With MLS on a break this week during World Cup qualifying, the post-practice interview with coach Sigi Schmid took on a more global glow.
Here’s some of what Schmid had to say:
On what role he expects for Eddie Johnson tonight when the US visits Antigua & Barbuda: You’ve got to ask (USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann) that. That’s not really my question. Obviously he has worked hard to get himself back in the pool, so we’ll see what his situation is: whether he gets minutes, whether he starts, whether he comes on as a sub. Who knows, he might not be in the 18. I really don’t know at this stage.
On the importance of the USA getting a result tonight and moving on in qualifying) It’s always important that we qualify. So, obviously you’ve got to move on, you’ve got to qualify. The U.S. has qualified for every World Cup now since 1990, so you don’t want to break that string for sure. Places like Antiqua are difficult to play because of the field conditions and so forth. It makes the game a little more difficult. But it’s something that you’ve got to figure out a way to manage and still get a result. Everybody’s got to go there in that group and play there. So getting three points tonight makes the game on Tuesday a lot easier. So, that’ important for the U.S. to move on.
On having Johnson, Adam Johansson (Sweden) and Mario Martinez (Honduras) away on international duty) Obviously it’s good for the club. It shows again that we’ve got good players here. And I think there’s other guys who certainly are worthy of consideration. (Fredy) Montero with Columbia is certainly worthy of consideration as well. (Osvaldo) Alonso, if he can sort out his whole thing and whether he’s eligible to play for the U.S. Again, it’s just a good reflection. When teams are doing well, coaches look at your team and say, ‘Why are they doing well,’ and they look at players in a more positive light, so it’s always important that your team does well. It makes it easier to get into international teams and things like that.
On Alonso’s hopes to be made eligible to play for the USA, since his defection makes his native Cuba unavailable to him) Don’t know. That’s something I know they’re presenting different facts and so forth to FIFA, and FIFA will have to step forward to make a decision.