Tuesday, May 29, 2012 @ 10:05pm
Well, last week was not our best week. Very disappointed at losing at home and picking up two road ties was not bad, but we always expect better.
Every MLS season seems to have some streaks in it. Good streaks of wins and points and then some down streaks. As a team we want to keep the good streaks long and the bad ones short. We had a great nine-game run of 7-1-1. Our last four has been 0-2-2. Time to end our current run and start on a new positive run.
It is Open Cup week and that is a tournament we take seriously and want to do well in. We would like to stretch three-in-a-row to a four-peat, if is there such a word. Maybe I can coin it like Pat Riley did three-peat.
The games at Starfire are always fun because the crowd is right on top of the action and the atmosphere is intense. Our team looks forward to playing there. Bring on Atlanta -- it is win-or-you-are-out and those types of games are always fun for the fans.
Our team is also looking forward to an upcoming break. We have traveled a lot and played a lot of games. Starting the season with the Champions League games required us to become focused quicker and earlier than a normal preseason. A little break will be well received and appreciated by our team. It is not only a physical break but we also need a little mental break.
Hope to see you all on Wednesday against Atlanta at Starfire.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 2:28pm
The past two weeks have been a blur and very busy. Finishing with four wins in our last five games is very satisfying. But we really wanted that one last Saturday against Real Salt Lake.
We played well in the first half and carried the game, but our crossing was off a little. In the second half our crossing was better but we did not make those dynamic runs. Salt Lake was happy to play for a tie and was very compact in the defense. One mistake early in the second half and they got the goal they wanted and really closed it up in the back.
Now we get ready for Vancouver and the first game in the Cascadia Cup series. Having a week between games feels like an eternity. It will allow us to get our energy levels back up, work on some training field things that will help our game and start upon a new streak to get points in our quest for the top of the table.
We still have three games in hand on Salt Lake and one game in hand on San Jose. In the last few games a lot of young players -- Meredith, Rose, Caskey and Cato -- have gotten valuable minutes, as well as Estrada. These minutes will make us better as we move on and allow us to rest players when we have more fixture congestion.
After 10 games and with 22 points I am pleased with our start. But we cannot rest on that and we have to keep pushing ourselves to get better.
We hope to see some if not many of you in Vancouver. Saturday afternoon soccer in Canada -- it should be a great day.
Monday, April 30, 2012 @ 11:06am
First and foremost I want to thanks the fans who were in Chicago. What a great turnout on a cold day far from home. The traveling fans that Seattle has are the best. Now we come home to play in front of the best fans in the league.
It was great to see Rosales and Johansson back on the field. Their experience and ability to keep possession helps our collective effort. With our second game in 14 days happening on Wednesday the depth helps out as well.
It was also nice to see Eddie Johnson get on the scoreboard. He was unlucky with his header that hit the post earlier. Fredy Montero hit a solid free kick and since the Chicago goalkeeper was unable to hold onto it we pounced on the rebound and scored our second goal. It is always special to win on the road because those points feel like bonus points. You expect the points at home. You really respect the points you get on the road.
This week will be busy with two games. The defending champions, the L.A. Galaxy, come into town and they are a measuring stick for us. I know our team is looking forward to this game. On the weekend we get the Philadelphia Union. We need to use our depth over these two games and maintain our quality of play. We are looking forward to this.
See you at CenturyLink. You guys are the best.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 @ 4:55pm
Well, I missed last week after our win over the Colorado Rapids. After the game we had training the next day and then I went with the reserve team to Los Angeles for our game with the Galaxy. Then I gave the team and staff the following two days off. Recovery is important for players and staff. It was good to spend some time in L.A., but I was happy to return and get back to work last Thursday.
We spent our off weekend playing a one-hour scrimmage against the UW Huskies and then the reserves played Chivas USA in Los Angeles again this past Monday. We beat UW 1-0 on a Montero goal. But we trained hard the day before and did not taper down for the game. So I was pleased with our effort and the play that we created against the Huskies. It was nice to get Rosales and Johansson back on the field.
The reserves won 4-3 at Chivas but we hit the post three times. It was nice to see the attack get untracked. Ochoa had two goals and Cordell Cato got his first and Andy Rose hit a great 20-yard screecher -- is that a word or did I make that up? -- to win the game.
Now we get ready for Chicago. The Fire are much improved over last year and have great speed up front in Oduro and Nyarko. So we have to be alert and on our toes to keep them at bay. The game Saturday starts a stretch of five games in 14 days. We need to use our depth over this haul and make sure we play effective and smart soccer. Getting points is important since we are making up some games we have in hand.
Our next home game is Los Angeles on May 2. We will see you there.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 @ 11:55am
Do you want the good news or the bad news first? That is a question we sometimes get asked by our friends and family. So I am asking you are fans, do you want the good news or the bad news first?
