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May 13, 2011 at 10:35 AM

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

Seattle Sounders FC Logo.jpgSome belated quotes from Thursday. I’ll try to get the full transcripts from Alan Hinton and Jimmy Gabriel up later today…

* * *

SIGI SCHMID, Sounders FC head coach

(On the match against Portland…) “It’s important to get three points. We’ve got a three-game home stand here. We want to get three points in every game that we play at home so that’s what’s important. The three points against Portland are worth just the same as three points against Toronto. It’s all the same but when you get outside that realm, I think for our fans, for their fans it means a lot more. It’s a lot of bragging rights. It’s the ability to walk down the street with a little bit of swagger, a little bit of bounce in your step afterward. It allows you to go afterward and hoist a refreshment and say, ‘Hey, that was a lot of fun today.’ ”

(On the Portland Timbers…) “Well, they have had a great run at home. Obviously when you look at our first season as well you generate a lot of energy from being at home and they did the same. They were able to win some games at home and haven’t done as well on the road so we will try to continue that. They are also a team that is a good team. They have got some experienced players in Kenny Cooper, guys like that, Perlaza, who they picked up from Colombia has done well for them as well up front. They are a pretty direct team. They don’t mess about with it a whole lot. They try to get it in front of your goal as quickly as possible and hope for things to happen and things have happened for them.”

(On excitement surrounding the match…) “We try and not talk about it whole ton so I think they see it in the paper every day and they hear it. They realize what’s going around in the club and they sense the atmosphere, they sense the mood, so that’s enough. We’ll talk about it a little bit tomorrow and we’ll talk about it a little bit before the game. We want to come out with a high level of energy. We don’t want to be over amped where it becomes a negative for us but we want to have a high level of energy. One of things we took hold off prior to the last game against Toronto was we wanted our energy to inspire our fans and then for our fans to inspire us. We didn’t want it to be, ‘Let’s go out on the field and just let our fans inspire us.’ We want to inspire our fans with our energy and we want them to inspire us.”

(Does the 8 p.m. start time change much?) “No, it just means I can get here a little later. But I’ll probably get here at the same time. I’m a strange one because when we have a game I usually show up four or fives hours before the game anyway. I want to be relaxed and everything, go nice and easy. The 8 o’ clock kickoff is not really a big issue. It’s more an issue when you got a 1 o’ clock in the afternoon game or something like that.”

(On Brad Evans and Mauro Rosales…) “Evans trained today. He was full-in on training. Rosales did a little bit more today so we will make a decision on him tomorrow. But Evans if he feels alright tomorrow should be alright.”

(On Montero going from cast to brace…) “Did he look quicker to you? I think every time the cast gets reduced in size and he knows that it’s healing well it gives him a little more confidence. It makes him a little less concerned about getting knocked down and falling on it. All of that is good.”

(What do you know about Diego Chara?) “Based on the games he played he’s a hard-working midfielder. I think he’s played two games, right? I think he came off the bench in one and played the other one. He’s hard-working. He’s pretty much a box-to-box type of midfielder. He’s technically fairly good on the ball. He’s not an out-and-out attacking midfielder in the mold of Javier Morales, but he’s more a box-to-box guy and does a good job keeping possession for them.”

JEFF PARKE, Sounders FC defender

(You’re an East Coast guy, when did you figure out this whole Seattle-Portland thing?) “It wasn’t long. It was the Open Cup game I think. Plus when I was with the Whitecaps they were always talking (trash) and saying, ‘You were in Seattle, blah, blah, blah.’ Then you get down to Portland and you see a father and daughter wait outside for Roger. Once I saw that I knew there was something going on (laughs). It doesn’t take long, plus the fans are pretty bad too.”

(Is there enough of this in the league?) “Naw, it needs more of it. You get it, but it’s tough because teams are far apart and there’s not a big enough fan base, there’s not enough passion behind it. But they’re getting there. The Northwest maybe will set the tone. With Toronto getting Montreal, that will get going. Then Philly and New York, once they start beating the crap out of each other a bit, will have one.”

(Does the history play into your thinking at all?) “To be honest, I don’t know much about it. Obviously I know the history of the team and the club and all that, but I don’t know if there’s any bad blood. Maybe there was a game 20 years ago where a guy spit on somebody and that’s how it all started. I feel it and I sense it when people talk about it. Also you see their GM talking (trash) in preseason, basically saying, ‘If we win that series the rest of the season’s OK.’ ”

(Would you trade in points for this win?) “That’s kind of hard. It’d be nice, but I think points are more important at the end of the day. Obviously having bragging rights for the rest of the year is huge, but if we make the playoffs because of two points and they’re out, I can go back and say, ‘We’re still playing and you’re out.’ That’s always the last laugh.”

