2011 Sep 20

Sounders lay an egg at home and lose to CS Herediano in CCL play

Seattle Sounders FC  0 - 1  CS Herediano

CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA

25' HER: Yosimar Arias

Seattle: Kasey Keller; Zach Scott (Sammy Ochoa 74'), Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez; Roger Levesque (Fredy Montero 56'), Servando Carrasco, Amadou Sanyang (Osvaldo Alonso 56'), Lamar Neagle; Pat Noonan, Nate Jaqua.
Substitutes not used: Josh Ford, Tyson Wahl, Jeff Parke, David Estrada.

Herediano: Daniel Cambronero; Cristian Montero, Pablo Salazar, Erick Sanchez (Josť Miguel Cubero 77'), Marvin Obando, Francisco Calvo; Josť Luis Cordero, Yosimar Arias (Olman Vargas 71'), Junior Alvarado; Jorge Barbosa, Anderson Andrade (Marvin Angulo 86').
Substitutes not used: Ronny Fernandez, Oscar Gonzalez, Jean Carlo Sanchez, Josť Carlos Cancela.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

Seattle Sounders FC's perfect run in the CONCACAF Champions League group round came to an end in Seattle against CS Herediano, a club they had beaten in Costa Rica the previous week. Yosimar Arias scored the lone goal directly from a free kick.

The Sounders started a lot of second stringers, but they were mostly the same players who had been successful in Costa Rica. This time they had an off day, especially in the first half. They had a couple of free kicks from within 25 yards, but failed to get shots from them. The Sounders had just two promising chances in the half. Lamar Neagle fired on goal from the top left corner of the penalty area, but right to goalkeeper Daniel Cambronero. Nate Jaqua had the best chance when Neagle got to the end line near goal and dropped a pass to the middle in front of goal, but Jaqua volleyed it over the bar from 8 yards.

Herediano had the better passing all evening. Their first good chance came just before Neagle's shot when the ball made it through to the area with players falling left and right trying to get the ball. Jorge Barbosa shot from 15 yards as he went down and he rattled the post.

25' HER: Arias. Zach Scott fouled 25 yards from goal to give Herediano a free kick. Arias took it well, hitting the top near corner with a bending shot. 1-0 Herediano.

Seattle never looked effective until the 56th minute, when they brought in Fredy Montero and Osvaldo Alonso. Seattle's attack was instantly improved, but they still could not finish a goal. Cambronero made some fine saves, guessing the correct post on a 35-yard free kick midway in the half on Seattle's first shot of the half. The second shot came when Montero fought to keep possession and set up Jaqua for a shot from the middle of the arc, but he missed the goal by yards.

Seattle's best shots came very late. At 82' Neagle headed a cross nicely on goal, and Cambronero dove sideways for the save. Newcomer Sammy Ochoa's header at 89' was the best Sounders shot, and Cambronero made an unbelievable save with one hand, then an instant later Jhon Kennedy Hurtado crashed the goal and headed a shot just wide. Neagle and Jaqua had shots in added time, but both went a few yards over the bar.

In the other group match, Monterrey beat Comunicaciones to catch them at 6 points, three behind the Sounders. Seattle will head to Guatemala to play Comunicaciones next week and will need a point to stay ahead in the group.

          SEA   HER
Shots:     12     8
Saves:      1     5
Corners:    5     4
Fouls:     18    14
Offsides:   2     2

16' SEA: Neagle cautioned for swiping Andrade's legs
35' HER: Cordero cautioned for a tactical foul on Sanyang
58' HER: Arias cautioned for delaying a restart
62' SEA: Ianni cautioned
67' HER: Barbosa cautioned for a tactical foul on Gonzalez
77' HER: Cambronero cautioned for delaying a goal kick

Referees: Neil Brizan (Trinidad & Tobago); Dion Neil, Ainsley Rochard; Lewin Purser

Attendance: 10,163

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Sounders FC Head Coach

Opening statement: "Herediano scored a good goal. It was a good free kick. Arias hit it well. I didn't think our wall jumped, but he still hit the free kick well. I thought we had some chances. We certainly had chances in the last 30 minutes of the game, but overall I didn't think it was one of our best matches, one of our best games. Obviously, we're dealing with injuries and things like that and a heavy schedule, so we had to make some lineup decisions based upon that, but at the end of the day our quality tonight wasn't good enough."

On Montero and Alonso coming in: "The game certainly changed when they came into the game. They're quality players. Alonso got us to get a little quicker to our marks in midfield, which is what I asked him to do. Montero was able to hold the ball a little but for us up front and allow people to join in. It certainly helps our game when they're able to come in and do that."

What were the main struggles in the first half?: "I think we struggled a lot defensively. We didn't do a good job of picking them up. I think we were too loose in the middle of midfield and we were forcing our wide guys to step up. They played three in the back and we forced our wide guys to step up to their back three rather than staying in midfield to defend. As a result we didn't see enough of the ball and when you don't see enough of the ball, you're not going to get shots. Offensively our struggles were simply that there were too many incomplete passes, not enough rhythm into our game. We weren't holding onto the ball. Sometimes we knocked it in the back four, but we really didn't hold onto the ball through midfield and in the wide areas."

