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March 27, 2011 at 11:21 PM

Sounders FC quote sheet from Saturday: Schmid, Scott, Ianni

I appreciate the patience on the blog. I back home for a few days for a family event. Here are some extra quotes from Sounders FC training Saturday following the 1-1 draw with Houston.

* * *

SIGI SCHMID, head coach

(Any day-after thoughts on the game?) “I’m very proud of the effort that our team put in. I think our fans have to be happy with the effort we put in, with the stuff we created. We’re forcing goalkeepers to have big games against us, which is what you want. Hopefully the dam will break open soon for us and the goals will go in. We just got to keep working at it, but if we play with the spirit and the enthusiasm and the effort that we played with last night, I think good things will follow.”

(On the effect of lineup changes in the locker room…) “It’s competition. There’s always competition. Guys who perform well are going to play. In Kennedy’s situation it’s more of just coming off the injury. It takes a little bit of time, where you come in and out a little bit. In Flaco’s situation, it’s not that he’s played that poorly, but it’s a situation where we think Friberg has played better. It’s about playing the guy you think is playing better.”

(On Montero’s lack of goals) “He’s involved. He’s getting shots, and there are other guys on this team who haven’t scored either in the last month. I know his bread and butter and his duty is to score goals — and we certainly want him to score goals — but goal-scorers are streaky. He’s putting himself in good positions: the one that he turned and hit left-footed, the shot he took from the right side when Tally Hall made a good save. His shots from distance have been on the money this year. You can’t ask him to do more than that. We got to keep asking him to do what he’s been doing and hopefully the goals will go in.”

(Have his chances been the same as when he is scoring? Or is there a trend developing in the misses?) “No. Not really. We’re trying to work on things. If a goalkeeper makes a mistake and gives up a goal in a bad position, then often times that goalkeeper wants to work on that particular save in practice. Same thing with a forward. You find yourself coming in at certain angles, so we’re trying to put him in practice situations — shooting situations where you’re coming in at that angle.”

(Is Riley going to be back for San Jose?) “We’re hoping so. He did a little work out today so we’ll see how he is. They’ve got a very strict protocol when it comes to concussions this year and we have to follow that protocol.”

(So it’s not up to you or Riley? Are there baseline tests?) “There has always been baseline tests. Now the baseline tests have to be looked at by a neurophysiologist. They’re being very strict about baseline tests this year — stricter than they’ve been in the past.”

(Is there anything to read into Sounders FC not having international call-ups?) “No. Not really. Player selection is a coach’s decision. There are guys, I’m sure, that the U.S. team selected that I think maybe we have guys that are better than. Certainly there are opportunities for different players. We don’t have a lot of players that are from small countries, per se. … It’s just a reflection of the composition of our team more than anything.”

ZACH SCOTT, defender

(When did you get the call or have an idea of when you might be playing?) “I got the initial call on Thursday night from Sigi that James could potentially have a concussion and then he would call me the following day and let me know for sure whether or not I would be in the 18. At no point was it, ‘Hey, you’re going to start,’ or something. It was more like, ‘Hey, just be ready to be in the 18.’ And then at noon on the day of the game, he called and said, ‘For sure you’ll be in the 18. I don’t know who’s starting, but just come prepared.’ So it kind of changed my day around a little bit. But 15 minutes before we went out to warm up we had our team meeting and that’s basically when I found out I was starting. I was pretty clueless, just like everybody else was on the team.”

(Does that uncertainty change things? Instead of knowing the whole week?) “Maybe a little (in) not getting too nervous or anything like that. I think I’ve got enough years under my belt that I know kind of how to prepare. That’s one of the things that the coaches hammer into us: you don’t know what’s going to happen between finding out who’s starting the day before the game and then when the actually game comes. Everybody needs to be prepared. This was obviously a worst-case scenario where a guy who’s starting is suddenly out. Luckily I was ready to play and felt good out there.”

(You’ve practiced a lot as a centerback, was the switch the right a natural one?) “A little bit. This preseason had been a little different than other years, not being able to play most of it at the right back position. With Taylor Graham being injured for most of the preseason I’ve kind of had to fill in there with Tyson at various times. That’s the one thing I actually am proud of and enjoy, is being able to play anywhere in the back. Maybe I got to work on my finishing and I’ll be able to fill in up top as well. We’ll see.”

(Roger Levesque-style?) “Exactly. We always joke that one of these days he’s going to be taking shots in goal, just in case Terry and Kasey get hurt.”


(Making the start for the first time this season, what did last night like for you?) “I think it meant a lot for us as a team, for sure. The energy that we brought, we talked about it this morning, it was reminiscent of the first season — with everyone working for each other. I think it was a good feeling. Certainly, I want to be out there 100-percent. I worked hard in the offseason to improve my game. I’m happy to be back in there contributing to the team’s success.”

(How did you approach not being the Day 1 starter but putting yourself in position to play Friday like you did?) “It was tough. I know with Jhon coming back that Sigi wanted to give the three of us equal opportunity toward those two spots. Unfortunately I had a couple injuries in preseason — my groin and my ribs — that made it difficult. Groin toward the middle of preseason and my ribs to the end there, in the Vancouver game, and that kind of set back a little bit for sure. But I had been able to put in a lot of work in the preseason and that, like I say, deposited a lot into my fitness bank. That was in pre-preseason, before we got together as a team. That really paid off for me; it allowed me to keep my fitness level high. … I don’t think in a week I lost a lot (of sharpness) and definitely the fitness part of it helped a lot.”

(Did it mean anything playing Houston, your former team?) “To me, a team’s a team. An opponent’s an opponent. Certainly I know them well, but I bring the same intensity every night and every game. From that standpoint it didn’t matter that it was Houston or any other team for me.”

(On allowing the free kick that led to the Dynamo goal, do you wish you had that one back?) “Yeah, yeah. For sure. … Certainly in hindsight. It was an unbelievable shot by the guy. It was one of those where we could’ve done a better job blocking out on the free kick as well but at the end of the day it was something we talked about before the game too. You don’t want to give free kicks to Houston anywhere on your half of the field. I thought I had maybe gotten away with it, but obviously not. It was one of the few things I thought we could’ve fixed last night, but for the most part I thought it was really good.”


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