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August 13, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid quotes from Friday

(On Chivas USA without Sacha Kljestan) “They picked up some other guys so you have to worry about Maldonado and Espinoza and some of the other guys that they’ve picked up. Nagamura is back. I have known Sacha for a long time and he has been at Chivas now for a while so it will be a little bit different with him not being there.”

(Is Steve Zakuani OK?) “Uh, no. Right now the doctors and trainers feel that he’s got some general soreness and feel right now that he needs a little bit of a break or else he might break down on us completely. We just have to see how he responds to a little bit of time and we’ll make a decision next week?”

(So he’s not traveling?) “No traveling this week, no.”

(On semi-hot streak for Chivas USA) “Defensively they were very good. They ended up playing the same group in the back for a number of games. I think with Umana and Delgado and Trujillo and Jazic that group really started to understand each other. But it was really the group in front. The midfielders and forwards did a good job of pressuring the opponents. They made it difficult for you to play and, as a result, they won balls back and took advantage of their opportunities when they had their opportunities. You look at their game against Columbus, where they won 3-1, the shots were pretty equal, the shot on goal were pretty equal, but at the end of the day they finished their chances and buried their chances. Justin Braun’s been in good form. So that’s what they’ve done well.”

(On the John Rooney trial ending, was it a positive?) “Yeah, it was good. It was good to see him play and to see him train. He moves onto Portland now and they take a look at him as well. What’s really exciting is it’s good to know that players have an interest in coming to our league. Whether it’s a big signing like Alvaro Fernandez, where you get a young World Cup player, which I think is huge. We were talking about that today. How often do you get a 24 year old that’s played in the World Cup playing in our league? That’s coming to our league from a foreign country. That’s good to know that our league has the respect and interest overseas, where people want to come to it. I think John represents that. He has enough contacts in England that he can find a club in England and stay there, but the challenge of coming here is something that interests him. I think that speaks well for our league.”

(On Sanna’s growth as a player) “I’ve always said, Sanna has all the physical abilities, it’s just a matter of him improving his decision making. And that can still get better, for sure. But it’s definitely gotten a lot better, his decisions as to laying off the ball, his completing of passes is better, his finding people on crosses is better. The day before yesterday he found a couple people on crosses that resulted in goals. He’s just really improved his decision making, that’s why he’s getting more time on the field.”

(Was there a moment for him that sparked better play?) “Oh shoot, I don’t know. If I knew when those moments occurred then it would make my job so much easier because I could just make that moment happen. As an old player of mine once said, ‘If you throw enough stuff against a wall coach, eventually some of it sticks and I remember it.’ I think we’ve been talking to him about for a long time and all of a sudden it clicked, his running off the ball is much improved and like I said his decision making. What that moment was, I think it’s a gradual progression. We do it through game-type training sessions, and as a result I think when you get that moment like he’s gotten to, it’s usually pretty permanent. It’s not like you’re going to lose it again. You usually have a pretty good idea.”

(On replacing Zakuani) “Obviously we have alternatives there. Fernandez is certainly an option, he’s played there but it’s a measure how fit we think he is right now and how many minutes we think we can get. Montano is certainly an option there as well and Roger is an option there as well. So I think we have three options. We’ll make a decision.”


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