2010 Sep 9

Keller saves a Real Salt Lake penalty kick to earn the shutout in a scoreless draw

Seattle Sounders FC  0 - 0  Real Salt Lake

Qwest Field, Seattle, WA


Seattle: Kasey Keller; Leo Gonzalez, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke, Zach Scott; Steve Zakuani, Osvaldo Alonso, Nathan Sturgis (Mike Seamon 85'), Alvaro Fernandez (Sanna Nyassi 74'); Fredy Montero, Nate Jaqua (Mike Fucito 70'). Substitutes not used: Terry Boss, Tyrone Marshall, Tyson Wahl, Roger Levesque.

Salt Lake: Kyle Reynish; Chris Wingert, Nat Borchers, Chris Schuler, Tony Beltran; Andy Williams, Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Nelson Gonzalez (Will Johnson 65'); Robbie Findley (Pablo Campos 89'), Alvaro Saborio. Substitutes not used: Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell, Jean Alexandre, Collen Warner, Paulo Araujo Jr.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

Kasey Keller's save of Robbie Findley's penalty kick was the biggest highlight of the match as the visiting Real Salt Lake drew the Seattle Sounders FC nil-nil. Kyle Reynish earned the shutout for Salt Lake. The defenses ruled the day, as both teams managed just two shots on goal.

With Seattle right back James Riley injured, Zach Scott manned the position. He played very well defensively, but Riley's usual assistance to the attack was missed.

Seattle had the only chances the first half hour. Early on, advantage was applied after Alvaro Fernandez was fouled and Nate Jaqua earned a shot from the right, missing the far post by yards. Jaqua's next chance was a header from a corner kick, but Salt Lake's defense was tight on Jaqua, forcing the shot high. Fredy Montero had his first chance at 23', missing the far post by a yard from 15.

Give Findley a ten for his dive just inside the penalty area at 31'. Jeff Parke did stick his leg out, but Findley could have easily stayed upright. The soccer gods seemed to agree, as Keller guessed right and Findley sent the penalty kick right to Keller, who used his arms to block it down. The rebound bounced high in the air near goal, and the flyin' Hawaiian, Scott, was well above his neighbors to head it out for a corner. Javier Morales shot from the arc on the ensuing corner kick and skied the shot.

Seattle's best shots were all long drives up the middle by Ossie Alonso. He had two near the end of the half, the first one forcing a save by Reynish and the second one a yard wide of the target.

Early in the second half a Salt Lake counterattack had numerical superiority and found Findley open for a shot in the left side of the penalty area -- he missed the top near corner by a yard with Keller in good position just in case.

Two minutes later Seattle countered when Scott cleared a Salt Lake free kick. Montero won the ball and fed Steve Zakuani, who took the ball close to goal but touched it too far, allowing Reynish to intercept.

Salt Lake had the next good shot, at 30-yard try by Andy Williams just past an hour that was taken by Keller on a dive to his left.

A few minutes later Montero had a chance from Jaqua's drop pass but sent it well over goal. Then it was Alonso with another drive up the middle from 30 yards, this one going a few inches over the bar.

Mike Fucito came on with 20 minutes left and took a good shot a few minutes from time on a throw-in play, earning a corner kick. That was the only good shot from either side in the final 20 minutes plus four.

The Sounders will now accumulate a lot of frequent flier miles. Their next four matches will take them to Costa Rica (Saprissa), Columbus, Mexico (Monterrey), and Chicago.

          SEA     SL
Shots:     17      7
Saves:      2      2
Corners:    6      2
Fouls:     11     15
Offsides:   1      2

55' SL: Saborio cautioned for a tactical foul on Alonso

Referees: Paul Ward; Peter Manikowski, Anthony Vasoli; David Gantar

Attendance: 36,078

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

On the game: "I think we battled and we fought, but I don't think we played great soccer tonight so it was a little disappointing from that regard because I know we have more in us. For whatever reason all of our passing was disjointed and we didn't click in that regard. I'm still proud of the fact that we've played what's probably the best team in the league twice now and have tied them twice. But I know we're capable of better soccer and I don't think we played as well tonight as we could have."

On Kasey Keller's game: "Kasey Keller made a great save on the penalty. It probably was a PK because he [Parke] probably did get a piece of him in the box, but we thought the ball was out of bounds before it ever got there. At the end of the day, Keller came up with a great save and it was probably justified because I don't know if they deserved it 100 percent for sure. He came up with a big save there and it garnered us a point tonight."

On RSL starting Kyle Reynish in goal and putting pressure on him: "With any keeper, you just have to put shots on goal. Reynish did well, but I don't think we put enough things on goal to really test him often enough. Ossie did a couple of times on some shots, but there was nothing clean that I felt really put him under pressure. He did well. And we find out about that when the lineups are exchanged so when we put the lineups for the guys, they knew then."

On Alonso's long-distance attempts on goal: "When he has a clean look, it's perfectly fine. He had the one that the goalkeeper had to make the save on and then the one that he just barely put over. If we're forcing it, sometimes it's not good. When he gets clean looks, he strikes the ball fairly well."

On not getting as many shots on goal as of late: "Our movement just hasn't been as good as it could be. There are times when we're mis-hitting clearances. Our passing out of the back was not real good tonight - I think we missed James Riley a little bit there because he helps us with that. But also the passing from our other defenders wasn't as sharp. Our hold-up play wasn't as good. I think that's one thing that Nkufo adds to our team - he's able to hold the ball up for us and that allows people to get into attacking positions. It's the same thing on a different scale that Morales or Saborio does for them. Nate Jaqua battled hard, but didn't necessarily hold up the ball for us. It's not that we're eons away from where we need to be - we're very close."

