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Sounders FC

Daily coverage of Seattle Sounders FC, MLS and world soccer.

March 31, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Sounders FC quote sheet: Hanauer, Schmid, Riley, Parke

Here’s the bulk of the transcripts from Thursday…

* * *

ADRIAN HANAUER, general manger and part-owner

(Have you made a decision on Pat Noonan?) “Yeah, we’re going to extend Pat. It’s another three-month extension and then we’ll make a decision later in the summer on what the long-term plan is.”

(On where season-ticket sales stand…) “Without checking, I’m not positive, I think they’re right around last year’s total.”

(Less than 32,000?) “Yeah, mid-31s. Something like that.”

(Any idea though if it’s more or less than last year?) “I think it’s the same. Roughly. Might be a 100 more or less. But people can keep buying them for the next couple weeks.”

(Did the phones light up after the Manchester United announcement?) “Yeah. Sorry, I’m pretty focused on (the soccer) and not the business side right this moment. But yeah, I know we’re definitely selling Man. U tickets, especially those three-game packs. Again, I don’t know the numbers and for us it’s great because we get to hopefully introduce some people that maybe don’t go to many Sounders games on a regular basis to our product.”

(Is the one-friendly formula something you’ll stick with?) “I think it’s probably premature. We will assess things at the end of the year. Talk to our fans about what they want or wanted. I lurk on the message boards occasionally and I see people complaining that we only have one friendly this year. I imagine it’s closer to the formula we’ll go with, but we’ll figure it out at the end of the year.”

(On opening up more seats for San Jose/New York…) “One of the things that we’ve been talking about is how we grow that next chunk and take that next leap into the upper level. Part of that is going to be exposing more people and a broader group to the product. We thought this was a good opportunity to give fans a chance to see Manchester United but also try to encourage them to come out to a couple of Sounders games. Then maybe we can convert them in season-ticket holders and, again, begin to grow that base of season-ticket holders further and then open up some portion of the upper level. But we’ll see how this process goes and, again, one of those things we’ll figure out at the end of the year.”

(Thoughts on the 0-2-1 start. Disappointed with the results but happy with the play?) “I think that’s dead on. The results clearly disappointing, but it’s hard for me to fault the guys and all the work that’s been done and the quality of play. Obviously wins and losses come from scoring goals and not conceding goals, and we haven’t done quite a good-enough job at that. But I think Sigi’s right in needing a larger body of work. We need to not panic. All of us watch enough MLS to know we have a very good team. Do we have a championship team yet? I don’t know. That’s certainly open to debate, but I know we have a playoff-quality and a top-six quality team, the question is, ‘Are we good enough?’ or ‘How do we get good enough to be a championship team?’ ”

(On San Jose being the top soccer city in the country according to some Oregonian formula…) “I’m not that caught up in the labels. I’d rather allow someone else to call themselves ‘Soccer City USA’ if we have the most season-ticket holders, and the best fans, and the best corporate support and the best team on the field. I think really the numbers should speak for themselves. We hope to maintain the best soccer business and soccer fans in the United States, and let the media decide who ‘Soccer City USA’ is.”

SIGI SCHMID, head coach

(On Montero’s status…) “He’s having surgery on his wrist. They felt they needed to do surgery now. It’s not something major, but something that needed to be done now because it could develop into something major if it wasn’t taken care of. Now it’s a question of, ‘Is he going to be able to play Saturday or not?’ There’s a chance he could play Saturday. There’s a chance he might not play Saturday, but if he does miss Saturday he’d be back for the following week, for sure. It’s not going to keep him out very long, but it’s a little bit unsure as to whether he can play Saturday or not. It depends on his surgery today.”

(How did it happen?) “He fell on it when we trained in New York and it was just bothering him. We didn’t think much of it but it kept bothering him a little bit. Then we decided to look at it and the hand specialist said it’s in a tricky part that doesn’t get a lot of blood circulation. If you don’t deal with it sooner rather than later than it could impact you over a longer term.”

(On Leo Gonzalez…) “He was fine. He took a little tweak Tuesday but he was full in today.”

(On Mike Fucito…) “He just rolled his ankle right at the beginning of training, so just as a precaution they took him in and we’ll see how he’s doing.”

