Emptying the tape recorder: Quotes from the Union's 2-2 draw with Seattle
Read everything that John Hackworth had to say about referee Jorge Gonzalez after Saturday's game.
I wanted to write these quotes up on Sunday, but I was covering another sport that Americans claim to not like very much. So this got delayed a bit. Apologies.
Opening statement on the referees (which is what you really want to read anyway):
I'll say that I walk up here without any stats, but having watched some replays of the last 10 minutes, that absolutely blew my mind. Full credit to Seattle, they're a very good team, and well-coached. But that should not have been a draw, in any way, shape or form.
There's a clear penalty at the end of the game. How it's not called is beyond me. And there were so many parts of that game that were mismanaged by the officials, I don't even know what to say.
Look, I'll raise my hand and take the fine, because it has to be said that we cannot be in this league and have this level of play and have the officiating be as bad as that.
On having to play without Sheanon Williams (suspended) and Jeff Parke (injured) Saturday at Chicago, and whether that means Bakary Soumaré might get on to the field:
Yeah, for sure. I don't know how Sheanon gets a red card. It was bizarre. But for sure, thank goodness Baky is in good form. You saw Gabe, he's in good form. So we'll be okay.
On whether he was given an explanation about Sheanon Williams' red card:
No. To be fair to Mark Geiger, the fourth [official], I don't think he knew what was going on either. There were so many calls. Michael Farfan gets a yellow card in the first half and takes a two-hand shove as he's trying to track down the ball, and he gets a yellow for it.
There's not just one play. Forget that we should have had a penalty kick on the clearest handball you can see on video, alright? I hope you guys saw it too. There's so many little plays in that game. And it wasn't just against us necessarily, it was just bizarre. It can't happen in this league.
Again, I'll get what's coming to me, but I'll make a bold statement and say that should not be allowed. And that guy [referee Jorge Gonzalez] has come here before and done the exact same thing.
On the back line's performance after Jeff Parke left injured:
Great response, really good, but then we let up, and we let the second one in.
We worked so hard to get back into that game and we put a lot of energy out. We should have been back [tied] at halftime, for sure, and we're down a goal. We get two back in the second half, do all the right things, should have gotten a third – our fault for giving up that second one for sure.
On Danny Cruz's performance and quieting critics of him, and whether anything was said at halftime that lit a spark:
We talked about the fact that we just had to come out with as much urgency and as much pressure as we could. We were playing good at the end of the first half. We put a lot of balls into the box, but our execution was really poor.
I said to the guys: "There's nothing I can say to you as a coach to get you to execute a skill that you guys are all really good at. But I can get you to play harder, and you've got to just keep going. You've got to keep your foot on the gas and know that it's coming, and believe in it."
Thank goodness it did. And for Danny, it was especially pleasing, because he probably has been under the microscope a little bit. He has been criticized for some missed chances, and for sure he takes two good chances there. So I'm really happy for him.
On adjustments that he made after the red cards:
It changes everything. You have to make major adjustments any time a red card is given, but when two red cards are given and you are making some subs, it's very difficult. To be fair, I think we made the right ones.
I don't want to keep beating a dead horse with this, but I don't know how there's [just] three minutes of injury time. It looked like it took three minutes for [the referee] to decide to give the first red cards alone. There were three goals scored. I think there were six subs. So a lot of those little decisions.
I'll try not talk about it for the rest of the press conference.
On whether he views the result as points dropped:
I think the points were dropped, but I don't think that was as much as our fault as it was the – ah, I don't want to say it again.
On Gabriel Farfan's good performance, and whether he might play more as a result:
I'm really happy for Gabe. He's a guy that I trust immensely on a personal and professional level. He's a really good player. He's competing right now with his brother [Michael] for playing time. When called upon today he did his job and he did it very well.
On whether Keon Daniel is dropping too far back into midfield:
We've got to get Keon to stay farther up the field. That's where the space was to play into. Keon just wants the ball, so he's trying to come back. In particular, when we get down a goal early – on the restart that's not what we need him to do. We need him to vacate that space and push higher and find better spots.
On whether Daniel is on a short leash as a result, with players like Kléberson on the bench:
That's not a real concern for me right now, because I believe in Keon Daniel. I think he has been one of our best players through the course of the season. I think he had a good game today, José [Kléberson] is a good player too, but we'll evaluate that during training. I wouldn't say he's on a short leash.
On what he saw after his late shot that hit Sounders defender Leo Gonzalez's outstretched hand:
I saw a clear and blatant handball. It was pretty obvious to me, even at that speed of play, that it hit his hand and the hand wasn't anywhere near close to his face. But it wasn't called.
On dropping points at home:
It's never good. We want to win at home. We have this kind of [fan] support which is amazing, and we want to be able to give them what they deserve. That's goals and victories. It hasn't necessarily been that great – their support has been great and we'd like to reciprocate that, but we haven't been able to.
On whether the game can serve as a lesson for the team's younger players about keeping their heads when tempers start rising:
Yeah, I think so. At the end of the day, when you get a little bit older – what happened with Lamar [Neagle] there, instead of pushing his face away, you just put your hands up and walk away, suck it up.
At that time, it's the 90th minute and we need as many guys as possible. Especially when you're playing away and the home team is pushing forward for goals. If we can keep our heads a little bit, get back into the field of play and get on with it, that will benefit us a lot more for the next game.
It's a mistake that you learn from. In DeAndre [Yedlin]'s case, I don't think he touched him [Michael Farfan], but I think the intent was to try to get a quick foul because he had gotten beat on the first cutback. His recovery is so fast that maybe he doesn't need to foul. Next time, I think he'll learn from that.
They're both competitive, they're both smart guys. It's something to learn from.
I had one [playing] in Columbus against San Jose that I remember, against Kelly Gray. It was just a bad tackle, cleats-up. I don't think I've gone in cleats-up since that time. You learn from these things, if it's worth it to win one ball and sit out and leave your team down for 20 minutes, or missing the next game or two games.
On whether those red cards were based in any frustration from the Sounders' poor start to the season so far:
Oh, no, it's not indicative of how we've done early in the year. Obviously it's definitely not a reflection of the team we've been in the past. Usually, I think we've been on the wrong side of the red cards. We're not a team that usually commits bad fouls and things like that.
But the game was what it was. The team was pressing and we held our own for a while, and then they scored two quick goals. We pushed, and got our goal and fought back, and then tempers were flaring.
On whether the team was happy getting the draw:
Yeah. I thought we started the game off well. There were a lot of new faces out there, a lot of different players on the field. We haven't had a consistent lineup this year. But I thought we came out and we had a good start to the game in the first 20 minutes.
Then they started to play some good football and create chances, and make things difficult for us. We knew coming into the game that, they're good at home. Playing away from your home against a team that has been scoring goals lately, we expected that. But it's good to get out of here with two goals and it's good to get a point.
On scoring a goal after missing a few games due to a hamstring injury:
It's good for confidence. I missed three games, and at the end of the day, good goal-scorers have rhythm. Rhythm is playing game after game after game. That's how you get your confidence and sharpness.
I've been battling a hamstring injury the last couple of weeks, and now it's right. I'm just looking forward, like I've been saying, to getting back and making a difference.
On whether the team took a step back after the game to teach younger players about keeping cool in the heat of the moment:
I mean, what's young these days? Lamar is 25, DeAndre is 19. Young is 18. But I think these guys, coming back into the locker room after what happened, I know they probably wish they hadn't reacted, or gotten caught up in the emotions.
It's part of growing as a soccer player, that learning. It took me a while to figure it out, and I'm pretty sure they'll learn from it, put it behind them and go forward.