2011 Jun 26

Sounders score twice to best New England for third win in a row

Seattle Sounders FC  2 - 1  New England Revolution
CenturyLink (a.k.a. Clink, a.k.a. Qwest) Field, Seattle, WA

3' NE: Sainey Nyassi (Benny Feilhaber)
34' SEA: Tyson Wahl
40' SEA: Alvaro Fernandez (Roger Levesque, Mauro Rosales)

Seattle: Kasey Keller; James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Jeff Parke (Patrick Ianni 17'), Tyson Wahl; Lamar Neagle, Servando Carrasco, Erik Friberg, Alvaro Fernandez (Pat Noonan 69'); Mauro Rosales (Nate Jaqua 89'), Roger Levesque.
Substitutes not used: Terry Boss, Zach Scott, Michael Tetteh, Mike Fucito.

New England: Matt Reis; Kevin Alston, Ryan Cochrane (Zack Schilawski 81'), AJ Soares, Darrius Barnes; Sainey Nyassi (Zak Boggs 62'), Pat Phelan, Shalrie Joseph, Benny Feilhaber; Ryan Guy (Kenny Mansally 62'), Rajko Lekic.
Substitutes not used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Franco Coria, Otto Loewy.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

Seattle Sounders FC again found a way to win, scoring twice after giving up an early goal on the first corner kick of the match to beat the visiting New England Revolution 2-1. Sainey Nyassi, twin brother of ex-Sounder Sanna, scored the early goal to put the visitors ahead. Tyson Wahl tied it up with a wonderful free kick for his first MLS goal, then Alvaro Fernandez notched the match winner.

3' NE: Nyassi (Feilhaber). First corner kick, first shot of the match, and New England were ahead. Benny Feilhaber served the corner kick low to Nyassi above the box and he hit a low shot through the crowd towards the far post. Kasey Keller got some of the ball, but he was too late to stop it. 1-0 New England.

Seattle center back Jeff Parke needed medical attention 15 minutes in, and he was replaced by Patrick Ianni. It turned out that Parke suffered an onset of a migraine headache triggered by looking at the sun on an air ball, and he was pulled because of the vision deficit.

New England threatened to make it 2-0 when Nyassi carried the ball from box to box and unleashed a powerful shot aimed at the near post, and Keller could only parry it wide.

Seattle's attack looked promising at the half hour mark when the ball rattled around the New England penalty area, but the Sounders couldn't quite get a shot.

The other way, Shalrie Joseph shot high from a distance and claimed it was deflected, but a goal kick was awarded.

34' SEA: Wahl. Mauro Rosales was fouled in the air 20 yards from goal, a head to head challenge. Wahl took the free kick and curled a beauty into the top far corner, and goalkeeper Matt Reis was flat-footed, leaning the wrong way. 1-1.

40' SEA: Fernandez (Levesque, Rosales). With New England right back Kevin Alston down with a boot problem, Rosales was served the ball on the left with plenty of space around him. He took the ball to the middle and fed a pass forward to Roger Levesque in the middle and just into the penalty area. Levesque one-touched the ball leftwards to Fernandez, whose low shot to the far post beat a charging defender and went in off Reis' hand. 2-1 Seattle.

The Sounders were highly efficient in the half, scoring two goals from two shots.

The first corner kick of the second half nearly produced another goal for New England. Off the corner kick, Joseph's sharp header was well saved by Keller, flying sideways to palm the ball wide with one hand.

For Seattle, Lamar Neagle had a good ten minutes in the 50's. He served a nice cross from the end line across the goal mouth, and Levesque's slide was almost in time to finish it. Neagle stretched for the bike off a Fernandez cross, but couldn't quite reach it. He was served on the right and beat two defenders for a shot from the top corner of the penalty area and missed by just a foot.

Just past an hour New England came close when with his back to goal Ryan Guy chipped a pass sideways to the open Rajko Lekic, whose shot missed the lower far corner by an inch.

