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April 7, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Sounders FC quote sheet: Sigi Schmid and Kasey Keller

Here are some transcripts from after Sounders FC training Thursday with help from the team’s communications staff…

* * *

SIGI SCHMID, head coach

(Still sick? Should we keep the mics close?) “Yeah, probably still. I feel a lot better but my voice still isn’t a lot better. I’m actually alert out there on the practice field again (laughs), so that’s good.”

(On the Chicago Fire…) “They’ve made a lot of changes. They have two completely new forwards in the two Uruguayans up front. They brought in a new center back. Corey Gibbs is new as well to the group. Anibaba is a draft pick. Segares returned last year. Videira is a guy they picked up. So it’s really a team that has changed in like eight of the 11 starting positions. So far they have gotten off to a good start. We hope not to have happen what other teams have had happen when they play them is take a red card because everybody that has played them so far has taken a red card. We are going to try and avoid that fate. We are looking forward for ourselves to get our first win.”

(Any update on Fredy Montero?) “The chance of him playing on Saturday is probably unlikely at this stage. There’s still some swelling in there. They want to make sure that there’s still no infection into the wound. He’s able to do some light stuff. We had him out here doing a little bit of stuff before, but right now, unless there’s a miraculous change tomorrow, is doesn’t look likely.”

(Does Rosales stay in the starting lineup then?) “Last week I thought offensively we played alright, but we’re still looking at possibilities and maybe some lineup changes. Overall, I thought offensively we did alright and I thought Rosales had a good 45 minutes for sure.”

(On changing the starting lineup…) “I think (it’s OK) when guys are competing and are fairly close in their abilities. Obviously we’re not a team of this caliber, but when you look at a Barcelona, or you look at a Real Madrid or you look at a Man. United, when you look at their lineup it changes game to game. Giggs is playing central midfield then he’s playing wide left. Guys are all over the place. Busquets is in midfield, now he’s at center back. They don’t miss a beat because there’s enough quality. As long as there is enough quality I don’t think changing the lineup is that big an issue. I think we have quality people and it’s just a matter of sometimes finding the right mix or the right formula for this particular weekend.”

(On Erik Friberg…) “Good. He says he feels a lot better. He was running around a lot today at training, which is good. He definitely feels better. I think he has gotten over most of it.”

(On Brad Evans’ comeback…) “He’s been fine physically. He had a little bit of that hamstring injury, which kept him out for a little bit, but with his knees he’s been fine. Last week is an example of what he gives by getting the goal. That’s what Brad Evans does: he makes those final runs into the box and gets on the end of things, and helps us out an awful lot defensively in midfield by winning aerial duels and headers and so forth. I think last week Erik got a little bit tired obviously, but I think there’s going to be a relationship that will develop between those two where they become pretty interchangeable. The more they understand each other and when to do that, the more dangerous they become.”

(On RSL’s victory…) “I think it’s tremendous. I sent Jason Kreis a text basically saying congratulations. I think it’s great for our league for sure. Obviously for us when you look at our CONCACAF experience in Seattle, two of the teams in our group were in the semifinals and one team is in the finals with Monterrey. It shows that we were in a tough group, but I wish them a lot of luck with Monterrey. I think it’s good. The tying goal for them was crucial down there. Once they went down 1-0, if they don’t get that goal back it could turn out not the way they want it to. But they scored a good goal off a corner and it’s tremendous for our league. Two more games and we wish them all the best.”

(On RSL being one of the strongest teams in MLS…) “They’ve probably been the most consistent team over the last two years. I think they’re a good team that plays good soccer. They’ve got a good self-belief right now. They’re a very confident team and I think based on that confidence that probably makes them the best team right now in the league.”

(On getting a win…) “For confidence it’s obviously crucial for us to get a win, just to make sure you guys stop asking us these questions and so we can move forward. For the team it becomes an important part because if we had gotten a win against Houston at home based on the way we played, if we had walked out of the L.A. game with at least a tie based upon the way we had played, if we had won the game in San Jose based upon the way we played, then we wouldn’t be having these conversations. That doesn’t change that much the way we play. Obviously you’ve got to put in that final foot to score the goals and we got to make sure we stop giving up goals, even if they are great goals.”

