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Post-Match Quote Sheet: Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final

2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final
Seattle Sounders vs. Columbus Crew
Qwest Field; Seattle, Wash.
Oct. 5, 2010, 7 p.m. PT

Seattle Sounders FC head coach SIGI SCHMID 
On the performance of the team on the night:
“I’m extremely proud of our team. We talked about being able to win tonight and doing something special. We’re the first MLS team to repeat and the first to repeat in a long time. The guys really took it to heart and even though we went down 1-0, they should a lot of character.”

On the nervous finish after Columbus hit the post late in the match:
“It’s always nervous. They’re a good team so they’re always going to get chances and I say you’ve always got to dodge a few bullets to win a game. If you’re playing a good team, you’re not going to shut them down completely. Luck was a little bit on our side there but we always worked very hard and we deserved it.”

On the home support and crowd of 31,311:
“These fans are the best; they’re fantastic. They’ve stayed here until the end and stayed through the trophy presentation. They’ll be able to tell their kids and grandkids one day that they were there the day the Sounders won the second.”

On the response of his team after going down a goal:
“It was the same thing we did last week when we played Toronto in league play. We’ve got a really good confidence level and that’s something that’s developed over the past couple of weeks play. This team believes they’re going to win every time they step on the field, whether that’s home or away.”

On facing Columbus, his former club:
“It does have significance because I know so many of those players and the coaching staff. We’re all good friends. They’re a good team and I knew it was going to be difficult. So, winning is the most significant but in my heart sometimes I wish it didn’t have to be against them because the other team I want to see win is them if it can’t be us.”

On the game:
“I’m very, very proud of these guys. I’m happy that Sanna didn’t make me wait two years for his next goal. They’re a good team. I thought it was a good game throughout with two good teams playing against each other. I thought there was some good soccer that was played by both teams. We caught a break at the end when they hit the crossbar. You work hard to make your own luck. We showed a lot of character going down 1-0 and coming back. The attitude of our team has been very strong that way. I’m really proud and what we accomplished tonight is super. It sets us apart and makes us unique and this is the kind of franchise when Adrian [Hanauer], Joe [Roth], Drew [Carey] and Tod Leiweke and the rest of the internal ownership group and everyone else who works at this organization wanted us to be something unique, something special, something different. The fans were fantastic. That’s the loudest I’ve heard this place. Nobody left at the end of the game. A lot of times you see celebrations at the end of the game where the stadium is half empty, everyone was there for the cup presentation. I can’t say enough about our fans. They’re just fantastic.”

On winning Open Cup in the first two years of the franchise:
“We hoped that it could happen fast and we had the opportunity. I know there are teams out there that say they don’t take the Open Cup seriously, but if you’re not going to take something seriously, then don’t enter. For us, we’re in the competition and we’re in the competition to do our best and to win it and we’ve been able to do that. It does make us stand out, but we’ve worked hard to get there.”

On full team contribution:
“Everybody played a role and everybody played a part. Everyone scored a goal somewhere along the line or had involvement in scoring a goal or had a stop or made a good play in midfield. It shows the depth of our roster. What our team went through at the beginning of the season where we played some good soccer and didn’t get the results, having gone through that has made us a better team because you have to go through some adversity sometimes to grow. I think that is what has allowed us to believe that we can come back in games like that. Between the Champions League games, even though we haven’t done as well there, it has really gave our roster confidence. Between the Open Cup and Champions League everyone has had a role and participated and that has made us a good team.”

On building off this for rest of season:
“The feeling we have right now and the memory we carry away from this game has to spur them on to create another memory like this. Tomorrow we won’t practice, but after that we get back to work. We have to get focused again and have to get on with it. Once you have this taste in your mouth, you want to do it again.”

On the Columbus Crew:
“[Robert Warzycha] is a good coach and they came out more tactically disciplined. We talked about it at halftime, about different ways to free our players up a little bit because for us wing play is very important. I knew they would come with extra forwards in the end with four up front and two in midfield and push the issue. He’s a good coach and they’re a good team. Understanding them a little bit certainly helps, but they understand us too.”

On comparing to other championship wins:
“I never compare them, every one is great. Losing motivates me to work harder and winning is what motivates me to keep going day after day. When you win, you don’t want to compare them. I just feel very blessed and very fortunate in my years of coaching that I have had great players that have allowed me to win some championships because I can’t go out there and kick a ball. They have to go out there and kick a ball. Those guys in the locker room are the ones who deserve it and they should all be sitting here right now.”

Sounders FC Midfielder SANNA NYASSI
On scoring goals in the Final:
“Yeah, it’s a good feeling tonight. After breaking the deadlock the other day the chances came tonight and I made sure I finished both of them. Victory for us. We set a record in history, the first [MLS] team to win the trophy twice in a row. Good feeling.”

On how scoring helps his confidence:
“My confidence keeps growing after scoring two goals tonight. I make sure that I continue working hard at training. Make sure that I do a lot of finishing at training. Whenever the chances come I make sure that I take them.”

Sounders FC Goalkeeper KASEY KELLER
On winning the Open Cup:
“I have been fortunate enough to be on the winning podium but I have also had the disappointment of being on the losing side. Obviously for Columbus, it’s not a fun thing to be a part of. But it is tremendous for our fans to be able to experience this. We were obviously extremely disappointed last year not being able to host this thing and having to win it in D.C. So to be able to come back here and win it in front of our home fans, set a new record of attendance shows how good this team is. It’s so important. This competition was won by a whole squad. We made wholesale changes throughout the competition and those guys, it didn’t matter what team was on the field. They stepped up and showed the pride for the club to come out and win every time. And that’s not so with a lot of teams in the league. What a great night.”

On comeback victories:
“It shows great character. Early on in the season when we conceded a goal it kind of looked like we were over and done with. We have a lot of pride at the moment that we don’t feel like we are going to lose. We can go a goal down and we can come back and we can win things. In the end, the width of the crossbar saved us a little bit. But that’s the way the game goes. We got the win. I’m just very proud of the way we just keep fighting now. I mean throughout the whole game it just shows you that we are in good form and we got four league games left to finish this thing off and get us in great position for the playoffs.”

Columbus Crew Head Coach ROBERT WARZYCHA
On his impressions of the match:
“We limited Seattle to few chances today. If you look at the first five minutes they had momentum but we scored the first goal. They really possessed the ball side to side. They scored right before the half and that hurt a lot. In the second half we attacked very well, and they only had a few chances. The second goal just came out of nowhere.”

On starting Andy Gruenebaum today:
“Whether it is the U.S. Open Cup or MLS match we feel confident in starting Andy [Gruenebaum]. He did well today.”

On getting his team prepared for their next match:
“Win or lose that is the last game of the tournament. We have to focus on our next match and the playoffs. We are disappointed to lose the final but we are mentally strong.”

On the atmosphere at Qwest Field affecting his team:
“It is nice to play in front of your own crowd. The crowd feels like you have an extra player on the field and for Seattle they have a great crowd.”

Columbus Crew midfielder KEVIN BURNS
On starting out strong and getting an early lead:
“It was a good start, anytime you get up one-zero. There was still a lot to be played. Seattle is a good team and playing in front of a great crowd. It is sometimes just the way it goes. After the second goal is when we go worried.”

On his impressions from the match:
“We knew it was going to be a tough place to play, their fan base is great. Anytime you have a championship match on your own pitch, the odds are going to be against the visitors. We knew we had to defend and take advantage of any opportunity. We came out and scored the first goal and they were able to capitalize on two weird bounces.”