Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 4:50pm
Winning 3-1 was great. Losing Rosales to injury early in the game was not. As a coach you wrestle with the decision to rest him or play him. After speaking with Mauro and thinking about it I decided to start him. It was my decision. He had played well off the bench against San Jose and we held him out against Monterrey to allow him to train and get his fitness back.
The plan was then to have him play 45-60 minutes to get his game sharpness ready for the playoffs. Then came the Zemanski tackle. Hindsight is always perfect but it is important to not be in fear of an injury because that is always the time you do get injured. This was the only bad tackle of the game and it happened to Rosales.
We now have to move on and hope that he comes back quickly. He is determined and we are determined as a team that we will win and get a chance to put Mauro out on the field again.
I want to thank all of you for your support. We have the Cascadia Cup, we have another U.S. Open Cup, we secured a quarterfinal spot in the CONCACAF Champions league, and we qualified for the playoffs. All of these are great. But are real work begins now and we look forward to having you watch us Saturday night as we take on Real Salt Lake.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 @ 1:16pm
Many of us have been involved in soccer for a long time. I have been on the bench for crowds of 97,000 when we played Mexico in Pasadena, Calif. There were USA Cups in the mid-90s and World Cup games. There are games overseas and we all know how popular soccer is worldwide. But this was in Seattle for a regular-season MLS game and a farewell game for a great goalkeeper and man, Kasey Keller.
Seattle, you should be so proud. What you are doing for the sport of soccer in this country is unheard of. The benchmarks you are setting have created a special place for the sport and special recognition for our city.
The outpouring of attendance and affection for our team will never be forgotten. The tribute you paid to Kasey will live on and was superb. The game was not our best but Kasey saved some of his best saves for this special night. The three-save combo was fantastic as well as the first-half save on the Wondolowski header. Then we got our act together and with you cheering us on we scored two great goals to clinch the win. The Clink has never been louder.
So now we prepare for our last CCL game against Monterrey and last regular-season game. All just a prelude to the MLS playoffs. When we host our playoff game we will count on you the fans once again to support us and help us move forward to our ultimate goal of an MLS Cup.
Together all is possible.
See you soon,
Wednesday, October 5, 2011 @ 1:31pm
What a day, or shall I say evening. The support of our fans was tremendous as always. I have never heard our stadium louder than after our second goal as Alonso put the icing on the cake to seal our victory.
I cannot say enough about our team. The spirit and will power has been great and different players step forward at different times. The team fights all the time and never seems to hang their heads and that is a good sign.
I do not know if it has fully sunk in but winning three in a row is unbelievable. Right now it seems brilliant but in 10-20 years I think everyone will realize what an achievement this is. You always need a little bit of luck to survive in knockout competitions and we had some of that. You need an organization that is willing to back its fans and bid to get home games, because they know the fans will show up. We do not have to apologize for playing at home. Home games are a result of fan support and the backing of our ownership group. On behalf of the staff and the team I want to thank our owners for their belief.
But our team is still hungry. We are not satisfied. We have game on Saturday, followed by two more league games. We also have one CCL game left and then on to the MLS playoffs. We need to continue our approach and play with confidence and the results will take care of themselves. We have confidence but we are not arrogant. We know that work is still ahead of us. We also know we can make this an extra special year. We move forward with our full effort to make this happen. Get your tickets now you do not want to miss this team. They play hard for you every time they touch the field.
Enjoy the rest of your week. I am enjoying today. Tomorrow we continue to work and prepare for Philadelphia.
Monday, September 19, 2011 @ 3:44pm
We had a group leave Sea-Tac at 6 a.m., another at 7 a.m. and the final group at 9 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 12. All the groups flew into Dallas and we trained there that afternoon. We tried to have as many players as possible leave on the latest flight. The following day we trained in the morning in 95 degree heat in Dallas and flew to San Jose, Costa Rica that afternoon. We got in at 8 p.m. and then went straight from the airport to the stadium to look at the field and for the players to do their CONCACAF passport check. Then off to the hotel for a 10 p.m. dinner.
Game day was the day before Costa Rican Independence Day. At 6 p.m. all the radio stations and the people sing the national anthem. So on our way to the stadium the bus driver was singing with full gusto the national anthem of Costa Rica. I thought Leo was going to join in.
We had a good result and then the next morning had to depart again in groups. The first group flew through Atlanta and got into Seattle at 6 p.m. The other group flew through Dallas and got in at 8 p.m. The pleasures of international travel.
We trained Friday and turned our focus onto D.C. United. The team responded very well and we won 3-0 in convincing fashion. I know I went off on the refereeing not protecting players. But as a coach I need to protect my players when I feel it is not happening on the field. I am sure you understand.
This week we play Herediano at home and want another win to further assure our advancing to the quarter-final round. Then it is off to three countries in eight days.
First, Canada and our Cascadia Cup game at Vancouver on Saturday. Then we go to Guatemala for a Tuesday game and then off to Boston for a Saturday game with New England.