JAMES RILEY, defender

(On Chris Wondolowski…) “Definitely kudos to Wondolowski. He’s definitely a quality player and a quality guy. He’s paid his dues for sure and he’s gotten into a situation where he’s flourishing. We’ll look to keep an eye on him for sure. He’s able to create his own goals. He’s just a smart players — a schemer, a poacher, he gets in the right spots. We’ll look to have a hand or a body on him whenever he’s in the box.”

(On focusing too much on him…) “Right, totally, that’s always the case. We’ll just go down there and play a good, disciplined, spirited game like we did last time when we were able to pull out a 1-0 victory against a quality side, and they were playing well at that time. We know we’ve been getting chances in front of goal so we’ll look to keep it at zero at the back and give our offense a chance to win it for us.”

(On coming back from the concussion…) “To be honest, Friday they were almost going to have to handcuff me to keep me from not playing. I’m glad that our medical staff did their diligence and they were very cautious with it, which I’m sure I’ll thank them later on in my life, and my mom was thankful for that as well. It was a point where I took two dings Thursday afternoon late in practice and didn’t feel right. I told my trainer right away. Went to the doctor later that day. Didn’t sleep well that night. Woke up, took an impact test and was red-flagged right away. It was one of those things where I let the experts do what they do. They’ve been cautious with it so I’ve been able to kind of just train and keep my fitness but haven’t been in full contact. Today was the first full-contact day and I thought it was fine. It was really fun, to be honest, to watch the guys last week. It was a fun, exciting game just sitting back and being a fan. I thought the guys played fantastic and we’ll look to continue that momentum.”

(What’s your status now?) “I’m cleared full.”

(Any talks with Taylor Twellman about it?) “Yeah, I was able to have dinner with him right after the Galaxy opener and we talked about the good old days, the glory days in New England in our early years. He’s definitely an advocate and he fights for guys with concussions — just for more screenings and more examinations. I think it’s critical at this point. I’m glad MLS has taken those precautions. I’m glad our medical staff was well-versed in that. They did their bit. I can’t thank them enough. I thought they were excellent in handling it. Trying to hold me back from being on the field is not an easy task. They did well with that. I’m very happy.”

JEFF PARKE, defender

(With reasons of short rest, tough schedule in the past, is this the time to get a win?) “It’s a good time for us as a group. We’re getting some guys back — this will be their second game back. We’re getting more fit. San Jose’s a tough team but our chances are good. It’s going to be a tough, blue-collar game I think. Small field. A lot of fouls and a lot of chances probably.”

(On Wondolowski…) “He’s a crafty, cheeky little player. He likes to get in clever little spots. As a defender, for us it’s difficult because you have to keep a close eye on him — hopefully an arm on him or something. He’s slick and he can punish you in the first minute or the 90th minute. He could be having one of those games where you don’t see him at all and then in the 90th minute he could poke one in or get a good chance. Obviously he’s got some momentum too with the goals last week, so he’s on a high right now.”

(On the changes in the back…) “We played a lot together last year, the same four that’s there right now. That’s not really a problem I don’t think. It’s just a matter of getting game-fit and getting sharp. I think that the group that gets out there, whatever it is, will put a good effort out on the field.”

(On Wondo’s quick-strike ability…) “He’s a good player. He’s one of those guys that only needs half a window. And he’s smart about it. He doesn’t need a yard on you. He needs half a yard and he’ll pull the trigger. His goals this weekend showed that: quick touch, turn, fire. He’s hungry around the goal and he’s a good finisher. He’s a guy you need to be close to at all times, get a bump on him. He’s going to be tough. We got to be sharp.”

(On your own team’s finishing…) “To be honest, it’s a bit frustrating because in the back you’d like to see some of the pressure taken off when guys are coming at us. If we can get a goal or sneak in a couple chances, you feel like the confidence is there and the guys will bang them in. Then if something should happen, if we gave up a goal, we have the confidence we’ll get one back real fast. That comes with time. Once you knock a few in you have that confidence, and the guys will get that confidence inside. Hopefully they bag a lot in and relieve some of that pressure that we have on our shoulders in the back.”

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