2011 Oct 1

Sounders come from behind on the road again vs New England

New England Revolution  1 - 2  Seattle Sounders FC
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

35' NE: Diego Fagundez (Benny Feilhaber)
36' SEA: Fredy Montero
48' SEA: Fredy Montero (Nate Jaqua)

New England: Matt Reis; Kevin Alston, Ryan Cochrane (Darrius Barnes 68'), Chris Tierney, AJ Soares; Ryan Guy, Shalrie Joseph, Benny Feilhaber, Monsef Zerka (Pat Phelan 69); Diego Fagundez, Milton Caraglio.
Substitutes not used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Kenny Mansally, Zak Boggs, Zack Schilawski, Kheli Dube.

Seattle: Kasey Keller; Roger Levesque, Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Tyson Wahl; David Estrada, Servando Carrasco, Erik Friberg (Osvaldo Alonso 79'), Alvaro Fernandez (Lamar Neagle 46'); Fredy Montero (Mike Fucito 68'), Nate Jaqua.
Substitutes not used: Josh Ford, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Jeff Parke, Sammy Ochoa.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

Fredy Montero scored an opportunistic brace to lead the Seattle Sounders FC to a 2-1 win over the host New England Revolution. New England's leadoff goal came from 16-year-old Diego Fagundez in his first MLS start. Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller stopped all of New England's other good chances to play a big part in the win.

New England's loss put them mathematically out of the playoffs.

Seattle rested a lot of their regular starters, looking ahead tom Tuesday's US Open Cup final. The midfield and back line did not play very well, but thanks to first-stringers Montero and Keller the team managed a win.

The Sounders did not look good in the opening half hour. At four minutes a New England free kick was cleared and sent back in. Milton Caraglio headed it in, beating Keller, but he was flagged offside. The replays showed that David Estrada had Caraglio onside, but the Sounders got a break from a wrong call from the assistant referee.

At 8' Ryan Guy's chip attempt after juking the first defender was aimed at the top far corner and was deflected wide by the second defender. Benny Feilhaber's long free kick cleared the crowd and bounced, and Keller had to leap sideways to swat the ball wide. Fagundez was put through on the left and had only Keller to beat, but the shot went well wide. Fagundez was in again when a throw-in bounced over Patrick Ianni and after drawing some defensive attention Fagundez crossed square to Guy in the penalty area only to see Guy's low shot saved by Keller's leg.

Approaching the half hour mark, New England had three free kicks from 25 to 30 yards in three minutes, but failed to get much as Feilhaber hit the top of the wall on the first one and Chris Tierney missed by yards on the third one.

Seattle's first shot came at 34' when David Estrada's bending cross went to an open Nate Jaqua just past the far post, but Jaqua misjudged it and headed it well wide.

35' NE: Fagundez (Feilhaber). Feilhaber's corner kick cleared the first leaping defender and the second defender stood flat-footed. Fagundez ran into the open space and headed his shot powerfully into the top shelf from four yards. 1-0 New England.

36' SEA: Montero. Just over a minute later, Seattle got a gift as a long ball was headed ahead by Jaqua and defender Ryan Cochrane misplayed it. He apparently tried to knock it back to goalkeeper Matt Reis, but instead dinked it into no man's land, where Montero ran onto it and fired it inside the far post first touch. 1-1.

Montero's next chance came from the arc, and he skied it.

New England had the last chance of the first half when Milton Caraglio headed a corner kick over the bar. He would have had a better chance had not Shalrie Joseph been up in the air trying for the same ball.

New England had the first chance of the second half when a long free kick found Joseph open past the far post for a header, but it went softly to Keller.

48' SEA: Montero (Jaqua). Keller's punt to the opposite 18-yard line was misplayed by a defender, putting the ball in front of David Estrada for a shot that was deflected up. At the penalty spot Jaqua muscled for position and chested the falling ball down in front of goal, where Montero poked it in before Reis could get there. 2-1 Seattle.

