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More Post-Match Quotes [ASN Philly-Provided]

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Breton Bonnette

As a supplement to what the team provided…

Sigi Schmid (Seattle Sounders Head Coach)

Q: When do you expect [Swiss international striker] Blaise [Nkufo] to join the club and what did you think of his World Cup?

A: Well, Blaise can’t play until July 15, so that’s when we expect him to be able to be on the field for us.  Obviously [Switzerland] got off to a good start with the win against Spain, but then the World Cup didn’t turn out the way they had hoped for.  But, he’s going to help us winning Cups.

Piotr Nowak (Philadelphia Union Head Coach)

Q: On his continued belief in goalkeeper Chris Seitz.

A: Well, you guys [the media] put a lot of pressure on him in the first couple of weeks, but as I said, this is a work in progress, and we’re going to do the best job we can to put this team in the right direction.

Shea Salinas (Philadelphia Union Defender)

Q: On his role in the game today & finding the balance between his defensive responsibilities and pushing up to create while playing at the back.

A: Well, I know [Seattle Forward Steve] Zakuani, who I was kind of marked up against, likes to stay high, so I gave him a lot of room and came in behind him.  In the first half, we went down the middle a lot, but we talked about it at halftime and starting going wide, and I think that opened it up a little so we could go back down the middle.  I was just fortunate to get the ball at the top a bit and put some crosses in.

Q: How were you able to contain [Seattle’s forwards] today?

A: They have a bunch of dangerous players:  Zakuani, [Freddie] Ljungberg , [Fredy] Montero.  We knew that we were just going to play them physical, we knew they were going to fall as much as possible [to draw fouls], we didn’t care about that, we played them tight.  They got one break on us from a little counterattack, but besides that, I don’t think they were very dangerous.

Q: How has the team improved since the first time you faced Seattle?

A: Well, we’ve had more time together: we’ve had games, we’ve had experience.  Also, we had a home crowd today; playing in Seattle last time was tough.  We’re definitely a lot smarter defensively now, knowing when to attack, not forcing too much, taking our time a little better.  I think the coaching staff has just done well fixing our mistakes, and hopefully we can carry it through the next 19 games.

Q: On coming out onto the PPL Park field for the first time.

A: When we first came out, it was an unreal feeling.  It was a little emotional: during the national anthem, everyone was singing, I was just thinking about how fortunate I was to be there.  I started to choke up, held back some tears, it was an unreal feeling.  I just felt so blessed to be in this atmosphere and playing this game.

Q: On going right back on the road to Los Angeles to face Chivas USA this week.

A: Chivas is a good team, they’ve been a good team ever since I’ve been in the league, for 3 years now.  We’ve got to go down there and play solid defense and play with the same type of physicality [as today].  We’ve got to play away like we play at home: being physical, with some fight.  Hopefully, we can do that.

Q: With the heat and humidity out there, I see some exhausted faces, but you look pretty fresh.   How does your running background play into it [Shea ran track in high school as a distance runner] and can you talk a little bit about how the conditions were out there?

A: I’m not gonna lie: I was pretty tired out there at the end; maybe more so from celebrating than from running.  It was hot, but it’s so easy to run when the crowd’s with you.  I do have a running background and consider myself pretty fit, although the last few games, I don’t think I’ve showed that.  Tonight, with the crowd behind us, we were all able to push to the 92nd minute and I think we did that.

Q: On his continuing development as a defender.

A: I don’t think I had a great game against Kansas City, but this game, the coaches helped me out a lot.  I haven’t played back there much, so we had a little Defense 101 this week and that helped me out a lot.  I need to play more aggressively back there; I’m used to playing in the midfield, where I don’t necessarily have to be the aggressor, so I’m trying to do that a little more.   I like the position when I can get forward a bit, but it is what it is.

Q: Yeah, as you said, you have usually been able to get forward from the back, but today it seemed like you were concentrating more on your marking responsibilities.

A: Yeah, Zakuani is a dangerous player, my goal was not to let him come inside.  He got in behind us one time and punished us, getting an assist, but he didn’t really do much else, which was great for us.  I think I got forward more than he did, and I think that’s a result of how we played.  We were pushing a little bit higher on the field, and that gave me a lot more space.

Jordan Harvey (Philadelphia Union Defender)

Q: Last time you faced this team in Seattle, you gave up a couple of goals early.  What was the change in tactic at the back to prevent that kind of thing from happening today?

A: Teams have actually gotten a few goals early on us, so we’re definitely trying to keep the zero up there.  I thought it was unfortunate to give up the goal in pretty much extra time there.  That was definitely something we want to stop in the future: goals early on and goals at the end of the half.  That was a big letdown; we shouldn’t have done that.

Q: At the same time, you seemed to be pressing up more, even getting an offsides whistled on you in the 1st half.  So, how did you balance you pressing up and it looked like Shea [Salinas] staying back a little bit more than usual for him.

A: Yeah, Shea actually got forward quite a bit in the 2nd half; I was on the ball a lot in the 1st half, so I pushed forward.  I felt like we had them going the whole 1st half, we were unfortunate to give up the goal at the end.  So, yeah, I was on the 1st half and kind of held back in the 2nd half.  It’s just whatever’s on.

Q: On the stadium.

A: The atmosphere was unbelievable; it was great.  18+ thousand; it was unbelievable.  The Sons of Ben were great and you couldn’t ask for anything more.

Q: On the conditions.

A: It was tough.  In the 1st half, I definitely felt it, then in the 2nd half, I was in the sun, so I started to get really tired.  Like I said, I was pushing forward more in the 1st half.  Because of the heat and everything, I kind of toned it down in the 2nd half so I could save my legs for defense.

Mike Seamon (Seattle Midfielder & Villanova alum)

Q: On playing in his first MLS game.

A: It was great to get my first regular season MLS game.  It was a great experience to get into this.  It was good to get in, but tough to take that result.  It’s upsetting.  It was definitely a bittersweet day for me.  It’s nice that it’s on the minds of the coaches to get me in there [with being back in Philadelphia and close to his native Rahway, New Jersey].  At the same time, it’s upsetting that we took that loss.

Q: On how he feels he played.

A: I felt alright out there.  I lost possession a couple of times in the box, which is a terrible time to be taking a chance, so I have to do better.  Other than that, I thought I looked pretty strong out there.  It was tough, because once I got it, a lot of the guys were running out of gas, so it was tough to get going offensively; I would have liked to have provided a spark there.  It’s definitely a good start, though.  Getting in a game is a start to a career.  I’m happy to get in, but the loss is tough to take.  Next time, we need to win the game.

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