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July 14, 2009 at 11:12 PM

Sigi Schmid and Kasey Keller, July 14

I’m out of town til Thursday so sorry for the lateness of these..


July 14, 2009
(On White House visit Monday) “Obviously it went well, it’s something that you don’t get to experience everyday. You can certainly see by (President Obama’s) demeanor that he’s such an upbeat personality so it was a unique experience. I think it’s only the third MLS team that’s been able to go (to the White House) after a championship. Hopefully it’s something that we’ll experience here (in Seattle) as well as we move forward into the future. It was a great opportunity.”
(On if President Obama knows soccer) “He’s obviously getting involved in all the economic summits of all the countries around the world. For example when he meets with the premier of Brazil, they’re going to talk about soccer, they’re not going to talk about basketball. So he had an understanding of soccer and what the team had done in the Confederations Cup but his heading skills still probably still need a bit of work.”
(On previous game vs. Houston updates while he was away) “Yeah I was pretty much getting text messages and getting updated that way between myself and my brother. So Grant (Clark) needed to ice down his fingers after the game because of all the messages he had sent. I was pretty much able to keep up with it that way, obviously there was a period of time where I wasn’t able to check as (Kurt Schmid’s wedding) service was going on but I was able to keep pace with it that way.”
(On reaction to hearing Patrick Ianni scored on a bicycle kick) “Well my brother got it first and his response was, “Are you kidding?” And Grant’s response was, “No really it was a bicycle.”
(On if he’s watched the Houston game film) “Actually I haven’t had the opportunity to watch it because my schedule’s been so hectic I wasn’t able to get it downloaded and on Sunday morning had to fly so was in the air all day and got in really late to Baltimore and were off and running at the beginning of the next moment. So I’ve watched highlights of it. I’ve watched bits and pieces but I want to sit down today and watch the whole game.”
(On if he has a keepsake from Whitehouse visit) “I think they’re supposed to send us a photo. And I got something else I got to work on because I got the equipment guy at the (Columbus) Crew did an ‘Obama 44’ jersey for me so I got to figure out a way that I can get President Obama to sign that specifically for me so I’m working on that as well.”
(On Chelsea game) “It’s fantastic, it’s fantastic for Seattle fans to be able to get out there and watch some of those players and the opportunity to see a team like that get out there and play. When you watch a defender like John Terry and see the things that he can do, I don’t know if Joe Cole is healthy right now but he’s an attractive player. Didier Drogba’s a man mountain up front so there’s a lot of talent out there on the field – Frank Lampard, (Michael) Ballack, there’s a lot of size, a lot of talent so obviously set pieces are going to be interesting for us. We got to go up there and challenge but we got some pretty good guys to go against. For our team I think it’s just a great opportunity, it’s something that we can work towards this week. We can also have a little bit of fun with it and then we got to get back into serious business when we get into next week (against Houston in the Open Cup semifinal Tuesday).”
(On how Chelsea game is handled with Tuesday’s game in mind) “It’s part of our preparation for the game (against Houston) on Tuesday as well. It’s part of Chelsea’s preparation for their preseason. I know certainly for all of our players want to get on the field. We’re going to try to get a situation where we can get all our players on the field at some point but we’re also going to bring out our starting lineup and we’re going to play.”
(On fan base being one-sided) “I think they’ll enjoy it. I think they’ll see this is a Sea of Green when they come out here to play and I think it’ll make them feel maybe like they’re back in England playing an away game and having the support of the home team as they’re playing away from that. So from that standpoint it’s good and I think that also helps in terms of leaving an impression for U.S. soccer on their minds and they spread that word to the other European compatriots that they have in their respective countries and their colleagues and I think that’s good for U.S. soccer.”
(On Kasey Keller and Freddie Ljungberg’s All-Star selections) “Oh it’s great. Obviously the fans voted in a lot more than just the two, so you know the skewed voting on the other side of it… It’s a different thing, the All-Star game in soccer, it’s different. I know it’s a carry over from baseball and football and things like that, but we have national teams that compete so it’s a little different in a certain extent. It’s a great honor for Kasey (Keller), he’s had a great season, and he’s very deserving. It’s a great honor for Freddie (Ljungberg) as well; he’s certainly been very important to our game and very influential to our team, so those guys deserve it. I think we have a couple more guys that are definitely worthy of consideration, but that’s going to be (All-Star head coach) Dominic (Kinnear’s) choice and the commissioner’s choice so I try not to get say to much about that or get into the politics of that because it’s just not worth doing. I’m proud of all our guys that play in the All-Star game and I’m certainly happy for the selection of our two players. I think for an expansion team to get two players it’s a pretty special honor.”
(On what is considered a good result Saturday vs. Chelsea) “Any time you step on the field if you’re a competitor you want to win. Doesn’t matter if you step on the field against Chelsea or Barcelona, or Bayern Munich or Real Madrid or whom ever it is, it’s a game that you want to win. So from that standpoint, I think our players want to play well, they want to equip themselves well, but also they want to have the opportunity to win the game and walk off with a good result.”
(On what playing Chelsea FC means for younger guys on team) “That’s who it mostly is (good for), I think. Obviously Freddie (Ljungberg) and I have played against Chelsea many times – too many times – but for the guys it’s a great opportunity for the guys to put themselves against some of the best, well-paid players in the world and it’s always nice to judge yourself against – even though its just an early preseason game for them and there’ll be a lot of faces that nobody’s heard of but at the same time it could be things where people some years down the line say, ‘You remember that kid played against Seattle and now he’s lighting the world on fire.’ So it’s going to be a fun game for the fans, fun game for the team, we can just go out and have some fun.”
(On if playing Chelsea will be eye-opening for younger players on Sounders FC) “Yes and no. Like I said it won’t be an English Premier League game and we need to get that realization real quick. It’s just a great opportunity for some guys to show themselves and test themselves against some very good opponents.”
(On if high attendance is pride factor for Keller against a team like Chelsea) “I know they’ve had some games over here where they’ve had big stadiums, not necessarily against MLS teams, they’ve had big games against other European teams in America. I think what’s nice is for us to be able to put on a big show and showcase one of the MLS teams, not playing Celtic, not playing Manchester United, but playing an MLS team, getting a huge crowd and hopefully we can give them a good game.”
(On whether Chelsea will be surprised by one-sidedness of the crowd Saturday) “You’ll be surprised too with how many Chelsea fans will be here as well. We’ll definitely outnumber them so that’ll be fun. I think they’ll be a little surprised on what our support is especially if we perform at the level that I know we’re capable of doing.”
(On his All-Star selection) “It’s an honor. It’s nice to come back and obviously the fan vote was tremendous here in Seattle but then to have my peers and the coaches and everybody, to see that I’m back here for the right reasons and doing it the right way, that I haven’t just come back here on vacation but that I’m back here to continue to play and be the best.”


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