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April 7, 2009 at 6:13 PM

Quotes from Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid and M Freddie Ljungberg

From today, courtesy of Zac Kaplan of Sounders FC:

COACH SIGI SCHMID

(On how Ljungberg was injured against Toronto) “In the game against Toronto, he sort of stepped on the ball a little bit in that play right at the 75th minute. So he sort of jammed his knee. It’s almost like hyper-extending your knee a little bit.”

(On the next opponent, Kansas City) “I was happy they got their win last week, so they weren’t coming in here winless. I was good about that. They’re a team that’s obviously made the playoffs the last two years. They’ve found their way into that realm both times. They’ve got some good attacking players in Claudio Lopez. Davy Arnaud is a player that works very, very hard. And they’ve made some additions to their team with Santiago Hirsig who started this weekend. So they’re a team that’s obviously a quality team. They’ve been a playoff team like I said the last few years, and a team that we’ve got to be ready for.”

(On Ljungberg and Steve Zakuani scoring their first goals for Seattle) “It was great. It was great for Freddie Ljungberg, and also great for the fans and the pundits and the media out there because how’s he going to do? What’s he going to do? And obviously he had an immediate impact for us, and scoring that goal was tremendous. It gives him a boost of confidence. It obviously gave our team a boost in confidence. Steve Zakuani, him scoring, it’s the same thing. As a rookie and you’re trying to make your mark on the field and being able to latch onto the first goal, you don’t care if it’s a tap in, or if it’s a rebound, or if it’s a great goal. All that you care about is the ball hitting the back of the net. And I thought his reaction was very good. He reacted quickly. But the most important thing is he was in the box where he was supposed to be. And when you get three, four people in the box, that means you got an opportunity to get onto loose balls, which we did. I’m very happy for Steve. He missed that period of time with injury. He’s been coming back sort of ever since then. His fitness is getting there and so forth. He played more minutes in this game and he’s done very well. I was happy for Freddie Ljungberg as well to get off the mark and also show everybody that he’s here to play soccer. That’s why he came.”

FREDDIE LJUNGBERG

(On scoring the first goal for Seattle this past Saturday vs. Toronto) “It’s good to score a goal. But the important thing was we won the first game away from home. That’s the more important thing, but it feels nice to score.”

(On if the goal takes pressure off) “No. Not really. I’ve played at the highest level in my life, so I don’t feel any pressure. I just try to do the best I can do, and help my team. That’s why I’m here. So, no, I don’t feel any pressure.”

(On how the left knee feels) “The knee is sore. It still was quite swollen after the game, and going down the swelling everyday, but it’s still swollen. I just did some running today, and we’ll see tomorrow how it feels.”

(On Arsenal vs. Villareal today) “I hope Arsenal is going to win. Of course, I’m going to try to watch the game on TV. As long as they win with a couple of goals, I’m happy.”

(On first goal with Arsenal) “I scored in my debut there when I came on against Man United. Of course it was special. The whole stadium was screaming my name a little after ten minutes. … It was an amazing feeling, and here I scored in my first start. It was good.”

(On going 80 minutes at Toronto) “I feel quite strong. Of course I had the hip surgery and stuff and I’ve had problems with my hamstring a couple years. And since I’ve had the hip surgery, everything feels great and I feel strong. I played like a striker as well, where you don’t have to run as much. It felt great. I walked off with ten minutes to go just as precautions. Especially now with the knee swollen that probably was a good thing to do.”

(On if he’ll be ready to go against Kansas City) “We’ll have to see if the swelling goes away. But if the swelling goes away, yeah, I expect to play Saturday.”

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