New signing Sammy Ochoa (right) had his first Sounders FC practice today at Starfire. The 24-year-old forward was acquired by Seattle on Friday through the allocation process. He is working on getting in shape and was set to put it some extra work with fitness coach Dave Tenney after this interview.
Coach Sigi Schmid said Ochoa is probably at least three weeks from being able to play, so don’t expect an immediate contribution.
Anyways, here’s the transcript of his first chat with local reporters:
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(What do you think about coming to Seattle?) “I’m very happy to be here. I was here for a week last time I came on trial. MLS and Seattle got to an agreement and I’m here and I’m really happy. It’s a really good team, a really good group of guys and I’m happy to be here.”
(What do you remember from your trial?) “It was a good week. I got a reserve game in. I got a goal in, so I felt really good. I just had to wait on the league and see what they were going to decide.”
(When you left, did you have a feeling you’d be back?) “I don’t know. I saw the (allocation order) where Seattle was sixth, so there were a couple of teams ahead of them. I was just hoping it was Seattle.”
(What have you been doing since then?) “Training on my own, trying to keep in shape, getting a couple of games in and (anxiously waiting) for a team.
(What’s your relationship like with Sigi Schmid?) “Really good. I had him when he was with the Galaxy — I trained with them when my brother was there. I had him in the U20s, so I have a good relationship with Sigi.”
(What’s your game fitness like and what do you think you can bring?) “Game fitness, I don’t really know yet. I haven’t had a real game since the reserve game, and I only played like 30 minutes, so I don’t really know. I think with the work, I’ll be good. And with what I bring to the team, I’m just trying to add to the team, help them out, try to score goals — that’s what I’m here for. Try to help out the team the best I can.”
(How would you describe your playing style?) “Just a forward in the box. I’m used to playing like that. I don’t know if they play the same way here. The coaches have been telling me that it’s really different to the league in Mexico, so I have to get used to the league here. It’s just a matter of time.”
(What was the first day of training like?) “It was good. It was good to get training with the boys. I didn’t think I was going to train, but they told me to suit up. I was really, really happy to train and be a part of the team.”
(Schmid mentioned you had to deal with some coaching turnover and the difficulties that came from that, how would you describe your time in Mexico?) “It was really hard, especially the team where I was at. We (played) four bad games and a new coach came in. So you play three games and a new coach came in, and he didn’t know who you were. He didn’t have anything to do with you, so he would start some other guy. It was off and on. It was really hard to keep playing. I tried my hardest at practice, but coaches decide who plays.”
(Did it wear on you?) “Yeah, it’s really difficult. It’s really, really hard. Knowing here in MLS (it’s different), that’s good for me. It’s going to be new for me, too. I’m ready for it.”
(Why did you think MLS was right for you?) “The coaching. The MLS, it’s been growing a lot since I went pro five years ago. I’ve really been wanting to come to MLS for a long time, but it just never happened. Now that it’s happened I’m really happy and excited to be here.”
(So you kept an eye on the league?) “Yeah, I always did. I kept an eye on Sigi’s teams and I know a lot of guys that I played with going back to the youth teams, California teams and ODP teams, so I’m really happy. There’s a couple of guys that I know from back home, so it’s pretty good.”
(Who are some of the guys you already know on the team?) “Ianni, Evans, I know them from the youth teams and really, really good relationship with them. It’s good to have somebody that I know from back home.”
(And the rest have been welcoming?) “The guys are really cool. All of them. They’re a good group of guys. I’m really happy to be here.”