2010 Oct 15

Sounders maintain win streak with first ever league win over Chivas USA

Seattle Sounders FC  2 - 1  Chivas USA

Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

Goals:
9' SEA: Steve Zakuani (Jeff Parke)
25' SEA: Osvaldo Alonso (Steve Zakuani, Fredy Montero)

90' CHV: Jesus Padilla (Rodolfo Espinoza)

Seattle: Kasey Keller; Leo Gonzalez, Patrick Ianni (Tyrone Marshall 51'), Jeff Parke, James Riley; Steve Zakuani, Osvaldo Alonso, Nathan Sturgis, Sanna Nyassi (Alvaro Fernandez 60'); Fredy Montero (Nate Jaqua 86'), Blaise Nkufo. Substitutes not used: Terry Boss, Tyson Wahl, Roger Levesque, Mike Fucito.

Chivas: Zach Thornton; Jonathan Bornstein, Ante Jazic, Michael Umana, Mariano Trujillo; Jorge Flores, Paulo Nagamura, Michael Lahoud, Rodolfo Espinoza; Giancarlo Maldonado (Sal Zizzo 75'), Jesus Padilla. Substitutes not used: Kevin Guppy, Yamith Cuesta, Carlos Borja, Osael Romero, Ben Zemanski, Justin Braun.


Match report from Ron Stickney:

Seattle Sounders FC finally scored against Chivas USA in MLS league play and beat them 2-1 at Qwest Field. Steve Zakuani broke the ice early and Osvaldo Alonso scored his first goal of this season. In added time at the end, Jesus Padilla scored for Chivas to make the end close.

Seattle coach Sigi Schmid sent out the same starting lineup that has been seen in the last few MLS matches, signalling that he wanted to maintain the rhythm. The result extended the Sounders' win streak to 5 MLS matches.

Seattle dominated the entire first half. Two minutes in, Sanna Nyassi got around the right corner for a dangerous cross that was blocked out to Fredy Montero for a shot that produced a corner kick. Jeff Parke got a shot off the corner kick and it went wide.

9' SEA: Zakuani (Parke). Seattle's first goal came suddenly when Parke stole the ball in the middle and passed up the middle to Zakuani. Four defenders met Zakuani just outside the penalty area, but at speed Zakuani beat them all to face goalkeeper Zach Thornton. Zakuani touched the ball to the right of the upright Thornton and sent the ball into the empty net. 1-0 Seattle.

Jorge Flores had Chivas' first chances, the best one in the 12th minute when he shot over the bar from a cross. A minute later he skied a long try.

The first foul didn't happen until the 21st minute, when Blaise Nkufo was fouled by Chivas.

26' SEA: Alonso (Zakuani, Montero). Alonso forced a turnover in the middle and sent a pass into the penalty area for Montero, who held the ball waiting for help on the attack. Montero sent the ball to the left side for the overlapping Zakuani, who carried the ball to the end line and got close to goal to drop a diagonal pass to the penalty spot. Alonso is usually not found that far forward, but this time he was in the middle of the penalty area to score with a shot wide of a defender to the lower far corner. 2-0 Seattle.

Nkufo had a chance to add to Seattle's lead when Alonso headed Nathan Sturgis' corner kick to the far post, but Nkufo could not get all of the ball and shot wide.

Early in the second half Chivas midfielder Michael Lahoud forced Kasey Keller's first save, an easy one from a shot up the middle.

On the hour chime Giancarlo Maldonado shot Rodolfo Espinoza's free kick nicely over Keller and into the net, but the replay confirmed that the offside flag for Maldonado was correctly raised.

The next minute, Seattle's Montero tried to curl a 15-yard shot around Thornton but the big keeper got a paw on it. Another minute later Montero's nice cross gave Zakuani a good shot that was saved by Thornton, and with plenty of target available Sturgis fired the rebound wide. Montero shot two minutes later, missing with his left foot from 25 yards.

The last 20 minutes saw shots both ways that were not close, but in added time Chivas finally scored.

90' CHV: Padilla (Espinoza). From the left side, Flores sent the ball across to Espinoza on the right, and he crossed the ball in front of goal where Padilla headed it home. 2-1 Seattle.

The final whistle came after another minute or so of added time. Seattle's shutout was spoiled, but they got the win to reach 48 points, one point more than in their inaugural MLS season.


Statistics:
          SEA    CHV
Shots:     11     14
Saves:      4      2
Corners:    5      5
Fouls:     13      5
Offsides:   4      2

Misconduct:
26' CHV: Nagamura cautioned for dissent
59' SEA: Zakuani cautioned for delaying a Chivas free kick
84' SEA: Montero cautioned for a seemingly minor foul

Referees: Edvin Jurisevic; Craig Lowry, CJ Morgante; Yader Reyes

Attendance: 36,356 (sets a new MLS regular season attendance record of 36,173 per match, beating Seattle's record from the previous year by 17%)


Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

General comments: "I thought we started the game really well. Early we played really well. Our goals were two well taken goals. Good individual effort by Zakuani off a good pass from Jeff Parke. The second was a great combination between Montero, Zakuani, and the goal by Osvaldo. It was good to get him his first goal. I'm pleased for what we did for first 60 minutes. I was a little bit displeased in the last 30. Sometimes when you get to this stage and things are going well for your team, maybe you take your foot off the gas pedal a little bit and maybe that's what we did. Late goals are not something that we're ever happy about. For sure we'll work on in training field."

