Rapids, Sounders post-game comments

Coaches, players talk about the match, injury to Zakuani

Colorado Rapids

Head Coach Gary Smith

“Brian is not that sort of intending player, he’s very competitive. It was mistimed. I’m sure when I look back on it, the decision was right. We all certainly give our best wishes to (Steve) Zakuani for speedy recovery.

WATCH: GARY SMITH REACTS TO INJURY, RED CARD, LOSS TO SEATTLE

It changes the course of events for all sorts of reasons. An injury like that plays on players minds when they carry on. I think it took the wind out of everybody’s’ sails. And then, of course, playing with 10 men from five minutes on it makes our life incredibly difficult.

The goal that they scored was their first attack, and I would think their mindset changed a little bit when they scored. And after that they did a very good job of keeping their goal intact. I though the players attacked it well, with good energy, reasonable possession. I thought all in all we couldn’t threaten their goal enough and were not able to get back in it.”

On the ejection leaving the team down a man:

“I think if we’re talking about an individual that’s not as committed as Brian (Mullan), then I would be saying yes. It’s rash, I’ll certainly have a look at the whole event again. I don’t remember a call that he didn’t get, but maybe I’m overshadowed by the fact that the boy breaks his leg badly. It’s never nice to see that. And I think it’s a late challenge that is very committed. Again no one likes to see those sort of injuries, no one likes to see anyone sent off. Brian’s a very genuine guy and I don’t think there is any serious intent there.”

On not being able to get back in it:

“Honestly I think there were so many things that didn’t go our way. I’m sure the call was right (red card), but going down to ten men after three men is certainly not going your way. I know we have our own control over that, but the goal was pretty soft. It goes through Matt’s (Pickens) legs. Maybe the fact he didn’t strike it properly was the problem.

"There were so many things that weren’t right. I don’t know whether that was because of the injury, or we were playing a man down. Our final pass wasn’t good enough; when we got in good areas we never made enough of it; there wasn’t enough cutting edge; when we ended up 2-v-3, the inspiration to make the chance just wasn’t there tonight. Even the guys that came into the game, while they added some energy, the impact you’re looking for from guys like Sanna (Nyassi), who are very talented, wasn’t there. You’re asking a lot of these guys, with ten men and really playing against the odds, somebody’s got to step forward and make a name for themselves.”

Midfielder Brian Mullan

On the tackle to Steve Zakuani:

“I’m sorry for Steve (Zakuani). It was never my intention to injure him in the least. It’s a tackle that I’ve done hundreds of times and would probably do again. I had no intention of hurting him. It’s a freak, freak thing, and I apologize and wish Steve a speedy recovery.”

On the team’s reaction:

“I couldn’t be any prouder in our guys. They fought hard, still controlled the game, very impressed. I’m hurt for their effort, because of me they had to play down. The outcome would have been different if the circumstances were different.”

Midfielder Pablo Mastroeni

On if the injury to Steve Zakuani affected the team:

“Obviously it affects anyone, regardless of what team your on you never want to see. It’s real unfortunate. I think at the end of the day, I think the response was great from the guys. We were able to find some decent possession on their side of the field with ten men, so I think we did a good job of quickly putting that behind us and  focusing on the task at hand.”

On Brian Mullan:

“A guy of his character, I don’t think there’s any player in this league that for a second would think that Brian would egregiously attempt to hurt anyone. He’s a classy individual and has proven that over a great career. I think that even (Steve) Zakuani is a guy that would understand that Brian is a guy that plays hard all the time, and it was an unfortunate incident. But I don’t think for a second that anyone in this locker room, that other locker room (Seattle) or anyone in the league would think of Brian as a guy that has the propensity to do something like that.”

Seattle Sounders

Head Coach Sigi Schmid

On Steve Zakuani’s injury and Brian Mullan:

“Once we hear everything and know everything we’ll be able to say, but right now it’s just hearsay and speculation. It’s definitely a serious injury he probably won’t’ be traveling back with us. I’ve coached Brian Mullan. He’s an aggressive player. No player goes into a tackle like that trying to hurt a player. He’s an aggressive player and it happens.”

On losing a player in the first three minutes

“It’s a major blow for the guys psychologically to try to refocus on the game and try to not talk about it at halftime. Nobody really mentioned it but you definitely felt it hanging in the air. We tried to take care of business at hand and continue to play.”

On Fredy Montero’s goal:

“It’s good that he got the goal and it’s good for Fredy. He should have some confidence that he can hopefully carry with him into the next game.”

On the team’s past five games:

“We wanted to get four points out of these two games on the road and we want to come back home next week and win and that’s an important aspect for now. We’ve collected nine points in the last five games and we’re on a pretty good streak and we want to continue to do that.”

Defender James Riley

On Steve Zakuani’s injury:

“It’s a tough one. I know Brian Mullan – I’ve been playing against him for the past seven years, he’s a Colorado guy. He’s full throttle and he’s a great guy. It was an unfortunate tackle. It looked like a hard tackle before I even got over there and to have what happened to Stevey is obviously unfortunate.”

On the rest of the game:

“It’s tough. We’ve never had to handle that as a team. We’ve never really played a man up. I think I can remember the last time was probably against Columbus when they got a guy sent off. There are a few things that you’re trying to manage. Trying to play against 10 guys is new for us. We got through the first half and the second half is a representation of how we were able to fare playing up a guy after Zakuani was injured.”

On the win:

“To be honest I thought the first couple of games of the season we played some very good soccer and it’s unfortunate not to get results. This was probably one of our worst games yet even though we were able to get a result of 1-0 with a man up. We’ll take it as it comes. It’s an ugly win, but it’s a win on the road against a very good Colorado team.”

Forward Fredy Montero

On scoring the only goal:

“The first goal came at a good moment. I’m happy that team is doing well in the last five games. It was a great pass from Moro. I tried to go to the near post it ended up going between the legs of the goalkeeper.”

On the road win:

“We have to continue scoring goals, especially at Qwest Field. The fans deserve that.”

On Steve Zakuani’s injury:

“It’s sad to see a teammate go out like that. He’s a very important player and we’ve just got to continue moving ahead with whoever replaces him. But it’s sad.”