In front of 64,358 fans at CenturyLink Field – the fourth-largest crowd in club history and biggest in MLS this season – Sounders FC earned a crucial 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers on Sunday.
Seattle has now won two of its last three games, and despite a rough stretch in MLS play this summer, the club remains in the sixth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. In addition, Sounders FC is now atop the 2015 Cascadia Cup standings with just one rivalry match to go.
Here’s what Head Coach Sigi Schmid and captain Brad Evans said after Sunday’s victory.
“The most important thing is that we got three points. Sometimes you’ve got to find your way into a rhythm and (regain) confidence through hard work, and today was hard work. I don’t think it was beauty…What’s important for us – as we continue to work through all of those things – is to continue to fight and battle as a team and get three points whenever they’re there.”
“It was a hard-fought win. The results that become turning points for you are the ones where the team realizes, ‘Wow, that was a team effort.’ Everybody rolled up their sleeves and battled for each other, fought for each other. I think that’s the feeling in the locker room. They are tired, and they know they can play better, but they also know they got a result through grit and determination today. They set a goal for themselves today to get three points, and it didn’t matter how.”
“I thought [Stefan Frei] improved consistently last year, and through the end of the year, I thought he was one of the best goalkeepers in the league. I don’t think he gets mentioned in the same breath as some of the [other keepers], and I think that’s a shame. I know he had the MLS Save of the Week last week, and that save he made on Lucas Melano in the first half [today] was very critical.”
“Everybody came out fighting from minute one. There wasn’t one guy who you kind of had to yell at him to get him going. It was one of those games where we knew we had to win. …I think as your back gets pushed further and further back into the wall, at some point you have to make a stand and everybody has to be collectively together. Today was one of those days.”