It was Seattle's turn at 68' when Rosales was served with time to set up a cross, giving Levesque a header from 8 yards that was parried and caught at the bar.

New England took a turn at 70' when Lekic sent a fast cross through the crowd past goal, where Phelan shot from a steep angle and missed the 12-yarder.

New England managed one last chance at 85' when substitute Zack Schilawski turned and fired from 30 yards. The ball went over Keller's reaching hand and hit a lot of the crossbar, bouncing almost straight up and out.

Seattle had done well the last 20 minutes to yield few chances, with substitute Nate Jaqua and Levesque effectively killing some time in the corner near the end.

          SEA   NE
Shots:      9   11
Saves:      2    1
Corners:    4    5
Fouls:      6   14
Offsides:   3    1

23' NE: Phelan cautioned for taking out Carrasco after he passed the ball forward
26' SEA: Carrasco cautioned for tripping Feilhaber, a tactical foul
72' NE: Cochrane cautioned for bowling over Rosales
78' NE: Lekic cautioned for a dissent after he thought he was fouled
87' SEA: Wahl cautioned for delaying a Seattle throw-in
90' NE: Soares cautioned for dissent, probably using bad language

Referees: Geoff Gamble; Ian Anderson, Eric Proctor; Silviu Petrescu

Attendance: 36,212

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

General comments: "Basically, like we said on Thursday a little bit, we're finding different ways to win games. Today we had to come from behind. We went down 1-0, maybe we weren't attentive enough early in the game. We had a little bit of a mental breakdown and they scored. I felt we showed good character. Tyson Wahl getting his first ever MLS goal on a great free kick and then us picking up the second goal on a good combination between Mauro, Roger, and Alvaro. We knew in the second half that they'd be more and more direct, that there'd be more and more duels in the air. So we told our guys to be prepared for that. I thought we did okay. Winning that wasn't going to be artistic, but we did what we needed to do. The post helped us out at the right time. Early in the season, breaks didn't go our way, but over the course of the season, it evens out."

On team starting to click: "The understanding with each other is starting to get better. More so than anything, their belief and confidence in that we're going to find a way to win. We're down 1-0 and we're two or three minutes into the game, but we're going to figure it out. We're going to figure it out and get it done. It's a belief that's starting to come through. That's important. Different guys stepped up and did what they needed to do."

On Sounders leading league with number of goal scorers: "When you look over the history of the teams that I've coached, with exception of maybe one year in LA when Ruiz scored a ton of goals, it has always been spread out. I think when you get goals from different places, you're a harder team to figure out. You're a harder team to defend because you have that diversity in the attack. It's also a situation where we've scored goals this year on set pieces. The service has been better, guys are practicing them more. Encouraging some guys who didn't want to step up and do them like Tyson -- 'Hey you can do it, you're a lefty and this is a ball you can hit.' Their confidence and willingness to do that."

On Servando Carrasco: "Carrasco is a slightly different player than Ozzie. He plays the position a little bit different way, but you have a guy who's a rookie out there and he's playing against Shalrie Joseph who's one of the premier players in the league and I think he did pretty well. He held his own. He was solid in the middle. He defended well when he had to. Positionally, he was sound. Friberg is the one who is always going to, if you're the defensive midfielder playing with him, you'd like to have a string on him so he doesn't go away from you too far sometimes. He likes to get forward, but he's always exploring and trying to make runs. I thought his activity and his running was good. I was worried about him running out of steam at about 60 to 70, but he held through very well for us."

On Parke: "I haven't checked yet. It wasn't a situation where it was a concussion or anything like that. He just was having trouble seeing the balls and he's had migraines in the past and he felt like it was the onset of a migraine so they felt it was just going to get worse. It wasn't going to get better and we decided to make the change then."

On Wahl's goal scoring celebration: "When you don't score a lot, you don't want to waste a lot of time thinking about that. He'll come up with a better one next time. Has five or six years to plan that out. He should think of a good one."

