2012 Aug 2

Sounders launch 2012-13 Champions League campaign with a win

Seattle Sounders FC  3 - 1  Caledonia AIA

CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA

19' SEA: Sammy Ochoa (Andy Rose, Alex Caskey)
30' SEA: Fredy Montero (Andy Rose, Cordell Cato)
43' SEA: Andy Rose

50' CAL: Kareem Joseph (PK)

Seattle: Andrew Weber; Brad Evans, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch; Cordell Cato, Osvaldo Alonso (Servando Carrasco 46'), Andy Rose, Alex Caskey (Leo Gonzalez 75'); Fredy Montero (Adam Johansson 90'), Sammy Ochoa.
Substitutes not used: Michael Gspurning, Patrick Ianni, Mauro Rosales, Eddie Johnson.

Caledonia: Glenroy Samuel; Aubrey David, Nuru Abdullah Muhammad, Kareem Joseph, Walter Moore; Radanfah Abu Bakr, Stephan David, Trayon Bobb (Trevin Caesar 58'), Keyon Edwards; Conrad Smith (Cornelius Stewart 58'), Jamal Gay (Sheldon Holder 80').
Substitutes not used: Colin Edwards, Colin Nelson, Abdallah Phillips, Kemron Purcell.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

Seattle Sounders FC started their 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League campaign by hosting Trinidad's Caledonia AIA and posting a 3-1 win. The Sounders pulled out to a 3-0 halftime lead with goals from Sammy Ochoa, Fredy Montero and Andy Rose. Caledonia won the second half with a penalty kick by Kareem Joseph.

Seattle started three young midfielders in front of Osvaldo Alonso and they played well, each getting at least an assist.

The hosts got off to a slow start, allowing Caledonia to pressure the goal several times in the opening ten minutes.

Seattle had several early corner kicks, taken by Alex Caskey, and they produced two close shots as Rose, then Jeff Parke, headed hard shots just over the bar. Cordell Cato, a Trinidad native, was the best on the pitch early in the match, earning multiple crosses and corners.

19' SEA: Ochoa (Rose, Caskey). The first goal started with Cato's cross that went over everyone. Caskey played garbage collector to chase it down at the bye line and quickly sent a diagonal drop pass in front of goal. Near the near post Rose tried to shoot but only managed to deflect the ball to Ochoa. After settling the ball he beat goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel with a shot to the lower near corner. 1-0 Seattle.

Caledonia's best chance of the first half came when they got the ball in Seattle's end from a turnover, catching Seattle's defenders outnumbered on the counterattack. Joseph worked to get open for a good chance from 12 yards, and goalkeeper Andrew Weber made an outstanding save with one hand,pushing the ball wide to his defender.

30' SEA: Montero (Rose, Cato). Running at goal with the ball, Cato eluded several defenders to get close to the 18-yard line where he rolled a nicely weighted pass ahead in front of Rose's well-timed run up the middle. Rose sent a square cross in front of goal to a wide-open Montero, who clinically directed the ball to the lower far corner. 2-0 Seattle.

42' SEA: Rose. A Seattle attack found Montero open near the left post. Samuel got down to block Montero's shot, but gave up a slow-moving rebound in front of the right post. Ochoa couldn't quite reach the loose ball, but Rose did and sent it into the empty net before Samuel could recover. 3-0 Seattle.

A minute later Montero nearly had another for Seattle, missing the lower far corner by inches.

Caledonia's Radanfah Abu Bakr had the last chance of the half, heading a long free kick a yard wide.

At the break Servando Carrasco replaced Alonso, making a 100% young midfield. Alonso's absence was noticeable, as Carrasco had difficulty connecting his passes.

50' CAL: Joseph (PK). A soft penalty kick was awarded when Jamal Gay backed into Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and went down. Joseph sent the shot from the spot to the top right corner with Weber going the other way. 3-1 Seattle.

Conrad Smith soon had a chance to further close the gap when he was gifted with a turnover, but he shot right at Weber.

