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October 7, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid quotes from Thursday

UPDATED 4:18 p.m. and there’s a lot more stuff in the full transcript…

* * *

(Is anyone still hungover?) “Uh, I don’t know. I wasn’t out with them. You have to check with Ezra, he usually monitors that for us. (laughs) But it was definitely a great feeling and it’s good to get back on the field because we probably needed to sweat a little bit today. It’s a tremendous feeling. Again, the atmosphere, the stadium, our fans, it was just a wonderful night. It was a great night.”

(On a the possibility of a letdown Saturday) “[John] Wooden always said for every up game you are going to have a down game. Sometimes that has happened but I think we have shown good character. We have had to play a lot of games. I can’t remember the last time we didn’t have a game in the middle of the week. So it’s going to be unusual when that happens, if that ever happens. We know what’s at stake this weekend. Our team is prepared for that. It’s a desperate situation for Kansas City because they need the points. We know that with a win or a tie we secure a playoff spot. I think our team will be prepared. It might take us a few minutes to get into the game but I think we will be ready.”

(On Evans and Fucito) “Fucito was all-in today in training so we’ll see how he comes off that, how he feels tomorrow. Evans has been increasing his workload. We’ve had to back off, increase, back off, but we probably need to reevaluate his situation early next week and see what we think is going to happen. Is he going to make it back this season? Is he going to be viable for us? Do we need to shut it down? Do we need to consider other options so that we’re sure he’s ready for next season?

(On playing at Kansas City) “It’s a tough field to play on. I think that’s the main thing with Kansas City. It’s not so much their desperateness. The surface is tremendous. It’s a good grass surface, but the field is so small. You end up either in front of your goal or in front of their goal because the field is only like 104 yards long. In fact, when I paced off the 18-yard box last year, it was only 17 yards long and 17 yards wide from the post. So they actually made that shorter to make the field look a little bigger, which was interesting. I measured it like three times and had other guys step it off and everybody came to same answer and we’re going ‘What’s going on? Can you guys look into this?’ Not only are they a good team and a good team offensively, not only are they a hungry, desperate team, but it also is being played on a field that lends itself to being a bang-bang brawl type of game.”

(On it affecting wing play) “It’s really important that our wingers stay wide on that field. So we’ve got to get them wide, get them chances to get isolated. They have the same thing with (Ryan) Smith, they want to get him wide and isolated. The space gets closed down quicker for our wingers so you have to make sure decisions a little sooner. Another thing is too, because the field is smaller you’re on top of their goal quicker. So the reactions (by the defenders), if they’re not quick enough then the wingers are in. It balances out. There’s something to be gained from it and there’s something to lose from it.”

(On Sanna Nyassi staying with the club) “He talked to the federation so I’m not sure what conclusions they came to. I think he was told sort of from the coach that because he missed the camp that they had in Belgium that the likelihood of him playing was not very great. So he probably came to a decision with them that it’s probably better just to stay then, if I’m not going to play. We certainly can’t keep him here. They have the rights to call him and to bring him in, but that was a decision he reached with their federation. We are happy to have him. Certainly he is playing well and hopefully he will continue to get goals.”

(On a boost in him staying) “It’s definitely a boost. With him getting goals and Zakuani getting goals on the other wing, and Nkufo and Montero, we’re a hard team to figure out now because if you shut down “this” that means a little more time and space for “that.” I think Sanna right now is certainly on a good roll and feeling good about himself. The team feels very happy for him because he’s one of those guys that everybody likes. It’s great to see him get what he’s getting right now.”

(On having one goal instead of three — MLS, CCL, Open Cup) “I don’t know. It might get boring. We’ve been going on so many goals for so long now. It’s good we’ve got that behind us now, the Open Cup. I know we can’t advance in the Champions League but we still want to play well in that remaining game. In the Open Cup, I think we used 22 players, so it was good. Everybody contributed to that victory. In Champions League we’ve used about the same amount. It’s good experience for all of our guys; they know now the focus in the MLS playoffs. We want to get in the playoffs. We want to get beyond where we got last year, but we can’t do that until we get in the playoffs. Right now we’re close. We’ve got to secure that over the next two games.”

(On learning from CCL for next year) “Well hopefully we won’t be playing three of our first four on the road. So that’ll be something that hopefully will change things because you have to get some confidence. And hopefully we won’t draw as tough a group as we drew because I think we drew the toughest group as well. I think the team certainly learned that when you play against teams like that because of how much the game means to them — in terms of what it means to them to qualify or move on to the next round is so great — if you fall asleep for a minute or two minutes everything changes. That’s the main thing that you learn as you step up to the next level of play, not only is the speed of play faster, but people punish you. For sure in college you don’t get punished sometimes when you make mistakes. Sometimes even in MLS you don’t get punished the way you need to get punished. I think in Champions League what happened to us this year is when we fell asleep we got punished for it right away and I think the team realizes you can’t fall asleep even for one minute over 90. And as that focus on concentration improves, then it’ll get better.”

(Do those lessons carry over to MLS?) “Those lessons always carry over. I think, as well, playing against a lot of those teams and the emphasis on possession of the ball — which we tried to emphasize — I think that’s carried over into our MLS play. And possession is really important. I think they’re learning lessons that they’re carrying with them.”

(On Alonso’s injury, which kept him out of training, being minor) “Yeah, yeah. All we’re doing with him is more precaution. There’s not really an injury there. He’s logged a lot of minutes lately and he’s an important player for us. We figure we ease off today and it’ll help us two weeks from now.”


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