New England soon had chances. Tierney's long wormburner went a yard wide of the far post, where Caraglia slid in to shoot it across the goal mouth, but he was flagged offside anyway. Feilhaber tried a long shot up the middle and skied it.

Montero came an inch from a hat trick at 58' when he headed Tyson Wahl's cross on goal, but Reis batted it away when almost the entire ball had crossed the goal plane.

Seattle's defense, which had been questionable early, gave up little in the final half hour. At 71' Fagundez served Caraglio for a shot from the arc and he hit it straight up the middle to a waiting Keller. At 82' Feilhaber's 35-yard free kick was dealt with well with by Ianni, blocking it and clearing it. At 87' substitute Pat Phelan had a chance from a free ball at the 18 and sent it over the bar. In three minutes of added time one chance went to Tierney on a through ball and he shot wide of the near post.

The Sounders had to feel lucky getting three points out of this one. Give credit to the striker pair and the goalkeeper, and also the head coach. It was the Sounders' first win at New England.

           NE  SEA
Shots:     20    8
Saves:      1    7
Corners:    5    1
Fouls:      9   18
Offsides:   0    1

28' SEA: Montero cautioned for tripping
84' NE: Caraglio cautioned for a reckless foul

Referees: Jorge Gonzalez; Greg Barkey, Claudio Badea; Geoff Gamble

Attendance: 21,022

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

"This team has a lot of character and in the last couple of games, it seems that once the opponent scores, we wake up and play a little bit better. I thought in the first half we were pretty sluggish. We were lucky that we made them pay for their mistake. Montero did a great job of making Cochrane pay for that mistake and finished a great goal for us. It wasn't our best half of soccer by a long shot, and I thought the second half we did what we needed to do. I thought we were much better, we were more compact and I thought we did what we had to do today."

"(Fredy Montero is) in great form right now and when a goal scorer's hot, you sort of continue to bet on him and ride him. That was one of the reasons why we started Fredy tonight. We were looking to get somewhere between 45 and 60 to 70 minutes out of him, and then get him off the field. He rewarded us with two goals. Hopefully he'll carry that form into Tuesday's Open Cup game."

"(Kasey Keller) was good. I think some of the saves were obviously good; some of the saves were routine for a guy like him. I thought we did a better job of just keeping the shots from distance that weren't as dangerous. I know he didn't feel well about the goal he gave up down in Guatemala, but he's a great pro, he's a great goalkeeper. He's one of the best the U.S. has ever seen."

"It was hard because we have to look at different players who we needed to rest, and who needed to be out there to see if we had the balance right. With James Riley having been out injured, right back was a little of a concern for us, but I thought Roger Levesque did a good job out there for us. So then the midfield became a concern for us and with Osvaldo being out and we didn't want to play Brad Evans tonight, I thought David Estrada came in and played well for us. It was good that those two guys had good games, but it's always a little bit of a chess match when we're trying to set the lineups. I think the lineup for Tuesday will be a little easier."

"I thought (Diego Fagundez) did well. Obviously, we completely lost him on the mark on the corner kick, and he did a good job of finishing it. He's got good skills. He's got good field awareness. He's going to be a good player. It's important with young players not to go overboard too quickly because that puts too much pressure on them, but I think Stevie's doing a good job of bringing him along and letting him grow. I think he's going to be a fine player."

"Obviously getting the goal right away was crucial for us because it wasn't a good first half and we were very happy to come out at half time 1-1. We were concerned that once they got that first goal and went up 1-0 that we might lose or concede another goal. So to get that goal back was nice."

"It was more of what we did (in the first half). We didn't close them down in the midfield. Benny Feilhaber and Shalrie Joseph are good players, so if you give them time and space, they’re going to play well. We gave them way too many free kicks, too many fouls. They're dangerous when Tierney swings a good ball; they've got some big bodies up there. So between giving them the free kicks and giving them too much space in midfield, those are the things we shouldn't have done in the first half."