After all that we can think about the Open Cup final at home on Oct. 4.
Through all this your support is a tremendous crutch for our team and one that we really appreciate. Keep it and we will keep it up. We are in this together.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 @ 7:43am
Special to 710Sports.com
The travel continues as we go from Dallas to Monterrey, Mexico. However, travel is a lot easier when coming off of wins. The win in Seattle in our first CCL game was a great start to our group play.
Beating Dallas and moving into second place was a high priority for our team. It was hard work and we could have made the game easier on ourselves. After the game I tried to explain what happens in certain games when you are trying to change your team's mentality.
We scored a good counter-attack goal to take a 1-0 lead. After that goal we allowed ourselves to drop back and we absorbed a lot of pressure. We started the second half the same way, and even when Cruz from Dallas got red carded it was hard to change our approach. The team had settled into a style. As a coach you want to change it and get more possession and put the pressure on them. But Dallas was motivated and kept the pressure on us. Our defense held solid and we won.
Back on Tuesday in Seattle we were the team that was a man down and scored three goals due to our attacking mentality. Different games and different performances. Isn't soccer beautiful?
Now we play Monterrey, the defending CCL champs, and then home to the East leaders, Columbus, and then a U.S. Open Cup game. The challenges never end. We need to manage our players and give rest to some of our players in Mexico. We want to get a good result, but we also want to continue to get points in MLS and get to another Open Cup final. Player management over this next week will be very important. See you Saturday.
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 8:42am
Special to 710Sports.com
Well, another two game week completed. At least one of the games was at home.
After being on the road in the heat and humidity it was nice to play in the cool of Seattle. I thought we controlled the game against San Francisco from Panama last Wednesday. But it took us overtime to get the win after failing to convert on our goal chances. It also took a great early save from ever-reliable Kasey Keller to help us win that game.
On the weekend we returned to the heat and humidity – 95 at kickoff – to win an exciting game at Kansas City. Just when you thought it was over our team came up with two goals to win. Poor KC. No, I do not feel sorry for them. Years ago while at Columbus I had a sure victory for our team go the other way and we failed to make the playoffs.
It was a courageous performance based upon the conditions and the amount of games we had played. I was proud of our fitness and character. Also thanks for the many well wishes on victory 150. I feel very fortunate and privileged to have coached a lot of great teams and great players. May that continue.
Now the team and staff need to focus on Chivas USA. They are on an uptick and playing much better than earlier in the season. They are a team that plays with four midfielders and only one is a winger type, Jorge Flores.
As a result they crowd the middle of the field and try to make it difficult for the opponent to play. Moreno is a nonstop forward who likes to punish defenders and we need to get at their backs with our offensive weapons to have success.
It is the start of six games in 18 days. Another stretch of hard work. But what could be better than playing soccer?
Wednesday, August 3, 2011 @ 8:41am
When you fail you have a chance to learn and now we move forward into this week. We need to win by two goals to advance past San Francisco from Panama. If we only win 1-0 we go to penalty kicks after overtime. Any other one-goal victory line means we are out. We need to look at our team and put out the best lineup. They will sit back and make it difficult for us to score. They will also try and slow the game down. So we need to get the game to be played faster and get the opponent under pressure to create turnovers and get the ball. Width in attack will be important and attacking crosses will also help us be successful. It will be an exciting game.
After Wednesday we are off to Kansas City and a team that has not lost in their new stadium. It will be warm and humid, but we need to find our desire and fitness to do our best in this game. Sporting KC plays with three forwards so that will bring a different challenge and we need to create mismatches that will help us in the midfield area. Our speed in transition will be very important in this game.
I look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday. It will be nice to be at home and play in front of our great fans.
See you then,
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 8:26am
On Sunday we arrived at Sea-Tac airport at 4:30 a.m. for a 6 a.m. departure, so far so good. We landed in Houston on time with a three hour layover for our flight to Panama. We were supposed to leave at 3 p.m. We were on the plane pushed away from the gate and then they discovered a problem. We sat on the plane for 90 minutes with little to no air conditioning. It was hot.
Finally they realized we were all wilting under the lack of air and they let us off the plane. They fixed the plane and we took off four hours after our scheduled departure time. We arrived in Panama late, got to the hotel and had dinner at 12:30 a.m. Panama time.
Life on the road.
Last week we played Manchester United and had a very good first half. We created chances and should have scored. They had chances and scored one, both goalkeepers made some great saves.
The second half was not so kind for us. We did not finish and they finished everything. Some good second half subs as well like Wayne Rooney to name just one. I am competitive so it did not sit well with me and everyone who knows me knows of my disappointment in that result. But my motto has always been that through adversity and how we handle it, is when we grow and show our true character.
Well, Panama is our time to grow and show that character and then on to Houston. We will keep working and improving everyday and we know you will keep supporting us everyday. Let's enjoy the week.
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