2011 Oct 18

Sounders miss chance to finish first in CCL group

Seattle Sounders FC  1 - 2  Monterrey

CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA

3' MON: Dario Carreņo (Humberto Suazo)
42' SEA: Fredy Montero
61' MON: Cesar Delgado

Seattle: Bryan Meredith; James Riley, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke (Patrick Ianni 67'), Tyson Wahl; David Estrada (Lamar Neagle 79'), Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg, Roger Levesque; Fredy Montero, Sammy Ochoa (Mike Fucito 74').
Substitutes not used: Kasey Keller, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez, Pat Noonan.

Monterrey: Jonathan Orozco (Juan de Dios Ibarra 73'); Severo Meza, Ricardo Osorio, Miguel Morales, Jose Basanta; Luis Perez, Cesar Delgado (Neri Cardozo 80'), Sergio Perez, Dario Carreņo, Sergio Santana; Humberto Suazo.
Substitutes not used: Walter Ayovi, William Paredes, Jesus Corona, Cesar De La Pena, Marcelo Cazubon.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

In the final match of the CONCACAF Champions League group round a draw would have been enough for the Seattle Sounders FC to finish first in the group, but Monterrey claimed that honor with a 2-1 road win over Seattle.

Monterrey's goals from Dario Carreņo and Cesar Delgado both came from bad Seattle defensive blunders. Seattle's Fredy Montero scored his directly from a free kick.

3' MON: Carreņo (Suazo). Monterrey scored early when Humberto Suazo served a through ball for Carreņo, who strolled in alone to score as his marker, Tyson Wahl, and another back, James Riley, let Carreņo go. Rather than running down Carreņo, the defenders were holding up their arms calling for offside against a player over at the touch line who did not get involved with the play. 1-0 Monterrey.

There were not very many chances this match for either side. Seattle's Sammy Ochoa headed a couple of crosses on goal, but right to goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco. Montero's early chip shot was easily taken by Orozco, and a half hour in Montero's quick shot after a scramble missed yards high.

Monterrey then managed a good shot when Suazo volleyed a cross hard on goal from 15 yards, but aimed it right at goalkeeper Bryan Meredith, who was playing his first match for the Sounders.

42' SEA: Montero. Seattle's goal came from a free kick when Montero worked a give and go with Roger Levesque and was tripped by Sergio Perez in the middle, 25 yards from goal. Montero bent the free kick through a high hole in the wall and to the lower left corner, where Orozco's dive earned him just a slight touch on the ball as it went in. 1-1.

The second half opened with 15 minutes of possession passing but no shots. Then Seattle defender Zach Scott tripped an attacker to give Monterrey a free kick from where Montero had scored. Suazo took the free kick and skied it.

61' MON: Delgado. The match winner started when Seattle right back Riley sent a horrible back pass to nobody and Suazo claimed the gift. Suazo worked a give and go with Carreņo, then took a shot that hit Scott's feet and deflected sideways into the path of Delgado, who powered a shot past Meredith. 2-1 Monterrey.

A minute later Seattle's Levesque headed a nice shot at the top shelf from Riley's cross, and Orozco did well to touch it over the bar. Two more minutes and Montero had a golden opportunity when he held off a defender at the spot to receive a long cross, spin, and fire a yard wide.

Monterrey changed goalkeepers at 73' after Orozco went up for a ball and came down on one of his defenders, resulting in an off-balance crash to the ground. Juan de Dios Ibarra was the new man in goal.

Seattle brought in fresh attackers Mike Fucito and Lamar Neagle, but could only manage one chance in the last 15 minutes. A free kick was headed down in front of goal for Patrick Ianni to run onto for a point blank header, but Ibarra got there to block the shot.

The CCL quarterfinals will take place in March after the teams get set for a new season. Scott will be suspended a match for yellow card accumulation.