Fredy Montero

"When you are down one goal, you try to score and tie the game. Then I had the opportunity to score again, (and) we were up, so it was easier for us to defend the rest of the game. We got the result, we got the three points in this place, (which is) very hard, and we are happy about that. We were looking for what we could do, and for sure the coach is happy because we always try to be the best. That's what we were thinking before we went onto the field and we are happy."

"(Sigi Schmid) told us to keep fighting. I don't think it was a fun game, or a beautiful game, but it was the result we needed. We are happy about that."

"I took a hit in the first half but I don't think it's anything to worry about. The change was simply technical. It had its reasons, and we as players have to respect the decisions of the coach. With the home game we have on Tuesday, I think we have accumulated games, trips, effort and I think it's reasonable that he is taking that into account."

Kasey Keller

"We knew we probably wouldn't be as cohesive as maybe we have been so maybe instead of playing out of the back as much as we like to we had to play a little bit more direct, which kind of suited kind of the way that (New England) plays as well because they try to stop teams from playing out of the back. So we knew we probably had to play a little bit more direct. But we were disappointed with the way we played first half and pretty pleased with the way we came out second half."

"It's been a long trip and we were a little bit wary of a slow start and unfortunately we did exactly that. But credit, we capitalized off of a mistake immediately and equalized, and that made a big difference for us. I think if we had gone in 1-0 down at halftime it would have been a little different story. But for Fredy to be able to pounce on that so quickly after they scored, we could just kind of erase what had happened."

"Good kid, you know, (Diego Fagundez has) a lot of movement for his size, he's strong on the ball - he's got to do something about that haircut - but other than that, I think he's got a bright future. He just has to keep working hard and you see that there's something there, definitely."

"Well (Diego Fagundez) was wide open in the middle of the goal and he finished it very well. He hit it hard, he hit it off the inside of the crossbar and it was a good goal."

"We were able to rest some people tonight and still get the result and that shows the strength of our squad. We're very pleased with where we're at right now."

"Really I thought we got very lucky. I thought New England very easily could have beat us tonight. They were better than we were, especially the first half. The second half we kind of equaled out a little bit, but mistakes can hurt you and we were able to capitalize on some stuff today that maybe we didn't quite make those chances (in June). We made the one mistake - the big mistake - I was able to make a save on one. Another time they scored and like I said we hit them straight back and then got one second half and really closed up shot really well second half."

"(New England is) a good team and their record shouldn't be what it is. But when you get into that situation where you are – we're at the moment at the top of the table finding ways to win and get results and New England right now is finding ways not to get results and that happens when you're down at the bottom of the table. But they're a good team."

New England

Steve Nicol - Head Coach

"Game should've been over at halftime. We could've been four-up at halftime. We made one mistake first half and it was a goal. We made one (mistake) each, which is a travesty. Second half, we didn't quite make as many clear chances, but we still had some chances. We lose a horrible goal and we can't deal with it. Just a big punt for the goalkeeper. So basically, Reisy had one save to make – he made a good save on the header – and that was about it. The rest ... the two goals are on mistakes. What do you say? It was a travesty."

"It's a matter in how we lose them. You'd always say it was rather good play on the opponents' behalf. But when you make the mistakes we made for the two goals, it's kind of hard to take. You see the effort the players put in tonight. They gave everything again, but we find a way to hamstring ourselves."

"Well you come out and give a goal away straight away it makes it difficult. It makes it easier for them to defend. It's a lot easier to defend a 2-1 lead than it is when a team's coming at you. Just that final pass in the second half just wasn't there. But at the same time, we still let up a couple of near things. But that's happened many times before – we make mistakes and we get punished and we can't quite finish things off that we make. It kind of sums us up."

"It was a fantastic header. (Diego Fagundez) makes some good runs. Nothing but positive things to say."

