Sounders coach Sigi Schmid was not happy to see that MLS teams will be entering the U.S. Open Cup competition during what was expected to be a three-week break in the league schedule.
“The Open Cup comes right at the point when we’re supposed to have off time from MLS,” he said. “So it’s a situation for us where hopefully the games will get scheduled — the game that we play the first time – around June 10 or 11, so we can actually give our players a little bit of time off. If they got all excited because they saw an open weekend … well if they schedule games there’s no point in having an off time. We might as well play an MLS game. So the point is, I thought the break was good because it would give us time to give our players a little bit of time off, but also to give our staff some time off. I don’t think our staff has ever had any time off in the middle of it. Not that I’m planning to go to Brazil, because I’m not, but it also gives people the opportunity to go to the World Cup if they wanted to for four or five days or six days, whether you’re a trainer or a team administrator or something like that. Instead, the New York office will be there and the U.S. Soccer office will be there and the rest of us will toil away here and watch it on TV.”
Of course, since the Open Cup is a single-elimination tournament, the Sounders’ could just play a single game during the break … if they go out in the opening game as they did last season. However, Schmid said that isn’t the club’s plan.
“As a coach I believe very strongly if you enter something you enter it to play well and to win it,” he said. “Don’t enter it just to go through the motions. We certainly want to play well. We want to do well in the Open Cup. That’s an important aspect for us.”