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March 3, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Thursday’s quote sheet: Schmid, Alan Hinton and Grant Wahl

This is a bit late, but I think there’s some good stuff after the jump, including an interesting quote from coach Sigi Schmid on Mauro Rosales. (“It’s a matter of seeing if all the I’s can be dotted and the T’s can be crossed.”)

Also some stuff from Alan Hinton and Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl on the Pacific Northwest rivalry in anticipation of the weekend’s Cascadia Summit:

* * *

SIGI SCHMID, head coach

(On Cascadia Summit…) “You’re looking to get your unit together on the field. You’re always looking to win when you play. We are looking to push a lot of guys to 75-90 minutes at this stage because as a player you feel better having a couple of 90 minutes under your belt before you got to go at it for real. This field is a little smaller than Qwest so the game becomes a little more energy-packed. It’s a chance for us to continue to work on the things we’re doing and show that we are a step closer to being ready.”

(On how to determine 18-man gameday roster and starters…) “Early on you sort of give the benefit of the doubt to the guys who were on the field for you last year at the end of the year. We had a good run. We were the best team in the second half of the season. Guys have to now step up into games and take care of business and do well with it. Some of the determinations get made because you have some guy with a knock or an injury so you can’t really push him at this stage. For the most part, now becomes the test of finalizing that 11 and the 18 is still off in the future at this stage.”

(On Kasey Keller…) “Certainly he’s up there in the upper echelon. You can’t talk about the great American players without mentioning Kasey Keller. I think there are a number of other guys who fall into that category as well. He’s certainly a guy who has established himself. He’s been a great pro, one of the first guys to go into Europe and really make it over there so he opened up the door for a lot of other guys, opened up the door for some goalkeepers going over there as well. He’s played a very vital role for the development of the sport in this country and I’m sure he will continue to afterwards and it’s important that him and the other guys of his era continue to support the game and give back to the game, which they do. There’s nothing better for our sport or our young players to see somebody like him.”

(What are your thoughts on Rosales?) “He’s a good player. He’s an experienced player. He’s a player who’s played in Europe as well. I always think when players from South America have gone through training in Europe it gives them a different perspective. He’s got a lot of good qualities, seems like a good guy. It’s a matter of seeing if all the I’s can be dotted and the T’s can be crossed. Certainly he’s a quality player and whenever we can add a quality player it’s something we have to consider.”

(Where would he fit in?) “He’s played in the middle of midfield. He’s played as the attacking midfielder in a diamond. He’s played on the right side in midfield. I’m sure he could play on the left side. He can play any of the more offensive positions in midfield, either wide on central.”

ALAN HINTON, former NASL coach in Seattle and Vancouver

(What do you remember from your time in Vancouver?) “In 1977 I played for the Dallas Tornado, I was the captain of that team and we did very well. At the end of the year, Dallas wasn’t sure about their budget for the next year so I was a free agent. Tony Waiters, who I played on the England national team a couple times with, was the head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps and offered me a job as an assistant coach for the 1978 season. We started to sign some good players and then Tony wanted to bring in a left winger, and I said, ‘I’m better than him!’ So he said, ‘You better get some weight off.” So I did. I think I lost about 20 pounds. It was a lot of fun; it was like a big bonus for me to come out of retirement to play. We had a great year, 24-6. We finished with crowds of 33,000 — sellouts. I broke the NASL assist record with 30 that was previously held by George Best and Pele at 18. I had a marvelous year, then I left them to be the coach of the Tulsa Roughnecks. Later, after the Sounders folded, I wasn’t a coach but I got a chance to go back to Vancouver as the coach in 1984, out of BC Place, which is where the new Whitecaps are going to play later this summer.”

(What do you think of them coming back?) “For me, the fact that Vancouver is coming back into the league, with such a deep history of passionate fans, knowledgeable fans, into a rivalry that’s absolutely spectacular, at my age, it’s just like a dream that I didn’t think would happen in my lifetime. It’s absolute magic. The rivalries will begin again. It’s all beginning to happen again now and it’s a great thrill for someone like me so something that was so good in the past to be reborn again. It’s wonderful for the fans. It’s wonderful for ownership. It’s wonderful for the players, and I hope the players realize the rich history.”

GRANT WAHL, Sports Illustrated senior writer/FIFA president hopeful

(We might be a little biased being in the middle of it all, but what do you think of the Cascadia rivalry coming to the league this year?) “Honestly, from a national perspective, the off-field story of the season in MLS is going to be the Pacific Northwest rivalry. Instantly, Seattle-Portland becomes the best rivalry in the league. It’s not even really close. I’m curious to see where Vancouver plays into that and whether Vancouver-Toronto might be just as much a rivalry as Vancouver with the other Northwest teams. … In this chapter of MLS history, they’ve done an amazing job and a really smart in job in picking expansion cities. That goes to Toronto, Seattle, Philadelphia, and now Portland and Vancouver. They’re selling a lot of season tickets, they’re going to draw well and have a really authentic fan base. That isn’t completely new, obviously, because these teams all existed in the NASL, but it seems like it’s even to a greater extent now.”

(What have been some of the best rivalries in MLS history?) “I think the best rivalry in the history of the league was San Jose-Los Angeles, when San Jose was the old ‘Quakes before they moved to Houston. It was a mix of the games being so good and both teams being very good. So I would say that whole time between 2000-2003 that was probably the best rivalry I’ve seen. The L.A. teams, Chivas-Galaxy had a really good rivalry for the first couple years and then Chivas was just so bad it petered out. Then early in the league I thought New York-D.C. was a good rivalry, the fans definitely feel it, but it’s still not anywhere close to what Seattle-Portland is going to be. That’s the problem with MLS: The rivalries haven’t been that great. The Salt Lake-Colorado one is pretty good, but I wish there were more good rivalries in MLS, and I’m certainly looking to forward to the new ones this year.”


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