Sounders, Spurs take turns netting goals in high-scoring friendly

Sounders, Spurs take turns netting goals in high-scoring friendly

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SEATTLE, WA — (club release) Seattle Sounders FC played to a 3-3 draw against Tottenham Hotspur in an international friendly on Saturday afternoon on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. Today’s match marked the eighth time Sounders FC has hosted an international friendly, including the fourth meeting with an English Premier League side.

Spurs began the scoring in the 11th minute when Lewis Holtby scored on a streaking header as he received Harry Kane’s cross on a counter attack.

Sounders FC leveled the game in the 33rd minute on a penalty kick from Gonzalo Pineda. Chad Marshall suffered a foul in the penalty area on a corner kick to set up the goal. It marked the third time in 2014 that Pineda has converted a penalty kick.

Seattle took the lead in the 49th minute with a goal by Osvaldo Alonso. Alonso gathered a pass in open space and struck a 35-yard shot that hit the bottom of the crossbar and past Spurs keeper Brad Friedel.

Tottenham Hotspur scored the equalizer in the 55th minute when Roberto Soldado was issued a penalty kick after suffering a foul in the box, and he converted the shot past Stefan Frei to even the game 2-2.

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Sounders FC regained the lead in the 79th minute with Tristan Bowen’s first club goal. Sean Okoli took the ball down the left side from midfield and crossed to Bowen, who tapped in the goal after entering the game less than a minute earlier.

In the 82nd minute, Tottenham Hotspur tied the game at 3-3 on a penalty kick by Yago Falque after a Seattle hand ball in the box.

The match featured Clint Dempsey’s first appearance against Tottenham Hotspur since joining Sounders FC last season. Dempsey made 43 appearances for Spurs in 2012-2013, scoring 12 goals.

Seattle returns to MLS action on July 28 with a home match against the Los Angeles Galaxy. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.

Scoring Summary:
TOT- Lewis Holtby (Harry Kane) 11′
SEA- Gonzalo Pineda (penalty kick) 33′
SEA- Osvaldo Alonso 49′
TOT- Roberto Soldado (penalty kick) 54′
SEA- Tristan Bowen (Sean Okoli) 79′
TOT- Yago Falque (penalty kick) 82′

Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei (Josh Ford 78), DeAndre Yedlin, Chad Marshall (Djimi Traore 63), Zach Scott, Jalil Anibaba, Lamar Neagle (Tristan Bowen 78), Osvaldo Alonso, Gonzalo Pineda (Michael Azira 90), Marco Pappa (Aaron Kovar 75), Obafemi Martins (Kenny Cooper 63), Clint Dempsey (Sean Okoli 75).

Substitutes Not Used: Dylan Remick, Chad Barrett, Fabio Pereira, Cam Weaver, Aaron Long.

TOTAL SHOTS: 17; SHOTS ON GOAL: 8; FOULS: 11; OFFSIDE: 6; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 3.

Tottenham Hotspur – Brad Friedel, Danny Rose (Milos Veljkovic 45), Kyle Naughton (Ryan Fredericks 45), Michael Dawson (Younes Kaboul 45), Ezekiel Fryers, Aaron Lennon (Cristian Cebellos 45), Lewis Holtby (Yago Falque 68′), Etienne Capoue (Ryan Mason 63), Andros Townsend (Erik Lamela 45), Tom Carroll, Harry Kane (Roberto Soldado 45′).

Substitutes Not Used: Luke McGee, Kyle Walker, Christian Eriksen, Gylfi Sigurdsson.

TOTAL SHOTS: 14; SHOTS ON GOAL: 6; FOULS: 12; OFFSIDE: 0; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 4.

Misconduct Summary:
SEA- Gonzalo Pineda (caution) 29′
SEA- Zach Scott (caution) 70′
TOT- Cristan Ceballos (86′)
TOT- Roberto Soldado (caution) 89′
SEA- Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 89′

Referee: Ted Unkel
Referee’s Assistants: Marco Arruda, Isreal Fernandez
4th Official: Ismail Elfath
Attendance: 55,349
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Cloudy and 71 Degrees

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial

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Sigi Schmid- Seattle Sounders FC Head Coach
(Opening Statement….) “I think it was a good game, a good game for the fans. It was entertaining, lots of goals-lots of great goals and PK’S. I thought the game was good from that account. I was happy with how we played in the first half, not all that happy with the finishing of the first half, I thought we had opportunities that we needed to finish more of and could have been leading at halftime. For the second half, when they brought on their new group, the second group played a little quicker, a little more energy than the first group and it took us about 10 minutes to catch the rhythm of the game again… From a fan perspective I thought this was a good game.”

(On choosing the lineup…) “With Obafemi Martins we felt that 60 minutes was what we wanted to go with him, Chad Marshall has played a lot of minutes this year so we wanted to get him off and get Djimi Traore back out there, and some other changes came as the game went along. We didn’t have a plan with other guys to say ‘OK, you can only play this many minutes.'”

