2011 Sep 14

Sounders stay perfect halfway through the CCL group round with a win at CS Herediano

CS Herediano  1 - 2  Seattle Sounders FC

Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto Scotiabank, Alajuela, Costa Rica

3' SEA: Fredy Montero (Nate Jaqua, Roger Levesque)

45' HER: Cancela (PK)
54' SEA: Fredy Montero (Roger Levesque, Nate Jaqua)

Herediano: Daniel Cambronero; Júnior Alvarado (Marvin Angulo 78'), Pablo Salazar, Cristian Montero, Marvin Obando; José Carlos Cancela, Anderson Andrade (Diego Madrigal 64'), José Miguel Cubero, José Luis Cordero; Olman Vargas, Víctor Núñez (Jorge Barbosa 74').
Substitutes not used: Ronny Fernandez, Erick Sanchez, Yosimar Arias, Francisco Calvo.

Seattle: Kasey Keller; Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez; Roger Levesque (James Riley 90'), Servando Carrasco, Alvaro Fernandez, Lamar Neagle (Amadou Sanyang 82'); Fredy Montero, Nate Jaqua (Pat Noonan 73').
Substitutes not used: Josh Ford, Tyson Wahl, David Estrada, Mike Fucito.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

Seattle Sounders FC grabbed another three points on the road with a 2-1 win in Costa Rica against Club Sport Herediano. Fredy Montero scored twice to sandwich an underserved penalty kick that was converted by ex-MLSer José Carlos Cancela. Nate Jaqua and Roger Levesque each earned a primary and secondary assist in setting up Seattle's goals.

Herediano tested goalkeeper Kasey Keller a minute in, trying to chip a shot up the middle to the top shelf, and Keller was at home to take it.

3' SEA: Montero (Jaqua, Levesque). Seattle's first shot ended up in the net. Excellent passing ended with Levesque slanting a diagonal pass to Jaqua at the top of the arc, and Jaqua slanted his pass the other way to meet Montero's diagonal run. Montero found himself 15 yards from goal yards away from his marker and he continued the zig-zag pattern of the ball with a shot to the lower far corner. 1-0 Seattle.

Servando Carrasco soon had a chance running onto Levesque's drop pass at the 18, but Carrasco skied the shot taken at full running speed. With Seattle's usual corner kick takers not playing, Carrasco took over that job.

Seattle defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado was the acrobat midway in the half when he used a beautiful flying header to clear a dangerous cross served to the 6-yard line.

Seattle came close at 26' after Neagle stole the ball in Herediano's end and found Montero, who found Levesque in the area, who dropped a pass to Jaqua at the 18. Jaqua's sideways volley beat goalkeeper Daniel Cambronero but hit the post squarely.

A 30-yard free kick up the middle gave Herediano captain Cancela a chance, and he missed the goal by two yards. Cancela did better with a 25-yard shot from the run of play, scorching the plastic grass with a shot at the lower near corner that was well saved by Keller with a dive.

45' Cancela (PK). As the clock was approaching 45:00 Herediano were given a gift penalty kick by Panamanian referee Jafeth Perea. With an air ball floating into the penalty area José Miguel Cubero felt Levesque's tight marking on his back and dove forward. Perea bought it and pointed to the spot. Cancela chipped his shot to the left wide while Keller dove the other way. 1-1.

The second half opened with a good chance for Herediano when José Luis Cordero was served on a late run into open space in the penalty area. With Hurtado charging, Cordero rushed his shot and skied it.

54' SEA: Montero (Levesque, Jaqua). A free kick in the circle beyond the halfway line was sent in the air to Jaqua on the 18. Jaqua headed a pass down towards the near post. Levesque beat his marker to it for a shot from the left end of the goal area that was parried towards the far post by Cambronero. It would have hit the post and probably stayed out, but Montero beat his marker to the ball in flight and leaped to get a foot on it on the goal plane, sending it home. 2-1 Seattle.

Seattle's defense held strong the next twenty minutes. At 73' Pat Noonan replaced Jaqua and within a minute was in the penalty area to fire a nice shot from a loose ball that was saved at the lower near corner by Cambronero.

Seattle's defense continued to hold off Herediano, but Keller had to backpedal at 81' to make a challenging save at the top far corner after a cross was inadvertently deflected on goal by a charging defender. Herediano one good shot left at 86' when substitute Marvin Angulo ripped one straight up the middle from 25 yards, and Keller leaped to one-hand the rocket over the bar.

