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August 23, 2010 at 10:55 PM

Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid quotes on Monday

Update at 10:55 p.m. with the full transcript. Earlier quotes provided by the team.

* * *

(On Patrick Ianni not being at training) “He was just sick so the trainers and doctors told him to stay at home so he doesn’t get anybody else. … We think he’ll be fine by Wednesday but today just to be precautious we told him to stay home.”

(Is there an update on Zakuani?) “I still have to meet with him after training. He worked with Dave Tenney today. Dave said he was able to do everything he wanted him to do so we’ll see how he feels.”

(On next three games in three different competitions, any preference between the three?) “We want to win all three games. Obviously the league game is important for us because we want to get in the playoff hunt. Champions League is important because you got to win your home games. We are in the semifinals and would like to defend the Open Cup as well. So they are all equally important and we are going to approach each game with the idea of putting our best lineup out for each opponent.”

(Monterrey maybe entered the group as the favorite, what do you know about them?) “I think traditionally the Mexican teams have been the stronger teams in the competition. Most teams won at home in their first games, which is also pretty normal. But Monterrey has got some talented players. [Humberto] Suazo is a World Cup player who is a handful up front. I have seen him play for a lot of years now. I know he didn’t make it in Spain when he went back there but he is still a very, very good player. And [Neri] Cardozo on the wing is a really good player. [Osvaldo] Martinez is a good player for them. They have different options underneath. [Sergio] Santana has done well for them. They have got a lot of experience in the back with [Duilio] Davino. They have [Severo] Meza who likes to attack on the right side. So they have got good quality players, otherwise you don’t win the Apertura in Mexico. It’s important for us to play well. Again, I think the Marathon game was important for our team because I think the guys who were in the competition for the first time or playing that type of game for the first time, the uncertainty left them during the game and they said, ‘Wait a second, we have nothing to fear.’ It’s sort or like when I first started at UCLA and we shifted our program, there were a lot of foreign players and we basically went to an all-American team. We had all these American players and we did well with everybody, but when we played against the University of San Francisco, because … they had a lot of foreign players, we had like a mental block. Like a, ‘Are we as good as those foreign guys?’ The first time we beat them I think was ’83 and then after we beat them in ’83 I think we went 10 years without losing to them. But the guys needed to get that first win under their belt, [Paul] Caligiuri scored the goal, we won 3-2 at their place, and we said, ‘Wait a second. These guys aren’t any better than our guys. They put on their shorts one leg at a time and they go to the bathroom the same way we do.’ That’s how we came out of that game in Marathon, realizing ‘Hey, wait a second. We can play with this.’ ”

(On approaching a six-game group stage and the importance of Wednesday’s game at home) “Eventually you want to get to 10 points or beyond. If you can get to 10 points or beyond you feel pretty good. But everybody is playing it tight. Away from home, they’re going to play it tight to the vest. They’re going to try to walk away with a draw if they can. I think there’s a little more emphasis in international competition, when you’re playing away from home in a group setting, ‘Hey, let’s at least get a point, if we can.’ That’ll make it a little more difficult for us to attack, but at the end of the day winning your home games is critical to doing well in the group.”

(On Roger Levesque working his way back onto the field) “Roger last year, right around this time of the year, hit a good run as well. It’s a little bit comparable to what he’s going through now. As with anything, guys have up and down flows to their form. Some guys are in form for a little bit and they fall out of form. Roger has found his way back in a little bit and his versatility gives him opportunities. If he was strictly a forward, he might not have been on the field against Marathon, but because he was able to play wide and we had Zakuani and Nyassi out, he was the logical choice. A little more of a two-way player is what we thought we needed there and he ended up scoring a good goal.”

(On Zakuani again, via reporter not present at beginning of interview) “We think it’s better. We pushed him a little bit in training today so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

(On next three games in three different competitions, again via reporter not present at beginning of interview) “Is this a repeat question? (laughs) Like I said before, all the competitions are important and we want to do well in each of them. Obviously winning your home games in the Champions League is important. We still need to get points to move onto the playoffs and this game with Chicago is somebody who is a direct competitor. So it’s a six-point game. What we look at right now is there are still some teams that have less games than us, just like Chicago has less games, and we look at if they won out all their games, would they pass us? There are about four or five teams that are behind us now that even if they won out their games couldn’t pass us. Chicago is one of the teams that if they won out their games, they could pass us. But if we can walk away with a victory on Saturday then we put them into that same position. They can win out their games and they can’t pass us. So that’s what we are looking to do, to keep our distance, so that’s important. Then we’re in the semifinals of a competition we won last year and we want to defend our title.”

(On busy schedule and traveling) “Our approach is simply each game we want to put out the best team. Sometimes that means maybe Player X needs to rest a little bit and we’ve got to play Player Y. It’s not ever going to be a situation where we’re going to put out a team and say, ‘Well let’s put in these guys because maybe this a weaker opponent or less important game.’ We want to win every game that we enter into. My feeling has always been as a coach, and maybe in life, maybe it came down from my father to me, it’s just you deal with what you can deal with and you change what you can change. I can’t change the distance between Seattle and San Jose, Costa Rica, or Columbus or anything like that. It’s something we have to deal with. We travel more than any other team within our league already and being in that competition of the Champions League where all the other teams are going to be south of the border we are going to travel even more. It’d be a lot nicer to be Houston, because those trips are a lot shorter. At the end of the day, we can’t do anything to change it so why worry about it? Let’s just get on with it.”

(On Mike Fucito) “We’re still trying to build Mikey’s fitness. He’s a very explosive guy and he’s done really well in that, but it takes him a while to build his aerobic fitness, so we’re trying build that. Like today, he wanted to shoot at the end of practice, we said, ‘No, because that’s how you got injured a little bit the last time, where he tightened up his hamstring and missed 3-4 days.’ So we’ve got to be careful with him. But certainly his energy and his abilities of being quick and sharp are important and we’re going to need him in this stretch of games. He’s going to play a role for us.”

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