The closest thing to news were a couple of health updates — although neither of those was definitive. Schmid said that midfielder Osvaldo Alonso is progressing well and wants to play, but stopped short of saying he will start the opener. Similarly, Arena didn’t rule out the availability of defender Leonardo, but said the club has good options there.
The first question for each coach was the same: What have they learned about each other going into this fourth meeting of the season:
SCHMID: I think every time you play each other you lean a little more about each other in terms of strengths and weaknesses. But I think our clubs know each other fairly well, the key players know each other also. They’re a team that’s got some great individual talent; I think we do as well. And I really think it comes down to execution on the day.
Award finalists) “I’m very proud of the nominations for Chad Marshall, for Obafemi Martins and for Stefan Frei, in terms of MVP, defender of the year and comeback player of the year. I think each of them have had excellent seasons and those nominations are very much deserves. In regards to my nomination, a coach’s nomination is a reflection of the quality of his team and his players, and I’m appreciative that my players have had a great season. I know I wouldn’t be nominated unless they have had a good season, and I’m very proud of what they’ve accomplished this year.”
ARENA: “What I’ve learned is that we know everything about each other and there’s not a whole lot of preparation. We’ve just got to go out and play.”