Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 3:57pm
When you are a coach you live through those agonies and are unhappy at giving up three goals. But I am paid to worry. You pay to enjoy the game. I hope you enjoyed Saturday. It was a great commercial for the sport of soccer. Offensively, we created some good goals and had some excellent ball movement. I was very pleased. We are happy with the win and our character to come back has been superb.
Wednesday was a win over our nemesis, the LA Galaxy, and we move on another round in the U.S. Open Cup. If you have not seen an Open Cup game at Starfire, you need to get there. It is an intimate setting and special for the fans to be on top of the action. The players enjoy it and you experience the game in full. Sort of like a Joe Roth-produced 3D movie. It is special.
Speaking of special, Manchester United comes to town on Wednesday. A full house and one of the world's most famous clubs as our opponent. Having been a huge fan of George Best and Denis Law, United has always been special. Make your way to the stadium and enjoy a soccer treat on July 20.
We are looking forward to it. I hope you are too.
Friday, July 15, 2011 @ 8:04am
The three points are important as we want to gather as many points as we can to secure the best possible playoff spot.
But let's not forget last week. A tie in LA, which has been a tough place for us to get a result lately. But a win in Portland. What a great feeling. Seeing our fans, hearing their fans and the atmosphere away from home was great. Second best in the league to Seattle. Winning made for a great bus ride back.
I hope you enjoyed your drive back if you were there as well. If not there I hope you enjoyed the broadcast. A great day for soccer in USA.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011 @ 9:40pm
We had our chances and played well in the first half. We missed a penalty kick. A goal at that moment would change the game for certain. Evans, who is our first choice, was not in the lineup, so the task fell to Montero. I have full confidence in Fredy being able to score the penalty. Unfortunately the Fourth of July was not that day.
I was pleased with our defending for the most part and thought that we got into some scoring situations with Rosales and Levesque always probing. Keller made a great save on Angel and a tie was a fair result. Our mentality continues to improve and we continue to find a way to get results in difficult situations.
Now we get ready for the rematch with the Portland Timbers. I marked this game on my calendar after the first game in Seattle with a big circle and star. We will be ready and we are looking forward to this game.
We look forward to the Portland fans and know we will have great support as well. If you cannot be there as a fan you want to watch this one on TV. It will be a great game, full of highlights and lots of grit and determination.
O'Brian White continues to train more and more with the team. Sunday might be too soon but you never know. We will work hard and know the importance of our next game for our fans.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 @ 1:02pm
What a difference a week makes.
Last week a wonderful goal late caused us to tie a game and this week a wonderful goal gets us three points on the road.
We always say we are a good road team and last week we found a way to win. We played alright at times but certainly not our best and then we were reduced to 10 players by a red card.
The players battled hard and Rosales worked with such complete passion for the team, as did many others like Alonso and the rest of the team. All three subs made good impacts and a great free kick goal by Montero won the game for us.
As you finish one challenge another awaits, or two or three sometimes. We play New York on Thursday and then New England on Sunday. Right thereafter we could have our Open Cup game as early as Tuesday.
New York will be without Henry but Richards returns to them from Jamaica. They are a good veteran team that plays and does not make many mistakes. We need to be patient and aggressive at the right times to throw them off their passing game and create our chances. Just like in Portland for New York on Sunday, set pieces will be an important part of the game on Thursday.
On Sunday we have Shalrie Joseph and the rest of the Revolution. They are not happy with their season and are playing with a very real resolve to get themselves into the playoff race. We will play on only three days' rest and need to be smart in our possession and our decisions to make this game go our way. New England I am sure will try to push the tempo hoping they can take advantage of some fatigue on our side. Our fitness will be up to the task.
Lots of soccer this week. I look forward to seeing you all at Qwest Field, or is it Century Link stadium yet? Whichever, you know where it is. We will see you there. Looking forward to it.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 @ 8:45am
Strap on your seat belts, what a wild finish this past weekend.
I was very proud of our ability to fight back into the game. We carried the game to them in the second half and finally got two goals. Then a once-in-a-lifetime goal. One of the best I have seen in all my years of soccer. Just wish it had been for us. If you were there you should remember that goal and the final 10 minutes for a long time.
