2011 Sep 10

Sounders' play is off after a week and a half off, losing to Salt Lake at home

Seattle Sounders FC  1 - 2  Real Salt Lake
CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA

12' SL: Own goal (Kasey Keller)
45' SEA: Fredy Montero (Mauro Rosales)
56' SL: Alvaro Saborio

Seattle: Kasey Keller; James Riley, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (sent off 39'), Tyson Wahl; Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg (Servando Carrasco 31'), Alvaro Fernandez (Lamar Neagle 65'); Mike Fucito (Pat Noonan 73'), Fredy Montero.
Substitutes Not Used: Josh Ford, Patrick Ianni, Zach Scott, Nate Jaqua.

Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Robbie Russell, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran (sent off 35'); Kyle Beckerman, Will Johnson, Andy Williams, Luis Gil (Chris Schuler 46'); Fabian Espindola (Paulo Araujo Jr. 79'), Alvaro Saborio (Ned Grabavoy 68').
Substitutes not used: Tim Melia, Jean Alexandre, Collen Warner, Arturo Alvarez.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

The Sounders FC had gone undefeated in August while they were playing two matches a week, but after ten days off they seemed to lose their edge and made too many critical mistakes while losing at home to a team right behind them in the league race. Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller fumbled a cross into the goal to put the Sounders behind, then Mauro Rosales missed the goal on a penalty kick that would have tied it. Fredy Montero scored at the end of the first half to tie it up, but the Sounders couldn't score in the second half while conceding another soft goal to lose it.

The Sounders had the first chance with a rapid advance up the left touch line involving James Riley, Alvaro Fernandez and Rosales, with the latter crossing for Mike Fucito's near post run. Fucito's shot was saved with Nick Rimando collapsing on it.

Salt Lake had a good chance with a 25-yard free kick up the middle, but Kyle Beckerman wasted it yards high. On a counterattack, the young Luis Gil tried from the top of the arc and Keller watched it go two yards wide.

12' SL: Own goal (Keller). Fabian Espindola's cross from the top left side of the penalty area seemed to be in Keller's grasp in front of Alvaro Saborio's run, but Keller turned it into the goal while trying to send it out. 1-0 Salt Lake.

Seattle soon had a chance to tie with a penalty kick earned when Erik Friberg passed to Fucito goal side of the arc and Robbie Russell tripped Fucito. Rosales had Rimando going the wrong way but rolled the shot just wide of the left post.

Around the half hour mark Friberg was fouled but advantage was allowed while he stayed on the ground. The injury took him out of the match and Servando Carrasco was the early substitute.

Tony Beltran had picked up a yellow card at 20' when he chopped down Riley, and at 35' he came in late and stepped hard on Rosales' foot, earning his second yellow. The red card didn't come out until Osvaldo Alonso reminded referee Mark Kadlecik that it was the second yellow.

Carrasco's yellow card at 38' means he will be suspended for the next league match.

Kadlecik was perhaps looking for a chance to even the sides when he red-carded Jhon Kennedy Hurtado when he threw an arm into Saborio's chest. Saborio went down holding his face and deserves a ten for the dive, as his simulation apparently caused Kadlecik to believe it was an elbow to the face.

45' SEA: Montero (Rosales). Seattle's offense delivered in first-half stoppage time. From a long free kick, Rosales was played in around the left corner with a give and go to earn the cross. Carrasco dove at it trying for a header, which drew a defender, but the ball went by him to Montero open in front of goal. Montero was cool with his finish, sending it high to the near side. 1-1.

56' SL: Saborio. The match winner came after Will Johnson crossed from the left side past goal to Saborio. Tyson Wahl blocked Saborio's first shot, but when Wahl tried to clear the ball he gave it right back to Saborio, who was able to quickly fire a shot inside the far post. 2-1 Salt Lake.

Johnson tried to add to the lead two minutes later when he took a short pass from Beckerman and rifled a shot up the middle, forcing a collapsing save from Keller.

Just past the hour mark Rosales worked another give and go to get in for a cross to the far post for Fernandez' run, but Andy Williams just beat Fernandez to the cross and defended it out.

At 69' Seattle came very close on a Rosales corner kick that dropped in front of goal for a close shot by Wahl that hit Rimando in the forehead for an unlikely save. The ball was soon crossed back in for Rosales, but his header went too high.

