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September 23, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid quotes from Thursday

(Your next three MLS games — at Chicago, vs. Toronto, at Kansas City — are against your direct rivals to the playoffs. Does anything change in preparation against desperate teams?) “Well we’re equally as desperate because we know a win pushes them further out of the picture and that’s what we’re trying to achieve. So it’s basically three weeks of playoff games and we have to be ready to stand up to that test.”

(When you were struggling you mentioned midweek games like friendlies and Open Cup matches as a positive distraction. Conversely now that you’re doing well in MLS, could flying so many miles and suffering a disappointing loss like last night become a negative distraction to what you’re doing in league play?) “It can be, but I’m really proud of our team. I think the guys have shown a lot of character being able to put up with the travel that we’ve had to undergo and some of the ordeals. Yesterday was not the easiest day, not only in terms of the result, but also in terms of the travel day. I’m really proud of the fact that we’ve shown a lot of character and resiliency. We’re just very disappointed about our results in the Champions League because we think in every game we’ve played we’ve put ourselves in a position to win. So not winning is certainly disappointing, but we’ve done a good job of focusing on the next task at hand. And the next task at hand is Chicago.”

(On if travel can affect rested players/starters) “It can be a toll but certainly being able to rest some of those guys was very important. I mean (with) the travel, you don’t sleep as comfortably on a plane as you do in your own bed. Certainly being in a hotel room, again, you’re not in your regular routine. So all those things eventually add up. Again, our team has shown pretty good character and pretty good resiliency in terms of dealing with that.”

(What is useful to play a lot of reserves and young players last night?) “I think it was very beneficial. The only way you’re going to learn how to deal in that environment is to play in it. The crowd down there was fantastic. They were close to full — 20,000 people there. Usually the Mexican teams don’t get that kind of a crowd for a Champions League game, so that was tremendous. I thought forcing them to have to put on their three key players in the second half to try to get the win showed that we were doing something right. Obviously it was a great opportunity for Michael Fucito. It was a great opportunity as well for David Estrada. It was a great opportunity for Miguel Montano, all those players to get back in there and play. So from that standpoint, even though we had a bad five minutes, the guys need to learn from that and become hardened from that. If they don’t learn from that then you end up moving on and someone else gets a chance. But I think we will learn from that and we will be a better team as a result.”

(On how you got to Chicago, charter as well?) “We were on a charter as well. We had to leave right after the game. We couldn’t leave on Thursday morning. Then there were a couple of logistical mess-ups in terms of the food didn’t arrive for the plane, so we really didn’t have any food for the guys to eat after the game. So that was a problem. We also got delayed a little bit. Then when we got to Chicago we were supposed to go through customs right where we were coming in at, instead we had to all get bused over to the regular customs thing. So that added up another hour. Most of the guys probably got to sleep around 4 a.m.”

(On the hiring of president Peter McLoughlin, have you met him or know much about him?) “No, I know just about what I read. I think Adrian (Hanauer) has met him and he mentioned it to me. I know Tod (Leiweke) was involved in the search process as well and Vulcan is a class organization so I know they did their diligence and hired somebody who’s going to be right for the organization and will be able to lead the Seahawks and the Sounders to continued success.”

(On your impressions of shared management with Seahawks) “I think our shared management, which Tod Leiweke initially provided and McLoughlin will continue, has been hugely beneficial for this club. You see what goes on in New England where it’s really not a shared management, it’s very separate and it’s very difficult sometimes for the Revolution. What I think we have between the Seahawks and Sounders is very unique. I think the shared management makes us a stronger organization and we’re able to piggyback and parlay on each other’s successes. I think it’s a positive at this stage. Maybe sometime in the future something different makes sense, but for right now I think this is a very good situation.”

(On personnel availability for Chicago) “Yeah (James) Riley flew out here along with Roger Levesque, along with (Blaise) Nkufo and along with Leo Gonzalez. All those guys we left behind in Seattle because a couple were ineligible and just not to put mileage on a couple other guys. We feel all four then will be able to play for us.”

(Nobody hurt in the Monterrey game?) “Some hurt feelings, but physically I think everybody got through it OK.”


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