2011 Sep 17

Sounders FC play well, beating DC at both ends of the pitch

Seattle Sounders FC  3 - 0  DC United
CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA

35' SEA: Mike Fucito (Mauro Rosales, Brad Evans)
45' SEA: Alvaro Fernandez (Mauro Rosales, Fredy Montero)
60' SEA: Alvaro Fernandez

Seattle: Kasey Keller; James Riley, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Tyson Wahl; Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans (Amadou Sanyang 82'), Alvaro Fernandez; Mike Fucito (Nate Jaqua 68'), Fredy Montero (Lamar Neagle 78').
Substitutes Not Used: Josh Ford, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez, Pat Noonan.

DC: Joe Willis; Brandon McDonald, Ethan White (Marc Burch 78'), Daniel Woolard, Perry Kitchen; Austin Da Luz, Andy Najar, Clyde Simms, Dwayne De Rosario (Josh Wolff 62'); Charlie Davies (Stephen King 54'), Joseph Ngwenya.
Substitutes not used: Bill Hamid, Kurt Morsink, Santino Quaranta, Blake Brettschneider.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

The Sounders played an outstanding match from front to back to beat DC United 3-0. DC had come in hoping to keep their unbeaten record in Seattle alive. The match winner came from Mike Fucito, with Alvaro Fernandez adding the assurance goals. Kasey Keller had to make some fine saves late in the match to preserve the shutout, his ninth in league play.

The entire first half was intense, with fast play and high pressure. It took six minutes for the first chance, when Seattle right back James Riley crossed the ball to give Fredy Montero a chance at a header but he couldn't reach enough of the ball to get it on goal.

It took a half hour for the second chance of the match, which came from Seattle's first corner kick, taken by Tyson Wahl. Fernandez head-flicked the service to the far post, where Montero's sliding attempt at a poke-in was a tiny fraction of a second late.

DC's first chance came at 33' when Andy Najar's cross was headed softly on goal by Joseph Ngwenya, an easy first save for Keller.

35' SEA: Fucito (Rosales, Evans). Fucito used his speed to score the match winner. Osvaldo Alonso headed a pass up the middle to Brad Evans, who continued it on to Mauro Rosales. The Argentinian held off a challenge and sent the ball to Fucito on the front line. Fucito touched the ball past his marker, Brandon McDonald, and raced around him to get into the penalty area for a shot well taken to the lower far corner. 1-0 Seattle.

For DC, Charlie Davies had his lone chance from the right side of the box and he bent it away from the far post. At 42' Dwayne De Rosario's long free kick was struck low and hard past the wall to the far corner, forcing a collapsing save by Keller. Andy Najar earned a shot when he beat two defenders to get in on the right, and Zach Scott blocked the shot well away.

With DC pushing forward at the end of the half, Keller's long throw gave Seattle the ball with Fucito and Montero two vs. two. Montero claimed the ball and worked for a shot inside the box, and missed the far post.

45' SEA: Fernandez (Rosales, Montero). The insurance goal came in the second and final minute of added time in the first half. Another Seattle counterattack found Montero with the ball above the arc. His short pass to Rosales was promptly sent forward on the diagonal in front of a far post run by Fernandez. Daniel Woolard couldn't catch Fernandez, who put a low shot to the far side past goalkeeper Joe Willis. 2-0 Seattle.

The goal just before halftime seemed to negatively affect DC's play in the early part of the second half.

Goal scorer Fernandez had the next good shot, nine minutes into the second half, when he trapped a cross near the spot, turned and shot, forcing a diving save by Willis.

60' SEA: Fernandez. The third goal was again set up by Rosales and Montero, who deserved assists but were denied them by a stingy scorekeeper. Alonso held off a challenge to served Rosales who was open at the right touch line. Rosales went forward and sent a nice cross over the crowd for Montero, who headed a shot down that was blocked by Willis' legs. The rebound went to the center of the goal area, where Fernandez was open to slam it in. 3-0 Seattle.

The next twenty minutes saw chances for DC as Seattle's defense bent, but didn't break. DC's first shot of the half came when substitute Josh Wolff shot low and hard from the top left corner of the penalty area at 67', and Keller was there for the save. Austin Da Luz tried from the top of the arc and Keller saved. Center back Scott's lone mistake in the match came when he failed to quickly clear the ball and let Joseph Ngwenya poke the ball away from him to Wolff, who returned it to Ngwenya for an open shot from 15 yards. Keller was part way out to cut down the angle and did well to parry the shot wide. Then he scolded Scott. Najar found space on the right to rip a shot from 15 yards at the near post, and Keller was there to parry it wide. Keller's most spectacular save was his last. A great cross by substitute Marc Burch was touched along by Ngwenya to Wolff, who curled a fine shot that would have gone just inside the far post had Keller not pushed it wide with one hand.

The final shot was earned by Seattle substitute Lamar Neagle when he turned the corner on the left to get close for a shot that Willis blocked.

Seattle almost completed the half with no fouls, but at 85' a minor bump from behind by Neagle drew a whistle.