          SEA   MON
Shots:     12     6
Saves:      1     5
Corners:    4     3
Fouls:     14    10
Offsides:   2     5

41' MON: Perez cautioned for a reckless foul on Montero
58' SEA: Scott cautioned for a trip from behind
75' MON: Meza cautioned for delaying a Seattle free kick
82' MON: Suazo cautioned for delaying a Seattle free kick
90' MON: Morales cautioned for delaying a Monterrey free kick

Referees: Enrico Winjgaarde (Suriname); Ramon Louisville, Egberth Paesch; Rudolph Angela

Attendance: 15,866

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

Opening comments: "I thought for the most part the game was a pretty even game. I thought we had some chances to score and didn't take advantage of them. And I thought we gave up two soft goals. I think they're a good team. I think they move the ball around. I think they were content early in the second half to maybe even play to a draw. The first goal was a bad play from our backs in terms of playing offside that early in the game, which is something we tell them not to do. The second goal was a giveaway; we had the assist ... You can't give up soft goals because you aren't always going to be able to resurrect yourself and score goals at the end of the game and win."

On Bryan Meredith: "I thought Meredith played well for a guy in his first game, and this was a fairly big game. I thought he was composed. I didn't think he could do much on either goal. Maybe on the second goal he could have stood a little bit longer. That will come with experience, but I thought his feet were good, his composure was good, he came out and collected crosses -- so I thought he was fine. (Kasey Keller) had an emotional game Saturday and we felt it was best not to come with him today."

On seeding in the quarterfinal round: "It matters in terms of the pairings because most of the group winners are going to be Mexican teams, so the chances are that you're going to match up with a Mexican team. That makes the task a little bit harder than if you were to come out at the other end. Toronto still has a chance to win their group, an outside chance. L.A. has a chance to win their group because of the result tonight. Maybe then, who knows how the draw turns out? It was something we wanted to do, but also wanted to be smart and not put ourselves in jeopardy for the next round -- and also for the MLS Cup -- with players who had knocks or injuries like Leo Gonzalez or Evans, who's been out for a while and logged a lot of minutes. That was one of reasons we took Jeff Parke off the field. He had a yellow going in. We lost Zach Scott (for the first leg of the quarterfinals) because of his yellow and I didn't want another center back to pick up his second yellow."

On Fredy Montero receiving captain's armband: "Fredy has done well. Kasey is our captain and he wasn't in there. Evans is a guy I gave the armband to when Kasey isn't in there. We just felt that Fredy was a guy who deserved it. He has been playing well, he's been leading the team with his effort and his performance and we felt it was the appropriate thing to do."

On Montero's offensive improvements: "It was a good goal. He works on his free kicks. That's something we really concentrated on this year. He's scored a few free kicks and that's added to his goal-scoring total. He's grown, he's matured, he understands the physicality of the game now and he has sped up his play, as well. He's a player that continues to grow and mature. He has great vision and great skills. Sometimes he tries so hard to try to do something, people say, 'Well, if he could play it a little simpler...' but that's part of his game. He's a player who can pull some things off like that and he needs the opportunities to do that."

On Sammy Ochoa's play: "I thought Ochoa did well. I think Ochoa gives us some of the things that O'Brian White gave us earlier in the year. He's a bigger body. He's pretty good at getting up for headers up front, as well. I know he wishes he had that cross back that Tyson swung in and the header he had. I think Sammy has done well for us."

On moving forward: "They know now that we can concentrate on one thing, but I'm not happy with the goals we gave up and they heard that as well."

Bryan Meredith

On his first start: "Three minutes into the game, seeing that first shot, giving up a goal, definitely not the way I want to start the game and my MLS career. After that I settled down a little bit; it got the nerves out of me really. I felt pretty confident the whole rest of the game. The second goal was tough. They kind of intercepted a bad pass, not really much we could do. And we couldn't put away our chances. We had enough of them. We just couldn't put them away."

And Monterrey's not exactly Laredo Heat: "(laughs) No, they play very similarly though. But yeah, we kind of just gave it away to them. It was tough."

On when he learned he would start: "Yesterday before practice, so not much time."

On if he suspected he would start: "Yeah, but you never know. I was hoping I would, but I didn't want to count my chickens before they hatched. I'm thankful for the start and I think I played alright, but there's definitely a lot to improve on."

On if he had to get himself back into the game after the goal: "Not really. You're going to give up goals as a goalkeeper. To get one out of the way that early, it was tough obviously, but it kind of shook the nerves right out of me. After that I felt fine."