The answer is the same. The good news is we got another shutout and our defensive effort was very good. The bad news is we got shut out on offense and we need to get our attack back on track.
Our first away trip was a tough one for me as I got sick the night before we left for Washington, D.C. If you have ever flown while being sick it is not a fun experience. The team went to a gym when we got there while I went to sleep. Over the next few days I got better and felt OK by gametime.
We played with good effort and created some good chances but we need to be a little quicker, a little sharper in the final third of the field. D.C. was a confident team after their win over Dallas and played with a lot of spirit. It would have been a dream ending for Marc Burch if his header had not hit the post but gone into the goal. A great shot by Osvaldo Alonso led to the rebound and we were so close to winning it late.
Now we look toward our first afternoon home game against Colorado. I do not know if you are fans of the afternoon games. Curious to see what you, the fans, think about playing games in the afternoon. I am sure the marketing people have done the research in this area, but I have no idea how you, the fans, feel. I think it has to do with the Mariners having priority on the evening match since they are at home. Good luck to them and us.
Colorado has a new coach and is playing a more ball possession-style this season. I know it is the return of Brian Mullan -- please treat him with the respect that you give people who feel bad for what has happened. It is time to move forward and our attention is being poured into winning this game.
Hope to see you there, as loud and supportive of the Sounders as always.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012 @ 6:44pm
Well, last week was a result we were not happy with. San Jose came into our house and walked away with three points and we are never happy about that. I do not think it was a penalty kick but it was called and we have to live with that decision. On the whole, a tie would have been a fair result but that was not to be.
The most important thing is that over the course of a season you will have some setbacks. The key is to make them a speed bump on the road we are on and not a detour. We are a confident team that knows we can play better soccer than last week. San Jose played very well and worked hard for their result, but we are prepared to do the same thing as we get ready for D.C. United.
We leave for Washington, D.C. on Thursday and will have good training sessions here and there as we prepare. Traveling to the East Coast always means we lose one day of field training. So on the travel day Thursday we will get to a gym in Washington and get some cardio work done so we at least get a day of activity. On Friday we are going to Georgetown University to get a solid training session in to prepare for our Saturday game.
Our first away game should be a good experience. We were one of the best away teams in the league last year and want to continue this trend. Being good on the road means that you play a positive game and believe in your ability to win on the road. Often teams play more open against us and this helps us to attack more. With the return of some injured players we become deeper again and that should help us as we go after our first road victory of the year.
Hope you all watch the game and help us win. We can feel your presence even if is just in front of your TV at home.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 @ 3:50pm
It is hard to believe that the fourth season of Sounders soccer has begun in Seattle. It seems like just yesterday that we were in our inaugural season. However, the great news is we are still selling out, and you the fans are as fantastic as ever. I promise you, I and the team will never take you for granted. Your support is out of this world and tops in MLS.
We opened up the season with two straight wins at home. Our first win over Toronto was very important as we needed to show our character and come back from the disappointment of the Champions League game in Mexico. The team showed great fortitude and showed that we have good character. Obviously, the story of the night was David Estrada. His humility is genuine and, as I stated, no one works harder. Working hard and also working smart makes for good players. Some think David was a bit lucky but he was prepared for his opportunity and that is the definition of luck.
Game two posed a different problem for us. We had to replace some injured players in Mauro Rosales and Adam Johansson and face un defeated Houston team. Zach Scott and Roger Levesque stepped up and we played effectively to defeat Houston. Again, Estrada scored and we got a penalty from Brad Evans. Two goals from set pieces -- those types of goals help you win close games. Winning games in different manners is important to a successful season.
Now we look forward to finishing our season-opening home stand with a another good result against a much improved San Jose team. They have added some key players and got back the services of Steve Lenhart, who battles up front and gives space to Chris Wondolowski, a very dangerous forward.
But together with you our great fans we will be ready to do battle again and look forward to Saturday night. See you at the game.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011 @ 3:00pm
I, like the team and you the fans, am a little down. For an instant I even considered not writing a blog this week. It is close to 9 p.m. on Monday and I have watched film for the umpteenth time. But not writing a blog this week would be a bit of cowardice. We are a team that has to stand up to this adversity. I tell myself and my team that how you deal with adversity is how one defines their character.
Wednesday's game will not be easy. It will be work. We need to score and win by at least a three-goal difference to force overtime. There are many examples in soccer history of teams overcoming such a lead in one game and also in a home-and-home series. We want to make history.
We are excited to play in front of you, the best fans in U.S. soccer, and give you a night that you will long remember. When you work hard for something it feels that much better when you achieve your goal. Salt Lake is a quality team, but so are we. The regular season points, 63, do not lie. We have scored three or more goals on multiple occasions.
We will be prepared and look forward to a great game. We will bring our full effort, concentration and soccer ability to the fore. Your support will push us over the top.
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