This morning the Sounders concluded training for their 7 p.m. match tomorrow against the LA Galaxy at CenturyLink Field.
Here’s some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say:
(On the game tomorrow…) “It’s a big game. The Galaxy and ourselves have been the teams that over the last three regular seasons have had the best record when you combine it all together. We always want to be amongst the quality teams-I think we’re there-now it’s a matter of taking that next step. They’re a veteran team, they’re a quality team, and it’s going to be a great game.”
(On having a short preparation time for the game…) “I think the guys would rather play than practice. If you ask them, it’s not so bad. It’s part of what you go through every season. You know you’re going to hit a crunch part of the season when you’re going to have games that come rapid-fire and you’re going to be limited to mid-week games and not be able to train a lot. You just have to find your rhythm, and there’s a rhythm to that, as well. I think by the time we get into next Wednesday’s game at Dallas we’ll have out rhythm with it. Right now we’re going into a game where we have the same amount of rest as LA, so it’s not a bad situation.”
(On managing the roster with a multi-game week…) “It all depends on the situation. Every situation is different, every player’s situation is a little bit different. We have so many things at our disposal now that we have a pretty good read as to where they are physically and how they’re recovering. You factor in that this Wednesday’s game is against LA and we’re going in it with the same rest as they are. The weekend game is a little bit different situation. You factor in guys that haven’t played in a while like a [Mauro] Rosales and a [Adam] Johansson. Do you really want to push them two games in a short period of time? Do you want to give them a little more of a break? Some guys recover better than others. You look at all those factors together and you make a decision.”
(On the health of the team…) “Health is good. It’s coming along well. Rosales is doing okay, and Johansson is doing fine. [Alvaro Fernandez] is doing more and more, as well, so he’s feeling better. Pat [Ianni] was able to go through the whole training today. So all of that is a big plus for us.”
(On if LA’s big-name players are good for the league…) “I think it’s great for the league…Even Eddie [Johnson] who’s been away from the league and come back recognize how much better the league has gotten. Players who are in the league for the first time, like Michael Gspurning, I think [goalkeeper coach] Tommy [Dutra] plays a game with him, ‘this is the best player you’ve never heard about,’ and you’re going to play against him this week. There’s quality in this league, and I think people are starting to recognize that and people are starting to see that. If you get one player in this league who goes over and hits it big in Germany or hits it big in Spain, all of a sudden you’re going to see a major influx of them trying to grab players. There’s definitely talent. The league has gotten better every year and the quality of play has improved every year.”
(On Fredy Montero not having scored a goal this year…) “We’re trying to put him in the positions. He was unlucky with his free kick. The goalkeeper made a good save on it, but it was involved in the goal-it set up the goal. It doesn’t show up on the stat sheet but it was very important to us. He had that head ball where was inside. He made another good run where Mauro just missed him on the cross. I know the goals will come. They haven’t come so far. I think Fredy puts enough pressure on himself, I don’t think I need to add more pressure to him. Every day we train we work on our finishing. And the guys look for him as a player in terms of trying to get him the ball. We need to make sure we get him the ball in the right situations, not get him the ball in the wrong situations where he ends up having to do a lot of work in the wrong parts of the field. Part of is he wants the ball, and we try to get him the ball in positions where has an ability to score. Hopefully this is the game that it will happen, and if it doesn’t happen in this game it’ll happen in the next one. We feel confident in his ability to get goals.”