Post-game quotesheet: United vs. Seattle

MLS 2009 QUOTESHEET
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2009 – D.C. UNITED 1, SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC 2

D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH TOM SOEHN
On Seattle’s second goal

It was disappointing at that point because I thought we adjusted. First half I thought we killed plays off by being too cute in the final third and giving them counterattacks. We adjusted at halftime and I thought the energy and the way we opened up the game was pretty good. We obviously had so many less turnovers [tonight], created a lot more opportunities and giving away the goal on a half chance like that on the near post is deflating.

On the team’s energy
I don’t think we’ve been lethargic to this point. I think we started out really well. We broke down one time and they punished us. Overall the energy we put in and the effort was phenomenal tonight. I thought the guys battled, guys like Benny [Olsen] and Rodney [Wallace] gave everything they had today. That’s why the result tonight is pretty disappointing.

On the team’s schedule
Well we created enough opportunities to win the game and that’s what is disappointing. And obviously we’ve had a stretch of a month and a half where we’ve played every three days. It’s a very difficult stretch and we knew it was going to be. We counted on these home games to be crucial and we let one slip today. But we have three more and we have to make sure now that we have a little break, after going to Trinidad [for the Champions League game] we’ll have a little break to get our legs back and actually focus on training because we haven’t been able to do that as well. I think the team’s in dire need of a little break from MLS action and come back a little focused and recharged.

D.C. UNITED FORWARD JAIME MORENO
On the game

In the end, we got to put our chances away. It’s part of the game and I’m pretty disappointed. They came in to our house and they beat us twice so I think we also have to give them credit for coming here and beating us twice. I think it’s a big lesson for us. At this point we just can’t make mistakes overall from the forwards to the backs. We know that we have so many important games coming up and we can’t afford to lose any more points at home.

On United’s play in the final third
We weren’t sharp enough, especially myself. I know I didn’t have a pretty good game and you’re going to have those kinds of games sometimes. I always try to maintain my level. Tonight, it wasn’t my night. I tried to do as much as I could for the team, but it didn’t work.

D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER RODNEY WALLACE
On Seattle getting forward

They have good players and they were moving off the ball well. I think they had an extra man in the middle so it was a little bit difficult to mark him. But it was unfortunate, that goal.

On his performance
It’s always good on a personal note anyway, but it’s a team game and it was unlucky to have that end result.

On the play in the final third
Things just didn’t go our way. I thought we made good opportunities. We made good chances, but we just couldn’t get that last inch to finish.

D.C. UNITED DEFENDER JULIUS JAMES
On Montero’s goal

[Montero] is heating up. He did really well to get his shot off. I think I angled him pretty well. The only place the ball could go is right up inside there. Unfortunately, it deflected and went up there. Games are defined by one or two plays. I did what I could. It took a deflection and it went straight up in the corner.

On the bad result
That’s our luck right now. We just need to stick together and grind it out. We had chances to win the game. It’s just our luck. Their luck is the ball deflects and it goes right up in the corner. It’s disappointing.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID
On playing without Ljungberg

We have had to play a lot of games without Freddie [Ljungberg] and some games without Montero. We knew they were going to come with a four [man backline] this time so we didn’t really have somebody drop in that hole and we tried to stay high on the two center backs.

On the game plan
Obviously when you get a goal that early that helps your team settle [in]. We felt that going into the game the first 15 or 20 minutes were going to be really important. We wanted to make sure we matched whatever they threw out there and that goal helped us.

On Montero’s goal
Obviously Montero can strike a great ball and when he turns around and gets all of it it’s difficult for keepers to handle it. He hit it well, it beat him near post and it was good because it was a turning point in the game where they certainly had a little more of the game; they were starting to dominate the game or more possession for sure.

On the physical play
It’s always going to be physical from the standpoint that teams are fighting for their lives now because everybody wants to get into the playoffs. We talked about it and felt if we can get to 45 points we would have a chance at it and we have 37 now so we need to get eight points out of our last five games; we have two of those are at home and we are getting closer to achieving what we want to achieve and the main thing is that our team believed in itself and that its going to be a physical game and they know that they are on that borderline as well.

On recent road success
We always felt we were a good team on the road; we felt we were close but with the exception of the San Jose game where we got blown out, we felt like in a lot of the other road games we were very competitive and we were there but sometimes we put ourselves in a hole with red cards and made it difficult for us to play but we just felt it was a matter of time before we got those points.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS DEFENDER JAMES RILEY
On second half adjustments

D.C. is an absolutely quality side and they definitely keep a lot of possession. We didn’t feel it was all that penetrating; Emilio got in and was unlucky not to score and other than that the rest of the shots came from distance. I thought we had a lot of quality chances in the first half and could have been up by more than one and their goal comes off a ricochet, it’s not like they went right through us.

On the team’s confidence
Coming in here twice and winning gives us a lot of confidence; to know that we can create chances and contain a great offensive side with an all-star line-up coming at you; it’s fun for sure.

On recent road wins
Either when we go on the road or when we are at home, the difference I think now is we’ve always created chances but we’ve been unlucky not to score. There hasn’t been a game where we were absolutely dominated in creating chances-minus San Jose. It’s being away and continuing to do the same things we have been doing – creating chances, finding our stride and going in.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS GOALKEEPER KASEY KELLER
On winning on the road

Well obviously we won on the road in L.A. and we’ve won now so we’re very happy. We won the [Open] Cup on the road so it’s been a nice little run for us. We knew we had a lot of away games coming up at the end of the season and it’s nice to be able to catch that away form. We have two extremely important home games left and we obviously haven’t been scoring the goals at home that we wanted to so we just can’t think now we have good road form and we’re just going to take for granted that we’re going to go home and win. People enjoy coming to our house to play because of the atmosphere and the crowd. So we have to continue to stamp our authority at home as well. But very happy that we got that road monkey off our back and are now feeling comfortable leaving Seattle.

On Seattle fans in D.C.
Well I mean we had a couple hundred at the [Open] Cup game so I mean that was tremendous and we landed at Boeing field at 4:30 in the morning and had a couple hundred people waiting for us so it shows what our support is like. Once again, just to have the Seattle faithful here supporting us, we obviously take a lot of pride in that and so do they. It’s always nice to be able to reward people for their trip and their effort to support us on the road.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FORWARD STEVE ZAKUANI
On scoring early

It’s very important. Those first twenty minutes are going to be tough because they are coming with a flow of energy with a huge crowd behind them. So we score first in this kind of game and its gives you confidence and something to protect. So that was very key. The goal was just a good counterattack. I think Pete [Vagenas] played a good ball through and then I’m one on one with Wicks and it’s about staying calm and I managed to just sort of poked in there and it went in the goal.

On building momentum for the playoffs
The win at L.A. Galaxy was big because I feel the Galaxy was playing some great stuff at the time and we go there and win 3-0 and get the shutout. That gives us a lot of confidence. To win at Home Depot, to win here, these are the kind of things that give you momentum going into the post season. That’s what we’re trying to build. At the moment we’re just concentrating. We believe we can win anywhere and we’re showing that.

Broadcasting and P.A. Request: When speaking of the organization, please refer to the team as either “D.C. United” or “United,” but not “the D.C. United” or “the United.” We appreciate your cooperation.

Doug Hicks, dhicks@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5448,
Boris Flores, bflores@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5452,
Kyle Sheldon, ksheldon@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5450 or
Cristina Cruz, ccruz@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5440