In other action in the group, Comunicaciones held serve at home against Monterrey with a 1-0 win. After three matches it is 9 points for Seattle, 6 for Comunicaciones, 3 for Monterrey, and a goose egg for Herediano. Seattle and Herediano meet again this coming Tuesday at CLink Field.

          HER   SEA
Shots:     10     6
Saves:      2     3
Corners:    7     4
Fouls:     15    20
Offsides:   3     0

36' SEA: Scott cautioned for a reckless charge into Andrade
43' SEA: Fernandez cautioned for a late kick into Cancela
53' HER: Núñez cautioned for dissent after being called for a foul

Referees: Jafeth Perea (Panama); Rey Mendoza, Juan Perryman; Rolando Vidal

Attendance: 2,000

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Sounders FC Head Coach

On the win: "Obviously that's something we are very happy about. Last year we were disappointed in our performance in Champions League, maybe even a little bit embarrassed. It was definitely a goal we had set for ourselves that we wanted to get better as we came back into it. So we went 2-0 in our first two games on the road, which makes it even that much greater of an accomplishment. I'm very proud of what we have done."

On the goals: "I think it worked out well. Nate's size certainly helped us there. That was something we were looking to do. We felt we had that advantage on them. The first goal was a great ball played by Nate into Montero. A good run by Fredy and he finished it well. The second goal we tried to take advantage of Nate's size. He pushes it on. I think Roger is the one who got it and scored the goal. In between I don't know if we played necessarily our best soccer but it's been a long haul. The travel was pretty difficult getting here, dividing guys onto three flights. We usually don't point to those things but after the game we can talk about those things, being split onto three flights, flights were delayed yesterday. We got in really late to the hotel, didn't get a chance to practice on this field, and it was very bumpy and so forth. We were able to overcome all those obstacles and deal with it and come out with a win."

On Fredy Montero: "Goal scorers, sometimes they are streaky. He is hitting a good streak and we need him to hit a good streak. We have been the kind of team when he wasn't on a streak there was somebody else who would step up and score goals for us. It's good to see Fredy get goals now. He scored an important goal in the Open Cup. He scored an important goal obviously in league and now scored again here in this competition to get an early lead, which is very important in these games away from home."

On the defense: "The defense stepped up. As we inserted James Riley it was more-or-less a 5-4-1, so we wanted to do that, get Sanyang in the midfield to give some help to Carrasco defensively. Obviously they were floating a lot of balls into the box. We feel pretty confident in our ability in the air, maybe needed to press the ball a little bit more but the defense held strong, came up with some big headers, made some big saves...Sometimes when you're away from home like this that's just what you need to do to get the win."

On CS Herediano: "Well what helps us more so than anything is for us to win today because now they have played three games and have zero points. For them right now it's like us last year when we lost our first three games. It's probably not all that likely that they are going to still advance. The team that they bring up to Seattle next week might be a completely different team because their emphasis now is going to fall more to the league and away from this competition, I would assume. So what we are going to take out of it is hopefully the fact that they will come with a different team and maybe a lesser team because today they played the exact same team they played on Saturday. It was all their starters. This was the game that they wanted to win."

Fredy Montero

On his brace: "It's good for me. It's good for the team. To get three points is very important...What we want is to be in the next round of the Champions League."

On the attacking group: "We had (a) good performance. I think we were working for (the) team. We were working hard...We are happy the team got the three points."

On his recent scoring streak: "I just want to work every game. If I keep scoring goals that's good for me because that is important for forwards. What's important for me now is that the team gets the three points and look forward to the next game."

On his confidence: "I keep working like always. The team always trusts me and believes in (me)...I think we are a very good team and we are very happy for these three points."

Nate Jaqua

On the win: "This is a tough place. They are a good team. It was hard fought but we were able to pull it out."

On the attacking group: "I think we made some good plays. Roger pushes up quite a bit...Sometimes one of us gets caught out there and I think we did a good job rotating and mixing it up and finding each other. That first goal...Fredy made a really good run and I was able to slip it in and he had a great finish."

On the next match: "We are always confident in ourselves and we know what we are capable of...Always good to get another win, especially with the third game in Champions League and we have nine points. We are sitting in very good position and now going home to play two games. I think one more win and we are in a very good spot."