"We have to go about it the same way we did tonight. I don't think anybody could have any complaints the way we went about our business. We tried to get after it right from the start. But, as has happened too many times when we've actually had chances and pressure and put ourselves on the front foot, we've managed to make a mistake that's cost us dearly."

Diego Fagundez

"I did the same exact (goal-scoring header off a corner kick) play at practice and in the game, so the play is working. So I guess I should keep doing it."

"(I was getting) a little bit (tired), but not really. I was trying to get the result. We were trying so hard and once you want to go for the result, you don't really think about it; you just want to keep going until the end."

"It's amazing (playing with Milton Caraglio). The ball's in the air and I know I'm not going to win, so I know I can count on (Milton Caraglio) for a flick or a touch, so it really helps out. It's really good."

"I guess I wasn't really getting the ball as much. I was going to space, checking to. I wasn't really getting the same chances I was in the first half. I was trying to go over the top and it still didn't work, so I was just trying to go for the crosses."

"I don't expect (to start), but I'd like to. I just have to keep working hard in practices."

Chris Tierney

"It's very frustrating. As professionals, you're constantly evaluating your performance and performance of the team, and it just hasn't been good enough. There's really no two ways about that. We're bottom of the league and there's no way of getting around that. At this point were fighting for jobs and trying to make sure every individual is doing what they have to do to prove that they deserve a job in this league."

"You can see (Diego Fagundez's) quality. He's 16, 17 years old, but he plays the game the right way. He's so active up there, he's got great feet and great vision. You see the way he's getting up, scoring us a goal of a corner, so (there will be) really bright things from him in the future hopefully, and hopefully he'll continue to help us out the way he has because he's really been a spark for us."

"Jobs are on the line at this point, so it's a matter of pride at this point, putting in a good performance. Everyone's got to be proud to be here, to be in this league and prove that they belong. That's got to be in the back of our minds as we go forward here and try to get some wins for the fans and try to get some wins to prove that we can play in this league."

"I think we just kind of ran out of gas. We were kind of discouraged that we didn't put those chances we could have in first half away, and kind of ran out of ideas - just a little bit - ran out of gas. We still had enough chances. I had a chance at the end I couldn't finish. We had a couple half chances in the box that we probably could have done better with, a bunch of free kicks, balls in the box that we just didn't have that last little bit of quality that we needed to put it away."

Benny Feilhaber

"I think we did some good things in the first half, things that we have been working on and have been talking about and we were able to get a goal. We were going on the right path obviously. Mistake there, it happens. It happened to me last game, and obviously this game, but stuff like that has happened to us this year and it's really plagued us, so it's unfortunate. But second half we didn't play the way we wanted to. We didn't do a lot of the things that we did well in the first half. I still think it was a relatively even game, but you know those kind of mistakes that lead to the second goal, that's what's been killing us the whole year. So it's another story of mistakes haunting us."

"Funny enough, Diego scored on a corner kick in training, I think the day before the game so everybody was making fun of him for that. Obviously people don't see him in there I guess. You know that little red Mohawk - nobody sees it - so good for him, finding that spot. I just put a ball in and to be honest, I didn't even see who scored when he scored. But it's great for him; he's a kid that works hard in training, keeps his head down, doesn't let the veterans get to him or anything like that. He's a good kid. It's good to see him doing well and he's got plenty more to show and I'm hoping he'll do well the rest of the year because he's got a big career ahead of him."

"I think a lot of the games that we gave up big leads in the second half were due to not having the ball enough and getting tired, so that's one thing that's good to see. But again, it didn't feel like we were doing as well with the possession in the second half as we did in the first. Maybe I could be wrong, but that's how it felt anyways. I think a big part of that is Diego, he's running his butt off up there. Even balls that we kind of boot towards the corner flag that there's no business Diego really tracking down, he's doing it anyways and forcing them to either get rid of it and we win it back or get it out for a throw in or whatnot. So that helps us keep possession and you know he's a good player. I'm really high on him and hopefully he can keep growing cause that's what's important at that age."