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April 28, 2011 at 8:42 PM

Sounders FC quote sheet: Schmid, Keller, Parke, Jaqua

Seattle Sounders FC Logo.jpgUPDATE 8:42 — The transcripts are full…

* * *

SIGI SCHMID, head coach

(On O’Brian White’s injury…) “Obviously it’s good for O’Brian that they were able to identify it now before that can obviously develop into a serious life-threatening type of issue. It’s been a strange one for our team. You lose another player who has been very important. We are basically losing our top two scorers so far as we are into the season, but we have to move on. We’ve got players who are professional players that are ready to play and take their spot.”

(On when White can return…) “That’s really open-ended. I think they’ve really got to make a determination and figure out what exactly caused the clot and until they can do that then what usually happens is people are on blood-thinning medication and while you’re on blood-thinning medication you can’t be in a contact sport.”

(On his career being in jeopardy…) “No, no. What I heard is everything went well with the surgery. He was in good spirits this morning. I think they looked at his heart and that was found to be good as well. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out why it’s happening.”

(On Brian Mullan’s suspension…) “Obviously the league stated early on through Commissioner Garber that they wanted to be strong in these areas and allow players the opportunity to play. I know nobody feels worse than Brian Mullan about this incident because I know Brian as a person. It was an unfortunate incident in that regard but I think the suspension is probably appropriate based upon what the league stated as their commitment at the beginning of the season.”

(On needing to get a punishment to move on…) “I’m not a big believer in that. I don’t think we’re here for, ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.’ That’s not our philosophy. I think everybody that’s been involved with this — whether it’s Steve Zakuani or Brian Mullan — has been severely affected. Obviously Steve is injured and can’t play, and Brian is now suspended and can’t play, but emotionally as well for those two individuals and for the teams involved, it’s left an impression on everyone.”

(On Saturday’s match against Toronto FC…) “It will be nice to play in front of our fans. We have missed our fans and we haven’t had that chance for a little bit of time so we are looking forward to that. You want to move on so going out and playing a game helps you sort of move on. It was difficult. I don’t think people truly realize how difficult that game was last (Friday). Everyone thought, ‘You’re a man up so you should’ve just steam rolled them,’ but you’re trying to get over that emotional shock and playing a man up is not always the best thing. Now for us we have got to deal with O’Brian as well so getting into a game is something that we will look forward to because it allows us to put all those things behind you and move forward.”

(Is Nate Jaqua the logical choice up front?) “Probably at this stage. Nate’s been working hard. I don’t know if his fitness is there for 90 at this stage, but he’s certainly come into certain games and replaced O’Brian. He’s one that’s a choice, a possibility. Fucito is healthy now so that gives us another option. Lamar Neagle is a guy we signed and he can play up in that position as well, so there’s a couple different options.”

(Was this suspension a one-time case or was it so severe it might make people hesitant going into tackles in the future?) “Obviously it’s going to send a message and I think everybody’s going to be a little more cautious, which is the important thing. For me it’s always compete for the ball, be fair. When things happen out of anger… We had an incident in practice, probably two weeks ago, where somebody went into a tackle out of anger. We sort of talked about that a little bit. I said, ‘Now you guys understand that’s not the way to go.’ I have a good friend of mine, who I coached with on the U.S. national team, who suffered a serious injury as well and the suspension at the time for the player was like six months. That was in Germany back in the early ’70s. Things have changed since then. It’s a situation where I think everybody is going to be a little more aware, everybody is going to be a little more cautious and I think the referee’s have to be a little more conscientious. … I’m trying to make a short answer out of a long answer here. … You can’t determine what’s in someone’s mind, but if you’ve played the game, you know when somebody’s angry and reacting out of anger or if they’re just challenging for a ball and they’re late or it’s mistimed. I think when you look at the Champions League game yesterday, to me that’s not a red card. I think it was just a mistimed tackle where the guy was late and caught a little bit of the leg. But there have been other tackles I’ve seen where people have come in from behind and scissored people and you could they were lining them up and that sometimes doesn’t get punished as much as it should be. Hopefully it will draw a little more attention to those kinds of situations and everybody will be a little more concerned to play hard and battle fair and hopefully we can avoid injured like that in the future, but that’s impossible.”

