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June 24, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid quotes Thursday

Sigi Schmid – Head Coach

(On U.S. Men’s National Team . . .) “It’s been great. The U.S.’s result and winning in injury time just makes it that much more dramatic. Everybody picks up on that energy and so forth. It’s good obviously for the U.S. team. It’s good for the game though. It just brings a little more attention to the game. I think the better the national team does the better it is for us. People out there have to know that, even though a lot of these guys are playing in Europe, the majority of those guys all played in MLS first before they ever got there, so this is the grooming spot. Now we are into the final 16 so one of the 16 best teams in the world. That’s a great thing.”

(On perseverance and hard-work of USMNT . . .) “Definitely. You have got to stay in the game. It’s 90 plus minutes nowadays, it’s not just 90 minutes. You have got to be prepared for that injury time period and you have got to take full advantage of it. It was a great goal by the U.S. Timmy Howard’s distribution was phenomenal on that goal, leading to it. And I thought it was just very well done.”

(On significance of advancing . . .) “It’s huge because if you go out in the group stage, certainly a team like Italy that went out in the group stage or France, those countries right now are devastated because they have such a feeling that they have a right to be in the next round of 16. So for them, they are devastated. You see the excitement of a small country like Slovakia getting in to the 16. That group of players is going to be remembered forever in that country. For the U.S. to get into the round of 16, I think we got spoiled a little bit in 2002 and thought that was the norm. That’s not the norm. We got into the round of 16 in ’94, didn’t get there in ’98, 2002 did very well by getting into the round of eight and in 2006 got knocked out in group and now we get back in there again. We want to make sure it’s not eight year cycles, that it’s four year cycles. But once you get into that round of 16 and it’s knockout, if you get a good draw, and Ghana is not the worst draw in the world, for us that’s a good draw, and then you can slip into the eight and if you get a good draw in the eight obviously you’re in the final four and hallelujah.”

(On Nate Jaqua . . .) “Jaqua is close. He is going to be in the 18 this weekend. I don’t think he’s ready to step on the field and start for us right now but I think he can come off the bench and give us some very meaningful minutes. Right now for him it’s preseason. So today we pushed him through things. He was a little bit jelly-legged at times but he will be OK.”

(On Jeff Parke and Michael Seamon . . .) “It’s great that Michael worked hard enough to make the 18 to travel. He earned that. He’s not traveling because he is from Philadelphia. I probably should be more sentimental but I’m not. For them obviously it’s a great occasion. It makes it tough for Grant Clark [Team Administration Director] because they are asking for like 8,000 tickets each and that place sells out at 16,000, I think. But it will be fun. It’s a good opportunity. Parke has started the last couple games for us so he is trying to establish himself and hold down that spot. Seamon had a great debut game against Boca and has looked very good in training.”


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