The Sounders trained the morning at Starfire, and afterward, coach Sigi Schmid looked back at the scoreless opener of the series with Real Salt Lake and looked ahead to the resolution game Thursday in Utah.
On watching the game a second time: I was up last night until 2:30 watching the game. Obviously Rimado had a good game, came up with some good saves. Gspurning made a couple of good saves there too. Again, I was happy with the chances we created. There’s some things I think we can do a little bit better, even offensively. Those are things we’ll work on this week. But overall I was pleased with our effort offensively and defensively. It’s one of those days where it just doesn’t go in, but it wasn’t a situation of lack of trying or poor play that put us in that position. I think we did well.
On his team’s health: (Mauro) Rosales is fine. He went through a re-gen today. Eddie (Johnson) went through the training that we wanted him to go through today, and he should be full-in on Monday. … Leo (Gonzalez) was working with Eddie and went through his stuff. Patrick (Ianni) went through a lot of that as well.
On if Eddie was an option yesterday: He was close. It was a situation of, it would have been the second leg and it was the same situation, we definitely would have put him on the 18. But we decided with it being the first leg we would wait just that little bit.
On what Eddie Johnson’s return could mean: It just gets remedied by our team just understanding what our runs have to be off of each other. Eddie has certain physical qualities that he brings to the games. The wide players get a lot of space, there are opportunities to cross the ball. Eddie’s good in the air, so he adds that quality. He is our best forward in the air, so he helps us that way. Their defense has to be a little more respectful, maybe can’t play as high a line, so that gives us more room to operate at midfield, and makes their midfield cover a little more space.
On Sounders confidence: I think these two teams are very close. I think Salt Lake has been a good team, I think we’ve been a good team. I don’t think there’s a lot between the two teams. They are two good soccer teams that try to play the ball, that try to push the ball around. We’re every bit as confident that we can do well in Salt Lake, but we also understand that they’re a good team and if we’re not attentive they’ll take advantage of that. It will be a close game. It might be a series that gets decided by one goal at the end of the day.
On RSL tactics at home: Obviously, they’re playing in front of their home fans. I think obviously with the home crowd behind them they’re going to feel a little more of a responsibility to attack. If they come and attack a little more that gives us a little bit of space to counter into. Which way they’re going to approach it, I don’t know. I think the first 20 minutes are going to be very important in Salt Lake.
On Fredy Montero: When Fredy and Eddie are on the field together it helps them both because you can’t key on one or the other. With just Fredy being out there, obviously they were able to key on Fredy a little bit more. Not that Sammy is a bad player or didn’t do well, but maybe the respect level of the opposition isn’t quite the same. Even then, like I said, Sammy had two great opportunities to score for us and got denied on a great save. And Fredy was instrumental on our build-up work as well.
On Montero streak of seven scoreless playoff games: Teams will key on him a little bit more, they’ll concentrate a little bit more. So now the question is does he have to do a little bit more at times. That’s only a question that he can answer at the end of the day. I think Fredy’s effort and his desire to help the team is there. He’s just a little bit snakebit. Mike Magee doesn’t score a lot of goals in the regular season, but scores goals in the playoffs. Why? Because all the attention is on Donovan and on Buddle and on Beckham, and so he pops free. And the attention is even keener in the playoffs to make sure you keep Keane off the board and keep those guys, so then his space opens up a little bit more.
On the series possibly coming down to penalty kicks: Hopefully it won’t come to that. … We’ll see about hitting them. Hopefully it will be better than in Kansas City where we couldn’t hit penalties before the game because we didn’t know who was watching.