A show that used to be on FSN starring Jim Rome.
No seriously, Sigi Schmid said he talked to RSL coach Jason Kreis before the game and asked him about the atmosphere at the game. “Unbelievable,” Kreis told Schmid.
And with that, here are some quotes from tonight’s game. See what Freddie Ljungberg had to say about his first 29 minutes of the season. Sorry this is such a long entry. Happy reading.
HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID PRESS CONFERENCE 3/28/09
“I guess just to start, obviously we’re very pleased with the 2-0 win. I thought the first goal we scored was a great goal, some great individual work by Steve Zakuani, and obviously a good finish by Nate [Jaqua]. The second goal, we knew over the course of the season that Fredy Montero was going to surprise a few goal keepers, the way his ball moves when he gets it. It was certainly not a scintillating second half for us. They pretty much kept us pinned in, in our end of the field. They did a good job in terms of their work rate, and their effort was tremendous…Their movement of the ball was very good. Also, bringing Freddie [Ljungberg] into our team means we’ve got to adjust a little bit, probably play a little bit different. But actually, Freddie came in and helped us hold onto the ball a little bit at the end. We just weren’t holding onto it. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than to be good. Three points are three points. You need to win games in different ways throughout the course of the season. Sometimes you win them solidly like we did last week, and sometimes you got to work a little bit. Kasey Keller comes up with big saves at key moments, and that’s what we got to do. Overall, we were pleased.”
(On the fact that Salt Lake was playing Montero very close and whether that’s a testament that he got league-wide attention from his game last week) “Obviously [he got] the league’s attention. Also, the guy [Jamison] Olave knows him from Colombia. I’m sure he passed on that information to his teammates. They’re a team that has high expectations for themselves this year, and maybe a little bit of frustration. But it’s a physical league. Sometimes that happens.”
(On whether he was surprised by Steve Zakuani’s performance) “No. It’s sort of what we expected from him. I thought he played well the last few days in training. We know that if he gets the chance to run at people he’s going to cause some problems and create some danger. He needs to help out and be aware off the ball at times. He’s definitely improved in that area. I felt like we were getting good minutes out of Steve.”
(On whether he’s encouraged by the team finding ways to win) “I love six points. We got six points in two games. I love that. I think our soccer’s going to get better and better. It’s going to take some time to merge. I watched a few other games today. Obviously when you have teams where guys have played together, have 20, 30, 40 games under their belt as a unit of four, five, six guys, that makes soccer a little bit better. We’re not at that stage yet. We’re a team that’s two regular season games into establishing a passing rhythm and everything else. There’s times where our passing looks really good and there are times where it becomes really disjointed. So there’s still a lot of things that we need to work on. But the one quality this team is showing at a very early stage is the ability to compete, the ability to cover for each other, and the ability that nobody’s too proud not to work a little bit extra if somebody ends up making a mistake or a bad play or something happens. That’s what you need if you want to eventually compete for a championship. There’s got to be a tremendous team spirit and camaraderie, and the willingness to work for each other. That’s something that we’re showing early on.”
(On Alsono Osvaldo’s yellow card) “Yeah. Well, Ozzie has two right now. I think Brad [Evans] got one last week. I’m not sure. Ozzie, after the game, I talked to him about it briefly. I said, ‘No more amarillos.’ He knows. But he’s an aggressive tackler. What’s impressive is, even once he gets a yellow, he really doesn’t change the way he plays. I didn’t think he deserved the yellow in week one. I thought he got the ball cleanly on that one. But obviously, the thing you don’t want to do is establish a reputation. You don’t want referees looking for you and saying, ‘Okay, he’s the guy.’ And he’s an important player for us, so we’ll put him on his best behavior.”
(On how he thought the officiating was in terms of protecting the players) “You know, obviously that’s part of the referee’s job, to make sure that he protects players. I thought early in the game, when they were physical with Fredy, I thought the referee was pretty good about pulling yellow cards quickly and trying his best to protect Fredy, or any of the players that are skillful players in our league. I thought it was all right. That’s part of the game. It’s part of what Fredy’s going to learn as a player as he matures, because no matter where you play, that’s going to be a part of it. You have to learn when to hold the ball, when to release it, when to draw people in, when to run off the ball, so you can avoid those sorts of situations as much as possible.”
MIDFIELDER FREDDIE LJUNGBERG PRESS CONFERENCE 3-28-09
(On how it felt to play) “I felt great. It was nice to be back on the pitch. I got some nice touches on the ball. And we won the game. It was great.”
(On whether it felt like he had been out for a long time) “I mean, the touches and all that, it feels good. Of course, obviously I like being on the pitch, and the atmosphere and stuff, I missed that. I felt it was a long time since I felt that. The game worked well. The touches went well…We played the advantage on them. It was all fine. It felt great.”
(On what he thinks about the quality of play in the MLS) “I’m not kidding anyone here and saying it’s better than the Premiereship. The Premiereship is the best in the world. I wanted to come here to try to make it better. I think it’s a very good league. They try and they concentrate very hard. What I tried today when I came on, I tried to make it calm, keep on passing the ball. We want to play an enjoyable game up here in Seattle and score a lot of goals for the fans.”
(On whether he feels like he could’ve played longer) “Yeah. I probably could’ve, but we wanted to make sure I wouldn’t have a setback after this. We started for 30 minutes. I felt very, very good. Like I said, it was quite nice to get some tackles as well. My hip felt great.”
(On whether he’ll play more next week) “We’ll see later in the week how I react to the thirty minutes. But I would say, maybe seventy minutes or something, we’ll try it. When I get too tired…Normally, after a surgery, when you get really, really tired, that’s when you can injure yourself. Probably when I get really, really tired, that’s when I got to walk off. If that’s 60 or 70 or 80, we’ll see how long.”
(On whether the atmosphere here is what he was expecting) “It’s much better. It’s a great atmosphere. Especially when I came on the pitch, it was a little bit touching. It was like…[everyone in] Seattle was in here screaming. That’s how loud it felt on the pitch. So yeah, I take that to heart. I feel welcome here.”
REAL SALT LAKE
NATE BORCHERS (DEFENDER)
(On the problems the team had tonight) “I would say in the first half we were just a little bit off. Our passing was very sharp and for the most part defensively we were ok. In the second half I felt we were clearly the better team. I thought it was unfortunate that we couldn’t get the equalizer. To be fair they had a nice second goal.”
YURA MOVSISYAN (FORWARD)
(On the atmosphere of the game) “I thought the atmosphere was unbelievable. We need that more in MLS. Kudos to them, it was really good.”
NICK RIMANDO (GOAL KEEPER)
(On thoughts and feelings about tonight’s game) “We came in here with the right mentality and attitude and fought. It was one of those games were both teams fought and they did a good job pressuring us. They are good team and we knew that coming in and they proved it. We came in here trying to get a result; it didn’t fall for us this time. I’m not mad or sad because I think we gave it are all out effort.”