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April 4, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Sounders FC quote sheet: Schmid, Keller, White, Rosales

Here are the transcripts of conversations I was a part of out at Sounders FC training today.

* * *

SIGI SCHMID, head coach

(On being under the weather…) “I got my best Marlon Brando voice going today.”

(On training Monday…) “We were just having some fun so we played some 5v2 and then it was a game, we call it ‘Horseshoes.’ It’s who can trap the ball closest to the cone. You just see who wins those competitions; it’s just a little game. It works on a little bit of chipping, a little bit of touch. You can have a little bit of fun with it.”

(On guys staying late after practice finishing early…) “Obviously they enjoy being with each other so there are guys that are still juggling, guys who are shooting and just playing games for fun. They always complain, ‘Oh, practice again…’ but when they’re here they might as well make full use of it.”

(On Montero’s availability…) “It’s sort of a day-to-day thing. He goes back and sees the surgeon again on Wednesday so we’ll have a better idea then.”

(On the reserve game…) “When you’re playing against other MLS teams the quality of opposition is better. Jaqua gets on the field and he’s playing against Ike Opara. Or you get David Estrada playing against Bobby Burling, who’s played games in the league. Those are always good match-ups. It was good. The game I thought was pretty even in the first half. Second half I thought we had more chances and eventually got a goal from Michael Tetteh. It was a good goal and it’s good for him because it helps his self-confidence as well.”

(On Tetteh’s progression…) “He’s coming along. What some players struggle with when they come from a college program into the pros is when you’re the go-to guy and you’re the guy that’s playing all the time, then you’re not playing all the time, some guys have trouble adapting their training habits. That’s something that he’s working through, but he’s making good progress with it. He was bright and eager in the game yesterday, so that was good.”

(On White and the battle at target forward…) “Obviously O’Brian got a goal in the last game so it was good. He was close to getting a goal in a couple other games, so maybe this goal will spur him on. Right now the goal’s important for him, keeps his nose in front.”

(On hold-up play from the center forwards…) “Hold-up play is something both those guys can improve upon. O’Brian’s done it well at times and other times I know he would like to see it a little better. Overall, I think they’ve both done OK with it.”

(On Keller…) “He surprised me a little on the Wondolowski save. I thought he did well by dragging his arm and leaving it behind him. It’s experience and you read tendencies and you face so many shots over a career. I thought he came up with a couple big saves.”

(On the midfield play…) “I don’t know if we necessarily wanted to see Evans go 90, but with Friberg being sick our hand was sort of pushed in that direction. I think Evans gave us what Evans gives you. He’s played two games and he got a goal. He’s a midfielder different from other midfielders is this league with the exception of maybe like a Geoff Cameron or someone like a Shalrie Joseph, when he plays midfielder exclusively for New England — it’s every fourth, fifth, sixth game he’s going to get a goal. That helps him definitely and makes him effective. I thought he could’ve held the ball a little better at times. It wasn’t really the fault of Ozzie or the fault of Evans. It was a combination of everybody altogether. Flaco in the second half, Evans, Ozzie, Zakuani, the ball just didn’t flow. We were maybe a little stagnant and San Jose had a lot of the ball. Sometimes when you defend a lot and you win, you sort of take a deep breath and you don’t move quick enough. That’s something we’ll talk about and something we’ll get better at.”

KASEY KELLER, goalkeeper

(You mentioned a couple weeks ago that great teams like Manchester United find ways to get results. Are you concerned that this team hasn’t been able to yet?) “I think a little bit. It’s still very early. I was thinking about that exact thing the other night. You get a lot of close results and it’s about finding ways to sneak a draw out of a game you should’ve lost. Then a close game like that, on merit that game was probably a draw if you look at the chances both teams had. But how can you then get three points out of that? Then obviously there are the rare occasions when you sneak a win out of a game you truly had no right to win. I’d like to see that. I’m still extremely confident we will turn that situation around. I think we just need to get that first 1-nil win or get that 2-1 win under our belt and gain that confidence from there. It always seems to go in cycles. You look at teams throughout any kind of sport, any league, where they lose a couple games in a row and figure it out. Then they go on a great run. Or they lose a couple close ones and you’re thinking, ‘OK, there’s something not quite there,’ and you get it right and then you go on that run. I truly feel it’s right around the corner.”

(On the game defensively…) “That was an open game. That was a wild one. I was saying to somebody behind my goal, ‘This has got 3-3, 4-4 written all over it.’ I’ve been in a few of those games. It’s a wild one when it goes like that. In the end, you’re on the road, you get a point, that’s OK. Would it have been nice to sneak that 2-1 and then have them pushing, pushing and hit that 3-1? Sure. But a game like that was open and obviously a great spectacle for a neutral or anybody watching. At the same time, we want to grind results and we need to figure out in those tight games to find ways to get the points.”

