2010 Jul 18
Qwest Field, Seattle, WA
32' CEL: Georgios Samaras (PK)
64' CEL: Patrick McCourt (Milan Misun)
66' SEA: David Estrada (Taylor Graham)
Seattle: Terry Boss (sent off 29'); Tyson Wahl, Tyrone Marshall (Patrick Ianni 74'), Taylor Graham, Zach Scott; Sanna Nyassi (Steve Zakuani 70'), Osvaldo Alonso (Nathan Sturgis 59'), Peter Vagenas (Pat Noonan 75'), Miguel Montaņo (David Estrada 64'); Blaise Nkufo (Roger Levesque 60'), Fredy Montero (Jordan Jennings 32'). Substitutes not used: Leo Gonzalez, Jeff Parke, James Riley.
Celtic: Dominic Cervi; Andreas Hinkel, Paul Caddis (Paul McGowan 67'), Jos Hooiveld, Milan Misun; Patrick McCourt (Benjamin Hutchison 85'), Simon Ferry, Ki Sung Yueng (Marc Crosas 71'), Cillian Sheridan (Charles Mulgrew 56'); Georgios Samaras (James Forrest 46'), Morten Rasmussen (Marc Fortune 56'). Substitutes not used: Mark Wilson, Shaun Maloney, Darren Odea, Lukasz Zaluska.
Match report from Sounders FC:
Jordan Jennings did not expect to play Sunday afternoon in a friendly against Celtic FC. The Seattle University product and Tacoma native planned to sit on the bench while Terry Boss handled goalkeeping duties. The Tacoma Tide FC goalkeeper didn't even bring his parents to the game because he thought there was no chance he would touch the field.
However, a 29th minute red card to Boss for "denying a goal scoring opportunity" pushed Jennings into the match.
Just one day after Jennings sat the bench while his PDL team drew 1-1 with Washington Crossfire in front of 25 people at Seattle's Interbay Stadium, he was lined up against Greece international Georgios Samaras taking a penalty kick in front of 45,631 at Qwest Field in a match that was televised nationally on ESPN.
"I just remember seeing him in the World Cup with Greece. I'm thinking, 'Am I really taking a PK from this guy?'" Jennings said. "It was amazing."
Samaras converted the penalty and Patrick McCourt added a second half goal. David Estrada scored his first goal as a Sounder, but it wasn't enough to reel in the Scottish Premier League club and Celtic finished with a 2-1 win.
"It still ended up being a decent game. It could have been a good game. It was a good game spoiled by I thought a poor decision," Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. "It is what it is. I'm proud of how our team continued to play. I'm glad we pulled a goal back. I'm disappointed with the second goal we gave up because I felt we were a little lazy on our defending on that, but I was proud of our mentality and the way we played in the second half."
Samaras got away on a break up the middle and Boss sprung off his line to slow down the Celtic midifelder. In his lunge for the ball, he ended up catching Samaras by the foot and he went down, though the ball was still close enough to Samaras that he knocked it into the net. However, referee Paul Ward ruled that Boss deserved a red card ejection on the play and he sent off the Sounders backup goalkeeper.
At that point, Jennings began warming up, subbing on for forward Fredy Montero as the Sounders shifted their formation while down a man for the remaining 61 minutes.
"I thought the referee should have just let the goal stand and common sense prevails, but I think he had already made the decision to give the penalty," Celtic FC manager Neil Lennon said. "Sometimes it's worthwhile to play against 10 men to see how we adapt although I probably would have preferred 11 on 11."
Samaras lined up over the PK and knocked it high and left while Jennings guessed low and right, giving Celtic the 1-0 lead.
Jennings was unfazed by the goal, though, and went on to have three saves, allowing McCourt to score in the 64th minute on a tough ball to stop.
"Going against Celtic a man down, things were looking grim. It's awesome we kept them within one. I thought we played well and handled them the best we could," said Jennings.
On the offensive side, Estrada played a focused 26 minutes, smashing two shots and scoring his first Sounders FC goal while narrowly missing on the other.
In the 66th minute, he took a pass from Taylor Graham, took a couple of touches to create some space at the top of the box, then hammered it past goalkeeper Dominic Cervi - the only American on the Celtic roster. The goal trimmed Celtic's lead to 2-1.
"He hit a bomb. I don't know if Cervi ever saw it," Schmid said. "He stepped up. It was one of those balls that sits right for you and he took his chance."
Seattle's top pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft nearly tied it up in stoppage time as Seattle put on a passing clinic as the ball touched nearly all of their players before falling to Estrada on the right side of the box for another crushed shot. Cervi got a piece of this one though and parried it into the crossbar and away for a corner kick.
"I was just trying to give a little spark to the game," said Estrada, who was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring strain and a sprained toe. "I'm just waiting for my chance and hoping I can get some games in."