(Has the team had a chance to meet with Steve?) “Different guys have gotten in touch with him in different ways, through texts, through — I don’t know, what are all the things people do now? — Facebook, MySpace. I don’t know. I don’t go on those things. Facebook, Twitter, texts, emails. I know I’ve been in and out of touch with Steve as well through emails and texts and so forth and a lot of guys have communicated that way. He’s at the hospital. There’s a few things they’re still doing with him, so it’s actually sort of tough to see him there because he’s a lot of times busy going from here to there as they’re doing things to try and speed up the healing process.”

(Is Mauro doing better?) “He’s doing better and we’re two days out of the game and he said he felt very good in terms of what he did today. We didn’t want to push it too hard, too fast, so we’ll see how he comes back tomorrow and we’ll go forward from there.”

(On if Steve Zakuani will be in stadium on Saturday…) “I don’t know for sure. Right now it’s 50/50 and it’s maybe more towards him not being here because, again, we don’t want to do anything to slow down his healing process. As anybody knows, when you have an injury or something like this the first week to two weeks is most important. If you really do a good job in the first week to two weeks then you’ve laid a really good foundation for healing and you can move forward from there.”

KASEY KELLER, goalkeeper

(On losing White…) “It’s always kind of a little bit tricky when you get those situations. I know a few years ago now Brian McBride had an issue that almost killed him, so those blood clots can be a tricky thing. It’s just always nice when you find it a little bit early. It’d had been something that he had been kind of complaining of for a while and I’m just glad they finally figured it out and he can get fit and be ready to roll for the rest of the season. But he’s been playing well, scored a few goals for us and it’s always tricky to lose someone like that, especially right after the Steve situation. But we have a good squad. I’m happy that guys are going to step in and do a good job. Nate’s fit. It’s always a disappointment when you lose players but it’s nice to have replacements ready to roll.”

(On Toronto FC…) “They’ve had a little bit of an indifferent season like we have. They kind of got beat by a few numbers; they put a few numbers up on a few people. They’re a decent team, always kind of changing, still not quite I think sure with over the years having different coaches, different managers, different players. They’re kind of in a little bit of that shakeup. But we’re at home, we want to play well and win the game. We know we won the game in Colorado but we’re still a little disappointed with the way we played. We want to put things right and build from the Chicago game, build from the Houston game and start making sure that our home field is a fortress and a force where we know we come home and teams are going to have to do something special to take points from us.”

(On the Mullan punishment…) “I didn’t know about it ’til I got here. Didn’t affect me. As a player I never like to see guys not be able to play and not be able to do that stuff. But at the same time, I understand why they went strong. It’s something in the game they want to take out of the equation. Nobody wants to see those kinds of tackles flying around. Obviously you don’t want to see guys in hospital beds and out for long stretches. The punishment is there and now hopefully somebody thinks twice about doing the same thing. If that’s what it takes.”

JEFF PARKE, defender

(You were suspended 10 games, but your mistake wasn’t intentional. Ricardo Clark was suspended 10 games for something very intentional. Brian Mullan is probably somewhere in between, so how do you think intent should play a part in these suspensions?) “I don’t know. That’s a tough one. I guess that’s why they have a committee because I don’t know how you can gauge it. It was reckless, obviously. He ended the guy’s season. He ended one of our best player’s season. You look at it like that. What if it’s Beckham or Donovan? It’s just like Zakuani. They throw the top 20 guys in the league and if you break their leg, I think they’re going to get more (punishment than if the guy they tackle is) a defender or a guy that’s making a name for himself or not really heard of. I think that goes into consideration as well. I’m sure Seattle put the heat on the league. I mean what can you say? He definitely deserved it. I can’t say, ‘Oh, 10 games is a lot!’ It is a lot but Zak’s not playing the rest of the year.”

(Does hearing the punishment help the team move on?) “It does. You wait, you wait, you wait. You get an apology and it was kind of insincere. I really didn’t feel it from him. That’s the type of player he is. We know he’s not a bad guy off the field, but that’s like saying, ‘For a split second I snapped.’ I don’t know. I think it’s just and he’s going to be serving some time for it.”

(It seems like everyone has cycled in and out of the lineup this season, but how did you view being taken out last weekend?) “It’s frustrating. I’m disappointed, but it’s the coach’s call. Obviously it’s not what I want, but it’s what he wants. Suck it up, I guess. Try to move on.”

NATE JAQUA, forward

(On your relationship up front with Fredy…) “I think I do a good job holding the ball up and if you can get Fredy into space where he can create, he can be very, very dangerous. I think it’s worked well. We haven’t had too much (shared time) in the last year and a half, so hopefully it will come together and we can pick up where we left off in the first year.”

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