On Mauro Rosales: "I thought he did very well. We put him inside to play in the Montero role for us today. He interprets that role a little different than Fredy does. He's very dynamic, he's very determined, and he's always exploring and trying to get behind even from that deeper position. I thought that added another dimension to our game today. He was probably our best player today."

On expectations of Rosales: "You hope everybody on your team ends up being your best player when you sign them. Chris Henderson and Adrian did a good job identifying him and we brought him into camp. An old coaching colleague of mine, Walter Bahr who used to coach at Penn State, said it doesn't take you long to look at a horseshoe. It didn't take us long in the training sessions to figure out that this guy was a good player. We were able to sign him and have him on our team. It took him awhile to get fitness, his timing, and to understand the league. Right now, you're seeing a very fit player that understands this league. The thing that I like a lot about Mauro is that he plays with a passion. I think the fans can see that and that you guys can see that. He plays with a passion on his sleeve when he steps onto the field. He was another guy where I was concerned if he was going to get through 90 minutes, but he was there. We only made the change because we wanted to lock up the midfield."

On Rosales's fitness: "His fitness is there. Dave Tenney has done a good job and Mauro has done a good job. He does a good job of getting extra fitness in on his own. He's very diligent that way."

On injuries: "Fredy felt his quad, felt he couldn't really strike a ball with his right foot. He said that was the reason the other night that he pulled up on the one shot and delayed it and didn't hit it. We felt it was better not to play him. With Brad, he's had issues with his knee, but his knee is fine. It was a situation where he could have maybe played, but there was a risk of maybe making his hamstring injury worse if he did play. We have a window here that we could rest them a little bit and make sure that it's completely behind us and get a full week of training."

On Roger Levesque: "I thought Roger was good today. When you score two goals, you go into a game with a little more confidence when you step onto the field the next time. I thought his activity level was good. He made life difficult for their centerback. He laid on some good balls. He was dangerous at times as well. He got an assist, so Roger definitely played well. He deserved to start based on his last performance and based on what he did today, he probably deserves to get out there again."

Tyson Wahl

On the goal: "It was sitting well for a left-footed shot. I'm not sure if Reis was out of position but I thought it was possible to hit it that side. I just tried to keep it on frame and bend it, just like a corner kick like I have been hitting those and it went in."

On the goal celebration: "I didn't know what to do with my celebration. My celebration wasn't quite like Roger's but I was excited and I just kind of ran around. I didn't really plan out goal celebrations but I'm excited to score my first goal and obviously excited that we got the win."

On scoring more goals: "We'll see. Maybe if I could score a couple goals a year would be nice. Playing games consistently will help out that stat, just being on the field helps."

On taking free kicks: "I have put a lot of years in as a defender and as a center back and generally those players don't hit free kicks. We have a lot of guys who can hit free kicks well so I was a little reluctant. It kind of started with the corner kicks, just working on them in practice and improving, and stepped up today."

On continuing to take free kicks: "It's tough to do that every time and it was my first that I've taken. It's going to be a tough standard to keep and we have a lot of other guys who hit free kicks well, consistently too. I'll have to keep working on it."

On winning both home games: "I think it has helped out with our home-game confidence, making this a tougher place to play. We have had a couple wins in a row here so we are making it a more difficult place for other teams to come in and play. Obviously picking up six points in a couple days is crucial and now we are looking to the Open Cup game."

Mauro Rosales

On being more comfortable with teammates: "I thought before that when I get a few games to know the players, to know how they cross the field and in which position. The last game I played I was on the right side. This game I played forward. I'm always feeling good in each position. I have to make my work ... I try to do my best always."

On playing with Roger Levesque: "I think we have kind of the same quality to pass the ball, to try to run, to go hard. It was easier to hold the ball in that game where we needed because we were playing our two against five or six players of them. We did a good job."

On the team: "We are doing amazing work. We are working for that. All week we work very hard to have this kind of performance. The team knows that we have to win and get the three points."

Alvaro Fernandez

On goal: "It was a game between Mauro and Roger and I was waiting for the ball to come to me. The goalkeeper hit it but it still went in. It was a good goal."

