It was a newsy day with the Sounders today, but perhaps the most interesting thing I heard from coach Sigi Schmid was this quotes, which seems to indicate he isn’t willing to risk anyone’s playoff availability just for playoff seeding or to try to snap the ongoing six-game winless streak this Sunday against LA.
“We want to play well,” he said. “We want to be healthy and we want to play well. We want to do a little bit of both. We also want to be smart because we know we’re in the playoffs, so we don’t want to put anybody out there on the field that by playing them on Sunday it’s going to severly hurt their chances to be able to play in the next game. So we’re going to put guys out there that are healthy.”
Part of his reasoning may show through in this answer about the MLS’ history of low-seeded teams streaking to MLS Cup.
“Once you enter the playoffs it’s a cup competition, which means every dog can have their day,” he said. “It’s not a situation of cream rises to the top. We missed opportunities. Obviously we’re disappointed at the end of the year because we were in a position that we could complete for the Supporters Shield, we could compete for the conference crown, and we didn’t do that. So we’re disappoint at that for sure, and we want to right that and sort that away. But that doesn’t affect what happens in the playoffs because very rarely does the team that wins Supporters Shield win in the playoffs. There’s a lot of teams that are considered good teams in the league that have very few trophies.”
Schmid was asked later about his club’s health:
“Getting better,” he said. “Djimi Traore is much better. Eddie Johnson’s better. Oba’s better. So we’ll see how close they get to being able to play. Leo Gonzalez has played with a little bit of knocks, so we’ll see how he goes. He might be a player that we’d look at for this weekend: Do we really want to send him out there or give him another few days to make sure that he recovers, because he plays through pain fairly well. But the rest group looks OK. … Obviously they knocked (Dempsey) down fairly early. … When the opponent knows that you’ve got a bad shoulder, sometimes you happen to get knocked down accidentally on purpose.”
Schmid also said he wouldn’t publically announce his starting goalkeeper for the LA match until Sunday.