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October 25, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid quotes from Monday

(On playing the L.A. Galaxy in conference semifinals . . .) “Excited. They are a team obviously this season that we didn’t enjoy any success against. But for us it presents a great opportunity. Excited for our fans. [David] Beckham wasn’t here with them the last time so they get a chance to see Beckham play and a chance again to see Landon [Donovan] and those guys. For us, the exciting part is being in the playoffs.”

(On previous regular season matches against Galaxy . . .) “We will be motivated. Obviously we lost to them twice. We turned that around in the Open Cup and beat them in an Open Cup game, although there were a lot of more reserve players on the field for us and for them. I think for us the motivation is definitely there. We want to do better than we did last year. We got a chance to go up against the Supporters’ Shield winner and if you want to win a championship you are going to have to beat a team like that eventually.”

(On the regular season . . .) “Obviously missing guys down the middle of the field during a period of time when we struggled. You look at basically Jhon Kennedy [Hurtado] was out. You look at the amount of games that Ossie [Osvaldo Alonso] missed, that [Brad] Evans missed, that [Nate] Jaqua missed and that’s right down the middle of the field. When you look at all of that I’m actually very pleased how we finished as a team and our overall record because, at the start of the season, you are saying that those are four guys who are going to start for you and probably play 25-30 games, at least, down the middle of the field. And we didn’t get that out of those guys. I don’t think there’s a lot of teams in the league that could’ve withstood losing that amount of key players down the middle of the field and done as well as we did.”

(10 goals each for Zakuani and Montero sound OK?) “Yeah, it works out. Obviously there’s been a huge step up with Zakuani going from four to 10. Montero’s close to where he was last year. What’d he have last year? 13? Something like that? So it’s comparable but he had more assists. The way I look at it is how many goals are you involved with? He was involved with more goals for us this year, so was Zakuani. More assists, more goals, so definitely the maturation is coming.”

(On injured players . . .) “[Fredy] Montero we were just being precautious today, so we just wanted him to work a little bit. [Terry] Boss we want to keep low. We will look at him again on Thursday and see where he is at. He is feeling a lot better so we just wanted to take the extra days this week. And [Jeff] Parke did the whole regen that he was supposed to do. We just held him out of the 5v2 so nobody would kick a ball at his head or something.”

(How did the Western Conference get so far ahead of the East?) “Wow, I don’t know. That’s a hard one to answer really. I think people expected more from Toronto this year. I think this is a second year we’re playing a balanced schedule. I think the balanced schedule at the end of the day shows the strength of teams. When you play an unbalanced schedule, if you’re playing more games against teams that maybe aren’t as good, you end up picking points. Another team plays more games against teams that are better so they lose points, as a result of that then everything is packed and tight but doesn’t necessarily get the best teams in the playoffs. I think the last two years the best teams have gotten into the playoffs, so it’s good. Why the west is that much stronger than the east? I’m not smart enough to figure that out.”


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