On coming back from down 1-0: "It is hard to get a goal so this team has enough tools to fight back and keep calm to get the goals that we needed and get the game."

On being tied for team lead in goals: "I'm very happy for that but I'm more happy that the team is winning. The important thing is that the team wins. If I can contribute to that, that is great but if some other teammate makes a goal, that is great as well. We are very happy about that."

Kasey Keller

On team improving: "We've said all along we have a good squad and if we get guys to keep chipping in the way that they have. Obviously Roger coming off the bench and scoring a couple goals and having another great game today. Tyson Wahl with a great free kick to win a game. Those things are huge. It shows the character of the team. It makes no sense to make panic buys but if you can find the right guys, it's good for your team."

On team previously approaching panic mode: "We haven't lost a lot of games. Maybe a couple of draws that we wish we could have gotten three points out of but we're in a very solid position at the moment. We're coming off three wins in a row so that's always going to look that way but at the same time, when you can go down 2-0 then get back to 2-2 and then win the game that shows a lot of character. If you go down by a goal early on a corner it shows a lot of character to come back and win 2-1. With changes being made, with positions being swapped because of the number of games and different injuries, I think the state of the union at the moment is very good. Like I said, if the right guy's available then the right guy's available."

On being the steeliest Sounders team: "We were a very young team a couple years ago. We have some guys who have matured into some situations and that makes a big, big difference. You know how to get in and out of those situations because you've been in them enough. When you've never been in it, you don't know what to do. Now, the way we're seeing games out now and the way we're managing the last five minutes of a game when you have the lead didn't happen the first couple years. There's now maybe a bit more intelligence that comes with experience."

On getting the win: "I think we deserved it. I think both teams had good chances. We had a few that we could have snuck in but at the same time you're home you'd like to have your luck a little bit. Very rarely have I been in a game where it's a perfect situation where teams don't have chances because what do they have to lose. They lose 3-1 or they lose 2-1 it doesn't matter. They're going to put you under some pressure and it's how the team reacts to that. I think the team did very well."

New England Revolution

Steve Nicol - Head Coach

On his team's losing streak: "We can't get a break. We had a couple of chances where we could have gotten a point but didn't. I feel disappointed we put ourselves in good position in this match. The referee made a decision that changed the game. All the credit to the guy who made the kick and scored the goal, but the decision was totally wrong and changed the game."

On both of Seattle's goals: "I just said he [Wahl] kicked it well. What are you going to do? He hit it in the upper corner. We shoot ourselves in the foot. Alston has half a shoe on the other one off. We give up a goal. We are just disappointed."

Pat Phelan

General thoughts on the match: "We started off as well as we could have hoped for. We did well to get the goal, and weather the storm in the beginning. We really didn't give them anything until the foul on the first goal. The second goal came off our mistake, you can really look at the whole game and they didn't create a whole lot. We made it easy for them."

On getting a early boast with the goal: "Absolutely, but with the crowd and the whole organization and team is they don't get their spirits down. It is disappointing to not to hold onto the lead. We need to look into why we didn't and correct it."

On having Benny Feilhaber back in the lineup: "It was a nice to have him in back in the lineup. I thought it was difficult for him to find the ball. We really weren't that into a rhythm, where he could attack. He sort of was in and out of the game."

On Kevin Alston's shoe problem leading to Seattle's second goal: "It is unfortunate; the ref said it was an equipment issue not an injury issue. It is the second time it has happened this season so he probably needs to look at that. Still, it is not why we conceded the goal."

On the team's message at halftime: "We needed to chase the game and put pressure on them. We didn't really find a rhythm, we had some chances but overall we are disappointed."

AJ Soares

On his overall impression of the match: "Losing is not fun. We started the game really well and kind of got on a high. To give it away, in the first half pretty quickly is pretty tough."

On getting the early goal to manage the crowd: "Of course the crowd went quiet; we were doing just fine. Once they get the first goal the crowd got back into things. I thought we did a good job of handling everything and we played pretty good."