(It is just as simple as getting a win against Chicago to get it right?) “It is that simple. Then moving on from there. Obviously we want to win anytime we’re at home and we’re extremely frustrated by not beating Houston with the chances we had and the way that game shook up. It’d be great to get things right against Chicago at home on Saturday.”

(Any concerns defensively?) “No, I don’t think so. This league is known for being a little bit interesting that way. It’s hard with the cap system to build a complete team. Sometimes you get in situations where maybe we go a few games where we’re not scoring goals. Then you put that emphasis on, ‘Let’s go get some goals!’ but then that leaves holes in your back. It’s a tricky scenario to get the balance right on both sides. I like an open game. Sure, I’d love to have games where you’re sitting back and you win 4-nil and you just distribute a few balls. If I had the choice of having two teams that barely got any shots off at either end or a game like the other day, I’ll take the other game all day long. I just hope we come out and continue to build off the Houston game at home and bury a few goals for our fans and have a good night.”

(On having teams score a couple long-range goals against you…) “If you look back last year at let’s say New England at our place. They come out of that game 2-nil down early on from two absolute bombs from Leo and Zakuani and you sit back and you’re like, ‘How the hell do you defend that?’ You think you got it right. Once again, those are all cycles as well. Guys aren’t going to score those against us every week. Sometimes you just get in that run where guys are hitting them. Juninho a week later hit another bomb. Sometimes guys are on a roll and you hit guys at the wrong time. Sometimes your schedule works that way. Who wanted to play Chelsea at the beginning of this season, when they were kicking the (crap) out of everybody? Then a few weeks later things happen and they lose 2-3 games in a row. You catch teams at the wrong time. Maybe we’ve just caught guys at the wrong time. There’s going to be a time here I think in the next couple weeks where teams are going to chance our guys at the wrong time.”

O’BRIAN WHITE, forward

(Will you be watching your alma mater UConn play for the NCAA men’s basketball title tonight?) “Yeah, I’ll definitely be watching. I hope they get the championship.”

(You a big fan?) “I always follow the team. I always watch them.”

(Getting the breakthrough goal, how special was that?) “It’s always a special feeling when you get your first goal. At that time it gave us the lead, but I just wish we would’ve gotten the three points. It would’ve made it more memorable. But it was good to get the first goal.”

(Have you been happy with how you’ve played?) “Yeah, I’ve been pleased with it. I’m working hard, creating chances and I got the first goal. It’s kind of like a trend. The first couple games we didn’t score, then we score in the third game and two in the last game. Hopefully we can keep scoring as a team, eventually get a win and keep rolling.”

(On doing behind-the-scenes work, especially on the first goal…) “I’m fine with that. It’s something Sigi talked about. When the ball goes out, take the quick throw. So I just threw it to Friberg early, he played it to Morales and Brad made a great run. It was a good goal.”

(On the improved offense…) “Even in the games we didn’t score we were that close. Sometimes it’s just a matter of time when you get one in and you go on a run. I feel like we’re scoring goals now and hopefully Saturday we can score a couple and the first win.”

(On mental strain of no goals…) “It’s something you think about but you can’t stay on it too much because then you forget about the job you have to do. Yeah, you’re a bit disappointed but you can create it into a positive that we created a few chances. Use it for motivation instead of thinking about it too much and stressing yourself.”

MAURO ROSALES, forward/midfielder

(On starting Saturday…) “I felt perfect. Just in the last part (I was tired). I ran a lot also to recover the ball and I lost energy. In the 90 minutes I felt very good. Also because the players I have with me on the field, they do a great job too. It’s great to start. I will try to keep the same level. It’s going to be difficult, but I’d like to keep doing how I did this last week.”

(How does the speed of MLS compare to other leagues you’ve played?) “It’s not so different. Just it’s a little bit harder; they keep the 90 minutes at the same physical level. This is different. … In this league, it’s 90 minutes like you play at the very start. They never tire, you know? When I was a little bit younger, you try to get the opponent on your side tired. When you saw him very tired you tried to make more effort, but I watched on my side and they were never tired. I was getting tired! But it’s OK. It was my first game and I enjoyed it a lot. I think apart from the final score it was a good game for us. We have to keep all the good things we made in this game and try to repair what we do wrong.”

(On setting up the goal…) “It was very good also for Evans, he got the score. He plays in the middle and he’s always going to attack, to help us. To give my assist to help the team, I’m glad for that.”

(On playing at withdrawn forward…) “I think it’s different. I can play any position. It’s not the position I’d played in the last game. I think with Montero, we have many good players. It’s not for me to choose, the coach has to choose the best 11 for each game. The level of the players is high. Nate, O’Brian, Montero — all the guys playing forward are very good. Everybody can play in that position. We have to work hard everyday and show to the coach and to the staff that we can play and help the team. It doesn’t matter if you play or not, you have to help because we’re a group and this is more important now.”


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