A harsh foul may have injured Rosales' knee in the 89th minute. It went unpunished, drawing the ire of coach Sigi Schmid in his post-match comments. Rosales limped off and sat out the closing minutes, as all substitutions had been used.

The team had to feel good about their performance, as a few players were good and the rest were excellent.

          SEA   DC
Shots:     15   14
Saves:      7    5
Corners:    2    6
Fouls:      7   16
Offsides:   5    3

16' DC: Ngwenya cautioned for a late challenge into Riley's ankle
41' SEA: Wahl cautioned for a hard charge into Najar
63' DC: Da Luz cautioned for a late kick, getting Fucito

Referees: Kevin Stott; Eric Boria, Anthony Vasoli; Yader Reyes

Attendance: 36,242

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

Opening statement: "Obviously, it was great to get a 3-0 win today. We always make Kasey earn his paycheck, but to win 3-0 on a day where we lost a very special person like Electron Boy...that whole thing he did with us with the Make-A-Wish Foundation was just tremendous. I know that was something that was on all the players' minds and that helped them as they moved forward into this game today. I thought we were pretty solid. I thought we got off to a good start but didn't get any goals. Then I thought all the goals we scored today were quality goals and I was very pleased."

On Rosales' injury: "The league's got to start protecting him. The last two games teams have gone out there and kicked him, and I don't think the referees have done a good job protecting him. Today was a case in point. We're up on top of the game 3-0 and he's got the ball at his feet and it's a tackle that's just meant to get a little kick in. And who knows how long he's out now? We have a talented player in this league, a player who's a good player, who fans want to come and watch play, then we let thugs hit him and we don't protect him enough. I think that's something that's got to happen with the referees. I'm very disappointed with the last two games. The last game before this one, the first three times he touched the ball he got fouled and nothing got called. Today early on he got dumped and quite a few times he's not getting calls. I'd like to see the referee Kevin Stott stand there and let Brandon McDonald run into his back and see if he could stay on his feet. I'm very disappointed in that."

Is there an injury concern?: "We'll have to see the extent of the injury and how long he's out, but he's definitely not going to be playing Tuesday because of it."

Where does protecting players have to start?: "It's just consistent refereeing. I think referees have to look at it. I do things right. I do things wrong. I have to accept the things I do wrong. I have to man up. I have to say, 'Hey, I did that wrong and I got to get better at it.' It's the same thing with our referees. I think they've got to look at it and say, 'You know what? I missed that call. That was wrong and I got to make sure I do it better.' I think sometimes what gets done is the call gets defended as to why a bad call was maybe a correct call. Let's just call a spade a spade and say, 'Hey, it was the wrong call,' and leave it like that."

On setting another attendance record, in the rain, no less: "It's great. They come out in our liquid sunshine as well. Our fans are always there for us. I'm just happy that we can go out there and put on a performance like we put on today and, I think, reward them for their support and give them something to leave and be happy about and be able to hoist a beer to. Our fans have been phenomenal but as I said the other day, the front office and everybody that puts all the effort into doing the whole ticket sales, getting people here, the marketing effort, I have not been with a better organization in this league. There is no better organization in this league."

On Alvaro Fernandez' night, scoring two goals: "It was great. Obviously Flaco can't play on Tuesday because he's out with the two yellows so we wanted to use all the minutes we could out of him today. He scored two great goals. The ball from Mauro on the second goal was tremendous and Fredy did a good job getting on with the header at the back post and Flaco was there. At the end of the game, we were just trying to get him to sit and go nice and easy and he still wanted to continue to make runs forward. But it worked out. We were able to get 90 minutes out of him today and rest somebody else."

On the defensive effort: "I thought it was good. I thought we did a good job bottling up Charlie Davies. I think we did a good job bottling up De Rosario. Obviously, Ozzie Alonso played a big part in that. We wanted to get Jeff matched up on Davies more times than not. I think he did a good job there and I think we did a good job of not allowing the game to get stretched too much. It got stretched a couple times when we made some turnovers. Those were actually, I thought, their best chances. But I thought our overall compactness for the majority of the game was pretty good."

Mauro Rosales

How do you feel?: "I'm feeling too much pain now. I think it's because I just got hurt. I will check Monday to know how it is. It looks like my ligament stretched a little bit, my inside one...I have to wait to get good and get ready to finish the last part of the season."

On the foul: "(The game) was almost done. It was 3-0. I was really frustrated about this because there's nothing to lose, nothing to win, and I get hurt. The knee is always a bad thing. If it's something like the ankle it's no problem, but the knee, I'm really worried about what's going to happen...I think it was just two minutes (from the end of the game). I was far away from the goal, no serious attack or something. I was just holding the ball and I get hurt in a stupid way."

Can the refs protect you more?: "I don't want to talk about the refs. Sometimes they cannot see everything. They can make mistakes like us."

On the MLS being a physical league: "I prepared for that. It's physical and I prepared to do everything on the field. It doesn't matter if it's physical or technical. I prepared to be good in all the aspects."

