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August 2, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Talking about Metapan with Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid

(On the team’s fitness/availability wrapping up a four-game stretch in 10 days) “It’s just part of what we’ve got to do right now. For me, it’s always a situation of you don’t make a big thing about it. It’s like if you talk a lot about altitude, it gets in someone’s head. If we talk about, ‘Man, this is our third game now in six days or something,’ everyone gets worried about it. We have guys who are fit. We have guys who can come back and get in a rhythm of playing. Like I said, I knew all along that I wanted to put our strongest team on the field when we go to San Salvador, so I didn’t want to burden guys like Montero with playing Wednesday — starting Wednesday, Saturday, then Tuesday. I’m confident that the whole team that started (Saturday) except Parke, because we have to see how he is, that that whole team can start again on Tuesday.”

(On the potential for horror stories on the road internationally) “We’re OK at the hotel. A break for us was that Metapan’s stadium didn’t get approved from the lighting standpoint, so we’re playing in San Salvador in the national stadium. So hotel-wise we’re good, we’re staying at the same hotel the U.S. men’s national team stays at when they go down there. We know the stadium. It’s also probably going to be a smaller pro-Metapan crowd than it would’ve been if they would’ve played at their field. So those are all positives for us and we’ll be OK.”

(On the refereeing potentially being different) “Yeah, we’ll see. I don’t think we’re going to get a referee from Central America, necessarily. I would imagine we’ll get a Caribbean refereeing crew. But I don’t know, we haven’t seen the referees. That’s just me guessing.”

(What did you learn in the first game that can help going into the second leg?) “I think for our guys it was more learning about they’re going to knock the ball around, they can hold the ball, they’re technically sound. The national stadium at San Salvador is a huge field, it’s got to be like 80 yards wide, so there’s a lot of space to play there. I think they understand that if we give the ball away they’re going to hold it and so forth. Again, they played very defensive against us. We also learned that we can certainly get at them on the outsides. They had trouble containing Sanna. Sanna did a great job (Saturday) with his cross. We talked afterward and he said, ‘Yeah I saw him (Montero) there. I picked him out.’ And I said good. If he would’ve done the same thing in the first (Metapan) game, we would’ve probably scored two goals in the first 20 minutes. So they know they can get at them on the flanks, they know they can play well against them. Our belief in ourselves should be good. Then we just have to deal with playing out of the country and whatever else comes with that.”

(On Metapan’s approach being different) “Obviously they need to score a goal, so they have to open their game up more than they had to open their game up at our place. I feel very confident that we have the ability to score a goal against them down there. And if we score one goal against them, they have to score three in order to knock us out. I don’t we’re going to give up even two, so I’m certainly not worried about giving up three. It’s a situation of they got to open up. They’ve got to score. Whether they do that from the opening whistle, whether they do it at halftime, at some point they’ve got to open up and that’s going to give us space to attack.”

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