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January 28, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Sounders FC quote sheet — Sigi Schmid and James Riley

I’ll add more later, but there’s some good stuff here, including: fitness thoughts, Erik Friberg, roster decisions, James Riley, going to Arizona, trialist Edouard Kambaba and more.

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SIGI SCHMID, head coach

(On fitness tests…) “We’ve got to make sure they are all faster than I am, because if they are not faster than I am it’s going to be a long, long season. (laughs) On the sprint tests we can measure guys’ explosion, their speed over distance. It basically gives us three times: a ten-yard sprint time – a start time – it gives us a 30-yard sprint time from a dead stop and it gives us a flying 20. So it gives us an idea of who is quick, who has got speed over distance, who can maintain their speed and the jumping thing that they do is more just to determine their power and their explosiveness, etc. So Dave (Tenney) compiles that. But what we just want to see is give ourselves some measures, see how they compare, see who our guys that we need to work on a little bit more, that we need to get a little quicker. When they say, ‘Hey, I’m quick enough,’ you can show them the time and say, ‘Well, maybe you’re not.’ ”

(On playing 11v11 at end of training…) “It’s a little bit of a reward always when you can play 11v11. But we also wanted to play a little bit big because we have got to make some decisions here coming up and pare down a little bit again as we go into Arizona. It was good. I think they enjoyed playing 11v11. There were some good goals so that was good as well.”

(Will you make some moves before you go to Arizona?) “Yeah. We’ll probably trim the roster a little bit. I couldn’t tell you right now by how many, could be three to five, somewhere in that neighborhood.”

(On James Riley) “Obviously we played a lot of minutes for us. He’s been our No. 1 choice at right back now for two years and our options there were maybe more limited than they were at other positions, and that helped James Riley. But James has played well. I think he’s played the best soccer that he’s played in his MLS career over his two years here. And the other part of his team game that he’s adding is developing as well some leadership skills and starting to take a hold of that. He feels confident. He feels fine. He’s settled a little bit. He’s older now. He’s not one of the young guys and he has the ability to lead a little bit because he’s an engaging person.”

(On Erik Friberg…) “I think it has been good. He came in and he’s got a little bit of a flu, a little bit of a cold that along with the time change and everything else has been bothering him a little bit. But I think today in the 11 v 11 you saw what he is. He is sits there in midfield, knocks it around and all of a sudden you look up and he’s in the box trying to get on the end of a cross. Then you look and he is back in midfield where he needs to be. He’s got great running capacity. He’s got good timing coming forward late and so he gives us that depth in midfield that we needed, especially with the loss of Sturgis and it gives us alternatives there.”

(Could he score a couple goals this year?) “I think he’s going to score the odd goal. I don’t think he’s gonna be a guy that’s going to bang in 10 goals or something for the season for us. He’s going to be the guy that gets forward, who creates havoc, gets an odd goal chance here and there. Maybe he’s in the mix and the ball pops free to someone else, but because he’s in the mix is the reason it pops free.”

(On preseason training in Arizona…) “It was just a good situation. Obviously it is very quiet. There’s not a lot to do so you can concentrate and focus. Also the field situation, from the standpoint of staffing, the way the building is constructed you have got a locker room, you’ve got your own equipment room, you got room for your trainers. You’re not working out of a hotel room, you’re not working out of a condominium apartment. It’s a very comfortable set-up and I think when you are comfortable in that you’re able to be more efficient in what you do on the field. For us, we are going a little bit longer this time because we wanted to add some games in as well. So we will see how good the guys are at playing cards and keeping each other entertained.”

(On goals for preseason training in Arizona…) “The goals are obviously to build our fitness base, to do the first part of it which is to make sure that our aerobic base is very strong and start to get into the anaerobic side. But also from a playing side, we want to establish in our minds this is how we want to play, got to make sure we do a better job of stretching the opponents’ defense this year. We’ve got to make sure we stay high in that regard. We have also got to make sure that we are a little more goal-dangerous at key moments. Sometimes we go east to west when we need to go north to south in the final 30 yards of the field.”

(On Edouard Kabamba) “He’s somebody that came to our attention. He’s got very good speed, he scored a great goal today. Unfortunately I think he tweaked his hamstring a little bit towards the end. He came to our attention and his club was willing to let him go, so we figured, ‘OK, let’s go ahead and take a look at him.’ He was recommended from some people in Europe and he was willing to come, so we said let’s look.”

(Thought on Houston to the East?) “It makes no difference on your schedule. In the old days, certainly when the schedules were unbalanced, it made a difference. So it’s no difference as to who you play and who you’re playing against. Obviously the standings and how many points you need to get into the playoffs has been different in the last two years for East and West. But I think it seemed pretty logical as to who to keep there. The obvious choices on the west coast I think were there, and it really did come down probably to Dallas and to Houston were the two that were probably the furthest east in terms of moving somebody. I don’t know. I think you probably could have flipped a coin between the two.”