On Fredy Montero not having as much an impact the last few games: "His success is a reflection of how our team's playing as well. I thought he worked very hard and he battled. I think sometimes what happens is he gets frustrated and tries to maybe do too much at times, but it's because he's trying to help the team. He really wants to help the team in that regard. Again, hold up play next to him is important because that allows him to get into good positions and our passing is important to him. So he thrives off the team just as the team thrives off of him."

On the approach to upcoming Champions League matches: "As far as I know, we have zero points. There are a couple of teams with three and there's one team that has six and if that team with six wins their game and we win our game then you've got three teams with three so I think that would put us right in the thick of it. So we have to be smart and we're going to try and put our best lineup out there for each game. We'll base our lineup on injuries, fitness and everything and the same thing when we go to play Columbus - every time we step on the field we want to win. We don't want to do anything less than win."

On any update on Blaise Nkufo's condition: "He seems to feel better, but we have to see how he does Saturday in training."

On Osvaldo Alonso's play: "I thought Ossie's play was good. He covers and fills a lot of gaps for us at midfield. I thought he did a pretty good job of containing Morales. I don't think Morales did a whole lot to hurt us tonight so I thought he did a good job there. Defensively we were okay with a couple of exceptions. Even though they knocked the ball around, it wasn't where they were penetrating a lot. There were a couple that were close, a couple that ... offsides, not offsides, but overall I thought we were okay. It was when we transitioned and the ball turned over to us, I don't think we did a good enough job of keeping it and as a result that made us defend more than we should have."

On being surprised about the amount of whistles: "Tonight, with whistles, nothing surprised me."

On the team's passing and possession play: "We just have to work on that part of our game. That was the reason we brought in Fucito. Even though he's a smaller stature player, he does a good job of keeping the ball and connecting. He laid a couple of good balls out to Zakuani and got him involved, and actually had a very good shot himself. We just have to work on that aspect. The problem with the games is you really don't get any time to train so you're going from game to game and you have to talk about it then hope they understand it from talking about it."

Kasey Keller

On his save on the penalty kick attempt: "I mean, penalty saves are penalty saves. You just hope you go the right way. You hope he puts it somewhere where you can save it and today he did that, which was nice. It was great to be able to come up with that save at that time. I would love to see it on replay because I thought he went down pretty easily. In the end, it didn't hurt us so that is good."

On the home crowd: "There's going to be far more years when they don't chant my name so it's nice when they do. The most important thing was getting away with this game. It was one of those games where they came here to get at least one point and if they got something more then they were very happy about that. I thought the first 10 or 15 minutes we were tremendous and then we kind of didn't quite play as well after that. But some guys really stepped up. Ossie continued to play great. Zach Scott came in for James and did a tremendous job. We are doing OK. We are frustrated. Sure. We want to win every time we step on this field. But people have to understand that teams are going to come here and really make it difficult for us because they respect what we have done here and what this crowd is like. Like I said, we could've gotten a little more today but it's definitely not the end of the world."

On stopping penalty kicks: "You can do whatever but in the end if you can come up with a few saves at the right time then great, maybe make them miss a couple. Great. But you got to understand that more often than not they are going to score. That's just the way it is."

Jeff Parke

On the penalty: "It was a good play by him [Robbie Findley] and a dumb play by me. I shouldn't have lunged in like that. I should've just kept him outside and my mistake."

On Kasey Keller saving the penalty kick attempt: "It was great. It definitely kept the game obviously with a tie for us. It lifts you, gets you back on track. A goal there and it's difficult to get back in but he did a great job saving it and kept us in the game."

On the match: "It was good. They are a good team. I think they are the best team that I have played against this year, just on movement and just players-wise they know where each other is supposed to be. They are always playing balls into the forwards feet and guys playing off and they are always moving. They are a tough team. On our part, I didn't think we played to our best. We weren't that sharp. Obviously there were some clearances that I should've done better with but for the most part we edged out a result and that's alright."

On holding RSL scoreless: "It's good. Obviously the PK was frustrating. As a team, I think we played good enough to keep them out of the net. I don't think they had too many good chances. After giving up three crappy goals last week, to give up none this week is good."

On the result: "You feel like you got something but it's frustrating because obviously we need points. Every time you get a tie you give space for other teams to gain on you. It's frustrating because we are at home and we want to win at home. There was only seven games, now six left, so we need to get some good results and buckle down because we have a big road trip coming up and then another road game against a tough team in Columbus."

Mike Fucito

On playing at Qwest Field: "It felt great. I love playing here. I love the fans. It's been a long time. That was the first time I got somewhat significant minutes. I think my fitness is coming along and I would like to hopefully start banging away some goals again."

Real Salt Lake

Jason Kries - Head Coach

On coming away with a draw in the match: "I'm thrilled for more reasons than just the result. The guys put in great effort tonight and the attention to detail was amazing. The commitment level was just second to none."

On the play of Kyle Reynish and Chris Schuler: "Just amazing, in my opinion they were in the right position to make plays for our team. We have been really patient with Chris and have taken our time with him. He stepped into arguably one of the most difficult places in the entire league and just didn't put a foot wrong. He has so much personality and competitive fire."

On Robbie Findley pressing too much: "I think he is a confident player. I have to give credit to the guys for having him take the penalty. We have a real family spirit and gave him the opportunity to score. To watch two or three of our guys go grab him after he misses and let him know it is ok; that for me is special stuff."

Kyle Beckerman

On his thoughts on tonight match: "This is a tough place to play; now they are getting desperate with the playoffs. They are really attacking with everything they have. We were able to match their intensity and knew that at the 75th minute we could get out of here with a draw."

Robbie Findley

On missing the penalty kick: "I was taken down in the box and stepped up to take the shot. I didn't hit it that well and he made a good save. Nothing more than that really."