Sounders bounce back to top Chivas USA

Sounders bounce back to top Chivas USA

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SEATTLE, WA- Obafemi Martins scored twice as Seattle Sounders FC (18-9-3, 57 points) defeated Chivas USA (6-18-6, 24 points), 4-2, Saturday afternoon on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. Lamar Neagle and Clint Dempsey also scored as Seattle took a three-point lead in the Supporters’ Shield standings.

PHOTOS: See a gallery by Jeff Halstead

Martins’ 15 goals this season are a new franchise record, passing Eddie Johnson’s 14 in 2012. He now has six goals and three assists in five career games against Chivas USA.

With the win, Sounders FC also matched its club record of 18 wins, set in 2011.

Chivas USA began the scoring in the 12th minute with a goal by Erick Torres. Akira Kaji played Felix Borja into the box on the right side for an attempt that was saved by Stefan Frei. Torres collected the rebound and slotted it into the back of the net.

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In the 14th minute, Martins equalized when he collected a pass from Marco Pappa, evaded a defender, and rocketed a 30-yard, left-footed shot past Dan Kennedy.

Chivas USA regained the lead in the 18th minute on a Seattle own goal before Sounders FC tied the game again in the 37th. Neagle collected a pass through the middle that deflected off a Chivas defender right into his path in the box, then slotted it past Kennedy. Neagle has eight goals in 2014, tying his career high set last season.

Dempsey put Seattle up 3-2 in first half stoppage time when he took a pass through the defense from Martins and knocked in a left-footed shot for his 13th goal of the season.

In the 51st minute, Seatte extended the lead to 4-2 on Martins’ second goal of the match. He received a pass from Neagle in the box, put a move on a defender to create some space, then chipped a 10-yard shot that took a deflection and rolled past Kennedy.

Seattle extends its winning streak against Chivas USA to eight games, and has not lost to the Goats since 2009.

Sounders FC returns to action next Sunday, October 5th at the Colorado Rapids. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. PT at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Scoring Summary:
CHV – Erick Torres 12′
SEA – Obafemi Martins (Marco Pappa) 14′
CHV – Own Goal (Jalil Anibaba) 18′
SEA – Lamar Neagle 37′
SEA – Clint Dempsey (Obafemi Martins) 45+1′
SEA – Obafemi Martins (Lamar Neagle) 51′

Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; DeAndre Yedlin, Chad Marshall, Jalil Anibaba, Brad Evans-C; Marco Pappa (Andy Rose 69), Osvaldo Alonso, Micheal Azira, Lamar Neagle, Clint Dempsey (Sean Okoli 90+1), Obafemi Martins (Dylan Remick 90+1)

Substitutes Not Used: Marcus Hahnemann, Djimi Traore, Kenny Cooper, Chad Barrett.

TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Dempsey, 8); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Dempsey, 4) ; FOULS: 13 (5 tied at 2); OFFSIDE: 3 (Neagle, 2); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Evans, 3); SAVES: 3 (Frei, 3).

Chivas USA – Dan Kennedy; Akira Kaji, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Bobby Burling, Donald Toia; Nathan Sturgis (Marvin Chavez 72), Oswaldo Minda (Agustin Pelleteri 87), Matthew Dunn, Leandro Barrera (Luis Bolanos 77); Felix Borja, Erick Torres.

Substitutes Not Used: Trevor Spangenberg, Eric Avila, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Tony Lochhead.

TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Torres, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Borja, 2); FOULS: 15 (2 tied at 4); OFFSIDE: 1 (Torres, 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (2 tied at 1); SAVES: 5 (Kennedy, 5).

Misconduct Summary:
CHV – Oswaldo Minda (caution) 13′
CHV- Bobby Burling (caution) 78′

Referee: Drew Fischer
Referee’s Assistants: Corey Rockwell, Jeremy Hanson
4th Official: Baboucarr Jallow
Attendance: 38,713
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Sunny and 66 degrees

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial

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Postgame Quotes: Sounders FC 4 vs. Chivas USA 2 – September 27, 2014

Sigi Schmid – Sounders FC Head Coach
(Opening Statement…) “It’s been a long patch of games. To go on a 12-day road trip at this point of the season and to have played as many games as we have had to play in the last period of time was strenuous on our guys. I was very proud of their effort today. We put ourselves in a difficult situation in the beginning of the game and the ability to come back from that situation-I found in the second half we managed to gain very well. We could have had a few more; we were unlucky when Clint’s shot went off the post. We were creating opportunities, we were controlling the ball, and we weren’t giving much away, so I was pleased with that.”

