it happen.”
(On the opportunities to score…) “We just have to keep going, just try to be a little bit better in front of the goal, but at the same time we are creating chances and we’re happy with that. We just have to keep going because if we look at the first two games we’ve scored in both and that’s always good. We just have to try to do a better job with limiting the goals that we can see.”
(On what it means getting his first goal of the season the second game in…) “I don’t look at it like that. I keep the same mindset. I keep going out, working hard and trying to get as many goals as possible. Every game out I’m trying to score. Whether I score the game before, I’m always wanting to score or create chances and trying to put other people on to goals, get assists, and stuff like that. We just have to keep moving forward. So far I’m happy with the first two games in terms of getting a goal and an assist, but I have to keep pushing and there is more to come. We want to do more as a team and try to make a push to win the MLS Cup this year.”
(On how hard is it to try to avoid getting frustrated after getting fouled so much in that game…) “I think everybody was getting frustrated. I think there were 21 fouls against us, 25? Yeah, 25. The game before that there were 25 so that’s 50. I think from a fans perspective it’s not fun to watch a game with that many stoppages, and also for the spectators at home watching the game. When you see it just being stop start stop start, foul, foul, foul it’s definitely frustrating for everybody.”