At 72' Salt Lake came close when Espindola worked for a shot from the top right corner of the penalty area and missed the far post by inches.

Seattle's last good chance came at 90' when a cleared corner kick was fired back in by Riley and after a few passes Lamar Neagle took a 15-yard shot from the middle that rolled a yard wide.

          SEA   SL
Shots:     20   10
Saves:      3    3
Corners:   11    2
Fouls:     10   12
Offsides:   3    2

20' SL: Beltran cautioned for chopping down Rosales at the touch line
35' SL: Beltran cautioned for again chopping down Rosales and sent off for his second caution
38' SEA: Carrasco cautioned for a charge into Johnson in the air
39' SEA: Hurtado sent off for throwing his arm back into Saborio's shoulder; Saborio flopped and pretended he was hit in the face
68' SL: Williams cautioned for tripping Neagle
90' SEA: Alonso cautioned for dissent

Referees: Mark Kadlecik; Mike Kampmeinert, James Conlee; Edvin Jurisevic

Attendance: 35,940

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

Opening comments: "Sometimes games go like this. I thought in the first half we had more of the game; we created more of the chances. I thought we gave up a little bit of a soft goal. Second half too. Their goal bounces around and bounces right back to Saborio and it's underneath his foot and he's able to hit it. Tyson has a shot in the second half, and Rimando doesn't know anything about it. It hits him in the shoulder and goes out. Sometimes that's the difference. There were moments I thought we could have played better. We could have done a better job in terms of possessing the ball a little bit. I was disappointed in that. There were also, I thought, in the first half especially, and some in the second half, there were some good moments where we got in and created some chances; where we got behind them on the flanks, which is exactly what we talked about. But at the end of the day we didn't convert."

On Mauro Rosales missing the penalty kick in the first half, and the team's recent difficulty in converting PKs: "It's been different people, so I don't what else to do in terms of that. I mean, when we miss PKs in games, it costs us. We missed one in LA and ended up with a tie. We missed one against Chivas and ended up with a tie. Today we missed one, and it would have given us a tie. So obviously that's disappointing. I think right now it's maybe in people's heads because we have missed some. Mauro made his last one without any problems and we were confident he would make this one."

On the tight positions in the Western Conference: Second is important in terms of home-field advantage and in terms of your draw, who you play. The higher up you finish, the better it is."

On the foul that resulted in Jhon Kennedy Hurtado's red card: "I haven't seen the replay. The referee has a tough job. It's tough for him to make the call not knowing, not having the benefit of seeing the replay. The thing that bothers me is if it was simulation. If a player goes down holding his face when he didn't get hit in the face, I think that's an issue. I think that's unprofessional, and I think that's something the league really needs to start looking at and needs to start addressing. Now again, I don't know. I haven't seen the replay personally so I don't know if he got hit in the face, or if he got hit in the chest. But certainly, his actions on the field, he reacted like he got hit in the face."

On how the play unfolded, leading to the Real Salt Lake goal in the first half: "I thought we just didn't deal well with the whole sequence of the play. It began with them taking a free kick about 20 yards away from where the foul was committed. So they got the ball into play, we didn't react well to that. A few guys got caught wrong-side of the ball because they played the ball ahead of where the foul had actually occurred, so we got caught wrong-sided. When the cross came in, I thought it was going to be a ball that we were going to get to and whatever it was, hesitation, one guy thinking 'I've got it, you take it,' that kind of a scenario."

On the decision to remove Erik Friberg in the first half due to an injury: "He felt something. I don't know exactly if it was his groin or his adductor, but obviously we had to take him out."

On whether LA Galaxy is still catchable, despite the Sounders being seven points back: "Everybody is still catchable. This league is always a streaky league, so for us now it's just a matter of - you know, just like after the game against Houston - we just gotta get back after it and take care of business the way we want to."

On how his game strategy changed after Hurtado's ejection and the ejection of Real Salt Lake's Tony Beltran:: "We went into like a 3-4-2. We felt we could get away with just playing three in the back because we still felt we needed to press the issue of the game. They packed the midfield a little bit more and I didn't think we reacted well to that in the middle part of the second half. That's where it would be great if it were basketball and you could call timeout. Unfortunately that's not the way soccer works. They had a little more of it, and then we gained advantage of it again. I was happy with where we were, [but] wasn't as happy with maybe the execution at certain times."

