Hector Jimenez - 7.6.19 - Seattle Sounders

Post-Match Quotes: Seattle Sounders - July 6, 2019

CALEB PORTER

On the emotion of the final seconds

Yeah, it’s extremely – best word I can describe [it] is painful. To give all that we gave - again, we’ve been doing to for six games now with the group that we have and every game we show up, we play well in the first half. In this case we got the first goal. We showed more fight today than any of the other games, even all the way to the end but you can’t win games by making some of the mistakes we’ve been making. I mean, it’s a long throw in that we back-head on our own goal. You can’t win games if you’re going to make those type of mistakes. It should be an easy header – head out – easy head out.

On whether the pause at the end of the second half affected the momentum of the match

It can’t affect us. Those things happen. We got to stay mentally tough. I thought, again, we showed a bit more of that [mental toughness] today. We’ve been working on that. I wasn’t pleased with the first 10 minutes of the second half, but I liked the fight after that – the response after that. But for me, you can’t let those things affect you. It’s all about making routine plays, guys. I mean, if you can’t make those plays – s it’s disappointing because they’re [Seattle Sounders FC] not breaking us down – no team is breaking us down. You see how organized we are. Everything is going as planned, there is nothing that’s surprising happening in the match whatsoever and we’re getting chances, we’re in positions. We’re not scoring enough, it comes down to finishing and quality and we’re shooting ourselves in the foot. That’s a long throw-in. If you really think about how that goal [was] scored. A guy literally throws it out of his hands, and we back-head it to [Nicolas] Lodeiro to just pop it in the back of the net. It can’t happen at this level - can’t happen. So, we have to look at those mistakes and there has to be accountability, because we can’t keep losing games that way, because we keep playing well enough to win but when you get guys that don’t make routine plays, we’re going to be in trouble – always going to be trouble. Because there’s always going to be crosses, there’s always going to be throw-ins, there’s always going to be set pieces. Defenders that make it and are on top level teams, they make those plays nine out of 10 times and same thing on the other end. And we missed a two-yard shot. I don’t even know how it goes over the goal. It’s harder to miss than make, you know? So, for me, it’s not enough composure, not enough quality. But I like the evolution of the team, [and] the team, but we definitely need more quality in the moments and we’re making mistakes that can’t happen at this level.

On whether he got clarification on why Patrick Mullins’ goal was offside

I haven’t seen it yet, no. I thought the handball too was, I haven’t seen that one either but, it’s hard to be too disappointed. We got a PK, they got one too, it’s tough. We knew that they were going to create through [Brad] Smith and [Kelvin] Leerdam crossing balls in and [Nicolas] Lodeiro, and those are the two things that we talked about where they would be dangerous, and sure enough, Lodeiro draws a PK, we don’t pick him up and obviously on the long throw, we don’t pick him up. He’s the one guy that I felt could score for them, without [Raul] Ruidiaz and [Jordan] Morris and [Cristian] Roldan and some of these guys. We knew they would get crosses through Smith, he’s a very good player, and Leerdam as well, I thought we managed that pretty well, I thought we defended crosses well. You know, I thought everything we wanted to do, in terms of execution was there except for the first ten minutes of the second half. It’s all psychological, but then from there our response was good, our fight was good, I was really pleased with that. It was the first game that I felt we had somewhat of a push at the end, and then worst-case scenario. And again, a lot of it is psychological and a lot of it is individual confidence, composure and quality. The more quality you have, the more confidence you have, so they’re connected.

On players returning to Crew SC soon and whether it will be difficult to finish in a top-seven spot

Well we just got to approach it one at a time, we can’t play all 14 games, we can only play one at a time. We know we get some reinforcements back, it’s almost like we have six, seven new signings coming in and for sure the group will look a lot different, but I’m pleased with the group [the] last six games, I thought we evolved. We’re missing key guys, but I thought in every game, we were there. It’s just disappointing that we don’t find a result because I think we played well enough in every game and I thought the execution overall was good enough, but again it comes down to those moments and we just give goals away, and it’s all in here [points to head] which is connected though - to quality.

On whether there were some minor details in the first half that needed to be fixed

No. I said in transition, the details of the final ball needed to be better. So, in transition there were a couple times where we got out on a break, we had good numbers, we’re just missing the final pass. That’s what I said at halftime.

 
HECTOR JIMENEZ
 
On if it’s too late to turn the season around
 
I don’t think it’s ever too late, especially given some of the results that have kind of gone our way. These last games, a lot of the games this year, it seems we lose by one goal and it’s … late in the second half. It’s just tough but we keep fighting and battling and getting back to our training facility and trying to find a solution to this.
 
On being in this situation at this point in the season
 
It’s tough. It’s tough because a lot of us have never experienced this situation before and we’re just going through it and trying to push as a team and we gotta remain positive even though the results aren’t coming and keep pushing. And that’s all we can do, keep pushing, working hard, hopefully things turn.
 
On players returning next week
 
We can’t always rely on it; every team will miss players during the course of the year, everyone has to step up and perform. It’s a profession and if you don’t get the job done, at the end of the day, players come and go, it’s a business. We’ll get it right, we’ll keep battling and go to the training field and come up with a game plan for the next game, which is probably Orlando [City SC] on the road I believe. Hopefully with the guys back we can turn things around.
 
ARTUR

On if this is a low point in the season

I think it is past the point where we could not make any more mistakes. We still sometimes lose the focus and do not do the right plays. I think there is nothing else we can say, we just need to act and do it right.

On Nicolas Lodeiro’s goal

It is always hard when there is a goal against us and, in this moment, it is even worse. It was one in play where I could have denied it and not let that happen and then he do[es]. It is hard when you have the chance to score, you’ve got to score often.

On the team’s fight moving forward

For sure, I think any game you have to keep fighting and I think this group has this character. But it hasn’t been enough. We have to fight and you have to make plays to win the game and we’ve got to be better. There is no other way and we cannot let this happen because there is already too many mistakes. We’ve got to stop this, we’ve got to stop it and stop the mistakes, defensive mistakes and we’ve got to do the offensive plays right.

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