An hour in it would have been one for the highlight reel if Hurtado's back-heeled shot had gone in, but he missed by a yard after Cato sent a cleared corner kick back into the mixer.

Seattle slowed the game down for most of the remainder, knocking the ball around and taking the occasional shot. The best one was set up by Caskey's square cross in front of goal for Ochoa, but this time he couldn't beat Samuel with the shot.

The same two sides will meet again on August 30 in Trinidad.

          SEA   CAL
Shots:     17    12
Saves:      4     3
Corners:    9     2
Fouls:     15    11
Offsides:   1     4

39' CAL: Edwards cautioned for pulling down Alonso
56' SEA: Montero cautioned for diving

Referees: Stanley Lancaster (Guyana); Dion Inniss, Ramon Luisville; Rudolph Angela

Attendance: 7,767

Post-Match Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

On the match: "The accomplishment we wanted to achieve was to win the game. It was nice that we could take Ozzie off and he only had to play 45 minutes, that was good. We didn't get any injuries, so it was good."

On the different looking lineup: "It was obviously good to see Sammy Ochoa score. It was a good early goal to get us off the mark there...Because Zach Scott had an injury that came up late, we put Brad Evans at right back. I thought he did a good job again at right back for us. That was a little bit of a change of pace, as well. Obviously Cordell got a chance to play. I think his speed gave them some problems and he was heavily involved with our second goal with the ball that he laid to Andy Rose. Obviously, different people got to step up. Andrew Weber came up with a big save when the score was one-nothing. Those are the kind of saves that goalkeepers need to make that help you win games."

On Andy Rose's performance: "Andy is always going to give you everything he has when he steps on the field. He's got a good work rate. He ended up getting a goal and ended up getting an assist, so it was good from the numbers side for him. Especially when Ozzie went out, he was the one who sort of had to run our game a little bit more. It took a little while for him to get into that rhythm, but I thought as the second half went on he became better at it. When you have Ozzie behind you, you sort of...feel, 'Okay the guy is always going to get the ball behind me, so I can take a shortcut here or cheat there because he'll win that and get it out to me.' So those things change a little bit, but I thought Andy did well."

On Servando Carrasco's performance: "Servando's minutes have been limited. He's played some very good minutes for us in MLS when he's come off the bench. I know Servando probably feels he could play better than he did tonight. He's the kind of guy that's very introspective. We got a penalty called against us, we had chances in the second half to score two, three more goals. Kennedy's chance, the save their goalkeeper makes on Sammy Ochoa. It could have been more. From Carrasco's perspective, it changed our rhythm a little bit, we're so used to Ozzie. He did okay."

On their penalty kick goal possibly hurting their seed in the later round: "The most important thing is to get three points. You got to win. If we win games, we're going to get points, then we don't have to worry about goal difference. You only have to worry about goal difference if you're planning to drop some games along the way. We want to win all our games. So if we can win all our games one-nothing and the other team can win one game seven-nothing, we don't really care as long as we beat that team that wins seven-nothing. For us right now we're in a tough stretch of games. We've got LA coming up on Sunday. We've got an Open Cup final on Wednesday. We have San Jose at San Jose the following Saturday, so a little bit of it was, 'Let's get the win, let's manage the game, let's not kill ourselves per se.' It was great that we got the early goals and we had a three-nothing halftime lead, so as a result the work we put in the second half was not as great as the work we would have had to put in if we were tied or if we were trying to make up the deficit. So from that standpoint it was good."

On their scouting of Caledonia: "We had their lineup pretty right, which I thought was pretty amazing. We had 10 out of the 11 right, so there was only one guy in the starting lineup we didn't expect. And we actually had them in the right position, so that was good too. I was happy with that. We knew they had good size. They have some physical players. We knew they were going to be dangerous on set pieces, which they were. They got the penalty on the long-throw, as well. I thought we were okay with that."