Estrada is still eligible to play in Open Cup, Champions League and friendlies, but the Injured Reserve keeps him ineligible for MLS play until September 4, when the Sounders travel to Gillette Stadium to face the New England Revolution, at the earliest.
Meanwhile, striker Blaise Nkufo made his Sounders FC debut, starting alongside Montero and playing the first 60 minutes before giving way to Roger Levesque.
"When you have a new player, you have to integrate with him and he needs to integrate to the team and we need to understand what he can do. He showed that he can be a forward for us and bring other players into the game, which is a good attribute to have," Schmid said. "He's been off since the World Cup, so as his fitness improves and his touch improves, I think we're going to have a lot of joy."
He made an impact nearly immediately, laying a ball off to Miguel Montaņo for a shot in the 2nd minute of the match, though Montaņo missed wide on the left-footed shot.
Then in the 10th minute Nkufo took a quick cross from Montero, but was hit hard from behind and his attempt was instantly cleared by Celtic defender Jos Hooiveld.
"I was happy to finally play in my first game with my new teammates. I can now move on and focus on the next game," Nkufo said. "We are going to work together on the field. We have some time. This was my first game and we showed some good signs today."
Shots: 12 12
Saves: 4 1
Corners: 3 6
Fouls: 11 12
Offsides: 1 5
29' SEA: Boss sent off for denying a goal scoring opportunity, even though the goal did in fact get scored
84' CEL: Mulgrew cautioned
Referees: Paul Ward; Cameron Blair, Mike Rottersman; Josh Wilkens
Seattle Sounders FC Postmatch Quotes
Head Coach Sigi Schmid
General Comments: "It still ended up being a decent game. It could have been a good game. Sort of like that book, A Good Walk Spoiled. It was a good game spoiled by I thought a poor decision. It is what it is. I'm proud of how our team continued to play. I'm glad we pulled a goal back. I'm disappointed with the second goal we gave up because I felt we were a little lazy on our defending on that, but I was proud of our mentality and the way we played in the second half."
On Terry Boss' red card: "My two things were this: one is the guy scored the goal and he could have let the goal count. He didn't have to go back and give the penalty. He said that he had blown the whistle, so he felt he needed to call the penalty. I asked if he needed to red card the guy and he said that those are the rules. So I said that you've ruined the game for 40,000 people. Then I asked him where their communication was because normally the fourth official with the guy in the middle and the linesman as well. Maybe it was US soccer's frugality or whatever the case, but they had no communication system. I said that'd be like us showing up without uniforms. I just left it at that. I figured I was close to getting thrown out and Adrian said he wouldn't pay any fines, so I figured I couldn't do that."
On Jordan Jennings: "Jordan, for a kid who isn't normally on our team and has been playing PDL, which is a couple of division below, I thought he did well. It's unfortunate that Boss needs to continue to get game time and he missed out on the game time. Jordan acquited himself well and came up with a couple of good saves. He snagged a perfect one going to his left. Last night he played in front of 25 people and today he stepped on the field and played in front of 40,000."
On Blaise Nkufo: "When you have a new payer, you have to integrate with him and he needs to integrate to the team and we need to understand what he can do. He showed that he can be a forward for us and bring other players into the game, which is a good attribute to have. The one cross that Montero hit to him early was a good cross in the box at the right spot and he got clobbered from behind on the header. He's been off since the World Cup, so as his fitness improves and his touch improves, I think we're going to have a lot of joy."
On effect Nkufo had on game: "In the 2nd half I told Blaise to stay a little more central since we were playing a man down, but sometimes he likes to come off and look for the ball, but he gets back in. In the first half when we were playing 11 v. 11, sometimes we took too many touches before we played the ball back in, but certainly as he holds and occupies the central defense, that will open up spaces for our wide players."
On Michael Seamon being out: "He's much closer. He's played the last two games at 75 to 80 percent. We felt there was no reason to push him today and weekend of rest should help him as we go into training net week."
On taking out Montero: "Because we were playing a man down. If I take out one of the other guys, then Fredy's going to end up playing midfield and I was going to have Blaise drop wide right and play midfield. I felt there was no point in having Fredy play wide right or wide left in midfield and run up and down. We have a game next week that matters and is important for us. He's played a lot of minutes lately and has put forth a great effort, so I thought he was the appropriate guy to rest and let some of the other guys run a little bit more."
On David Estrada goal: "He hit a bomb. I don't know if Cervi ever saw it. He stepped up. It was one of those balls that sits right for you and he took his chance. He was a bit unlucky in hitting the post at the very end as well. He needed to get around that a bit more and hit it far post. I think he would have gotten another goal maybe. But certainly he scored a great goal. He's very happy and it was a great shot."
On Estrada getting more opportunity: "As a young player, when you're trying to make your way forward, every time you get an opportunity you try and make an impression. Obviously, today he made an impression and when you do that, it means you're going to get another opportunity."
