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July 14, 2009 at 10:54 AM

Quotes from Freddie Ljungberg and Brian Schmetzer

From yesterday. Thanks everyone for all of the comments on my post last night about EPL teams. I think the thing to do is let it come to me, though an email from David Kean made me laugh as he made a good case for Coventry City.
As far as club teams, I’ll stick with Chivas de Guadalajara for now, with a bit more than a passing interest in the Puerto Rico Islanders of USL-1 because they were cool to talk to when I was in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. We won’t talk about the Portland Timbers right now, haha!
Freddie Ljungberg
(On what All-Star selection means to him) “That’s a nice thing, it’s an honor – it’s great, it’ll be fun.”
(On friends on Everton) “Not that are really friends, no. They compete very hard and are a quite physical team. I’ve played against them a lot of times. Of course it’s going to be nice to see some familiar faces and players that I’ve played a lot against in the past.”
(On if he’s spoken to Premier leaguers about this game) “No, not really, to be honest. To most of them it’s their preseason and they work really hard and I haven’t really spoken to them about it.”
(On his playing schedule the last few weeks) “What I’ve been doing is I wanted to change my training a little bit because we train quite long sessions and I want some more explosive stuff. After my surgery we did a lot of muscular work and power work and now that I’ve got a lot of strength in my muscles, I wanted to do it explosively and for the sprinting part of my game. So I feel ready for that with my hip so we start to do a lot more jumping and explosive stuff, just fine-tuning my sprints on the pitch and I responded well and it feels great.”
(On how best 11 MLS players would do in EPL competition) “I think they would do well. Like I said, to compare to the MLS itself I think it’s like the Dutch League. I think we could play even with them… But I think they would play even against Seattle. If you look at the best players, I think they would do well in the Premiership… But no, I think they would do very well.”
(On Kasey Keller being selected as well) “Of course it’s nice for him to get in it as well, two teammates, so it’s great.”
(On other teammates that deserve recognition) “Yeah I mean I think we’ve done really well and I think we’ve surprised maybe some – what I’ve heard at least in MLS – normally the new franchises don’t do that well and now we’re second in this league here. But there are a lot of players that have done well and we’ll see how it works, if it’s on the bench or how that works. They’re all great and they all deserve to be in it but that’s how it is.”
(On Chelsea FC game as opportunity to recruit players to MLS) “I think if you’re referring to the recruitment, a lot of players in England are discussing about the MLS and they’re interested, they want to make the league here better because we see the potential in America – the population is so big and there are so many young players that play soccer we just want them to keep on playing soccer and not choose maybe another sport. But it’s more, for the Europeans, about the rules. You have a lot of the structure and you can’t get a lot of Europeans over here because of that. That’s one thing, but I know they’re talking about it. Talking about the young players, when we play Chelsea (FC) its great for the young players to see what sort of dribble they can do against a top player and what would work and what won’t work, that’s a big difference. And I think they can take that with them and learn a lot from that so I think it’s a great experience I think for the young players.”
(On if it’s a bad time to play a friendly, considering momentum team has) “A little bit yeah, I think we get better and better all the time. What I’ve heard from teammates and people around when we beat Houston at home, it’s a great result for us because they’re absolutely one of the contenders to win the playoffs this year. So a little bit yeah, but at the same time if we can get this experience for the young players in the long term I think it’s great for them. That’s how we have to see it and hopefully we can be concentrated after Chelsea, I think it’s Chicago we play, and maybe the Open Cup before that.”
Brian Schmetzer
(On Osvaldo Alonso’s health) “According to his translator, Fredy Montero, who also tried to be the assistant coach, translator and overall goofball today, he says he’s fine… So he probably could have played more (in the reserve game vs. Kitsap today) but we deliberately held him out (after the first half) because we don’t want to take chances.”
(On Zach Scott’s health) “Zach Scott played 90 minutes (in today’s reserve game) because he’s a warrior, he’s the kind of guy that loves playing and you have to drag him off the field sometimes. I was not going to play him the whole game but he said he felt okay and the game was a little bit easier because of the score line so for him it was okay.”
(On when Tyrone Marshall returns to Sounders FC) “I heard he was coming back today so he should be here tomorrow… I thought he would be back today but it’ll be good to have him back.”
(On team’s approach to Chelsea game) “You can ask every single guy and they’ll probably give you some politically correct answer, “Oh it’s a friendly and Oh, this and that,” but deep down inside every single one of them are going to be like ten year-old kids playing against a team of that caliber, with those players, they are going to want to prove to themselves and everyone else that’s watching that they can give them a good game. And if they tell you anything different they’re lying.”
(On if that is unnerving to a coach, considering it’s a mid-season friendly) “No, I’m sure that (Chelsea FC) is going to take it a little easier, we’re not going to sit there and tell the guys not to play hard but we’re surely going to tell them, “Stay on your feet, don’t do anything stupid…” We’ll give them all those directives before the game. So hopefully all the excitement they have carries into more physical exertion – running, chasing, that sort of stuff.”
(On this Saturday’s lineup vs. Chelsea) “Sigi’s in charge of all that. We haven’t discussed that just yet. Tuesday (Open Cup semifinal vs. Houston) is a very very big game for us. We certainly want to prove that the first game Saturday wasn’t a fluke, we want to beat Houston again, so how we balance the two certainly is going to take a lot of conversation and a lot of thought.”

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