Kasey Keller

On the own goal: "The first goal was my fault. It crossed, they had pressure, the ball checked up a little bit on the turf and I kind of overran it, and then I just tried to hook it back and get it out of bounds, and unfortunately I got a little too close to the wrong side of the post. So yeah, I've got to do better on that, and that's it."

On giving up a goal early when the team is on a good run: "Well, it happens. It happens to all teams. We give up goals we don't normally give up. We miss chances we don't normally miss. That kind of stuff happens, you have those days. The key now is to remember all the reasons why we were on a good run. We had a similar kind of hiccup six or seven games ago in Houston and we bounced back real well from that. Now we're looking to Wednesday and to next weekend and to put today's result right. The tough part is when you have games like today -- we were so close to getting something out of it, and you have to take the positives out of it in the end."

On moving forward: "Obviously I'm disappointed with the first goal, and now we have to put it behind us and go and get a good result down in Costa Rica and come back up here and beat D.C. It's simple."

Tyson Wahl

On Real Salt Lake's second goal: "The second goal we were caught a little bit out of position. We didn't really slide over enough in our 3-5-2 and Fucito got caught having to track back pretty far for a forward, so that was a positional thing we need to clear up a little bit better. On the play, [Alvaro Saborio] trapped it inside, I blocked the first one well, and I think popped back to him, and the second one...he just finished really well."

On almost coming back: "I thought we were knocking on the door. I thought in the first half we could have put away a couple chances. I thought we were playing really well in the first half, then just tactically in the second half when it was down to 10 vs. 10, we were a little out of sorts."

On his shot attempt being blocked by Nick Rimando's face: "Yeah that was frustrating. It was through a bunch of traffic. I just wanted to hit it on frame, and I didn't get enough to get it in there. I think it hit his forehead...Sometimes we get those bounces and sometime the other team does."

On if the ten day break affected their performance: "I kind of think it was irrelevant. We had a couple signs of rust but I don't think we played poorly. It just came down to a couple crucial plays where we need to do better, but for the majority of the game I thought we were the better team, and I didn't think we were that rusty."

Mauro Rosales

On the game: "I think it was a little bit of a strange game. I think we controlled the ball, we played good soccer, we just couldn't score more goals."

On the second half: "I think there was a lot more space than before because we had 10 against 10...In the last part of the game we were just trying to push it in but we couldn't."

Real Salt Lake

Jason Kreis - Head Coach

On winning in Seattle: "It feels really, really good and I told our guys I'm really proud of all the hard work they put in. The fact that they stuck together and kept working hard and stayed disciplined through some pretty interesting decisions in the first half. There were some pretty dire circumstances and I was proud of our guys for getting another hard fought win."

On the Hurtado red card: "I don't think it was embellishment. I just think it was a hard tackle. There was some contact after the ball was away. I agree with Sigi Schmid, and I would go further and say I don't think Seattle's red card was warranted. I don't think their player elbowed Alvaro Saborio on purpose. I just think the referee made some bad decisions and was trying to work his way back into the game. Overall it just wasn't good enough."

On coming through with some unorthodox wins: "It is true, going through this season this team started to get rattled but lately they have stayed very resilient, disciplined and together. I'm proud and happy we had learned through all of this and hopefully we are a better team."

On his adjustments to playing 10 versus 10: "Not a whole lot, that just means there is more space to cover. We just needed to hold onto the ball, have some patience and work together. Better efficiency with the ball means less defending."

On his team's first goal: "It was a strange goal. At first I thought it went towards the side of the goal. I really don't know what happened. Saborio was trying to cross it but it just ended up in the back of the net."

Nick Rimando

On saving a goal with his face: "Oh never, those are the one's you don't expect or train for. When they happen you don't want them to go in the back in the net. I saw the guys playing so I guess I saved it with my face."

On his reaction to the penalty kick: "It was one of those ones where I was in a similar situation in 2009. I was fortunate he kicked it little left and it went just wide."

On Seattle being a tough place to get three points: "It is definitely a tough place to play. Their crowd is excellent and their team is a good team in this league. We wanted to come in here and prove a point that we are good team even though we lost of couple of games. We gave it everything we had and we won."