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March 24, 2009 at 2:13 PM

Quotes from Sigi Schmid, 3-24-09

(On Freddie Ljungberg’s status today) “Today was a good day of training for him. We really tried to push him fitness wise today, letting him play as a neutral player and keep him out there for about six, seven minutes straight. We’ll see now how he feels as he goes into Wednesday, Thursday. For us, this is the weekend that he should be able to be in our 18, and then the minutes depend how the game go.”

(On fitness compared to game fitness) “There’s fitness, and there’s game fitness. There’s also mental fitness. A player like him, if I threw Freddie into a game right now, I think Freddie could probably play 60 or 70 minutes and get through it because he’s an experienced player. He knows how to do it. He might not be able to get out of bed for two days, but he’ll get through the 60, 70. That’s how a lot of good players are. But right now, what’s important for us is to not have setbacks, to continue to move forward, to give him the right amount of minutes, where he continues to progress physically and not put himself in danger of a reoccurrence, an injury because he’s not quite fit.”

(On the backline coming together) “Obviously they played a little bit together in preseason. The mix is pretty good at this stage. Tyrone (Marshall) is obviously the older guy, the more experienced guy in the middle. The guy has been around the league. He’s definitely matured as a defender, so he’s taken on that leadership role for us in the back. Jhon Kennedy (Hurtado) is very good in 1 v. 1 situations and in duels, and in winning those kind of match-ups. So Tyrone gets him into those situations, which is good for us. James Riley has some experience in this league. (He) plays with a lot of energy in the right flank. He’s pretty easy to fit in with the group. For Zach Scott his first time out, I tried to keep the assignment simple because that helps when you’re playing your first game. I knew the adrenaline would be there for him and the effort was there. As a unit, it’s a really good mix. I think they compliment each other fairly well. Everybody brings something different to the game.”

(On when game planning begins) “Game planning started Sunday morning. It started Sunday morning when I was able to piece together information of how they did in their game against Austin and piece together information on Salt Lake. An old coach in Germany used to say, ‘After a match is before a match.’ So the moment a game ends, we’re already preparing for the next game.”

(On expecting same crowd intensity as last Thursday) “I expect more. The fans aren’t going to let me down at this stage. They’re not going to let this team down. It was superb. Certainly it was a factor when you get the early goal that really keeps the crowd into the game. It doesn’t allow the opponent to take the crowd out of the game. That’s a very important factor. If they enjoyed what they saw last Thursday they’re going to enjoy what they’re going to see on Saturday. They need to come out and we need them behind us. Even if we go through a little bit of a phase they got to stay behind us. That’s what they did for us on Thursday night when we played New York. The phase at the beginning of the second half when New York dominated a little bit and Kasey (Keller) came up with the two big saves, they were maybe as loud as they were when we were scoring goals. That was great to hear because that support makes it easier for us to turn the corner.”

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