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July 26, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Sounders FC Sigi Schmid quotes from Monday training

(On busy schedule over next two weeks) “There are a lot of games coming up and they’re tough games. We have got to look at it from game to game. We have got to see who’s healthy, who recovers well. There’s some close competition on the team for starting positions, so sometimes playing the other guy is not something where I consider it a first team or second team type of thing. I think it’s more an opportunity for somebody to play. So we have got to manage our roster a little bit over these games. The important thing is we want to win them all. We want to beat Metapan on Wednesday. That’s a really important game for us because getting into the Champions League group stage is something that we want to achieve for this club.”

(On the importance of the CONCACAF Champions League) “The main reason this tournament is important is because, at the end of the day, in order to play in the World Club championship, which is the champions of Europe, the champions of South America, the champions of Asia, Africa and our confederation, CONCACAF, as well as Oceania or Australia, whatever they are called now, in order to play in that you have to win the championship of our region. And that gives us the opportunity to play against the Manchester United’s and the Barcelona’s of the world, if they win the European championship. So we have got to get through this stage to play in that. That’s something I think every player dreams of. It’s a lot of bonus money as well for the players to get to that stage. And for our fans, I think getting into the group stage then provides them with some attractive foreign opponents. To get a team from Mexico up here to play a game that is meaningful, not for an exhibition game, I think is something different. I think the game Wednesday is going to be exciting. Metapan has done well in El Salvador the past two or three years and it allows us to measure ourselves internationally, which is something you get to do in Europe all the time but you don’t get to do with us. So it’s Champions League come to our hemisphere.”

(On Tod Leiweke announcing resignation) “Obviously Adrian has worked with Tod a lot longer than I have, but in the year and a half I’ve been here I have grown very fond of Tod. He’s a friend. Not only is he sort of my boss, along with a few other bosses I have, but he is definitely a friend. He’s somebody who has been tremendous for our organization, especially the way he has treated the Sounders and the whole Seahawks-Sounders organization, the respect that was given to the Sounders right from the beginning, I think that comes from the top down. I think for sure we are going to miss Tod because he is a great person, he’s a great individual, he’s a tremendous leader. We wish him well with his opportunity. I know he wouldn’t have left unless it was something that was a great opportunity for him. I know he loves his hockey so that was maybe a little bit of an influence there. But he’s a great person and we are certainly going to miss him with our organization. We are going to miss him in Seattle.”

(If Seattle had an indoor team you’d think he’d stay, since that’s where his roots are?) “I think if we had a hockey team, maybe he’d stay. (laughs) More so than indoor soccer, because it’d be hard to get a whole league of indoor soccer teams at this stage. Maybe he would’ve stayed then. But it is what it is and we have to move forward, and I know Tod will always have fond memories of this place.”

(On the physical nature of Sunday’s game being how this team has to play) “We have to fight, our backs are against the wall. I think earlier in the season, we were like 90% there. We weren’t always giving that last 10%. I think we’ve had that last 10% in the last three or four weeks and we realize what it is now to sacrifice yourself fully and to be fully committed to the cause. The soccer will get better, but the first we needed to do was be fully committed to the cause and get points and win games. It was a physical game. The ref let a lot of things go I thought. Not saying he refereed poorly or badly or anything, I think he just let some things go. As a result, they’ve got some big bodies in guys like Mastroeni, Larentowicz and Conor Casey and those guys are a handful, but I thought our guys stood up to them very well.”

(On preparing for an unknown like Metapan) “It’s a little bit tougher because the style of play is different coming out of El Salvador. So the rhythm of play is different than the rhythm of play we have in MLS. We have some tape, we can break down some tape and show our players, but until they actually get out into the game and feel the rhythm of play, they don’t understand. Certainly guys like Leo Gonzalez and Tyrone Marshall and Peter Vagenas and guys who have played internationally and have played in international competitions have a better feel for that rhythm. Fredy Montero, guys like that. For them, it’s going to be a quicker adjustment, a faster adjustment, but for some of our players it’s going to be the first time they play in that particular style of the game.”

(On hosting the first leg) “I think you’d always rather play the first leg away and play the second leg at home, in case push comes to shove you’d always rather be at home that second game. We just got to go out there with an extremely good mindset from the beginning of the game. For us in the first leg, away goals are very important in this tournament, so we want to make sure we don’t give anything away to them. We want to try and get at them as much as possible and, if we can, get ourselves a little bit of a lead going into the second game down in El Salvador.”


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