Thanks to another resounding victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Sounders FC accomplished one of their main goals for the 2015 season on Wednesday evening.
The 3-0 result clinched Seattle’s spot in the Knockout Round of the 2015-2016 CONCACAF Champions League, which resumes next February. The Sounders joined the LA Galaxy, D.C. United and Mexican side Querétaro FC as teams that have advanced out of their group.
The Sounders were in a must-win situation on Wednesday, as any other result would have eliminated them from the competition.
Here’s what Head Coach Sigi Schmid and his players said after the match. Read on for match notes from the Sounders final SCCL match of 2015.
“Obviously we are pleased with the result – it gets us into the next round. It’s nice to have a lot more players healthy, so then options and choices were a lot better. …We’ve been talking a lot, working on and making sure we are organized on defending set pieces, so I am pleased [that] the last two games we haven’t given up a set piece. Those are important things as your team moves forward and you try to get yourself into the right rhythm in order to win games. We are very pleased tonight.”
“The thing we talked about before the game was, ‘Hey, we’re starting to get in a rhythm, we’re starting to win games, confidence is growing – this is just another game in that step, in that sequence.’ We didn’t want to say, ‘Hey this is a different competition.’ We’re talking about sequencing ourselves, building our confidence level and continuing to win games. Not giving up any goals is something we are very happy with.”
“It was nice to be able to take something from Vancouver after they’ve beaten us twice; they’ve come to our house and beaten us. It sends the message that we are playing well at the right time, and that’s important. …We are getting shutouts again, and we are scoring again. That’s going to build competition within us, and that’s going to put a better product on the field come playoffs.”
“We knew it was going to be a crazy game. So we knew we had to bring the pressure, and I think all the guys worked for each other. We pressured them a lot, we won the ball back in good areas and we had good possession for a lot of the time – it was a good game. …We were able to score three goals against them up there, and it was nice to be able to do the same thing at home.”
- With the win, Sounders FC advances to the Knockout Round from Group F in the 2015-2016 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League. It is the third time in club history the Rave Green have moved on to the Knockout Stage.
- Wednesday’s contest marked the fifth and final competition between Vancouver and Seattle in 2015, barring potential postseason matchups in the MLS Cup Playoffs. In these competitions, Seattle posted a 3-1-1 record, including a 1-0-1 mark in SCCL action.
- Lamar Neagle scored two goals to become the fourth player in club history to record a brace in SCCL play. Neagle leads the team with three goals during this year’s tournament and ranks tied for third in club history with four SCCL goals. The Federal Way native ranks third on the team with seven goals across all competitions in 2015.
- The 3-0 result matches the largest scoring margin in a SCCL match in club history. Previously, Sounders FC held the mark with a 4-1 win against CSD Comunicaciones on August 16, 2011.
- In his first SCCL start, Nelson Valdez became the second player in club history to record a goal and two assists in a Champions League match, joining Andy Rose (3-1 win vs. Caledonia AIA on August 2, 2012).
- Goalkeeper Stefan Frei made his SCCL debut for Sounders FC, making two saves en route to his 11th shutout across all competitions.
- Tonight’s attendance of 37,624 sets a new club record in a SCCL match.