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May 27, 2011 at 1:52 PM

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

Seattle Sounders FC Logo.jpgQuotes from coach Sigi Schmid are from today. Player quotes are from Thursday…

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SIGI SCHMID, Sounders FC head coach

(What do you think of not having any players called up for the Gold Cup?) “International player-wise, I’m sure if Cuba used players outside of Cuba Ozzie would’ve been called up. A lot of the players that were called up are obviously from Caribbean nations and the Central American nations. A lot of our foreign players are from South America. That makes a difference as well. And right now we got no American players that are on Bob Bradley’s horizon.”

(Do you think Fredy and Alvaro have been affected by not being more involved with their national teams recently?) “That’s a better question for them. I think every player has pride and ego, and certainly wants to wear his national team’s colors and wants to represent his country. I’m sure in their minds they’re thinking, ‘What do I need to do to get there?’ If anything it should be a benefit to us and not negative to us, because they should be wanting to raise their game for our team in order to gain the interest of their national team coaches.”

(Have you decided that Pat Noonan isn’t in the team’s plans or what has been affecting him?) “No, he’s had little aches and things, little niggling injuries. Every time we’re ready to go ahead and play him then something comes up. He just had something done on Wednesday — by something done meaning a treatment situation — that put him out for a day. What we’re trying to do is get a couple of weeks straight in with him. He says he feels good now so we’ll see how he does in the reserve game Monday. That will give us a much better indication.”

(How do you think the new middle shape has worked?) “We haven’t had all the pieces of the puzzle out there on the field at the same time yet. We haven’t had Evans and Rosales and everyone together. It seems like we’re always missing somebody. At this stage it’s still something that we’re working on. Evans is an important part of that because he’s the one guy that maybe talks a little bit more the other guys in midfield, so that certainly helps us as well. Our big issue, and it rests on my shoulders, is we have to resolve our situation of being able to finish goals. We have to continue to get chances and finish goals. It’s my job as a coach to get a team on the field that can score goals. Right now we haven’t done that. Yeah, players have to go out there and perform and do their thing, but for sure it’s also my responsibility to make that happen. If that happens out of a diamond midfield or that happens out of two wingers and one forward dropping off, that’s what we got to continue to look at and try to find the right combination.”

(Do you think chemistry has been affected by the start to this season?) “The guys are all engaged. The guys are all involved in what we’re trying to do. The effort is there. I don’t think anybody who saw our game can fault the team for its effort. The fighting spirit of the team is good, and that’s where you gauge it at. The atmosphere at practice is good, the guys come out and they work and so forth. Like I said, it’s a matter of finding the right combination, and that’s my job. It’s a matter of being able to finish the opportunities when they present themselves. I think from a standpoint of effort and attitude and approach to the game, I think the guys are good.”

(Brad Evans still in line to make the 18?) “Yeah. It’s still day by day. He trained today and felt alright. We’ll see how he is tomorrow and make a decision at game time with him. But for sure he’s in the 18. We’re going to take him to Salt Lake and decide.”

BRAD EVANS, Sounders FC midfielder

(On going into Rio Tinto…) “Even in Columbus we never won in Salt Lake. This is a big one for myself, especially after last year. I think they still have their streak going, their MLS streak at least, and it’d be great to get three points, especially against that team.”

(After dropping some points at home do you feel you have to make up for it on the road now?) “Absolutely. I think we’ve been a good road team and we can pride ourselves in that, as well. We’ve kind of let a few slip at home so this is our chance to right the ship and get back to playing good soccer and winning games. You can’t just be winning games and not be playing good soccer, or playing good soccer and not winning games. To be successful it’s got to be a combination of both.”

(You’ve mentioned to like playing in the middle, but what do you make of playing wide in the diamond?) “I like playing on the outside too. I think this year I’ve played better on the outside than I have in the middle for sure, whether that’s mental or personnel or opposition you’re facing, whatever it may be, I felt more comfortable on the right. If that’s where they see me then that’s where they see me. I’m happy to play out there. It’s been good. We’ve had that success that way too.”

(Has it been tough rotating the lineup a lot?) “I think the teams that are successful are the ones that have some continuity. But when you’re hampered by injuries and you have as many midweek games that we’ve had already, it takes a toll on bodies. At the same time, it’s something I think you have to fight through. Even though you might lose a game, if you have the same people on the field it brings everybody together at the same time and you’re all fighting for the same goal. I understand switching personnel with injuries and stuff, but I do think continuity is an extremely important thing.”

