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Schmid on record attendance, playoffs, more

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on Oct. 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm with No Comments »
October 2, 2012 4:27 pm

I’ve got a few notes before from today’s Sounders training session. Here’s more from coach Sigi Schmid:

(On the big crowd expected on Sunday…) “It’ll be great. I’m sure they’re working hard to get that as a sellout. It’s a great tribute to MLS and to Northwest rivalries, and it’s going to be an electric atmosphere.”

(On Sounders FC’s success in big crowd games…) “I’m sure the guys have a little extra motivation and so forth. When the crowd is that size, it does become intimidating for the opponent. I remember when we played with the Galaxy and we won the MLS Cup there were 64,000 in Gillette Stadium cheering on New England. As experienced a team as were at that time, it was a little bit daunting to go out there and face that and know that they were all for the opponent. It’s going to be a great atmosphere for us and I think that helps us.”

(On having lineup continuity going into the playoffs…) “Continuity is always good when you can build that. Certainly, now health-wise we’re pretty good, so it gives us the different options. I think the guys, once they play a little bit more together, too, they’ll have a little better feel for the timing and the running off of each other. Again, it’s still a matter of getting the right mix out on the field, so that’s the important part, as well, for us. I thought in the first half we did a good job of controlling the game. I thought we had control of the game as good as we’ve had at any point this season. I thought we had some good counter-attacks, I thought defensively we gave up very little, and I thought we were OK. Even in the second half, looking at it on tape, it never looks as bad. There were times where we had some good possession, some good counters. They played with a higher tempo and played with a lot more enthusiasm, and so that gave them some chances, but overall I thought we were pretty good. Now it’s just a matter of turning that possession into the goals. Eddie Johnson’s volley at the back post, Brad Evans’ volley and his run-through on Mauro’s pass, all of those are things that were opportunities that hopefully we’ll do better with.”

(On the game Sunday being a rivalry game and a crucial game for playoff seeding…) “It’s all inter-related. The three points are important to us, but it’s also—like I said after the game—getting a tie there when maybe our offense was off a little bit. Still being able to get a shutout and a tie is important because that’s something we need to get on the road, as well. This being a rivalry game—what ends up happening is we’re not getting a game like Salt Lake got where they run into a Chivas team that maybe the air has gone out of the balloon a little bit and there’s not as much to play for. You can say you’re playing for your job, but it’s different. A win for Portland gives them the Cascadia Cup.”

(On Seattle, Salt Lake, and LA all playing each other again before the playoffs…) “It certainly helps us and keeps us in a rhythm of playing important games, so we can’t relax and have an easy game. Every game is going to be a game that’s going to require concentration and attention from the team, which is good because it keeps you sharp going into the playoffs. Having a good training rhythm, being able to mix some rest with training, as well, and making sure we’re physically right going into those games is important. Playing those teams is good, it’s a good measuring stick for them and for us, and there’s still a lot at stake in terms of seeding and where you end up. Everybody wants to avoid that fourth place because you don’t want to play that extra game.”

(On the offensive performance over the last month…) “I think we’ve had some good offensive performances in there. We only got the one goal against San Jose, we got none last week, so you always want to score more, but I think we’ve been creating things. Teams are going to tighten things up towards the end of the season as the games become a little more vital for teams. They’re going to concentrate a little more, so the opportunities become less and you just have to make sure you finish when you use them. I think we’ve put ourselves in some good positions. We watched video tape today and there was probably, I would say, a minimum of eight-nine miss-hit crosses that if we hit better crosses—then you have to talk about better runs at the end of it—then we’re a lot more dangerous. You put one of those away and then the whole game changes.”

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