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November 7, 2010 at 10:46 PM

Sounders FC 1, LA Galaxy 2 — postgame Sigi Schmid quotes

The postgame quote sheet didn’t include all of Schmid’s responses, so I typed up the whole things. Some answers were very candid, especially about how his team needs to grow up and, of course, the referees…

* * *

(Opening statement) “Basically we started off the game poorly, put ourselves behind the eight ball. They scored two set-pieces. I think we showed some character in the second half, created enough chances, but creating chances alone doesn’t do anything. You got to score goals.”

(On L.A.’s defensive approach against you) “I think we did more things to ourselves in the first half. They really came out with the same structure. For a couple guys on our team the game was too big for them, it was too big an occasion. They just turned over the ball and turned over the ball in bad positions, bad spots.”

(You mention the occasion being too big for some, is it a matter of experience or talent?) “A little bit of experience. Obviously you got to look at it when you’re playing a 23-year-old midfielder and he’s going against a 32-year-old. You got Beckham who’s been in a lot of big games. We got a lot of guys who haven’t been in those big games yet. The only way you get that experience is by being in it.”

(On defending set pieces, regarding Beckham) “Well Beckham’s very clever. He’s actually too clever for the referees as well. He hits a great set piece and he was having a lot of joy in the first half early on hitting out-swinging set pieces, which obviously they watch tape and he was hitting them very well. On the one that they scored the first goal — on the first corner — the ball goes out on the other side of the field. The corner is supposed to be taken on that side of the field. Toledo, who’s the referee, has to make sure it happens there. Beckham just picks up the ball and walks to the other side of the field. He’s too clever for our own referees. Our referees needs to be more clever because the players are more clever than they are.”

(Looking at Year 2) “We still have to grow up a little bit. What we’ve done as a franchise, we’ve been in five competitions in two years and we’ve won two championships. I think that’s pretty good. The Galaxy is still looking for the first championship in these two seasons. Whether you attach importance to the Open Cup or not, it’s still a competition that you’re trying to win. For us though it’s a matter of maturing, growing up into (being able to play) those big games, understanding each other. We’re still building the team. There are new guys out there. We lost a lot of guys in injuries down the middle of the field, so there’s some guys who if you told me at the start of the season would be in our starting lineup, I’d say it’d be a more difficult year.”

(On what you learned about your team in trying to become elite in MLS) “We’re still not there yet. We have still have to become better. We can’t give up goals on set pieces like that. We can’t start to play 20 minutes into the game. We got to play sooner.”

(On substitutions) “We made the changes that I felt comfortable with. We brought in Fernandez first to give us a little bit more possession with the ball. On the wings we went into a 3-5-2 pretty early when we brought in Fucito — he’s shown very well in training. Then we came with Jaqua late and stayed in a 3-5-2. I thought when you look at the chances we had in the second half, there were four goals there for us: the one Jaqua just misses, the one Alonso has, the one Montero has, Zakuani has one earlier before he scores, Blaise has one that hits him on the thigh at the back post when he was just coming down to hit it. So there were enough chances to bang away goals. To get three was not impossible.”

(Thinking about next year) “We’re after the match so we’re before the next match. Our next match is next season. So for me it’s already a process of deciding, ‘OK these are the nucleus pieces we can build with and this is where we need to get a little bit better.’ ”

(On set-piece defense and missed chances being familiar from early in the season) “I don’t know if it reminded me of early on in the season, but I was extremely frustrating. I thought our marking was poor. Even though Beckham took the corner from the wrong side, that doesn’t excuse our marking. Our marking on those two goals was poor. And Gonzalez should’ve had one earlier. Our ability to adjust, we were playing defense on corners a certain way and zoning. Beckham is a good enough server of the ball that he can put the ball over Nkufo’s head — he’s the guy we were zoning in that one space, which worked very well for us in the first game. Now he maybe needed to drop a step or two. We were trying to get that message out and that’s why I was so irate after that first goal because from the other side I don’t think they score, to be very honest.”

(Thoughts on the Galaxy) “I think they’re a little more grizzled, I guess is the word. There’s an edge to their team. There’s a physicality to their team and there’s certainly a purpose for a lot of their players. A lot of their players are very committed to, ‘this is the year.’ You got guys who are retiring, like an Eddie Lewis. And you have guys that are disappointed in not winning the championship. Guys coming back from injury, like a Beckham. Kovalenko probably knows that this could be his last season in a certain extent. With those guys, everybody knows their role, everybody does their role. How they’ll do against Dallas? I think they should do fairly well, especially being at home. Dallas presents different problems than we present. Every team is a little different.”

(On trying to improve or building a team that can beat L.A.) “There’s still nobody that we fear. It’s a matter of making us a better team. We just have to become better. We have to become more experienced. We have to become hardened. We have to play with a discipline and a craftiness that L.A. has right now that we don’t have. Whether that’s taking 20 seconds to take a goal kick or a throw-in. Little things to kill the game. Ricketts knew when he got crashed into by Fernandez that he wasn’t taking any goal kicks, but every time he walked over, put the ball down, pretended like he was going to and then, ‘oh by the way, you have to come back here and kick it.’ Again, the referees aren’t smart enough to pick that up. So when you have a veteran team that’s crafty then they get away with that stuff. It’s 10 seconds here, 20 seconds there, but more so than anything it just kills the momentum of the game. So we’re trying to up the momentum of the game, we’re trying to keep the game going, trying to keep the flow going and unless you yellow card him he’s going to continue to kill the rhythm. So they’re a team that understands that rhythm because they’ve got a lot of veteran players and those are intangibles that make a difference in big games. Those are things we’re trying to impart.”

(You trying to make your team crafty like that for next season?) “I don’t know if we have that kind of money. A lot of it is, Kovalenko was a different player at 23 then he is now at 32 — in terms of certain things and understanding and reading the game. Some of it is just age. Maturity. It’s like if you have kids at home and they do stupid things when they’re 13, you can’t say, ‘Well I’m going to go trade them in.’ You don’t get another kid. You have to help your kid mature and eventually when they’re 16, 17, 18, hopefully they’re making better decisions. So it’s a little bit of that for us. We have to mature as a team and that will allow us to make better decisions.”

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