BRAD EVANS, Sounders FC midfielder

(How long did it take you learn Portland was the big rival when you came here?) “I think Schmetzer has instilled this rivalry from Day 1. Personally, this will be my first game playing in a competitive match against them. I played once in preseason against them but missed both Open Cup games and I think one other game. Other than that, this will be my first game and for sure Schmetzer has been on tilt for three weeks now looking forward to this game. He’s let everybody know the importance for sure.”

(Is there a balance you have to keep on not getting too excited?) “Yeah. The coaches kind of get riled up for certain games. You definitely see Sigi get excited for the Columbus game. That’s one that he wants. Now we shift our focus to a Portland game that means more to everybody than just the Columbus game for a couple guys. This is an important game. We’ve done well against them in the past, obviously a great rivalry. For a number of guys, this is the one we marked on the calendar in preseason.”

(On the Castrol Index…) “I’ve never seen that list. I think it’s tough to rate players, personally. Every player goes through ups and downs. Obviously Steve is an important asset to our team, but one person isn’t greater than the team. That’s something that I’m sure the league loves to do is rank players. It gets them more attention, but for us obviously losing him is a great loss. He’s a tremendous player. We could say he’s probably one of the top players in the league for sure, but we try to do as best we can with his loss and filling in that void. It’s a tough questions and a tough answer, but it can’t be quantified I think.”

(It has Henry first and Keller at No. 100+…) “There you go. Tell Keller that.”

(Does the league have enough of this type of rivalry excitement?) “It’s tough because of distance between teams. It’s easy when you have a close game like this to travel in numbers. Portland being so accessible by train, by flight, by water if you wanted to — it’s so easy. I think you see it in Europe so much with the derbies, the stadiums are caddy corner from each other. For us, we haven’t had that rivalry yet. This will be the first true derby for us I think. Even more so than Vancouver for sure, this is one that is most important to everybody involved. You kind of see it on the East Coast a little bit with D.C.-Columbus, Toronto-Columbus — any team that’s within 600 miles, I guess. I think they’ve done a good job. It’s tough, like I said, with distance but now they’re getting the concept of, ‘Let’s put two teams in New York,’ maybe. Let’s have teams as close as we can.”

(What was it like in Columbus against Toronto?) “They tried to make it like this, but you can’t erase history. I think that’s the most important thing for this franchise is having the history going back to the NASL days and the A-League and whatever it was for a number of years. You didn’t have that history, but you did have a sense of pride between each team. Usually we opened every year in Columbus with Toronto. They traveled in numbers and our fans traveled in numbers as well going north, so for us I think that was the closest thing, but it won’t mirror this in any way.”

KASEY KELLER, Sounders FC goalkeeper

(Did you save a John Spencer PK in the 1995 FA Cup?) “Yeah, we were playing Chelsea and John was the fifth shooter. We had scored the fifth, then I saved John’s penalty and we went through to the (next) round of the FA Cup, knocking out Chelsea. I like to remind him a lot when I see him. But like I’ve said, John’s a great guy. He’s a good personality for this rivalry and I’m just looking forward to Saturday and letting the play dictate what happens.”

(When you signed, you said this was one reason to keep playing…) “Exactly, and here it is. This is the first one. I said the other day that (it would’ve felt strange) not being a part of the first game here with the MLS Sounders. Now to not be a part of the first game in the Northwest rivalry would feel strange. I’m so happy that I’ve been able to come back home at this time and be a part of a couple big moments in Sounders history.”

(Does MLS need to do more of this close-proximity stuff?) “Only if it’s the right cities, the right support, the right situation for MLS. There’s no point in giving Bellevue a team right now just to try and build some false rivalries. I think what’s key is you get the right cities and the right franchises doing things the right way. I think you’ve seen from us, from Portland, from Vancouver, that these franchises are doing things the right way and are going to be hugely successful as professional franchises for any league. It’s great for the future of the sport.”

(Does their start remind you of the Sounders’?) “Definitely. It’s difficult. You look back and say, ‘What would’ve happened if our stadium hadn’t been ready and we would’ve had to play our first four games on the road?’ or something like that. That would be tough. So what they’ve really done is bounce back extremely well and their home form has been tremendous. What I just like seeing in any sport is when a team is going to be supported very well, you love to see those fans going home with a smile on their face, regardless if they’re your biggest rival or not. I think that’s just great for the sport in general, that the Portland fans were in some horrible weather and we saw the team give them something to go home happy about. It just gives a good feeling for the sport and everyone who is willing to support it.”

(Will Vancouver be anything close to this?) “I think you have that little bit of a Canada-U.S.A. thing, it’s just not the same. But it’s going to be a great rivalry. In the different places I’ve played around the world, London has a bunch of teams. So you have all those rivalries, but there’s always one that’s your main one. Same when I was in Germany in that West Rhineland area. ‘Gladbach-Cologne was the big one, but with Leverkusen, Dortmund and Schalke all right there, those were big games. I think that’s what you find with Vancouver and us. Yeah, that’s a big game, but the Portland game is the main derby game.”

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