While the news about Blaise Nkufo’s departure was announced just before tonight’s First Kick match, coach Sigi Schmid said the decision was made “a few days ago” during a meeting with Nkufo.
“We went over different things and it was just a mutual decision that it was probably good to move on at this stage, that it wasn’t working in terms of his situation, our situation,” Schmid said after the loss to LA. “It was very mutual. There were no problems, there were no issues, there was no problem with professionalism or anything like that. He’s a very professional player and a quality player. But after we met we realized that maybe at this time it was best to go on.”
That said, goalkeeper Kasey Keller said the opening-night timing of the announcement was not ideal.
“It’s obviously never a good timing when you lose a player right before the season starts,” Keller said. “If this happens five or six weeks ago you have time to replace him, where that kind of left us a little high and dry, which is a little frustrating. But we have a good squad. It’s not about people who aren’t here, or people who don’t want to be here. It’s about the team that’s here and the team that stepped on the field today, and the team that stepped on the field today did enough to get a result.”
I’ll be back with more from Schmid, GM Adrian Hanauer and players.