(On Obafemi Martins setting the single-season franchise record for goals…) “We’ve still got more games to go, so let’s not write it in yet. Clint is right there close to him as well, so we would like them both to get beyond what the old record was. I thought Oba played very well today, I thought he worked hard and it’s great. I also think it’s the most goals he has had in a season, so we are very proud of him.”

(On Martins’ season…) “He has had a good season. I think it shows that last year, at the end of last year, he was just fatigued from not getting a break-from going to the Russian season to the Spanish season to our season without a break. Now that he had a proper preseason and had that break in between I think he’s sustaining his effort and sustaining it at the end of the season. He is a very important piece to our team and he and Clint are very good together.”

(On Martins and Dempsey’s combinations…) “They look for each other and know where each other are on the field. When one has the ball, the other knows where the other one is… they move for each other off the ball and they trust each other and have confidence in that connection.”

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(On Martins and Dempsey continued…) “Certainly the talent level of these two individually could carry a front line for you. Together they are a real handful. Every team I know when they play us, that is something they have to worry about when those two are on the field together. So from the standpoint of having two lead strikers on a team-[that] is not a luxury you get all the time as a coach.”

(On Lamar Neagle…) “I think he is paying attention to the little things. By the little things I think he is working hard off the ball, he is defending better, and that allows him to be in position when we recover the ball to get after them because they are forgetting about him because he is all of a sudden coming from a little deeper, and then he gets forward. His runs are coming from deeper and so it is hard for them to pick him up. When he has gotten around the goal he has done well. He finished his goal well today and the better play he did was not touching the ball on the fourth goal-he was aware to not touch it.”

(On the backline allowing two early goals…) “We’re frustrated with that. That is something we addressed at halftime. I am older so I don’t tend to be very loud at halftime, but I was maybe a little louder today. So that is something we know that’s got to be better. Just like the first goal in Dallas was a really fluky goal, the goals today were fluky goals-bouncing off people, rebounding, and it seemed to always be bouncing their way. Certainly Barrera hits a great shot, the one that hits underneath the cross bar, and that starts that sequence… We have to better and have to make sure we don’t give those up.”

(On where the defense can improve…) “We got countered on the one goal. We just have to be more resilient in our 1-on-1 defending, our 1-1 defending needs to better, our defending as a group needs to be better. We need to just clear the ball, we are a team that likes to pass the ball and entertain the fans, that’s the kind of team we are-we are an entertaining team. Sometimes guys, instead of clearing it, find passes. I think there is one guy in the second half where most defenders in the league, probably 90 percent, would have played it along the line, but he tries to find the pass inside and split, he gets cut off and now they are counterattacking on us. We have a lot of faith in our passing ability, but it’s also what makes a fun team to watch. That’s a reason why the fans come-they know they are going to be entertained by us. They used to say that from an entertainment value that 4-2 is better than 1-0. 4-2 is a lot harder on your heart than a 1-0, I would rather take the 1-0, but this has been an up year scoring as a whole in the league for MLS, and I think that’s positive. There is entertaining soccer being played in our league.”

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(On starting Anibaba…) “Jalil played in the game in New York. He played at right back and he is really more of a center back. We just felt in this game it was his turn to be back out there. Djimi’s been coming off from injury, too, so to come back after Wednesday’s game and come back now and play 90 today would have been hard because he hasn’t really had that big amount of game time where he can play 90 minutes. Jalil didn’t play at Dallas and could go 90.”

(On Michel Azira’s performance…) “I thought Michel played very well. He was sort of a forgotten man. We talked and gave him the opportunity and I thought he did very well. He did a good job of closing things down. I thought he was quick. He and [Osvaldo Alonzo] found each other very well. I was very, very pleased with how he played. I don’t know if you know how difficult it is when you haven’t played like he has and deliver the kind of performance he has-it speaks not only to his play, but is character. He is a good character guy.”