Alvaro Fernandez

On scoring two goals: "I'm happy. Scoring two goals helps the team to get a win. On a personal note, it also gives me confidence for the future."

On Rosales: "We all know about the level of quality that Mauro brings to the team. Yeah, the first one was an assist from him. The other goal was a header from Fredy that the goalkeeper saved and I was able to be around and kick it in. It's important that we have different options to score goals and that's something that's been key in the last few games."

On status with the national team: "I've been in pre-selection, so my name has been always around the national team. That's important for me. Even though for different circumstance I have not been called for the last few games, my name is still around so that's more important for me."

Kasey Keller

On getting the shutout: "They're a good attacking team. Charlie and Ngwenya and to bring in a Josh Wolff, and what he can create for a team, and De Ro, it's a good attacking team. We had some good chances early and after the first goal I felt that they got into the game pretty well, but we kind of kept them at bay a bit. Then, hitting that goal right before halftime made a big difference, and getting the third. But they never quit. They kept coming and coming and coming, and we tried to concede a goal but we didn't do it because it could have been interesting. Like I said, they're a strong attacking team and being able to make change -- bring on a World Cup player -- makes a difference."

On the Rosales injury: "It's always unfortunate when somebody takes a hit at that time of the game when you're winning and you know the game's won, but we'll see how it is. It's a bad part of the game, but it happens, and hopefully he'll be ready to roll."

On the play of the team: "Mauro's done great for us, obviously, and all the way around. Flaco obviously comes in with two goals. I thought it was one of the best games Fredy has played without scoring. He held the ball up for us really well for us today and connected and made a great header on the far post for Flaco's third goal. A good team effort today. Great to see Mike Fucito get on the score sheet again with a great run off the guy's shoulder -- a great little turn, change of pace, good finish. Overall, I'm very pleased. The only thing I think, if I'm going to be a little bit critical, is in the last half-hour of the game when it was 3-0, I think we could have done a little better job of first time clearances, not putting ourselves in situations because in a playoff game maybe the goal difference makes a difference. Going in and not conceding a goal can make a difference in seeing yourself through. Sometimes you've just to be that little bit more professional."

Free haircuts, free tacos, a good weekend?: "Yeah, it was nice. It's always good to be able to get both of those done. We didn't have a shutout at home in three of four games so it's nice to take care of that. Regardless, the most important thing is obviously three points after slipping up last weekend, so it was nice to come straight back and be able to score some goals for the fans and keep the clean sheet as well."

DC United

Ben Olsen - Head Coach

On the result tonight: "I don't necessarily think it was a 3-0 game but all coaches that lose 3-0 say that, don't they? Looking at the stats, it's pretty close. We had some chances, unfortunately most of them when we were down several goals, but on the day they were a better team. We made a couple of mistakes and they have a very good attacking group that made us pay. They're running out of midfield was pretty good early and it caught us. But at 1-0, I think we're OK. The second one hurt us right before half, as it always does. But this one is put behind us. We have a big one Wednesday. When you're in a playoff race like this you can't sit on these too much. You're going to have a game where a team takes advantage of some situations. They're a good team. Sigi has done a good job with them and especially in the last month where he's had to manage a lot of minutes in games, so give him credit."

On pulling players early to give them rest for Wednesday: "Yeah, we've got a lot of games. Dwayne looked like he was hobbling a little bit and we wanted to see some other guys get some action. I think that's one positive out of this is that Wolff came on and looked very sharp. It's been a while for him, as far as getting game action. And we got Burch a little time, so that's one positive."

On Joseph Ngwenya: "I thought Joe was very busy tonight, as usual. His running is very good. So I really felt he put in a good shift."

On how concerned he is about moving forward after a loss like this: "I'm not so concerned for the guys. It's tough. Our focus now is on Wednesday's game. Throughout a season you're going to have some games like this where a team makes a couple mistakes and you get punished. Again, we are in no position to sit and dwell on things and I think they know that, that there's games coming up that are very important."

Dwayne De Rosario

On the result tonight: "We went out there and battled. We've just got to put it behind us. Of course it's not easy when you come to this environment. Their fans are great. When you look at their turf nobody wants to play on it, so you've got to overcome that mentally. I thought there were some good parts but at the end of the day I thought Seattle was definitely the better team."

On how difficult it will be to move forward after a loss like this: "Well, hopefully when we go back home now we'll have the fans on our side. We'll be mentally ready against a team where we should get three points, but I think what we learned tonight is that when its coming down to crunch time, any mistake you can get punished. We've got to limit our mistakes and keep our chances going forward."

Josh Wolff

On the result tonight: "Obviously it's disappointing. I think the idea is to get to halftime hopefully even or ahead somehow but I think we gave up a couple of goals there. The second one really puts you behind the eight ball, but give them credit. They were good. We held strong for a good bit, but once they got one they get a little momentum and a rhythm going and it's tough to stop them. I think once they got the second one it put us in a tough situation for the second half. Our guys fought hard, everyone comes away from it pretty healthy and we've got another big game on Wednesday."