One of the themes after this morning’s training session was the Sounders’ hope that their quick transition back into CONCACAF Champions League will help jump-start their difficult start to their MLS season.
Here’s how some of them put it:
Midfielder BRAD EVANS
It’s always good when you have a quick turnaround. There’s no time to lull in our current situation. It’s a tournament that we’ve been successful in, and our focus turns solely on that tomorrow. … There will be a little wanting to wipe Saturday and the last couple of weeks off our minds, and hopefully get a good result. … I think anybody’s looking for a little bit of an escape from league, but at the same time you want to get back into league so you can get that first win under your belt.
Midfielder STEVE ZAKUANI
We’re just eager to get back out on the pitch. Like I said after the game, when you go through that kind of game or the phase we’re going through, you don’t want big breaks between games. You want to play right away. And so it’s good we have a game tomorrow night, a chance to get some confidence again. … It’s a different competition altogether. It’s not Major League Soccer, and at this stage we’re in the final four of this entire region, so that’s a pretty good escape. It’s just a chance to kind of forget the 0-3-1, and play this game that doesn’t have any bearing on what’s going on in the league. It’s a brand new conversation against a very good team.
Coach SIGI SCHMID
“There’s a lot of pride in this team, and that pride is something that needs to take over. When you have adversity is when you show your character, and right now it’s time for this team to show its character, and I think there’s character that’s there and I think there’s pride that’s there, and that’s got to kick in and carry us forward from here. We’re all disappiointed of where we’re at right now, but on the same token we all know we’re capable of much more.
On playing again tomorrow: It helps definitely. A couple of years ago I think we were going through a little bit of a struggle and the Open Cup really helped us. We caught some good games in there and we started to move forward from that. So being in another competition is something that maybe takes your mind off of it. Being at home is going to be a plus – we’ve been on the road for the last two weeks – as well.
On his team: I’ve coached a lot of years, and we’ll be OK. At the end of the day we’ll be OK, I’m confident of that. We’ve got to right now work out some things and get ourselves making the right decisions at key moments of the game. I think it’s moreso that than anything. Sometimes when you look at a game and you break down a game you think, ‘Jeez, we’re under a barrage or something.’ And it really wasn’t that case. There are some moments there – maybe it’s two or three minutes here, or two or three minutes there – where you’ve got to do something to right yourself in those two of three minutes. And for us as a team right now, that’s where we’re right now coming up short. The game of soccer to me is always one of where every team is going to have moments of domination within that game, some periods longer, some periods shorter, some teams have more domination, some teams have less. But every team has domination, and every team has some periods of time when they get dominated. You have to make sure that they don’t score during that period of time, you’ve got to make sure you score: That’s what we haven’t done well. When we’ve dominated the game and when we’ve created chances, we haven’t scored goals. And when a team has gotten on top of us, we’ve seemed to let one get by or let one get in, and that’s what we’ve got to turn around. And that’s a little bit tactics, but tactics is always implementation of those tactics.