(On Leo Gonzalez’s injury…) “It’s a hamstring that’s slight, but we felt that if he tried to play today he could pull it and be out for a long time. We are hoping that for Colorado he should be able to be back in the mix.

(On Zach Scott’s injury…) “The MRI is tomorrow, there is nothing broken there. His ankle is a little bit arthritic, it’s a little more bone-on-bone. We are thinking that it is more like a bone bruise in the ankle joint. We will just have to wait and see, but he is a tough character because I know if anybody would come back sooner rather later it is him.”

(On starting Brad Evans at left back…) “Brad is a man for all seasons-he has done a lot of different things for us at a lot of different times. When Leo went down we wanted to go with Azira inside midfield, and we felt with Pappa and Neagle wide we were OK there, and we wanted to go with Brad.”

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(On gaining sole possession of first place…) “I am proud of the group. I am proud of our character. Again, we have shown an ability to come back in a lot of those games. There’s nobody more disappointed than the group after the games in New York and Dallas. But we are in first place and people are still chasing us. They have to get three points to even get with us, and we are going to continue to put that pressure on for the rest of the season.”

Clint Dempsey – Sounders FC Forward
(On the game…) “I thought we showed character in terms of coming back twice from being down. We just need to do a better job of during things up in the back, but I’m happy with the win and continuing our form at home, and keeping our position at the top of MLS.”

(On the defense…) “We had to shuffle things around a little bit, and sometimes it might just be the reps of everybody getting used to each other in those positions because they changed the back line up a few times. We’ll get it right, I’m not worried about it.”

(On the physical toll has the team taken with all of the traveling and five games in the past 16 games…) “Me, personally, I feel good. I was able to get a little bit of a rest at the New York game. Most importantly of that road trip we had, we won the U.S. Open Cup and now we’re still in first place. We won at home and now we have four games left so now it’s just making sure that we get the right results in those matches and that we secure home field advantage in the playoffs.”

(On if it feels good to get a rest with a couple of days off…) “Yeah for sure. We’re going to be back on the road again going to Colorado, that’s a team that gave us problems last season when we traveled there so we’ll be looking to try and correct that.”

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DeAndre Yedlin – Sounders FC Defender
(On Martins setting the club record for goals…) “Both Obafemi and Clint are those playmakers that pull rabbits out of their hats, you just don’t know how. You need one of those guys on your team and luckily we have two of them, those two are so key for us and we’re happy to have them.”

(On injuries and lineup changes affecting the backline…) “Yes it can be, chemistry plays a big part, but as a pro you have to adjust to who you’re playing with. I thought we did a lot better in the second half, It’s something that we will continue to work on and try to keep improving.”

Brad Evans – Sounders FC Midfielder
(On Micheal Azira performance…) “I felt confident with Azira in there, he’s a ball winner, he’s smart and smooth on the ball, he’s able to shake defenders off and he adds a little something else to our game. When we add Rose in that position he gets forward more, with Pineda he’s a bit more creative, and Azira sits little bit, more defending and waits for the counter attack. No matter who we add in there I think it complements our team very and doesn’t change too much how we play.”

(On the physical toll on last road trip…) “Yeah it wears on the team, absolutely thankfully that we have two days off now. The biggest things was playing in Dallas, flying home and only having one day to prepare for this game and then having to play at 1 pm instead of 7pm. You get the extra time to let the body relax a bit, but if the turnaround is that fast it’s important to get a result and it makes everything that much better, makes your body feel better. So we look forward to the two days and then it’s back to work.”

Lamar Neagle – Sounders FC Midfielder/Forward
(On the team’s mindset going into the half…) “We were more disappointed in the goals that we gave up. We’ve given up easy goals and we definitely need to lock it down. They say that defense wins championships, and we know that we’re going to score because we have the talent to do so, we just have to pick up mentally on defense.”

(On the play of Obafemi Martins…) “He’s a great player, you can see that and everybody knows that. It’s not a surprise that he’s scoring so many goals, he pops up in the right places and does everything the right way.”