JAMES RILEY, Sounders FC defender

(How have you seen the team bounce back from the loss?) “It’s always tough to lose at home. I think we had most of the game. We gave up two chances and they scored one of two. Brek Shea scored a good goal — we looked at it on tape — it was great ball, great goal. The bounces didn’t go our way. We could’ve had one; we could’ve had four. It’s just one of those where you have to stay steady. We’re going into Salt Lake and it’s a new day, a new game. We’re going in to get points so we can’t dwell on the past too much. (Thursday) was a spirited training session for the guys who didn’t play and we know there’s definitely an urgency there still.”

(Does almost escaping Rio Tinto last year with a win enter the mind this week?) “Yeah, definitely. I think we’ve matched up well with Salt Lake over the years. They’re definitely a quality team, but we know we’re capable of going in and getting a result. It’s not going to be easy. They definitely don’t have that home streak in MLS for no reason. They’re a very quality team definitely at home so we’ll need to go in there and play disciplined, play smart and take chances when we get them.”

(Their frontline is in flux a little bit, does that make it a little harder to prepare?) “Definitely. They have a pretty set system though. They play that 4-4-2 with the diamond, where Beckerman holds deep and their wide guys pinch in a little bit. We know what system they play. Obviously the personnel they use will affect how we scout them and how we adjust. But that kind of comes with the territory, guys get called up or guys get injured or guys get yellow cards, and then they put in a new guy. We respect each guy just the same we just have to go out and do our job.”

KASEY KELLER, Sounders FC goalkeeper

(On the result Wednesday night…) “It’s disappointing. Kind of part of the reason why I didn’t talk last night is that I didn’t want to go emotional and flip out, and try and figure out the positives. We’re still under a goal a game defensively. That keeps you in every game. If you could tell me come the end of the season that we conceded 30-32 goals, I’d be very, very happy. On that side of it we have to keep that going and hopefully the goals will come on a more consistent basis. I think the guys understand that and we’re going to work hard. It was nice in the game before when a defender can pop up and get a goal for you, takes the burden off the forwards to produce when you spread the goals around a little bit. We just got to go into Salt Lake and make sure we keep it tight in the back and take advantage of the chances we’re given. Sometimes you’re always worried when you’re not creating chances. I think if you look at the Houston game and you look at the game last night — maybe not so much in the Kansas City — there were enough opportunities to put a few goals in the back of the net. Sometimes you just got to look at the positives and say, ‘We’re creating chances and now it’s about just finishing them.’ ”

(Is the short turnaround good?) “Depends on that next result. Sometimes it’s great, ‘OK, I don’t have a week to think about it and let’s go win the next game,’ and then everything’s great. Other times you’re looking at it and on the coaching staff they say, ‘I wish I had a whole week to train and get some things out of it.’ But you have to play to the situation that’s in front of you. What’s in front of us is we’ve had a busy schedule and this is a tough time for us. We have to now step up our game and go. There’s no reason (we can’t handle this). We’re in the middle of the season, guys are fit, you can throw the odd midweek game in. Maybe I say that because of my first three or four seasons in the England in the first division where you play 46 games. You averaged six games a month. You’re used to that quick turnaround and you have to be ready for it. The MLS schedule is a little bit funky because you’ll have a situation like this where Dallas was coming off a day less. Now we’re going into Salt Lake where they didn’t have a midweek game. But I’ve never seen that correlation. Every time I hear, ‘Well we should be more rested,’ I’ve never ever seen that (have an impact with) any sort of consistency. It’s always the team that’s ready to play on the day. Sometimes it’s a nice distraction. Sometimes it’s nice to have a game instead of a whole week of training. Sometimes it’s nice. We have a little cool down (Thursday), training session (Friday), game on Saturday. It’s not like that grind. Hopefully we’re ready. Guys are fit. Guys are ready to go in Salt Lake and get a good result.”

(Does you 0.92 GAA make you rethink retirement…?) “No, no. Like I said, I’m just happy that things are good on that side. I just want to keep it on that side for the whole year and be able to finish up and say, ‘That was a good final season.’ ”

(What has contributed to RSL home winning streak?) “I think you have to give Salt Lake a little bit of credit for that. They’re a good team and they’ve proven that. They’ve proven that in Champions League. They’ve proven that by winning the title a couple years ago. They’ve done some good things and have some good players. They’re going to be missing a few guys that are in with the Gold Cup. And no question that going to Denver and going to Salt Lake, the altitude is an issue for those games, but sometimes it’s more of a mental thing than a physical thing. You just got to understand you are going to be gassed a little bit, but you battle through it. (Give them) credit. Salt Lake’s a good team and we need to go in there and play our best.”

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