(On Chicago’s 3-5-2…) “The Fire really played a 3-5-2 for the first 30 minutes of their first game and then once Ristic went off injured and Nyarko came on they really became a lot more a 4-4-2. When you watch their last game in the Open Cup and you watch the last game they played against Sporting K.C. — it’s still tough for me to say that — when you watch those games they really played more of a 4-4-2 because Nyarko is not the kind of winger that will run the whole line. It’s a little unbalanced. Sometimes it looks like a 3-4-3 and sometimes it looks like a 4-4-2.”

(How different is RSL’s run than yours with L.A. in 2000?) “It’s much different because when we won it in 2000 I think it was like a 10-day tournament. So it was much different. You had group games and everything was compact. You played in one city. It was win and move on, lose and you’re done, so there was a lot more pressure on each game. It was a whole different tournament back then. Obviously when we won it then we were overjoyed. We were super excited about the possibility of going to the World Club Championship, and then when that fell through it was sort of a disappointment for all of us. The league has been great about supporting (Real Salt Lake), making sure they didn’t have a game on the weekend before their Champions League game, supporting them in terms of their transportation. I think that’s very appropriate, because I think the league should help our representatives succeed in that competition.”

KASEY KELLER, goalkeeper

(On playing Chicago…) “We just got to come in here and play the way we’re capable of playing. If we play in any way similar to the way we played against Houston then I feel very confident in the outcome of the game. You still have to make the plays, you still have to do the right things, but starting with the right attitude is always going to help. If we build off the Houston game and a lot of the positives from San Jose and clean up a little bit of the mistakes, I think we’re right where we want to be.”

(Despite playing well, at some point you have to get a win right?) “That’s exactly right. You can only talk so much about doing things a certain way. I have no problem having a game where we’re defending for our lives and hit two counter-attack goals and win 2-nil. You’ve seen that. If you watched any of the game yesterday, how Chelsea didn’t get a point out of that game at home is amazing. But it works that way sometimes. Same with them, they’re probably saying if we play this way at Old Trafford we’re going to win this game and get through the semifinals. That’s the same with us. Sometimes in a long season you’re going to have situations where you’re winning close games, you’re doing just what you need to do to make it happen. (Sometimes) you get that little bit of luck, it hits the post, it comes out and somebody clears it. Or (sometimes) it hits the post, falls to one of their guys to hit off somebody else’s backside and flies in the corner. Then you sit there with your arms up wondering, ‘What are we doing to not get these results?’ If you keep doing it and have faith in the system and you have faith in your ability then it’ll come.”

(Does confidence get affected at all?) “It should. Winning is your main confidence builder, regardless. I can give up a bad goal but win a game and it doesn’t nearly affect the confidence as if I give up a goal that loses a game for the team. It does have that effect. It’s hard to just say to yourself, ‘OK, I’m confident.’ Some guys seem to have that but I think it’s more of a front for something else. At the same time you got to truly build that by getting the results and saying, ‘Wow, we did what we needed to do. We fought hard. We worked hard. We created the chances. We put them away. We had clearances off the line. My guy didn’t create anything.’ That’s where the confidence comes from and a good win on Saturday will definitely go a long ways in pushing that confidence level high.”

(On settling on a lineup…) “I think very rarely in pro sports these days are you going to have a situation where you say, ‘We’re going to go 20 games with the same lineup.’ What you want to do is be able to keep those changes to a minimum. If you can have one change, two changes, OK. You know some guys are going to pick up the odd yellow-card accumulation, the odd suspension, guys are going to be a little beat up or whatever else and then it’s time for someone else to step in and do that job. What you really want to do is if you can keep that nucleus on the field that makes a big, big difference. If we can do that now, that’s great, but I’m also very confident in the guys we have in our squad. If guys aren’t doing the job then there’s no reason why the coaches don’t have confidence to be able to bring someone else in. We had a good deep squad.”

(Is the locker room any different now than it was at the end of last year?) “Not necessarily. I still think it’s a very good, unified locker room. There are no problems. I think like we alluded to already, if we get a couple wins it’s going to build that confidence and get us to where we want to be. At the same time it has to be done. It’s not a case of just talking about it. If we can go and play the way we did against Houston in the last home game, then the results are on the way.”

(On RSL’s run in the CCL…) “I think it’s a great showcase for MLS. I know for a long time we’ve wanted to do well in that competition. Real has proven in the last couple years that they’ve been the most consistent team in the league. I’m happy for them and I’m happy for the league. … I’m very proud of what Jason has done there and the way he’s built that team.”


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