On Fredy Montero yellow card: "It means he doesn't play in Houston, so a loss in rhythm and it gives him one less game. Obviously, we have capable guys who can play. Jaqua and Fucito have shown themselves to be very capable and can play up front. It will give them good preparation for the playoffs. The way the referee was after Fredy got his yellow, I have to take him out because that guy might have pulled a second yellow and turned it into a red and he would have maybe missed the first playoff game. Ozzie got stepped on pretty good by the guy who punched Leo in the other game and nothing gets called. The foul count was a bit interesting. Don't know what it is, but I think it was a little bit one sided without looking at the stats."

On Chivas USA adjustments: "They upped the tempo in the second half. They have pride and Martin is not going to let them step off the field without showing that pride. And that's okay. Players in the back of their mind say we're going to the payoffs and maybe they hesitate going into a tackle or a play, but Ozzie isn't that kind of player and he went into the tackle. Lucky for us he didn't suffer major injury there."

On Steve Zakuani: "Great first time ball from Parke into him and Zakuani individually smoked some people with the goal. When you look at his improvement from four goals to 10 this year, his numbers are up. Not any winger that is as goal dangerous as Steve Zakuani is, I don't think there's anybody that can match his numbers. I wish he was American because I think he's somebody who could play for the national team. I don't know where our national team stands or how things look, but he has played very well and he has matured a lot. Since Blaise has come, that's really helped him too because Blaise has taken him under his wing. He's grown as a player, his work rate, his defending is better, his understanding of how to play in a wide position and knowing where to be, all that is greatly improved."

On team performance: "Any time you win it's a good thing. When you win games and the team feels confident that you can win games. Even if you play a sloppy 30 minutes and you still win, that's a good thing. It's the confidence of going out and winning all that time that helps us most of all."

On beating Chivas USA for first time: "We talked about the fact that we hadn't scored against them in league and hadn't beat them yet in league. We didn't want them to be our boogie team. That's something the guys definitely wanted to go out and change."

On who match up with in playoffs: "It doesn't matter to me who we play. There are motivating factors for us with anybody that we match up with. If Los Angeles, we want to show that we're a better team than those two results show. If Salt Lake, that's a team we tied twice and we feel unfortunate to get that result there. If New York, it's a team we felt unlucky losing at home and won at their place. If it's Columbus, there's always motivation when we play Columbus and it's a matter of continuing to do what we've done well against them."

Steve Zakuani

On winning tonight: "Five wins in a row, one loss in the last 15 games or so. We didn't play that well tonight. I think Chivas controlled the ball. But we got goals at good times and winning 2-1 is a good result."

On his goal: "It was a great steal by Jeff Parke and he gave me the ball. It kind of opened up a little bit and like I always say when you're one-on-one with the keeper the easiest way is to go around him. Zach kind of stood up a little bit so I took it around him and put the ball in the goal. Second goal was a good goal. Almost like the goal we got against Philadelphia in the first game of the year for Brad Evans - carbon copy. It was very good. Happy to score my tenth goal."

On the crowd: "We said before the game it's the last game before these fans. We won't be back here until the playoffs so we wanted go out with a bang. We did it against Dallas last year, I think it's the same score line this year. So just trying to repay the fans and also beat our points total from last year. So we are happy with that."

On second half of season: "You never want to give up. I think one thing we had going for us was the fans. They were with us in the trenches. They were there with us. We have repaid them, I think...It's been different times, different guys stepping up. We have done well. But now the real season begins: the playoffs. We just have to keep going."

James Riley

On the match: "Obviously unlucky giving up that last goal. It's something that we will clean up for the next game and the playoffs, definitely something we will learn from. But it's a good send off, for sure. Thanking the fans."

On winning and keeping the rhythm: "Sigi just talked about it. We wanted to keep our rhythm going into it. Although we clinched a playoff spot we have a chance to get a different seed. Different seeds have some benefits. We could get a conference championship at home. The main focus is to keep timing and rhythm."

Kansas City

Martin Vasquez - Head Coach

On his impressions of the match: "We have seen Seattle play and know how they are going to come out with energy. They come out and pressure you and attack you in their half and get out in transition. They get you in transition and get you in many games. We talked about it going against their forwards and midfielders, we need be on our feet, bump them, stop them, once they start running they are very difficult to stop. On the first goal we defended very poorly. The second goal I'm disappointed because the referee did not call a foul against us, they cut us on transition and scored. We knew exactly that is their strength, if you go down two to zero here it is difficult. We tried mainly in the second half to go at them with a goal. The first goal for us came to us too late."

On the first goal of the match by Steve Zakuani: "We gave the ball away and they cut us on transition. I think he went by three or four of our guys, I think if one of those guys bump him and stops the play there it's not a goal. We were to na´ve, we talked about defending and the only chance we had was solid defense and cover. We didn't do a good job and he scored a goal."

On his team playing until the end and coming away with a goal: "Yeah but that has been the same story for us this season. We have given up early goals and have to try and chase the game and come up short. Knowing that we have to do better."