It was exciting and great for the sport. But we would have preferred a win.
Time to take on our second Canadian team in a week. Off we go to Toronto. Toronto got a great result in L.A. They are an unpredictable team who plays with many changing faces in their lineup. As a result they are a little difficult to prepare for.
We have had to change our lineup as well. Different players have stepped up at different times.
Saturday will be the first time we play at night in Toronto. That will make the game a little different for me. We need to take into the game a strong mentality. Traveling across time zones is tough, but a task we can succeed at.
We need to continue our strong play on the road and get as many points as we can. As always three is the goal.
Thanks for your support last Saturday. You the fans were first class as usual.
Take care Sigi
Thursday, June 9, 2011 @ 2:21pm
Well, it is Canada week. The week we play the Whitecaps from Vancouver. The game is very important to us in that we want to be the top dog in the Northwest.
Last week was a tough game in Chicago. They were energized by a new coach and played a direct game. They had good team speed and played a lot of passes into their big forwards. Our defense was up to the task and Kasey Keller as usual did a fine job.
Lamar Neagle had two good early chances and an early goal would certainly have changed the game. We are never happy with a tie but based upon the day, Chicago's emotion and our first game in warm weather, I was pleased.
Remember our first warm weather game last year we lost in Philly.
Mauro Rosales looks like he should recover from his sprained ankle and I think Erik Friberg will be available again this week.
Vancouver is another team with a new coach and they will be full of life. When a team gets a new coach all the players try extra hard again to impress the new guy. The Whitecaps will be the same. We need to match that early intensity.
After two road games we look forward to being at home in front of you, our great fans – the best fans in the Northwest and the country.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 @ 11:58am
A tough loss at home versus Dallas and then a great win on the road at Salt Lake. Not the way you want to do it but the road win could be one of those defining moments that happen in a season.
We talked before the game about how nice it would feel to break their home winning streak. There was a lot of talk about all the players they were missing. However, just like we are missing Steve Zakuani they are missing Javier Morales. With that exception they were one player away from their best team.
Alvaro Saborio and Arturo Alvarez or Paulo would have played in the forward slot next to Fabian Espindola. But not all three of them.
Great to see Lamar Neagle score. He works hard every day at training. It is tough coming into a game without a proper warm up. But he did well and scored a goal-of-the-week type goal.
Mike Fucito continues to cause problems and we are dangerous on our set pieces.
Now we go to Chicago. They just changed coaches and the team will come out flying in our game on Saturday. I coached their new coach Frank Klopas on the 1994 World Cup team.
All their players will be motivated to prove themselves to the new coach.
After all the rain and cold weather we played in it looks like it will be 90 degrees for our next game. Maybe we should bring clouds with us to cool things down. Another win on the road would be a great way to start June.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011 @ 2:11pm
Winning in the last minute is both a tremendous high and a great strain. We all suffer and endure – the players, staff and you the fans for 90 minutes. We are sad but we will never stop trying. Then when you score the goal in injury time euphoria breaks out.
Kansas City was the highest scoring team in the league in per-game average. So I am proud of our defense, especially with this being the first time they had their DP Omar Bravo and their talented winger Smith on the field at the same time. They also concentrated on their defending since they had been the worst team in MLS in this category. They had a conservative game plan and sat back to make our attacking play very difficult.
We are still working out the kinks with new personnel and trying to develop their cohesion and understanding of each other. We also need to find the right mix of players in the attacking end.
But it is coming.
Now it is time to play another team Dallas that is very focused on their defending. It does not get easier. With the loss of their star player David Ferreira, they have consolidated their team defensively to stay in games until their offense gets untracked. Playing away from home, they will make that a priority.
Then we go to Salt Lake City. Three games in a week to face a rested Salt Lake team. This is another team that is adjusting to the loss of a key player – Javier Morales. They too are focused on their defending. We need to make good use of the ball in this game since we are playing at altitude and also playing our third game in seven days. Keeping possession will be key in this game.
Your support on Saturday was great and I know you will be there again in full voice for Wednesday against Dallas.
See you there.
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