(On playing international competition…) “They are at the beginning of their season. I think the main thing that our guys and our team is always interested in is that we can play. I thought the first half was really good-at times I thought it was much better than theirs. In the run of play they were very clinical, but we can take away that we could out-possess a team like that. We could be a bit better on our finishing for sure. And we could compete. The issue for American teams is competing at that level week after week. Once you get in the grind of it it becomes a little different. When I was a college coach there would be a team from Division II or III that would play a Division I team and make the game close or equal, then those guys would get all excited and say ‘Oh we can play Division I.’ But week in and week out, it’s a little different. Although when you play week in and week out, you adjust to the tempo and rhythm and you find that.”

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(On preparing for this match…) “Everything was about preparation. We wanted to make sure we got minutes and our rhythm, and we kept playing. It was good for Oba and Clint [Dempsey] to get some time together in the first half. We got the minutes we needed from the starters and the fitness.”

(On the rhythm of different leagues…) “Rhythm is different. People say it’s faster at the international level. It’s faster at certain times, but it’s also slower a lot of times because it is more tactical and methodical, but when it goes it goes. I think their first goal was an example of that. It was slow and methodical and then it is very decisive and incisive… For DeAndre [Yedlin] I thought he had a good game except for that one cross he over-hit. He had some good crosses and I thought defensively he did well also.”

(On the signing of Xander Bailey…) “I mean it is fantastic. The support from ownership on down for Make-A-Wish group and Xander Bailey to give him this opportunity is just fantastic. I saw the look in his eyes and I could tell he was overwhelmed and so appreciative. It makes for a day that I know he will never forget. Our guys will never forget it either because it impacts us-we see what it means to him to be able to help in that regard and be a part of that sort of situation is unique.”

(On fan support…) “Seattle: Hats off. Respect has got to be given to our soccer culture here, to our fans who come out. It’s a big motivating factor and helps us play well, because they come out and support us and we’ve put on a good show the last couple of days and we want to continue to do that.

(On the youthfulness of the substitutions…) “Obviously Sean Okoli is able to jump on a good run on the far side for Tristan Bowen. He laid a good ball across that Brad [Friedel] couldn’t get to. Brad had to respect the idea of beating him near post, and the ball came through and Tristan was there. At that point we felt we needed fresh legs and little bit of speed, so we came in with Tristan instead of Cam Weaver, who has a different game. But we had Aaron Kovar out there, Okoli, and Bowen and I don’t think anyone is over 22 in that group, so that is good.”

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(On the penalty kicks…) “The first was just that the ball was played over the back of us. That’s what they were starting to do and that’s something that we didn’t handle well at the beginning of the second half. The second one-Traore makes a great play in the corner, doesn’t clear it, and we turn over the ball-it gets through and hits the hand. It’s going to happen. For me, it is interesting because I thought we could have had the second penalty in the first half when Lamar Neagle went down.”

(On Pineda’s chipped penalty kick…) “Everybody hits penalties different ways. Gonzo practices them all the time. I know he can hit them with power, placement, and do it like that one. He picks and chooses which one. He saw Friedel jump a little early and I think he decided to go with that one.”

Tristan Bowen – Sounders FC Forward
(On scoring goal…) “I was just excited to be on the pitch. Sean Okoli got the ball down the wing and saw he was in a crossing position and I just tried my best to get in front of the goal and he played a good ball and I just tapped it in.”

(On mindset coming into the game…) “I think my mindset was a little bit different form everyone else’s. I just wanted to make the most of the opportunity because I haven’t had too many this season. I just wanted to get on the pitch, do the best I can and show the coach I can contribute and obviously a goal looks good. I thought it was a good performance on the little time I had and just tried to build off it.”

(On atmosphere of the game…) “It got a little chippy towards the end but it was incredible to play against an English Premier League team and see guys in person that you see on television every weekend. It was awesome to get on the field with them, compare yourself and compete.”

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(On carrying momentum forward…) “I think it showed that although they’re in preseason we have a lot of quality on our team and for me personally getting a goal against Tottenham is a confidence builder. I think you just take in stride and try to not to get ahead of yourself, understand that it is a preseason for them but at the same time take the good points and use it as a confidence builder.”

Gonzalo Pineda – Sounders FC Midfielder
(On scoring penalty kick…) “It was fun. It was a very good game today and to score is always a good thing for everybody, fans and my teammates. The game was special for me, to be able score against a big team like Tottenham from the English Premier League. I was really happy about that.”

Josh Ford – Sounders FC Goalkeeper
(On playing in the match…) “It was a great experience, happy to be back out here. Especially with the injury that happened before, to get my legs back. I’ve been doing well in training, so I am glad to be back. The atmosphere was unreal. You can never be disappointed with the fans here-they always give it their full 90, so it’s good.”

(On playing against elite competition…) “Every game that you can get in and everything you experience while playing is something that you can take away. Playing against guys of that caliber-watching them play, watching their moves and how they play-a guy like Brad Friedel, a great American goalkeeper, it is special to watch and learn from those guys.”

(On the team’s performance…) “I think it’s definitely a great game, a great experience to get in and not be scared to go against guys you see on TV in the EPL. You want to show what you can do. We are all good players here-the league is getting better every year and when you get here you realize the league is very good. If you watch the game and you know we competed and the guys who came in the game definitely competed. It was a great opportunity to do what we can do, and that is to perform.”

