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April 13, 2011 at 1:58 AM

Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid quotes from Tuesday

(On playing softball at training…) “I just felt it was time to have some fun. We used to do it all the time when I was coaching the Galaxy. We would just take a day, go down to the beach and have a beach training day and have lunch. I took them go kart racing before and that was a blast. We used to go and do paintball all the time in Columbus. I think sometimes it’s good. I think we work hard enough. We work everyday and the guys put in the effort so now they can play a little bit for fun at the end of it. It was good. It’s always interesting when you put a bat in a foreigner’s hand or a glove — or two gloves on their hands like in Leo’s case and he still can’t catch it.”

(On the players’ performance…) “We would rather see them playing soccer. But it was amazing Taylor putting two over our Black Monster over there — it’s not green — but putting them into the high trees there that was pretty impressive. Fredy playing first base was pretty good with one hand. Ozzie thought he was Ozzie Vizquel at shortstop. The only bad news for Adrian is that he is now waiting for his major league contract as a baseball player.”

(Can you describe Zakuani’s feeble throw to first base?) “It was not the most velocity I’ve ever seen on a throw. The form was sort of questionable.”

(What was your best non-soccer sport?) “My best non-soccer sport? Probably track and field, because I actually long jumped — hard to believe. For a while I had our freshman school-record and stuff like that. Played a little basketball for fun. I did pitch in baseball, went to little league and was actually on the all-star team. I don’t know how far we got. We got out of our initial group and moved on. I was a relief pitcher and threw what I thought was a forkball. It was just a big, slow, fat changeup. The guy hit a homerun and it was game over, seventh inning — that was it. We were done. That was the last time I pitched a ball until the Mariners game.”

(How old were you?) “12?”

(On Fredy Montero coming back…) “It’s good. He’s doing some work now (with the trainers) so it’s good to have him back. We’ve just got to now up train him so that he feels comfortable. Whenever you have a cast on your wrist you have to feel comfortable in case you get hit and fall down so that you don’t fall awkwardly.”

(Still day-to-day for Philly?) “Yeah. We will see how the improvements come along and be smart about it. Obviously in the last two games we have been able to produce some offense and so forth, so there’s no need to rush it or take an undue chance.”

(Any last impressions from Saturday after watching film?) “I thought our second half was better from what I initially thought from watching the game. Obviously the chances we gave up, one was just a bad wall that allowed the ball to sneak through and Kasey comes up with a big save. On the other one the guy made a great run and Kasey again comes up with a big save. The third one with Pappa, I think that was very close to a foul with the way he came in for the ball. If the defender’s leg is up higher that would normally be a foul. Again, Kasey came up with a big save. We came up with three big saves, for sure. Outside of that I didn’t think we surrendered a lot and we had actually had some opportunities that we came fairly close on the other end with Zakuani especially.”

(On Jaqua’s play…) “I thought it was alright. I thought O’Brian White played well as well. I thought his holdup play was good. I thought Jaqua came in, the ball he hits to Zakuani that put Zakuani in obviously was a good ball. Him and O’Brian White are probably not the best combination together because we had them out there for a little bit. I thought he did well and he’s continuing to make progress.”

(Would Montero have had a normal day of training today?) “Yeah, he would’ve been training. We would probably have used him as a neutral in some possession games, but he would’ve been able to do everything else.”

(On Mike Fucito’s recovery…) “Obviously coming along very well. With him it’s always an issue once he’s out for a while it’s just fitness-wise we just have to be careful with him so he doesn’t pull (something) because he’s just such a compact body. He played well, put a good effort in the reserve game, scored a goal in that game as well so that was good.”

(On letting up in the second halves of games…) “I think the energy level of the opponent increases in the second half as well. We really want to do a better job of managing the first 15 minutes in the second half because we’ve been taking some goals there. I thought we did a better job of that (Saturday), we got to about 60 minutes or close to it before we started giving up the chances. I don’t think it has anything to do with fitness or anything like that because we had some very good chances at the end of the game as well. It’s just a matter of the opponent; when you get outplayed a little bit you come back a little motivated. Sometimes when you’ve played well maybe you come out and relax a little bit subconsciously.”

(On the lineup if Montero is available…) “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. We won’t worry about it right now. Guys are playing well; it’s tough to break up a team. They haven’t lost now in their last three games, and we want to continue to build on that.”

(On how the Qwest Field turf is playing…) “”The thing with turf is every year it lies down a bit more. It’s a little bit faster than it was last year and that’s going to continue to happen. The grounds crew does a great job of trying to bring it up and bring in fill-in. It was unfortunate because they brought a lot of fill-in for the first game and that actually was good, then with all the rain we had it literally washed it away. Our grounds crew does a great job of trying to groom and prepare the field to make it as good as possible.”

(Is Brad Evans a guaranteed starter if healthy?) “Obviously we’ve got options this year. Erik Friberg’s done well, and he can play inside there. Rosales can possibly play inside there. There are different options: a little bit depends on the opponent, a little bit depends on the form of the players. If Brad plays well he’s certainly somebody who can make his way onto the field because he offers a lot of things that don’t sometimes turn up in the box score: winning duels in midfield, winning headers, being dangerous for us on set pieces, being able to help us clear set pieces. Those things all factor into winning and losing.”


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