On Sanyang and Ochoa: "Sanyang is more a defensive midfielder, so him and Carrasco probably wasn't the best pairing, but we really didn't have a lot of choices. We knew we couldn't play Ozzie tonight 90 minutes just because of the injury he's coming off of. I thought he did OK. He did some of the things he does well. I thought Ochoa came in and helped us at the end. He was the one who had the header they made the save on and he held up the ball for us a couple of times."

Does this result change how you approach future games?: "Tuesday we need to get a result. If we go down to Guatemala and get a result, a win or a tie, that will put us through. Now it's about that. It was probably not that different based on the results tonight because Monterrey won and either way we'd have to get a result down there. It really doesn't change much. We need to go into Guatemala and a get a result and obviously we want to win the Vancouver game because I think that wins us the Cascadia Cup and that's important for us as a club as well."

On scouting the opposition: "There are definitely some good players for Herediano. They've got some quality players. They've got some players who are very dangerous. I'm not going to tell you necessarily who they are at this point because when you do that, if you are truly interested in the player, the price goes up. So we don't want the price to go up if we do have an interest. I thought they played very well tonight and some of the individuals definitely played well."

On Cambronero: "He had a big game. He anticipated the crosses. He cheated on some of them. I think the quality of our crossing wasn't what it needed to be. I think when we had good quality I think Jaqua had two good headers that he needs to do better with -- Ochoa's opportunity as well. But a lot of time our crosses were straight, they were hung up in the air and that's not enough quality."

Did you target Noonan and Jaqua up front?: "No, strategy going in was obviously Noonan's going to drop off the front line a little bit and he's going to try and get the ball there. Jaqua's a big forward so it allows you to get some crosses in to him as well. Montero's played the last four games in a row, we needed to rest his legs a little bit and Fucito got a bad ankle from the last game so he can't play, so our choices were very obvious."

Pat Noonan

What did you guys struggle with tonight?: "Connecting passes and just anticipating. winning 50-50 balls and getting aggressive and wanting the ball at our feet -- we weren't doing any of that in the first half. It took until we were down 1-0 and chasing the game late in the second half in order to start playing."

So the fault were more your own than what Herediano was doing?: "I think a lot of our problems came from our own mistakes, our own passing. They're a good team. They pass the ball well. I think it took us to 45 minutes to figure out their formation and understand where we need to be to cut out passing angles, but when we did win the ball we just gave it right back with some careless passes and maybe not anticipating and making some runs, and that was all around the field."

On Cambronero: "He made some good saves. We needed to put more on frame and make him work, but the ones we did they maybe didn't just get the corners enough or out of his reach. The ones we did put on goal he did well with."

Sammy Ochoa

Did you think you had that goal late?: "Yeah. I didn't see the goalie. I was looking at the ball. In the corner of my eye I didn't see the goalie and I thought it was in. Out of nowhere his hand showed up."

How'd you feel out there in your first action?: "Little nervous, but excited. I think after I touched the ball the nerves went away. I felt good. We didn't get the win, but I'm still happy to play."

How do the emotions of the debut change knowing you're chasing after a goal?: "It's really hard, but being a forward you're expected to be there at the right time and take advantage of the minute, two minutes you get in. I was trying to do my best. I didn't get the goal, but I was there on that cross."

How'd you feel physically?: "I felt good. Twenty minutes, I felt really good. I need to spend a little more work, but I'm not in a rush. I'm pretty sure with the staff, I'll get there."

Is it nice to know you don't have to rush back?: "Yeah, we got great players up top. There's competition but I'm not really in a rush, we're taking it slow ... but I can't wait to be out there full-time."

On your fitness plan: "It's been three months since I had an official game and my last official game was a reserve game, so (I'm trying to get) game-fit. Like I said, we've got a good staff and they're pretty patient with me."

Nate Jaqua

On the game: "I don't think we came out the first half as well as we needed to. The second half we played a little bit better and we got some more chances. Yeah, it's disappointing we weren't able to find the back of the net. We need to be of better quality in the final third and get more chances in the first half."

On the physicality of the game: "Yeah it was very physical. It was physical down there, it was physical here. You expect these type of games from clubs. It's just one of the ways it is, and we still have to find ways to get a goal."

CS Herediano

Jafet Soto - Sounders FC Head Coach

On difference between this week and last week: "Last week was a game that was destined that way. We had only two chances for Sounders last week over there and they had two goals. This week we managed the game and scored, so we managed to win the game."

On competing: "We always play to win. We came to compete and when you compete, you come to win."

On Cambronero: "He's a great goalkeeper. He's been on the national team. He's just 24 years old and has a great future."

On win helping motivate for next games: "If we have any chance, even if just mathematical, we're going to fight to win and try to win the games."

On fouls: "It was normal. In any futbol game where you play all that you have there's going to be collisions and that's normal in the game."

On Cambronero's health: "He's fine. He had a couple of knocks during the game, but when a team plays you with a lot of crossings, there's a lot of physical play to try to cut those crosses."

On playing in Seattle: "We're playing against a great team that is running second right now in (MLS). We knew they had a win last weekend."