2010 Oct 19

Sounders FC finish CCL group play with a home loss to Saprissa

Seattle Sounders FC  1 - 2  Saprissa

Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

17' SEA: Nate Jaqua (Alvaro Fernandez)

26' SAP: Jairo Arrieta
87' SAP: Josue Martinez (Walter Centeno)

Seattle: Kasey Keller; Tyson Wahl, Taylor Graham, Tyrone Marshall, Zach Scott; Roger Levesque (David Estrada 76'), Peter Vagenas (Miguel Montaņo 62'), Mike Seamon, Alvaro Fernandez; Nate Jaqua (Sanna Nyassi 84'), Mike Fucito. Substitutes not used: Terry Boss, Leo Gonzalez, Jeff Parke, Nathan Sturgis.

Saprissa: Minor Alvarez; Alexander Robinson (sent off 88'), Jose Mena, Gabriel Badilla; Javier Loaiza (Diego Cordero 72'), Mauricio Castillo (Alonso Solis 69'), David Guzman, Walter Centeno, Ricardo Blanco; Alejandro Sequeira (Josue Martinez 56'), Jairo Arrieta. Substitutes not used: Fausto Gonzalez, Yader Balladares, Douglas Sequeira, Armando Alonso.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

The Seattle Sounders FC saved their worst match of the CONCACAF Champions League for last, losing 2-1 to CD Saprissa from Costa Rica. Nate Jaqua gave the Sounders an early lead, but Saprissa won on goals from Jairo Arrieta and Josue Martinez.

It was all Sounders for the opening twenty minutes. Mike Fucito shot first and missed wide. Zach Scott set up Jaqua with a nice cross, but Jaqua's header was within easy reach of goalkeeper Minor Alvarez. Jaqua netted a ball after Fucito and two defenders collided going for an air ball, but a foul was whistled on Fucito for no apparent reason. Jaqua's short through pass seemed to set up Fucito, but his marker did well to concede only a corner kick. Mike Seamon took a 20-yard free kick and bounced it right to Alvarez in the center of goal.

17' SEA: Jaqua (Fernandez). A Seattle service near goal was knocked down by a defender, giving Alvaro Fernandez a shot that was deflected across the goal area. The ball went right to an open Jaqua six yards from goal, and he quickly poked it in while Alvarez was still tangled with one of his defenders. Replays showed that Fernandez' shot appeared to have deflected off the foot of Roger Levesque as he leaped. 1-0 Seattle.

Saprissa's first chance came at 20' when Alejandro Sequeira was played in close to goal, but Taylor Graham was there to snuff the shot.

26' SAP: Arrieta. Seattle gave up their first bad goal when Zach Scott stopped chasing a through ball at the 18 as Kasey Keller came out, allowing Arrieta to poke the ball at Keller. The rebound went off Arrieta and in front of goal, where Arrieta had an easy tap into a vacant goal. 1-1.

Keller's first save was a routine one late in the half after Javier Loaiza shot from distance.

The second half opened with a quarter hour of little but yellow cards. Then Saprissa midfielder Walter Centeno shot hard up the middle for Keller's second save.

Seattle came right back with Graham's header from Miguel Montaņo's free kick, but it missed wide.

David Estrada entered at 76' for Roger Levesque and soon had a couple of shots, the first one just wide and the second right at the keeper. That was the best Seattle could do in the half.

87' SAP: Martinez (Centeno). The match winner came on another mistake by Keller. Arrieta passed a ball to the center of the 18 for Centeno, and under pressure he knocked the ball to the side where Martinez was open on the 18. Martinez shot at the near post and everyone thought that Keller would push it wide, but he pushed it onto the inside of the post and the ball went in. 2-1 Saprissa.

Despite four minutes of added time, Seattle did not threaten Saprissa's goal the rest of the match.

          SEA  SAP
Shots:     12    9
Saves:      3    4
Corners:    4    3
Fouls:     20   17
Offsides:   1   10

33' SAP: Mena cautioned for a tactical foul on Fernandez
48' SEA: Fernandez questionably cautioned for a minor foul
52' SAP: Badilla cautioned for a reckless foul on Fernandez
63' SAP: Robinson cautioned for pulling down Fucito, a tactical foul
70' SEA: Montaņo cautioned for diving
80' SEA: Jaqua cautioned for dissent
88' SAP: Robinson cautioned for persistent infringement and sent off for his second caution
90' SAP: Blanco cautioned for delaying a throw-in

Referees: Neal Brizan (Trinidad and Tobago); Dion Neil, Ainsley Rochard; Jair Marrufo

Attendance: 11,434

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

General comments: "It's always disappointing when you give up a late goal like that, but that's the way it was today. Not a particularly good game for us. There were times when we created some chances and were effective, but overall, our possession of the ball wasn't what it usually is. They did a good job of holding the ball and making us chase it and we dropped off a little too much and allowed them to develop that game. We did a little better in the second half, but at the end of the day it wasn't good enough."

