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September 20, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid quotes from Monday

(Was it good to sleep in your own bed again?) “Yeah, it was actually nice. I forgot what it was like. I had to count the pillows to make sure they were all still there.”

(On returning to Seattle before the next road trip) “I thought it was important, otherwise it becomes a two-week road trip. It was important for us to get home for a couple days, for the guys who are married to see their wives and their kids, for the other guys to see their girlfriends and for us to be able to sleep in our own beds is important. It gets long when you’re on the road. I always say when a team is on the road and they got to do laundry, that’s usually a time to come back home. And we were at that stage. Schmetzer had to get socks from the equipment guy, so it was time to come home.”

(On having to approach the CCL differently at 0-3) “Yeah, we have to look at it a little bit differently. We are still going to try and put the team out there that we think is going to win the game, for sure. We are not giving any games away. We are not handing them in or writing them in. But certainly there are some guys on our team that have logged a lot of minutes, been playing game in and game out. Now we have got to manage their minutes a little bit. Those other guys who haven’t logged as many minutes can play a bit more. But we are still going to field a team that is very experienced. We are going to field a team that has got good quality in it, but we have to see how guys feel tomorrow as we get into Monterrey. There’s a couple guys who can’t play in Monterrey, like Leo Gonzalez and Roger — Leo because of the red card and Roger because he has two yellows. Riley we’re going to hold out because of his ankle. We want to give him just a few more days but he will be back for Chicago. But outside of that everybody else is somebody we are thinking about playing.”

(On the poor conditions of Monterrey’s field) “It has wear and tear on it because of all the games they play on it. But for us, we’ve played on some fields that have been pretty difficult. Whether it was the game we played in Honduras against Marathon, or the game we played in El Salvador — I don’t think it’s going to be worse than that. It is what it is and we just have to move on with it.”

(When was it decided to make this two road trips?) “We made that decision fairly early, at least a month ago, when we got the schedule. We talked about it. We looked at what the different options were. What the things were about going commercial. How can we do it? Luckily the organization supported us and we’re talking a charter down there tomorrow. That’s what really made it feasible, because if we had to go commercial… I’ll give you an example, when we went to Costa Rica we flew into Houston, then there’s a three-and-a-half hour layover, so you leave here at 8 in the morning and get to Costa Rica at 8 :30-9 o’ clock at night. Then you try to get a meal and it ruins everybody’s body clock. Same thing coming out, we left Costa Rica at about noon their time and got into Columbus at about midnight. Luckily it was Wednesday, it was a day earlier and we had time to recover, but the club supported us with the charter and it allows us to leave for Monterrey in the morning and get there at 3:30 and have a training session that evening there.”

(On Brad Evans’ return to training) “It was great to see him out there, for sure. We’re up-training him again now this week for two or three days and then we will back off again. This is the first time he has been in as a neutral player. He said he felt pretty good. He feels that every time after he has worked, the pain is not going beyond baseline. It’s going right back to that, which is a good sign. Hopefully each day and each week he will make a little more progress.”

(Was Alvaro not quite 100-percent or is there competition to play at those outside midfield spots?) “It was a situation where Zakuani, I thought, had good moments down in Saprissa and only played 45 minutes because we subbed him with the red card. Nyassi has been playing well for us, although he was dead so he was the right guy to take out in the game against Columbus. But all three of them are competent. We are certainly comfortable with all three of them on the field and Alvaro has the plus of also being able to play inside. For him, he also went through some travel and it was difficult on him. It’s not like he flies into Montevideo and has a five-minute drive to his house. He has like a two-and-a-half hour drive to his home. So when you are leaving at six in the morning, you can imagine what time you have to get up to leave.”

(On Blaise Nkufo getting more acclimated) “Definitely. MLS is a difficult league. It’s not an easy league like some people necessarily think overseas at times. It’s difficult because of the travel and it’s also difficult because the quality of play. And the athleticism is better than I think is realized. It always takes every player a little bit of time to adjust. But the good ones like Blaise always make that adjustment. He found his feet. I said even before he was scoring goals that his holdup play was really important to us because he allows us to get other players into the attack and allows us to have a flow into our game, which really helps us. It was great to see him get on the board.”

(On Zakuani’s progression) “He’s definitely upped his number for sure. He’s got eight goals and 4-5 assists, so he’s definitely improved his numbers, which is a good sign. I don’t think there’s a wide player or winger in the league with more goals than him, which is a good sign. As he continues to understand where people are going to move and they understand how he gets in — the last goal in Columbus was a great example of that. He knows how Blaise likes to drift to the ‘D’ there, so as he got in deep he looked for that. Montero made a great dummy and it ended up being a great goal. That just proves as you play which each other more and more that the understanding grows.”

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