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March 3, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Wednesday training — Sigi Schmid quotes

Wrapped up my first Sounders FC training session this morning. I’m currently working on tomorrow’s story regarding the uncertainty around the labor dispute, but here are some quotes from Sigi Schmid as provided by the team.
Also, there will be a team announcement tomorrow at 10 a.m. Sounds like a big move/signing could become official, so stay tuned.
* * *
(On being a more cohesive unit in year two)
“You never know until you actually play and it’s for real. But certainly everybody knows who they are. Everybody knows each other’s first name right now. You have an idea of what people are going to bring to the park when they step on the field. Except for a couple of injuries with Nate Jaqua being out and trying to get him back out there, I think we’re way ahead of where we were last year. But that in itself doesn’t necessarily translate into victories. You still have to go out, you got to play, you got to perform.”
(On fine tuning in the final phase of training)
“Right now it’s just about, the thing I’ve been talking about all season is us wanting to move the ball quicker, wanting to make sure we get more people in the box when we get our situation in the final third and get into crossing possibilities. That’s what we’re really trying to emphasize right now. That’s why we played a lot of one touch today where it forces movement off the ball, forces people to have to think ahead. That’s going to continue to be the emphasis because we want to give up the same amount or less goals than we did last year and we want to score more goals than we did last year.”


(On being tough to make the final roster)
“It’s tough to make this roster because we do have a good core that we developed last year and we want to hold onto that core of players. But you’re always looking to expand upon it and make it better. You also have a lot of players like I’ll give an example Roger Levesque. Roger last year at the beginning of the year was struggling. It was going to be touch and go whether he was going to make the team. This year he’s one of the guys who came back in and said ‘I’m going to be better than I was last year’. So not only is it the same players, but it’s players who have also said ‘I’m going to be better. I’m going to be ready for that challenge’. So it’s tough to make that team.”
(On difficulty with no certainty as to roster rules)
“It’s a problem obviously for Adrian (Hanauer) and Chris (Henderson) and myself because you’re not quite sure what the cap is right now, what the roster sizes are going to be, etc. So you’re sort of shooting in the blind. You’re making assumptions it’s going to be similar to last year with maybe some slight adjustments and that’s what we’re trying to build off of. But we think we’re pretty good right now in terms of all those issues and all those areas. I’d like the roster sizes to be bigger, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen.”
(On labor dispute being a distraction)
“It really hasn’t been a distraction at training at all. I think the guys have been good about being focused. And we haven’t really talked about it as a staff as we go into training. So it really hasn’t been an emphasis for us, hey what’s going on. Once in a while we’ll talk about it, ‘have you guys heard anything?’ As sort of the deadlines came and went we’d ask. Outside of that the guys have come out and they’ve performed, they’ve worked, and we’ve taken the approach like there’s going to be a tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow and continue to go about our work on a daily basis.”
(On team building in Spain)
“It was good. Obviously the weather at the very beginning was a little bit cold, and a little bit rainy that first game and we ran into the best opponent first. It was good. I think our team had a chance to get together. We had a nice dinner at the end of it in Madrid. They also had a day off where they could go about and do some things and some guys did some different things, sight seeing. Some guys rented a car and went across to Valencia and did things like that. It was good. You’re away. When you’re in a foreign country I think you interact a little bit more as a team and it was good. The competition, level of games was also very good.”
(On being more hungry for season two)
“I’m always hungry. And I’m always hungry because we didn’t achieve the ultimate goal which is to win the MLS Cup. So we’ve got a lot of goals this year. We want to defend our Open Cup title. We want to win the MLS Cup. And we also want to advance ourselves in the CONCACAF Champions League. So there is a lot of goals that we got shooting for us. Every year it begins and it begins right now. In terms of winning the MLS Cup that started when we opened up camp. It doesn’t start a week before the MLS Cup championship. We always want to have high goals and we want to have high expectations because that’s the kind of club we want to be.”
(On players making advancements from year one to year two)
“A lot of the guys have built on last year. Roger (Levesque) is an example. I thought Taylor (Graham) before he got injured was doing well. Mike Fucito certainly has stepped up and is more aware of the rhythm and what needs to be done. Those are guys that are obviously aware of things. You also have some rookies in (David) Estrada and Michael Seamon is out here again training with us right now. We’re also going to push some people. So that’s going to be a big plus. But even the other guys, whether you are dealing with (Osvaldo) Alonso, or you’re dealing with Brad Evans, they’ve all made advancements. Brad being called into the national team a couple of times now, going through their January camp, all of those experiences make you a better player, make you a more confident player.”
(On length of preseason being too long)
“Bora (Milutinovic) used to have this saying when I was with Bora prior to the World Cup, we were still like a year and a half away from the World Cup, he goes, ‘the World Cup is a year and a half away but the World Cup is tomorrow’. It is sort of the same thing. I know our opening game is three weeks away, but it’s tomorrow. So everyday we work like it’s tomorrow. We want to make sure we’re ready. We want to push our guys now these next games 75 to 90 minutes, make sure they’re ready from a fitness standpoint, and that we want to make sure that we start putting together the combinations we think our possibly going to be on the field that opening game and see how they play together and see how the rhythm of our team is.”

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