On Estrada playing through injury: "He can play. He has a chronic toe that sort of comes and goes, but he can play in Open Cup games and he can play in CONCACAF games, so there's opportunities that are there."
On Fredy Montero: "He's brought a lot of energy into the game the last two games. There's been a little bit of space available underneath the forwards that he's taken advantage of. He got to play a few games with Jaqua, which helps because Jaqua is a different style of forward. We asked Roger to do his best Nate Jaqua imitation and he did. I think that helps, having that kind of forward next to him. That allows him to bring him game out a little bit more. It's mainly him and the effort that he's brought onto the field the last two games."
On Nate Jaqua: "We'll see on Tuesday. He feels better each day, but he hasn't really been tested. We don't want to push it right now, so we will give him another day of rest tomorrow and then we'll see where he is at Tuesday."
On potential additional roster moves: "That's something that I don't know the final answers on. There are things that we're working on. As to when that might happen or not happen, I really can't tell you. My job as the coach every day is to go out and work with the group that is out there every day and that's what I try and do."
On making his debut: "I was happy to finally play in my first game with my new teammates - fun. I can now move on and focus on the next game."
On his teammates getting to know him so the team can play better: "We are going to work together on the field. I like to play two touches. We have some time. This was my first game and we showed some good signs today. Fredy Montero and I will play together and get better each week."
On the competition level of the MLS to that of the Dutch League: "I never compare the two leagues because it changes a lot. We can work on doing better and play to keep position."
On the surface of the pitch: "In Holland we have a team that plays on artificial too, and they were very successful. Hopefully we can be that way too. It is difficult but gives it some time and everything will be good."
On the message Coach Schmid gave him entering the game: "He said we needed a spark and I knew once I came out on the field to take a shot. Fortunately it went in. I almost got a second one. Zakuani had a good combination with Roger and laid it right off to me and the keeper just got a touch on it."
On being on the IR, but playing in a friendly: "Yeah, it is something they talked to me about it. I'm still eligible for Open Cup and other tournaments, which they can give me an opportunity to play."
On playing with a man down: "I think it was unlucky considering it was a friendly and people want to see a good game. To see Terry Boss leave so early was unfortunate. Everyone pulled together and we tried to cover as much ground as we could and the defenders did a good job."
On Jordan Jennings nerves entering the match: "I think he did a good job, after that free kick. He did a good job the whole game. I think it was 40,000 today, a big professional debut for him today."
On playing the Washington Crossfire and the Celtic FC in 24 hours: "A very different atmosphere, unfortunately we probably got knocked out of the playoffs last night. This was a great experience and I will remember it for the rest of my life, for sure."
On the discrepancy in attendance size from his past two games: "Last night we had about 20 or 30, instead of 50,000. It is a big jump. They gave me the game ball. I didn't want to leave anything in the locker room."
On his emotions going into the game: "I saw the red card come up and I was extremely nervous, and thought, 'Is this really happening?' When you get onto the field, the penalty scored on me, but once you make a couple of plays everything just goes away. I started feeling more comfortable then I thought I would be. You wouldn't think you would feel comfort like that but I did. The butterflies went away after I made the first save."
On watching Georgios Samaras in the World Cup: "Yeah, I was like, 'Wow, that guy? Is the long haired Greek guy really taking a penalty on me right now?' I do remember him from the World Cup. Unfortunately I guessed the wrong way."
Head Coach Neil Lennon
General Comments: "A lot of pleasing performances. It was really a worthwhile exercise. I'm pleased we won. I thought we should have won the game more comfortably. I'm disappointed in the goal we conceded. Overall, I'm pleased with the workout."
On red card: "I thought the referee should have just let the goal stand and common sense prevails, but I think he had already made the decision to give the penalty. Sometimes it's worthwhile to play against 10 men to see how we adapt although I probably would have preferred 11 on 11."
On impressions of team's performance: "They're proven. I'm not disappointed about the score because we've had a heavy schedule. We had a hard game on Friday night against Manchester in Toronto and then the travel, so you have to take into consideration the fatigue element and watch for any lingering injuries. Thankfully, we picked up a couple, so we should be OK. The ones that didn't play today should get on in the next match."
On MLS: "It's a good standard. I like the American players. I like their temperament and like their professionalism as well. They're very athletic and in open space the level of technical ability for the majority of them has been good in the couple of games we've played against them."
On Cha Du Ri: "He needed to go back and sort out his visa. Hopefully we can get him back as quickly as possible. Hopefully he'll join us next week. We've been watching him, even before the World Cup, we were aware of him. We watched him in a couple of friendlies before the World Cup and he obviously did very well in the World Cup. He was very impressive. I like his style of play. I think he'll fit the style of Scotland and I think he'll be a good asset for us to have. We needed to get the balance better in the midfield area and I think he'll increase the quality of that."