2011 Oct 22

Sounders close regular season with a win at Chivas USA

Chivas USA  1 - 3  Seattle Sounders FC
Home Depot Center, Carson, CA

53' SEA: Own goal (Andrew Boyens)
68' SEA: Alvaro Fernandez (Brad Evans)
73' SEA: Sammy Ochoa (Fredy Montero, Roger Levesque)

83' CHV: Victor Estupinan (Andrew Boyens, Mariano Trujillo)

Chivas: Dan Kennedy; Zarek Valentin, Heath Pearce (Andrew Boyens 46'), David Junior Lopes, Ante Jazic (Mariano Trujillo 56'); Alejandro Moreno, Blair Gavin, Nick LaBrocca, Ben Zemanski; Juan Pablo Angel (Victor Estupinan 75'), Marcos Mondaini.
Substitutes not used: Zach Thornton, Chris Cortez, Jorge Flores, Michael Lahoud.

Seattle: Kasey Keller; James Riley, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez (Tyson Wahl 81'); Alvaro Fernandez, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Mauro Rosales (Roger Levesque 10'); Mike Fucito (Sammy Ochoa 64'), Fredy Montero.
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Zach Scott, Erik Friberg, Lamar Neagle.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

The Seattle Sounders FC finished the regular season with a road win against a team they have had trouble beating in the past, Chivas USA. A Chivas own goal was followed by goals from Alvaro Fernandez and Sammy Ochoa. A late goal from Victor Estupinan spoiled Kasey Keller's shutout.

Seattle got off to a promising start when Fernandez got a good shot at 3', blocked overhead by goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. Later in the same minute for Chivas, Juan Pablo Angel netted a shot from a deflected ball but was flagged for being a yard offside.

About the worst possible thing for Seattle happened in just the fifth minute when Chivas midfielder Ben Zemanski slid late under Mauro Rosales and knocked him out of the match with a knee injury, the same knee that Rosales had just recovered from. Zamanski was shown the yellow card for his trouble. Roger Levesque replaced Rosales.

Neither side had much to offer the rest of the half. Seattle's Fredy Montero took a nice shot up the middle at 36', and Kennedy did well to push it wide at the lower corner. For Chivas, the best was Nick LaBrocca's shot up the middle from a free kick play, off Jeff Parke's hand and over, but ruled unintentional.

53' SEA: Own goal (Andrew Boyens). Andrew Boyens had entered at the half and soon found himself credited with an own goal. James Riley sent in a cross for Montero, and Zarek Valentin knocked it away from the forward, but Boyens sent it inside the near post when trying to put it out the other side of the post. 1-0 Seattle.

Seattle did not earn a shot in the half until midway, when Montero's left footer went well wide.

68' SEA: Fernandez (Evans). Brad Evans found Fernandez open on the left with a cross-field cross, and Fernandez shot well into the top far corner. 2-0 Seattle.

Seattle kept the momentum with a good shot from Ochoa two minutes later off a short drop pass from Levesque, and it just missed the lower corner.

73' SEA: Ochoa (Montero, Levesque). Levesque stole the ball on a Chivas throw-in and served Montero, who crossed into Ochoa's far-post run. Ochoa bounced a header between Kennedy's legs, a true nutmeg goal as it grazed Kennedy's danglers on the way in. 3-0 Seattle.

The outcome seemed certain, but Chivas attacked best in the final 15 minutes. Zemanski fired on goal from a cleared ball and Keller dove to grab it at the lower corner. Marcos Mondaini was just late trying to head in a super cross from Mariano Trujillo.

83' CHV: Estupinan (Boyens, Trujillo). Trujillo's cross past goal seemed like it was headed over the end line, but at the line Boyens headed it back in front of goal, and Estupinan headed it inside the far post. 3-1 Seattle.

Last chance went to Levesque, who volleyed a short drop pass just wide of the far post.

          CHV  SEA
Shots:     13   14
Saves:      7    1
Corners:    3    5
Fouls:     10   19
Offsides:   3    0

5' CHV: Zemanski cautioned for a reckless slide into Rosales
40' SEA: Levesque cautioned for a reckless slide into Moreno
79' SEA: Evans cautioned for dissent
80' SEA: Montero cautioned for exaggerating a foul

Referees: Ricardo Salazar; Craig Lowry, Peter Manikowski; Ramon Hernandez

Attendance: 22,137

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

On the Rosales injury: "I'm not sure if we have to do an MRI. A lot depends on how he feels tomorrow. Today I think it was shock as much as anything else. He got hit right in the same spot, and I think he was more scared than anything else. We'll see how he feels tomorrow and we'll go from there."

Overall thoughts on the result: "I would have preferred us to play to a zero at the end and not give up a goal, but I'd rather give up a goal when we're leading three-nothing than when it's zero-zero. I thought we did a good job. We've told our team that if we play to zero we'll find a way to score. We've shown that capability all year, and we showed it again today."

On Sammy Ochoa: "I thought Sammy played well. He's been a good pick-up for us; he knows how to play the game and he does a good job holding the ball up for us as well. He's courageous. He had to stick his head in there for the third goal, and he's willing to do that kind of thing. He's definitely been a very good addition to our team."

Kasey Keller

On the result and Rosales injury: "We stuck to our plan. We wanted to be a little bit tighter defensively then we were and hit them when we needed to. The team's in a good place. Hopefully Mauro is not too injured, that's the only real downside of the game ... We've been able to cover for people all season, and I see no reason why we won't be able to now as well. But hopefully it's not as bad as it kind of looked, but other than that, very good day."

On what was different this year, clinching the playoffs early: "The thought process from early on was keep doing what we're doing, because we plan on going a lot further in the playoffs than we have before. It's a different mentality. I'm not saying by any means that we're looking ahead of anything. Salt Lake is a good team, and we know we need to be at our best. I feel maybe this year we're at a better place starting the playoffs. But everything goes out the window now. It doesn't matter what we did today, three months ago or at the beginning of the season. It's just two games now, and we have to come out and play the way we're capable of playing and we'll be alright."

Sammy Ochoa

On how many friends and family members the Southern California native had in attendance: "There was a bunch. A lot of people: friends and family. Probably like fifty I'd say. I didn't know how many would come out, so I actually just saw some friends in the stands."

On scoring in successive games: "I'm a little surprised. But the goals I made were both just push-in goals. Great balls from Mauro and Montero, so they get all the credit, I just push them in. The goals were scored from me, but they deserve 100% credit."

On coming to MLS: "I've been thinking for the past three years. I've really wanted to come [to MLS] but my team didn't really give me the chance to come on loan or anything. Finally after my contract was up I decided to come and thought it was a good move for me [to go to Seattle], and thank God it's been going really well so far."

Chivas USA

Robin Fraser - Head Coach

On the game: "We started the game well. I thought our intensity and our focus was right. Certainly, our possession was right in the first half and defensively we were quite solid. We needed to sharpen up a bit in the final third; we talked about that during halftime. It's been too many times we've spoken about playing well, playing decently and defensive miscues lead us to where we are. We've talked about it so many times this year and it's disappointing we're having the same discussion again."