(On his game has catching some rhythm…) “A little bit, but I don’t think I’m catching Obafemi anytime soon. I went through a streak where I didn’t have any goals or assist and now I have a few, so it’s nice leading into playoffs to start getting on a roll hopefully we do it as a team.”

Wilmer Cabrera – Chivas USA Head Coach
(On today’s game…) “We came to play an even game, and it was a good game. The intensity was good. We created options and we scored two goals, but it’s sad that we ourselves deflected the ball in one occasion for them to generate the ball – in two occasions. In the second goal, it was a deflection coming from us, and in the fourth goal, another deflection, but it’s part of the game. They’re a very good team, they’re one of the top teams in this league, if not the best. At least no doubt with the mentality, with the intensity that the players put on the field, we watched and we enjoyed a good game.”

(On his team’s mentality going in to this game…) “It is important that the players understand that the only way for us to get out of this slump is getting on the field and put intensity. We cannot just go over there and give up right away because we receive one goal. We’ve been talking, they’re committed and right now, what we need to think is if we can play the next four games with this intensity, we’re going to win some points because we have three at home. That is important. Sadly, we’re going to lose now [Erick] ‘Cubo’ [Torres] again for one game and we’re going to lose Marvin [Chavez], but I think that the seed was there. We came with intensity, we played the top team in this league even, we scored goals but we have to improve the lack of concentration when we have to tackle the ball. We have to win those tackles. We have to win those battles right there, because they were good in the finishing.”

(On Torres breaking Chivas’ all-time record in scoring in a single season…) “He’s been important for us. Every time we have him, you know, that’s why he is the top scorer for us. When we don’t have him, it’s difficult. He helps us to score goals, and he helped Felix [Borja] to move and feel more comfortable. It’s always important to have Cubo because it’s been great for us. Now, we have to continue thinking that now we have three games at home and we have the possibility to get out of this losing streak.”

(On introducing Matthew Dunn into his starting lineup…) “He showed personality. He was tackling the top players in this league and he was playing even, so that’s what you expect from him and that why Matt Dunn was today in the starting lineup, because he has earned that right to be on the field. It’s a young player, but it’s a player that is going to be important for this franchise.”

Erick Torres – Chivas USA Forward
(On the goal…) “It was a play that was very well collaborated from the team on the right flank. Felix Borja keeps the ball and tried to find his way into the box and he tries to shoot on goal. The deflection comes my way near the six yard box and I have the patience to dribble around and I knew that the defender was on top of me so I needed to move fast. And then I just shoot on goal.”

(On scoring his 15th goal of the season…) “I’m very happy for the work of the entire team and I’ve been working very hard every week to remain constant and creating dangerous opportunities in the attack.”

(On his motivation for scoring goals…) “It’s a little bit complicated but I’m looking to keep my fingerprint in Major League Soccer. I know that I have a very bright future ahead of me with the National Team and whatever my future may bring. And obviously knowing that I’m an international player and I have a lot of people behind me supporting me and having my back.”

(On breaking the club record for goals…) “It’s a very motivating stat. Having the opportunity to keep that to make that [record] in the club and in the history of the franchise is something that fills me with joy.”

Matthew Dunn – Chivas USA Midfielder
(On getting his first start…) “It was an incredible experience. I mean, the atmosphere here is unlike anywhere I’ve played in my life and it was great to get my first start. In that situation and it was a good team and it was a good game. I wish it was obviously a little bit better but it was fun.”

(On how he felt he played…) “Good. I was happy with the way I played. I could have cleaned a few more passes up a little bit, but I’ll go into training and work on it this week and hopefully next week I’ll get to play again.”

(On the positives he can take from the game…) “I think my positioning can be a little better at times. Dempsey and Martins were able to get behind me in between the lines I can be a little bit more aware of that, but that’s something I’ll work on and can fix. Some of the positives were my long balls were good today and so was my defense at times I made some good tackles. I think the team played well today. I think we played with good intensity and we executed our game plan we just didn’t get the result.”

(On making his first start in this atmosphere…) “It was a dream come true for me. I never knew if I would ever make it and to come in and play my first game and I walked out and did the ceremony-it was just incredible, words can hardly describe it.”

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