Provided by the team.
Sigi Schmid – Head Coach
On the Sounders FC inaugural season . . .
“Obviously at the end of the day when you look at the whole thing it was a pretty special year. It was a special year from the standpoint of what went on in Seattle in terms of the fans, the enthusiasm, the connection to the sport, the unique atmosphere that got created on a game and game basis and I think it was a special year for our team. No expansion team has done what we have done in an awful long time. When you look at expansion once the league was established, we have so far exceeded what any other expansion team did. We’ve got to be please with that. But at the end, we are selfish. We wanted to achieve more. We thought it was a fairy tale that might not end for us. When you look at an Open Cup Championship, you look at a record that was well above .500, you look at getting into the playoffs and being two points away from the Supporters’ Shield in your first year. There are a lot of teams that have never accomplished any of those things yet in the league so we have got to be very proud of what we did.”
On relationship with team management:
“We communicate all the time. Adrian [Hanauer] and Chris [Henderson] have sat in on our meetings already. I have worked with different general managers in the league and for sure the working relationship I have with Adrian is the closest of any working relationship I have had with any GM working in the league… Chris Henderson has been the best technical director I have worked with in the sense of the work that he is doing with scouting and looking at players and being devoted and really focusing on that… Our communications are very fluid and our discussions are very fluid and current so I think we are very close on our thoughts.”
On predictions for MLS Cup Playoffs:
“It’s tough. All the coaches involved are friends. I said on the radio the other day that for some reason I think it’s going to be a strange winner this year. Maybe Real Salt Lake is on the Cinderella course to beat Chicago and maybe come in here and take the whole thing. But you never know. .. I’m not going to predict…. Who deserves to be the champion is Columbus because Columbus had the best record in the regular season.”
Kasey Keller – Goalkeeper
On Sounders FC inaugural season:
“I am obviously extremely happy with the way the whole season transpired. We are a little disappointed that we could’ve gone a little bit further. But for the most part, I think if anybody asked me when I signed in August that we would win the Open Cup, make the playoffs, and really be unlucky not to get through and go further I think I would’ve taken that. To have to the city, the whole Northwest’s response to what this team has done since the first minute is something very special to be a part of.”
On Sounders FC franchise:
“There’s a standard we want to set as a club. We want to continue to have the best fan support of any club. I don’t see any reason why that is going to stop. We want to even grow that. I think I heard a statistic the other day, for our first playoff game the T.V. ratings for this region were greater than the World Series. I think that’s really showing what this community does for this and we want to make sure we become, for lack of a better word, the New York Yankees of the MLS. We want to make sure we are that powerhouse. That team that everybody says this is the standard. If we don’t win it, questions will be asked… I want to come back someday in my lifetime and say they have won the MLS 27 times.”