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June 10, 2011 at 12:45 AM

Sounders FC quotes: Sigi Schmid, Jeff Parke, Kasey Keller

Seattle Sounders FC Logo.jpgHere are some interview transcripts from Thursday…

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SIGI SCHMID, head coach

(On Whitecaps changes under Tom Soehn…) “Obviously I think the main thing he has done is he has changed some personnel on the field. Cannon obviously became his goalkeeper of choice instead of Jay Nolly. He has changed the right back position, putting Wes Knight on the bench and bringing out Duckett. He has changed where he is playing Chiumiento. Chiumiento is playing inside now rather than playing outside. Camilo is playing outside instead of being inside. It’s a more structured 4-4-2. They’ve tried to stay more compact. But this is the first week that he has had a week to train the team. Last week it was go from game to game. I think you’ll see more of Tommy Soehn’s influence probably this week than you have in the prior two games.”

(How has the buildup compared to Portland Week?) “A little bit different. What was it Schmetzer said? ‘They’re Canadians, that’s why we shouldn’t like them.’ I don’t know if that’s the case. I’ve had a few Canadians I’ve dealt with and I always seem to like them, so I don’t know what the case is there. Right now they are really worried about the Canucks getting beat again (Wednesday) night than they maybe are about the Whitecaps. Certainly it’s something that we started talking about today. We will talk about it more tomorrow. There are three teams in this area of the country. We want to be the best team in this area of the country, so in order to be that we want to win this game. This is our second home game, we want to win that. We know we have to win one away as well to be the best team. But more important for us is just the season series, that we have a chance to win the season series, to get three more points, to put ourselves everyday a step closer to the playoffs.”

(Any thoughts on your six all-star nominations?) “I don’t even know. I don’t even look at that stuff. The fans vote and there’s the list, maybe I need to be more cognizant of that. I don’t know. I just worry about our team and our team doing well. It’s a team effort. When you’re playing well people get recognized. When you’re not playing well, people look at your team and try to figure out what’s going wrong. For me it’s more important if we’re playing well.”

(And you guys would likely miss it again with the CCL game?) “Yeah. Obviously for our guys it’s more something that’s just a contractual bonus or something like that that they would hit.”

(With the transfer window opening soon do you expect to make any moves?) “We’re always looking. We never close our eyes. We never go into a cave and turn out the lights. We’re also looking and aware of what’s out there. If a move makes sense and it’s going to make us a better team, a stronger team, (we’ll do it). Last year we picked up two players in that window and I think it helped us. We’re always going to do something that’s positive for our club.”

(On Sounders FC being undefeated in MLS Reserve League…) “Ask Ezra. It’s all Ezra. He’ll tell you. He’s going into Adrian’s office on Monday to renegotiate his contract by the way. He’s 5-0. I think he’s asking for the big job. (laughs) Anyways, I think the group has played well for each other. I think it’s a reflection of the depth of our team, as well. We’ve had some guys injured and we are still able to compete and participate. I think sometimes we take it seriously so I think being able to play games in front of fans and make it a game-like atmosphere and experience I think is beneficial to our players. I wish more teams would try and do that with their reserve games and allow it to be a fan experience as well. It’s just a reflection of our depth. The guys are working hard and they know that a guy like Lamar Neagle, through what he did on the reserve team, got himself onto the field. They feel hopefully they can do it and be the next guy.”

JEFF PARKE, defender

(On the Vancouver game…) “It’s a team in a hole. It’s a desperate team, a team that needs points and a team that coming here to our place and knows that we have a good fan base. And it’s a rivalry. Not as much as Portland, but they’re going to come here fired up, ready to play in front of our crowd and try to sneak points.”

(How would you describe them?) “A dangerous team, because you don’t know how they’re going to come out. They’ve got a new coach; they’ve got a new maybe style of play. They’re putting some veterans back in the lineup to see if they can lead the team to some points. It’s a team that’s struggling, but at anytime could snap something off. Those teams are dangerous because you can’t really prepare for them and you can’t really expect much or say what’s going on.”

(Any feeling on not making the all-star game ballot?) “Naw, it’s like that every year for me it seems like. I’m kind of used to it by now. It’s a shame, but you move on. As long as the team is doing better now and we’re getting points, that’s the most important thing.”

(Any memories from your short time in Vancouver?) “Yeah, I was up there a bit — got a concussion. Beautiful place. Good club, but I’m here and this is a game that I look at as another three points that we need. Them being here and being one of the rivalry games, it’s important that we get a win here and set the tone for the rest of the season.”

(Did you play Seattle?) “No, I don’t think so. I was only there for a couple months. I think in the beginning of the season they played each other down in Arizona or something like that. Other than that I wasn’t around when Seattle was up there. But they always talked about it, like: ‘Let’s go get Seattle! Let’s play against Seattle!’ ”

KASEY KELLER, goalkeeper

(On the rivalry…) “Having played for so many London clubs, you always have the one team that you are the big rival against. With the others teams there’s not a lot of love lost, but it’s just not quite the same as that one team. I think that’s kind of where we’re at. Same thing in the west Rhineland area in Germany, where you got five to six Bundesliga teams in there. With ‘Gladbach it was Cologne. That was the big, nasty one. Then you’ve got Leverkusen, Dortmund, Schalke in the area that are still part of that local thing, but it’s not quite like the one. I think that’s kind of where Vancouver falls. I think for Vancouver it’s probably the same. Toronto is their big, nasty game. In Spain, the Real Madrid-Barcelona game is far nastier than Real Madrid-Atletico Madrid. It’s still there, but it’s not quite the same as the big one. That’s kind of where we’re at right now. This is a big game for the supporters, but it just doesn’t have the same venom attached to it that the Portland game has.”

(Is it just hard to hate Canadians?) “My roommate from school was from Vancouver. Yeah, there’s just something there, but it’s just not the rivalry. The U.S.-Canada game isn’t the U.S.-Mexico game. I mean it’s there and it’s local and it’s a rivalry, but it’s not the same. That’s just sports.”

(Any concern that this is their first big Cascadia game while you’ve played one already against Portland?) “But they’ve already played Toronto, so they had their big, nasty game. It’s kind of a little bit for both teams. It’s big, and both teams want to make it happen, but it just doesn’t have the same bite to it.”


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