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April 13, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Sounders FC quote sheet: Schmid, Montero, Keller

Here are the transcripts of some group interviews…

* * *

SIGI SCHMID, head coach

(On Wednesday’s training…) “We were just working on different things. We wanted to work on our ability to get behind the defense in the early exercise and then we wanted to work on just reacting when balls get played in behind us, just working on our reaction defensively — how we shift and slide with that — and then we just wanted to play a bit.”

(On having Fredy Montero back…) “It was good. Obviously he has got to feel comfortable with the cast on. Some guys have played with it before so they know what to expect, they feel pretty comfortable with it, but for him he still needs to become comfortable with it.”

(Do you have an idea of if he’ll travel yet?) “That’s something we’ll discuss.”

(Are you comfortable making a last-minute decision on whether to play him?) “We’ll see. We’ve got different options.”

(On Philadelphia Union…) “I wish we could get three goals and have it count for nine points, it’d be nice. Obviously defensively they haven’t given much up. Every game they’ve been in has been a 1-0 game either for them or against them. Defensively they’ve got a good mindset; all 11 guys get back and help on that defensive side of things. Their goalkeeper has kept them well organized. They’ve done well. They bend a little bit, sort of like a willow, but they don’t break. We have to find a way to get in behind them and obviously get goals.”

(Does Philly try to make games low scoring?) “Nobody ever intentionally goes out there and says, ‘Let’s win 1-0’ but certainly they go out with a mentality that they want to defend first. They want to see if they can snag something at the other end of the field. It’s important to them not to give anything up.”

(What do they do offensively? Are they using Le Toux differently?) “No, I think they are still trying to find their rhythm offensively. Carlos Ruiz is a pretty traditional type of center forward who likes to stay in the box and stay high so Seba is able to run off of him and move to different spaces. But sometimes Mwanga is out there and Seba ends up playing wide right because they are playing more of a 4-4-2 this year than they have last year. It all depends on the personnel they put out on the field.”

(Do you expect Rosales to get more minutes?) “It’s just a question of his fitness as his fitness continues to grow. We’ll respond to it that way.”

(How different is this team with Ruiz?) “Him and Alejandro are somewhat similar in that they like to hold up play. Alejandro Moreno was there last year but obviously Ruiz is a little more dangerous in front of goal. Just his history, he’s a goal-scorer and he’s a player who dishes as much as he receives for a forward. He’s a kind of guy as you mark him as a defender he sort of punishes you, so that’s a little bit different for some of the defenders to run into. He gives them that experience. He’s been around the block and through a lot of international games. He’s been through the league a lot of years, so he has that experience.”

(Same thing with Danny Califf?) “Yeah, Califf obviously came back and gave them some experience in the back. He’s a guy that they can sort of rely upon in terms of being steady, and obviously he’s good in the air and wins his share of headers and things like that. He’s definitely going to compete and going to organize.”

(How did Hurtado handle the break you gave him from the week-to-week grind?) “There’s never any player that’s happy about sitting on the bench. If they’re going to be happy about sitting on the bench they’re in the wrong job. He’s a good pro and accepted it and moved on and took his next opportunity.”

(Could there be more planned breaks for him?) “We’ll see. It all depends. It’s not something that you can predict. It’s not something where we sit there and say, ‘OK, three weeks down the line we’re going to do this.’ You got to see how it goes, how he’s feeling, how he’s playing, how things are, how the team is, how the weather is, how hard training has been — there’s a lot of factors that go into it.”

(On Brad Evans return…) “Obviously he’s done well, getting that first goal in San Jose was important to us. As I think he gets his confidence, his rhythm, his ability to open the team and attack is important as well.”

(Is his game underappreciated?) “All I can tell you is there are 17 other teams in this league. If we said Brad Evans was on the market, every team would raise their hand and say, ‘What do you want for him?’ Our fans sometimes don’t appreciate as much what he does. Sometimes it’s little things like winning a goal kick at midfield, flicking on a goal kick from Kasey and now you’re competing for the ball at midfield or in their end of the field rather than competing for the ball 20 yards into your side of the field. It’s that territorial thing. That’s just an example of one little thing that he does that sometimes people don’t understand. You put somebody else in, but he’s not going to win those headers. All of sudden they’re winning the headers because they’re jumping against Rosales and the ball is back in your end of the field. Those are just little things. Every player has a different appreciation level. Every player has good and bad games, and good and bad periods.”