On Kasey Keller starting: "Boss was on the bench, but he suffered a little injury yesterday in practice and then another little thing came up today, so we felt it was too big of a risk to play him. That's the reason we came with Kasey."

On Kasey Keller's performance: "Nobody is harder on Kasey than himself. He's saved us too many times. I'm not going to get on his case here. He's a pro. Nobody's more disappointed than he is. He'll sort it out and it's good to get out of the way now."

On Kasey Keller knowing he would play tonight: "He knew that it might be a situation where he might play this morning and he knew for sure when he came in."

On what to say to Kasey Keller after the game: "He's done so many things as a pro. I'm sure he's been in that situation before."

On Fredy Montero: "He took a shot in the quad and he's still a little bit sore there, so we decided we'd work him, so worked out today at Starfire and felt it was best not to play him tonight."

On CONCACAF Champions League: "There's only four MLS teams in this tournament, if I'm not mistaken, and only three teams from America. It's an honor to be in that exclusive group for our franchise, especially as a second year franchise. You learn every time you play. We learned today. Guys learned something about themselves. All those experiences are going to make you better as you move forward. To be in this tournament and play the amount of games we've played this year will only make us better next year."

On meaning of game: "You're a professional player when you step on the field and you want to win. It doesn't matter if advancement is at stake. You have pride. You have ego. You have attention to your craft and you want to play and show that you can play well. So yeah, that locker room is disappointed. They knew we couldn't advance, but at same token, they're disappointed that we lost."

On playing meaningless games being a negative for team: "I don't think it's taken an edge off the team. Something it's good to get slapped in the face right before the playoffs are about to begin so everyone is reminded what that feels like. Losing is what motivated me. Winning keeps me going. I think losing motivates them as well. It reminds them that we have to keep focused, keep our attention to where it needs to be and keep following ourselves up in the same direction as a team. This team is a proud team. They don't like losing. Sometimes there's a silver lining there."

On late opponent goals: "I hope it's just coincidence. In the last game when we took a late goal against Chivas, that was something that we talked about. We haven't shown them the film yet because with the short turnaround, we decided to focus just on tonight's opponent, but that is something that we'll talk about."

Nate Jaqua

On the match: "It wasn't out best performance. We were definitely disappointed but it's one you just move forward from and we just have to shrug it off. We have got bigger fish this weekend."

On upcoming match at Houston: "Not home, not home at all. But I still enjoy going down there and playing. I've got some buddies on the team and I always enjoy battling against Houston. They are a very honest team so I think it's going to be a good fight and I think that's where our heads are at now."

On losing the match: "For me, it definitely remotivates me. I was definitely pissed off with the result and I wasn't real happy with my performance either. Remotivates a team? I don't know. But personally it does for me and we will be ready to go in Houston and be ready to go in the playoffs - that's what's important."

On his goal: "It's kind of one that just shot at my feet and my reaction, I didn't even know where it was going to go. Luckily it went in the back of the net."

On allowing late goals: "No, it's not a concern. It's just one of those things. We were a little angry with ourselves last week, not closing out the game the way we wanted to. This was just a fluky play that, it's just not going to happen again...Never lose confidence in Kasey. Kasey has been a rock back there for us and it's just one of those things that happened. Good it happened in this game and not some other game."

Roger Levesque

On the goal: "Flaco shot it, I tried to jump it, it hit me, bounced to Nate, who calmly put it in the net. So however you want to play it. The ball went in the goal. We went up 1-0. We should've held it."

On his performance: "I defended a lot, didn't think I played great, didn't do enough to help the team win obviously."

On the locker room: "I think everyone is disappointed. Every time this team steps on the field, regardless of who is out there, we expect to win and expect to perform up to a certain standard that we have showed over the last couple months. I think everyone is disappointed, especially giving up a late goal tonight. The resilience that this team has showed is definitely a positive."


Rob Myers - Head Coach

On importance of the match: "It was very important; we had two years with results of not passing to the second phase. Today we had a chance; we played against a team with strong personality. We knew we had to win and are full of pride and happy about passing to the next phase."

On getting a score late in the match: "Indeed there was a very short time left. We never lost hope, we thought we could wait until tomorrow and that would be ok. We also thought if we kept trying to score and secure the qualification tonight that would be possible."