These from April 1 after practice. The team is already on its way to Toronto. I leave tomorrow morning…really looking forward to it!
(On the first road game) “It’s our first road game, so everything we do is like a first, so it becomes a milestone for our team. It’s a tough place to play on the road. Our place is proven to be a hard place to play, Qwest (Field). Toronto and BMO Field has been the toughest place to play. The crowd is there. It’s going to be sold out. Weather is going to be similar to what it’s here. It’s something we’re looking forward to. It’s going to be a great challenge for us, and should be exciting for the players.”
(On preparation for playing on the road) “What ends up changing, what a lot of people don’t realize, especially in comparing the U.S. to Europe, is that travel is a lot tougher on the athletes here, because you’re going through time changes and everything else. And when you’re a west coast team like we are, you end up almost losing a day of training every time you travel to the east coast. Because if you decide to train here and then travel, you get in too late and it makes it for a really long day. So if you travel and then you get in there, it’s tough sometimes to get on a field. You might have a delay in the flight. It’s not like we’re allowed to take charters or anything like that. So sometimes you lose a day of training. For us it works out because this is a down week for us anyway a little bit in terms of our fitness and our workload. But it still means when we get to Toronto on Thursday, we’ll probably just do something on the exercise bikes. You lose one day of training. If you do that repetitively week after week then it starts to hurt your team. But if you do it once every three weeks it’s not that much of a problem.”
(On Toronto’s improvement this year compared to last) “Toronto obviously has improved over last year with the addition of (Dwayne) DeRosario. That’s a big edition for them. Amado Guevara, somebody who joined the team during the season, so him being there from day one and going through preseason, they have a better understanding of him. That whole group now has been together longer, and understand each other more. The addition of Pablo Vitti up front gives them some more depth up front. Chad Barrett came to them during the season last year. So they acquired a lot of the pieces last year. And now all of those pieces have had a chance to go through preseason together, and that makes them a strong team and a team that you got to worry about, especially offensively like I said with the addition of DeRosario and Guevara being there from the start.”
(On Toronto tactically) “They play a 4-4-2, so you can say it’s a traditional 4-4-2. But the thing is if DeRosario is playing as a forward, he doesn’t play it like a regular striker. He floats around a little bit more. Guevara has a lot of freedom in the offensive midfield. If DeRosario is coming out of midfield, he plays a pure attacking midfielder. He’s not a play-making midfielder. It all changes based on the personality of the players that are on the field. They’re a team that’s difficult in the sense that they play pretty much a very structured game in the back. The four defenders are very structured in their approach to the game.”
(On Freddie Ljungberg and Nathan Sturgis) “They’re feeling fine. Freddie Ljungberg has come through the last two days good. That’s been good. Nate Jaqua felt very good today. So that’s good news for us today. Sturgis has been fine since last week. And (Sanna) Nyassi is obviously full in training this week.”