That’s the update…so this morning was the team’s last practice before the game tomorrow night. I’ll have video later.
Here’s today’s quotes from Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid. He “philosophizes” with the second question.
On looking forward to the challenge of facing Barcelona) “We’re looking forward to it. I’d be dishonest if I said the result in San Jose didn’t put a damper on things a little bit on our excitement. You’d always rather be on a roll. We know the important game is Saturday in Salt Lake, but we also want to put on a good show for our fans. Everybody wants to put on a good show when we play Barcelona. They’re obviously the elite team in the world. They’re Champions League champions. It’s just a great honor to be able to step on the field with a team like that.”
(On if MLS teams playing the likes of Barcelona helps promote the sport in America) “I think Kasey Keller said it well, that American sports fans are great in terms of supporting an event, whether it is the Olympics or the World Cup or the World Football Challenge, or whatever we’re doing. But we have to do more beyond that. I think the fans in Seattle have been super because they’re coming out supporting the Sounders. I think they have an appreciation for what we’re doing as well. I would just like in other cities that those fans come and support their local teams in greater numbers because at the end of the day, and I’ll philosophize here, at the end of the day how well we do as a league, how many TV viewers we get, the type of TV contracts this league gets, and the fans come out in all the cities, not just Seattle, are going to allow us to increase the quality of the league. The more revenue we bring in which means the more we can pay in salaries. The more we can pay in salaries means higher level players means betters soccer. By not supporting what’s going on in your community you’re actually slowing down the progress of our league and of the sport in this country. So if you’re a true soccer fan you can’t sit there and say ‘even though I love Barcelona, or I love Bayern Munich or Manchester United or Chelsea or whomever, well I’d rather stay at home and watch them and not support Dallas, or whomever that team that is in their market,’ doesn’t help our sport and at the end you’re actually hurting the sport you love. So this is my appeal to soccer fans across the country, support the sport you love and you support that by supporting your local team.”
(On difference between Chelsea and Barcelona) “Well a team that is obviously further along in their preparation. But also the league in Spain starts a little later. From that standpoint they’re ahead of where Chelsea was, but it’s not that far ahead. What I think fans will see is a different style of football. The way Chelsea plays which is obviously a high level, but they play a certain way and manner. Barcelona has different characteristics to their game; their ability to hold the ball, their ability to play in tight spaces, rely on quick one-twos, etcetera. It’s a different style of football. That’s the beauty of our sport is lots of different ways to play well and win games.”