(On figuring our final roster with roster rules) “It’s the same. I’ve been in this league for a while so it’s the same as it was before when we had the reserve league. Sometimes it’s like, ‘Yeah, this guy is a better player, but he’s over the age of 25, he’s not going to play, he’s not going for the $32,000 minimum salary.’ So you have to look at those things. It’s not like you’re always saying, for example, ‘These are out best 28 players and these are the guys we pick.’ It should be your best 20, and then your next four make the 24, those other four aren’t maybe the best guys but guys you think have the best talent, have the ability to grow and slot into that particular salary situation.”

(On Baudet’s situation) “No, that’s something that Adrian’s taken care of. We know where we are with our cap and I think our abilities don’t necessarily correlate to maybe what he needs to make to play here. That’s more an Adrian question because he’s more in tune with it.”

JAMES RILEY, defender

(You’re an in-shape guy, do you like the fitness work?) “No. Not at all. (laughs) You just have to be prepared for it. It’s part of the territory. Obviously you want to come in and set the standard, for sure. It’s something that I personally take pride in. I think as an organization, obviously it’s our third year and Sigi has put pressure on us and urgency. I think we kind of have to echo that and not only start it this week, but continue it.”

(Nice to play 11v11?) “Yeah, absolutely. I think you could tell by the tempo. It’s definitely spirited; the tempo and rhythm are very high. Guys are definitely excited to be out there and playing and we were able to score some good goals today. That’s the main thing, keep the tempo and the rhythm of the game high, but there were some good combos and some good goals. It was good.”

(On being protected having moved before in expansion drafts) “It’s tough, to be honest. It’s kind of good and bad. It’s obviously good when a team wants you and says they’re going to pick you up, and moving is difficult. You want to be on that protected list. Especially in a place where you enjoy playing and you enjoy the community and you enjoy the guys on the team and you think it’s a fantastic organization. Sometimes you kind of have to fight to keep things good, and that’s what I did. Yeah, it was definitely a personal goal to be one of the first on that protected list and it happened last year. Hopefully it can continue.”

(Do you see yourself becoming more of a leader?) “Yeah, I think so. I’m going into seventh year. I might be up there — I’m feeling old — as far as MLS games played, MLS career. I think definitely it’s time for me to transition slowly into that leadership role. Whether that’s leading by example or being a bit vocal. Sigi wants us to challenge each other and make it our team. I think the first two years a couple guys were maybe a bit timid and tip-toeing a little bit. Third year should be the charm so there’s no holds barred. We’re going for it full throttle for sure. We know the season’s a marathon, not a sprint, but at the same time we’re going to hold everyone to the same standard and keep challenging everyone everyday.”

(On getting Hurtado back) “Anytime you lose a player like him obviously it hurts. I think we were a little timid at first and hesitant to see how we were going to replace him. We have guys that come in and do their bit everyday and train everyday. Jeff Parke stepped in admirably and is fantastic to play with. Hurtado’s fantastic to play with. They both bring in different aspects to the game. Jhon is definitely more that raw, tenacious, 1v1 defender. Parke’s been a bit more in the league, so he knows how to read the league and take care of himself and things of that sort. They both bring different aspects, but to have the selection of center backs that we have and the selection of players that we have is always good, because it brings guys together, especially in our locker room. It lets guys compete and we have so many competitions, we’re in three competitions this year so a lot of people are going to be able to play significant minutes.”

(On your relationship in the Korean community) “It’s interesting for sure. Funny story, I was doing an interview, it might have been here, and a Korean publicist that saw it. One of the questions was, ‘What’s one thing that people might not know about you?’ I said my mom was Korean and I grew up Korean food and in the Korean culture. I think they requested an interview the next day and it kind of blossomed from there. It’s been fantastic. Through that publication and getting that award, the Korean community has been huge. I’ve been down the Federal Way and ate at restaurants and have been noticed. I took my mom up north at ate at restaurants and were noticed there — every Korean restaurant that I go to. It’s pretty crazy. Then through that Korean publication, Sports Seoul, my mom was able to reconnect with a friend that had been looking for for 30 years. It was like her best friend, who had just been happening to read the same publication — saw the photo, the breast cancer thing and that stuff. That reunion was last week and that was definitely very special. It was right before preseason started, so on my return leg to Colorado I brought my mom to Seattle and then they got to reconnect. It was very cool. But of that seven days I probably got to see my mom on one day, maybe one and a half. Literally, she was sleeping over there and hanging out with her every day. It was special.”

(You beat out Hines Ward? He’s going to Super Bowl!) “I know! Maybe I eeked him out just by a bit.”

(On heading to Arizona) “It’s always just a team-building aspect of it. Obviously we want to go down there and do our bit and continue get fit. It’s the second phase of our preseason training camp. It’s definitely secluded, so it doesn’t force you, but it puts it on you to entertain yourself. You go on the field and you practice and train, then you have so much down time. But it’s good. I think we’re going to get an X-Box down there and a Kinect, some card games, movies, just have guys bond. We’ll have the rookies and trialists do a couple skits, maybe sing a couple songs, give everyone a good laugh. That’s definitely are important aspect of it, maybe 50-50, where the physical aspect is there and the mental/team-bonding aspect is definitely very important.”

(How about some ’60s songs?) “Hey, we’re up for ideas. Let that be known. Get it on the blogs and everything. I’ll be looking around so send them in. PG-13 though.”


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