On the game in Caledonia: "Obviously the travel down there is difficult, so trying to make sure we get the accommodations right, that we get the travel right, that we recover from the travel well enough, that's the biggest area of concern for us going into that return leg. Obviously, every team is going to play better at home, so we have to be sharper than we were tonight."

On the Caledonia players: "They've got fast wingers, they've got a big center forward in Gay up front. He's a handful, for sure. They've got a big center back, as well."

Andrew Weber

On first Champions League game: "It was good. Thought we did well the first half, second half we did good as well. We probably could have scored a couple more."

On playing goal keeper: "Didn't really have much to do, the first half kept the team organized. I probably jumped a little early on the PK but it's a PK so hats off. I felt good. I thought the performance was good and maybe the second half could have been better with my touch and hitting my target with the ball a little better."

On the offense and defense coming together tonight: "I think it's coming together and we have to play quicker and manage the game better. Like little things hitting the ball and moving up together and also communicating on the field a little better, all those little things can help us improve our game a little better."

Sammy Ochoa

On scoring goals: "It felt good. I'm happy. The important thing is we got three points. On the first goal I just got the touch in from Andy and it went in. The good things were there at the right time and they went in."

On being back in the Champions League: "It feels good getting the first win. You want to start off winning in these tournaments so we just have to keep going."

Fredy Montero

On how it feels to get a win in the Champions league: "It's always good starting with a good result. We're at home. We wanted to win this game.

On how important it is to start off with a home win: "Every single point, every single goal is going to be important for us to qualify for the next round. We are looking forward to playing in Trinidad, winning that game you have like a 60% chance to go to the next round."

On how he thought the offense performed tonight: "I think when you have players like Sammy Ochoa you're always going to be dangerous. He's a guy who can play the ball and keep running and he's going to find you again. So we are looking forward to the next game at home against the Galaxy and see what we can do."

On what happened on his goal tonight: "It was a one on one with Cato, he played to Caskey, and Caskey played back to me, and I kicked the ball to the second post."

Andy Rose

On how his first Champions League game in Seattle felt: "It feels great. First half I thought was pretty impressive. We came out a little slow, but when Sammy scored that first one I thought we were really good. We kept the ball well in the opponents half which is what we really want to be doing."

On how he felt about the offense: "It was great. I thought the combination play was really good between Fredy and Sammy coming in. I thought it felt good to get the ball moving and maintaining possession in that half. Overall, the first half was really good. The second half maybe should've been a bit better, but we'll definitely take the win."

On what happened on his goal: "Definitely going to wake up with a bruise on my left leg. Credit to [Sammy Ochoa}, he's goal scorer and I know he wants those ones. I saw it and I'll take any goals I can get."

Caledonia AIA

Jerry Moe - Head Coach

On the match: "In the first half we didn't play well as a team and we paid the price for that, sometimes you have to take off your pants and you got to go back to the training pitch and work a bit harder. We are a little bit sluggish. Hopefully by the next game we'll be a little more prepared."

On their season so far: "We've been training for over a year, our league is like the European league so we go season into season. One thing is that right now our seasons are overlapping and sometimes we get two weeks rest, basically our league doesn't stop."

On their changes for the next game with Seattle: "Basically similar to what we did in the second half. You've got to play high on the pitch. I thought in the first half we were defending too deep you know and that gives them confidence. In the next game we're going to meet higher in the pitch."

On expectations vs. reality: "We knew coming in it wasn't going to be an easy game. It really wasn't that much of a surprise. In the CONCACAF tournaments they are a very good team."

On the trip from Trinidad: "It's a long trip, we travel all day. We leave Trinidad in the morning and get here after six at night."

On moving forward after this match: "Even though we lost today, mathematically we got three more games. Even though we lost tonight, we learned a lesson and when you learn a lesson you go back to the training pitch and try and win the next three games and qualify for the final rounds."

On their second half performance: "We wanted to find small victories. Being 0-3 last time it's really difficult to motivate the guys so we are going for small victories. It was important for us to win the second half. I was pleased that the guys didn't give up but we've still got some things to work on."