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DeAndre Yedlin – Sounders FC Defender
(On Seattle’s soccer atmosphere…) “This matches some of the best crowds we had in Brazil, so it’s an amazing atmosphere and it’s the best in MLS, so I feel lucky to play here.”

(On contributions from substitutes…) “A lot of players got a chance to play and get their confidence up. Some guys came in and did really well. Sean Okoli got an assist and Tristan Bowen got a goal, and everyone else who came off the bench did really well. It’s a big confidence builder to let some other guys play and compare themselves to where they need to be and compare ourselves to a top team in Europe.”

(On the approach to friendlies…) “Any game you can learn from. We take the mistakes we learn from this game to help for the next game. We also take the mistakes from this game and build on them. Any game is a learning opportunity-whether it is a friendly or regular game-you just have to build on your weaknesses and keep building on your strengths.”

Osvaldo Alonso – Sounders FC Midfielder
(On making the All-Star roster…) “It always feels great when they call you and tell you’re an All-Star. I’m very happy to be there and be a part of that group and play against Bayern Munich.”

(On five Sounders FC players being named All-Stars…) “It’s always great to be there with your teammates-Clint, Oba, DeAndre, and Chad. It’s exciting for me. I’m very happy for all of us.”

(On facing Bayern Munich…) “One of the top teams in the world. They have a few players that won the World Cup. It’s going to be a tough game, a good game, and we just have to go down there and play our game.”

Mauricio Pochettino – Tottenham Hotspur Manager
(On the atmosphere in Seattle…) “It was unbelievable. I want to say thank you for the supporters. Yesterday and today they made the effort to come here to see us and I want to thank them.”

(On if they accomplished what they wanted to…) “Yes. I want to congratulate our players because the conditions to play were very difficult. It was warm, a different field (surface) and a very good team. It was a good performance because for us it was only one training moment.”

(On Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins…) “I think they did well. Dempsey is a very good player and Martins, too. It’s difficult to compare now because of our lack of conditioning.”

(On Make-A-Wish player Xander Bailey…) “It was very important (to be a part of) and we give our support always for something like that.”

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Brad Friedel – Tottenham Hotspur Goalkeeper
(On the atmosphere at CenturyLink Field and his thoughts on the game in general…) “It’s outstanding. I was just speaking to a friend of mine-for a friendly, 55 and a half thousand, that’s an amazing turnout. When we come on these tours, a lot of time, we don’t know what to expect. One thing was for certain, when we came to Seattle, we knew we were going to expect a good atmosphere and playing against the best team in the MLS right now. It was a very tough game for us. This was our first one, our first 90 minutes of the entire preseason, so it was always going to be hard, but you want hard tests in preseason, and I think especially at times in the first half, Seattle showed us why they’re top of the league right now.”

(On which Sounders players stood out and impressed him…) “To be honest, I thought all their attacking players that played in the first half were very good. I thought [Gonzalo] Pineda was good. I thought [Osvaldo] Alonso’s passing was good; obviously he scored a very good goal. And then also the overlapping runs on the right hand side, our left hand side, of [DeAndre] Yedlin… in both halves really was very good. I don’t know how many more games you guys have? 12 or 14, or something of that nature? So you guys are in full stride and full fitness, and I think you were also able to see some of our qualities today, so if that’s what we can show in our very first outing, then I think we’ll be pleased with our progress in preseason so far.”

(On his history with Sigi Schmid and other Sounders personnel, and reuniting with them…) “It was great. We had a coffee the other night and to be honest with you, I keep in touch with Sigi throughout the year. He comes over to London a couple of times a year and we always stay in touch. And Chris Henderson as well; he’s a good friend of mine. If there’s ever any help that I can give him with players and such, then I’m more than happy to help.”

(On whether he felt Tottenham Hotspur was ahead of where they expected to be for their first outing…) “Yeah, actually, I think so. We’ve been working extremely hard. Our preseason has been very demanding under the new boss, and I think that showed. If we weren’t up to even 50 or 60 percent fitness, we could have really gotten blown away playing a fully fit, very good side like Seattle. I think we were all pleasantly surprised with the fitness levels of the team. It’s not ideal, it must be said, to play on turf, you know […] but listen, that’s by the by. This was a great test for us today. We’re going to go now to Toronto, being very happy with our stay here.”

(On what he takes away from today’s match…) “Well, I think the first 90 minutes, which is always good. I didn’t see any injuries in the changing room after, which is always very good. This was the first time that we were able to try to adapt to our new manager’s philosophy of play, both offensively and defensively with competition, so that’s always a positive step. Now we can go and watch the films of it and we can improve on what he’ll want to improve for the next game. I think the entire stay in Seattle has been outstanding. The facilities of the Seattle Seahawks that they let us train at were outstanding, so we got a lot of good training in. And that’s the most important thing for us, is to get fit for the Premier League season. Yes, we want to try and win every game we go out and play, but it’s also very important that we get ourselves physically fit for our own kick-off.”

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