(On Seattle’s success on the road…) “I think we just approach home games and road games with the same mentality. We want to go out there and we want to win. We don’t go out on the road and say, ‘OK, let’s hope we can keep it tight and hope we can sneak out a win and hope we can get out of here 1-0.’ Also the team at home there’s a little more pressure on them to carry the game and to take the game to us so from that standpoint sometimes that opens up spaces to counterattack and I think we are a pretty good counterattacking team when those opportunities present themselves.”

(On Sounders FC road support…) “We definitely appreciate it. It’s something we are very proud of as a club to know that our fans travel better than any fans in the league because they travel to all the games. It’s not like they travel to some of the games. It’s always great when you look up there and you see a bunch of green up there and you see the scarves and you hear the support and you hear the singing, that lets you know you aren’t here alone.”

FREDY MONTERO, forward (via translator)

(On being back…) “It’s a great feeling. I’m not used to being so far away from the team and I’m just really happy that I can get back and be useful to the team.”

(On playing with a cast…) “It’s a little strange, but it’s just something I have to get used because I have three more weeks in my cast. I’m a soccer player and I just have to adapt to every situation.”

(Does it throw things off for you?) “Yes, of course I feel it there. It feels really different. (That arm) is heavier than the other one. It’s a little bit difficult to adapt, but that’s just what I have to do.”

(Can you play Saturday if needed?) “Absolutely. My mentality is just to help the team and most of the time I’m playing with my feet anyways. I’m just ready to get back into the game and play.”

(On the team in your absence…) “I think everyone played really well and that’s everyone’s job. We all just have to work to move the team forward and work on winning titles. We’re all just doing our jobs.”

KASEY KELLER, goalkeeper (from Tuesday)

(Does the energy and fun of softball give a boost before a two-game road trip?) “Exactly It was nice to get that first win at home the other day and now we go on the road. Also what you see is, yeah we had a lot of fun here playing a little softball, and (now) the guys are still out here getting back to what we normally do and have a little training session as well before we go into the weight room. There’s a lot of dedication on this team and a lot of guys who want to do very well. They thoroughly enjoyed the softball but now it’s back to business.”

(On why Seattle has played well on the road…) “I think it’s a combination of things. I know part of it is probably just being able to play on grass, (that’s) always kind of a little bit of fun for us. At the same time, usually we have very good away support. Usually we’re taking a couple hundred people who are extremely vocal for us on the road and that makes a big difference. Obviously we have that pride that we want to go out and show for them as well.”

(On the team’s confidence level…) “I think it’s good. I think the confidence never dropped too much. We knew that we played well enough to get a few more wins. Then it was nice, obviously, to make it happen. Now, like I’ve said many times in this league, you can’t go in thinking the game is going to be easy. There’s so much parity in this league. Philly’s had some good results. I thought in the first half against New York, New York really took it to ’em but didn’t get the goals. Then a mistake from a defender and they punished them and held on to that 1-0 win. They’ve kept it really tight at the back so we know it’s going to be tough there. But we’re full of confidence knowing that if we play like we have in the last few weeks that we have a chance to beat anybody.”

(Do you expect a physical game?) “Of course. They’re a hard-working, physical team. Honestly that’s the way it should be. Peter’s going to have them ready to go. We were a little disappointed with the way we played there last year in some incredible conditions with the heat. We won’t have that situation so we can go there and show what we’re truly made of.”

(On Hurtado coming back into the lineup…) “We’re in a situation now where we have four good center-backs with Jeff and Jhon and Pat and Taylor, so it’s really a case of who’s playing well at the time and who steps in and plays well to keep their position. I think the coaching staff knows that anyone who steps in can do the job for us. That keeps that good competition so the guys who are playing have to be on their toes and make sure they perform, because there’s someone fighting at practice everyday waiting for their chance.”

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