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April 27, 2011 at 12:51 AM

Sounders FC quotes: Schmid, Hurtado, Montero, Rosales

Seattle Sounders FC Logo.jpgHere are some interview transcripts from Tuesday:

* * *

SIGI SCHMID, head coach

(On the loss of Zakuani…) “Obviously it’s a big loss because he’s been an important member of our team. You look at the increase in his goals and assists from Year 2 over Year 1, and if you were to project it out over where he was at this year he would’ve had an increase again. He was maturing. He was growing as a player. He was a very important part of our game with his ability to get behind defenses off the dribble with his speed and without the ball. That’s something we’re going to miss.”

(On the league’s punishment…) “It doesn’t really matter because no matter what they do in their disciplinary action it doesn’t give Steve back to us. There’s nothing they can do. Obviously I think the league needs to look at it and send whatever message they feel is necessary so situations like this don’t occur as we move forward.”

(On Rosales and White…) “Mauro, we’re just trying to be careful with him at the beginning of this week. He’s had a little bit of a hamstring (injury). He says he’s feeling better. We figured if we go easy Monday, Tuesday and with Wednesday off, we’ll see where he’s at Thursday. O’Brian has been having some pain in his calf. It’s been coming and going, and today was just a day where it came and really bothered him so we needed to pull him off.”

(On Tuesday’s training…) “We wanted to play bigger numbers. We wanted to work on getting our outside backs forward a little bit more so by playing in a 9v9 setting it really gave us a chance to work on our outside backs getting forward.”

(On Friday’s lineup…) “I thought it did all right. I thought Ianni came in and played well for us so I think that was an important cog. They got their first shutout, whether it was against a team playing a man down or not it was still a shutout. I think that was a positive. I thought Tyson Wahl really did well. I thought he started a little slowly but then I thought he did well.”

(And on Montero coming in and playing Rosales on the right?) “That was something we just needed to look at. Rosales I thought did a good job playing wide right for us until we had to take him off. All three of the moves I thought were positive.”

(On Toronto FC…) “They are a dangerous team. They are a difficult team to prepare for because they have played so many different lineups, they keep adding players. Now they lose a player against us with the red card so how are they going to make those changes. Who’s going to play for him there? So it’s a little bit more unpredictable as you prepare for them. You can’t predict as cleanly. Obviously the style of play they are trying to play they hold the ball, possess the ball, build slowly out of the back and spring their outside guys sometimes, so that’s something we can prepare for. They haven’t lost a ton of games. They have tied a lot of games so they try to keep things close. Hopefully as their players and adapt and learn the style of play of their coach even more, they think the wins will come at the end of the day. But it’s a game we are at home. We haven’t been at home for a while so we want to treat our fans to the best possible outcome.”

(On Fredy Montero scoring again…) “It definitely helps his confidence. Anytime a goal-scorer scores a goal it helps them in terms of their level of belief and it helps our team also because goals help our team. He’s going to continue to work hard. The team knows he can score goals and he is capable of that and we need him to come through with goals.”

(On the defense getting a shutout…) “It’s good to get some shutouts. If we had some shutouts earlier we’d have a few more points. If we had a shutout against Houston we’d have two more points. If we had a shutout against San Jose we’d have two more points. You add those four points to what we have right now we’d be in pretty good shape. Being able to play to zero is an important aspect of the game, but playing to zero doesn’t just mean sitting back and defending. It means you got to keep the ball, you got to possess the ball, you got to make the other team defend more. The more you can make the other team defend, the easier it is for you to get a shutout.”

(Did you do anything different defensively or was it coming up big in key moments?) “It was just coming up big a key moments. I think we bent a little bit, but I also thought in the back we were a little bit more aggressive 1v1 and got a little tighter to some people. We did a pretty good job pretty much for the game on containing Cummings. He can be a very dangerous player but when you look back on the game he really never got in and was very dangerous on us. Folan almost got in once. You had Kimura coming in from the side, but you really didn’t see that much from Cummings, so I thought we did a good job on him.”

JHON KENNEDY HURTADO, defender, via translator

(On the Toronto match…) “It’s going to be a difficult game, just like all the games that we’ve played up until this time. We really need to be mentally prepared and we have to win to show we’re a very strong time.”

(On finally getting a shutout…) “It was very important, not just personally but also as a team to show that we can defend what comes our way. We were glad to get the shutout and we hope to continue to get more.”

(Did the changes on the backline make it more of a challenge?) “It’s not difficult because we know each other and practice together. It’s just a matter of everyone coming out and having the same mentality and working together.”

FREDY MONTERO, forward, via translator

(Feel better after scoring?) “Much much better. Really I think it’s just the finish. I’ve been working on the finish, and that’s what I changed.”

(On Zakuani’s absence…) “I think it’s really sad for the team. It’s sad for the players, for the teammates, it’s sad for him as a person. But Steve Zakuani is a very unique player, and I think there are few people who can do what he can do with the characteristics that he has. But he’s going to be back soon and he’s still going to have his unique characteristics as a player.”

MAURO ROSALES, midfielder

(Was moving over to right midfield a natural switch for you after playing as a forward?) “It was OK. It’s not too different what I have to do from when I play forward. I can play in this position. I know how this works.”

(Do you change how you play, maybe try to be more of a goal-scorer than playmaker, when a player like Zakuani is out?) “In my mind I always have to think what’s best for the team and what the coach needs in that moment. If the coach needs me to attack more or try to score I will try to do it. In that moment I’m trying to help create for the team. I’ll work hard to do my best for the team.”

(You’ve trained to the side a couple days now, are you doing OK?) “In the last game I played I got a little bit tired and hurt my hamstring. I want to take care of it so it doesn’t get worse. I’ll try to go into the Toronto game with 100-percent fitness.”

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