Updated Apr 3, 2013 - 5:14 pm
Seattle Sounders FC 0 - 1 Santo Laguna Match Review and Reactions
By John Zielonka
SEATTLE--Santos Laguna forward Herculez Gomez volleyed the rebound from Carlos Quintero's shot past Seattle goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann in the 54th minute. The goal was enough to give the visitors from Mexico a 1-0 advantage heading into next week's second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League competition.
The Sounders' defense rebounded from their poor defensive effort in their last MLS matchup. Head coach Sigi Schmid promised a tongue lashing to his team before the second half and at the end last week's match.
Seattle played tighter defensively and managed to hold the possession edge. The difference in play failed to result in a goal with forwards Eddie Johnson, newly acquired designated player Oba Martins and David Estrada out of the lineup with injuries. Hahnemann replaced regular goalkeeper Michael Gspurning. The Austrian was suspended for the match due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
MLS veteran midfielder Shalrie Joseph made his first start as a Sounder and looked impressive in his distribution and physical presence. He played for 72 minutes before being replaced by Andy Rose.
Man of the Match: Herculez Gomez
"I don't recall whose shot (Carlos Quintero) forced a good save out of Marcus Hahnemann, but I was fortunate to get on the end of the rebound, that was pretty much all that happened, after that it was just a blur."--Herculez Gomes, Santos Laguna forward
"It happened pretty fast...the ball bounced to their player. He was dribbling and I was tracking back. He shot and Marcus saved it, but Herculez got the rebound."--DeAndre Yedlin, Sounders FC defender
Seattle's depleted forward lineup
"[David] Estrada couldn't play because of his eye. Eddie [Johnson] came out of the game [at Salt Lake]-we thought it was just his toe, but he complained of his hamstring, as well. With his hamstring, he couldn't go. Oba [Martins] tried to play in Salt Lake, had a little bit of an injury going into that game and tried to play-something that had bothered him when he played with Nigeria. He felt he could maybe get through it, and that game didn't make it any better, it made it worse. We figured if we tried to play him today, we didn't know how long that would knock him out. Those three guys were not options for us."--Sigi Schmid, Sounders FC head coach
Shalrie Joseph's Seattle debut
"It was my first game in a couple of months; you could tell I wasn't as sharp as I would like to be. The more we practice together, the more we work together, I think as I said the sky is the limit and we got to start winning games."--Shalrie Joseph, Sounders FC midfielder
"He's (Joseph) a good distributer of the ball, I think he finds people forward, but he's another guy who hasn't played a 90-minute game in an awful long time, so he's rounding into fitness. I thought in the first 45 minutes helped us. It sounds like a broken record but it's true-unfortunately we're still trying to get to know each other."
Second leg at Santo Laguna
"Obviously they're a very good team. Their front three are as dangerous a front three as you're going to run into anywhere. They got in a few times, but I thought for the most part we held them at bay, which was good. Obviously we were missing some people, so we just now have to go down there and play pretty much a perfect game. That's not impossible. It's difficult, but it's not impossible."--Sigi Schmid
"I think that is the great thing about our team. This team keeps working for more. Our coaches have kept us pretty humble up until this point. We know that we're playing a good team, and they have done a great job to get here so we have to respect our opponent. By no means is this already assured for the next leg. We still have a lot to play for."--Herculez Gomez
"I think the biggest one is we give ourselves the best chance of winning if we go in there and put in an honest effort. I don't think any of us could have said the last couple of games was the Seattle Sounders we want to represent."--Zach Scott, Sounders FC defender
They said it
"At the beginning, it was difficult for us to have control. We were not so aggressive going after the balls and allowed them to have better control in the first half...For the second half, we tried to improve our cohesiveness inside the team so we can be more compact and we can go after those spaces and control better those spaces, take control of the ball and then after that, take advantage of those areas that are open ones when you have better control of those spaces. It generated multiple different opportunities for us to score. We could have had more than one or two potentially."--Pedro Calxinha, Santos Laguna head coach
"Being called a Sounders' reject (before Seattle joined MLS), being called any kind of reject digs deep and it fuels fire. I didn't have the easiest go at the beginning of my career so any chance I can get to redeem myself is a good chance."--Herculez Gomez
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