Jeff Parke

On mistakes that led to goals: "We definitely gave them the game tonight. There were some mistakes that we shouldn't make. We have to move on now and forget about this game because it's more important now that we're going into the playoffs on a high and try to limit our mistakes."

How'd you feel in your first game back in a while?: "Good. It's like any other game. You just have to get back into it and get the rust off a little bit and get in the flow of the game. It wasn't a good game for me tonight, but hopefully the next game we can move on and do better as a group."

On if it's a relief that the team can focus on the MLS Cup: "I hadn't really thought about it as much, but now that you're saying it, it definitely is. We can concentrate on just the games left and this weekend in LA, and the playoffs coming up. We'll see who we play and gear up for them, and that's the most important thing. That's all we have left, so hopefully we can get a better chance earlier than later to see who we play, and we can start with them."

On the difference between having Kasey Keller in goal and a rookie in first start: "It's big, but you're talking about one of the best goalies that's ever played in the U.S. and to represent the U.S., so it's tough to compare. It's his first game out there with us and I thought he did a good job. I can't really compare them because it wouldn't be fair to him. It was his first game and there's definitely things you learn from it and you move on from it and you look at it and see what you could have done better and what you could have done to help the team. All in all, we put him in bad spots tonight. None of it was his fault. As for the guys in the back, as a group we did all right. We made two bad mistakes that cost us the game."

What about Meredith impressed you?: "He's calm back there. He doesn't really shake or quiver when he gets the ball at his feet. He's pretty confident. He's strong, bid lad out there. There's definitely a lot of room for him to grow."

Sammy Ochoa

On the blow to his head: "I think it was an elbow, it doesn't hurt. Everybody says it was an elbow. I didn't see it. I thought it was his head, but I guess it was an elbow."

On how he felt in his first start: "I felt good. I was happy to get the start. We didn't get the win, but we felt like we did better than the other team. We just weren't lucky in our finishing and they had two lucky goals."

On if he feels they're on par with Mexican teams: "Yeah. I played in Mexico five years and all those Mexican teams think that MLS teams are not as good ... They're thinking twice about playing MLS teams now because MLS is getting a lot bigger and a lot better. We faced like them like they were any other team. It wasn't something special. We just came out how we did against San Jose."

On focusing on one goal: "Yeah, it's good. It's good to focus now on MLS. We have one more game and then we got playoffs. And now we don't play during the week and that's good so guys that are hurt can come back and work on the playoffs."


Victor Vucetich - Head Coach

Opening comments: "We knew it was a very important match for both teams. A tie would have given the opposition the first spot. That interested us because we can play the second leg (in the quarterfinals) at home. The match was very even, very well fought, particularly in the midfield. Monterrey (showed) resolve to get the result in this important game."

On Orozco injury: "It's too early to talk about the injury. It's hard to draw a conclusion. Hopefully there will be time enough for him to be fit."

On playing Seattle again: "This is the fourth match that we've played against the Sounders. The team caused a great impression. We know it's a great team that plays well together. The game was even and well disputed from the beginning to the end, like the previous games. A great game for the teams."

On next round: "Certainly every win motivates a lot, particularly because we are facing The Classic. The resolve and determination demonstrated tonight will certainly be positive for the next few games."

On player substitutions from last game against Seattle: "There were three or four changes from the last game. Neri Cardozo, Walter Ayovi, Sergio Perez, Miguel Morales, Luis Perez. Five changes from the last game."

On Suazo and Santana playing together: "The team has been playing together for some time. We know each other well and that gives us options. We try to always keep four players playing ahead in any sector of the pitch ... The midfielders and defenders faced off quite a number of times. We knew that we could not retract and expect that based on individual talent, someone could make a difference."

On Sounders player that called attention: "A number of them, not just from this match, but from (past games) and the statistics. For example, Montero is always very dangerous. Alonso can be very dynamic. Riley marked very well and has tremendous speed and can support the attack very well. Maybe I'm missing a few other names, but definitely a strong roster that plays well as a team and has individual talents as well."

On The Classic: "All of us who take part in Mexican futbal understand the importance of The Classic. The derby is not only about the three points. It's also about the pride. For that we have to go with maximum concentration and maximum preparation. What this represents to the city is very important. The two Monterrey teams call a lot of attention and focus of the city and they make The Classic very interesting and very important."