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October 20, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Schmid on Alonso, defense, the playoffs, Rosales and more

schmid mug.jpgHere are some more highlights from coach Sigi Schmid’s group interview with the media after Thursday’s practice at Starfire:

* * *

(On Alonso taking 54 shots, second most on the team…) “That’s him. Ozzie doesn’t see very many shots that he doesn’t like. I think that’s the best way to put it. He likes to hit the ball from distance. He’s scored more goals this year, which is great. He has a good shot, so when the opportunity presents itself, as long as he’s hitting them at the right times, we’re happy with it.”

(On the importance of getting a shutout…) “I think our last few goals that we’ve given up, they’re what I called the other night soft goals. We want to eliminate that. We want to eliminate those kinds of errors and those kinds of decisions. I think everything tightens up when you get in the playoffs. It becomes more difficult to find space, everybody’s concentration on the defensive end of the field is a little bit better, everybody’s intensity is a little bit higher — so it makes it harder. But I’m confident that we can score. You look at what we’ve done throughout the season and you look at our goal-scoring compared to teams in the league and it’s a matter of giving up a goal less here or there and I think we’ll be fine.”

(On what he wants to see from his team Saturday…) “Obviously we’ve been a good road team and we’ll need to be a good road team in the playoffs. … Playing at the Home Depot (Center) is a field that hopefully we’ll be playing on again, so playing well on that field is just another thing that will serve well for our memories. The main thing is continuing to be a good road team.”

(Did it seem like there was more intensity or a chippiness in practice today?) “No. We had a film session before practice and we tried to point out some things. We want to make sure the guys are ready to ratchet it up a level because that’s what you go to do. It’s not like we’ve got to change anything drastically. It’s just that we’ve got to be a little sharper, a little more alert, a little more intense and I want to make sure we got that part of it right.”

(On the playoff structure…) “The playoffs are the way they are. We can argue about, ‘Is it structured the right way? Should it be seeded all the way 1 through 10?’ Those are all things that you guys can discuss. At the end of the day, these are the rules that I’m faced with as a coach, so that’s what we’ve got to be prepared to do. Even though the top three teams are going to play off against each other and knock each other out, that’s the way it is so we have to live with it.”

(Without having to tell us, do you in your own mind have a preference as to which team you want to play in the first round?) “No. I never have a preference. I learned that a long time ago. It happened to me at UCLA. I said I hope we play these guys … and we ended up playing the other guys and for some reason, I’m sure there was something in my constitution that the team noticed, and as a result there was a little bit of fear. For me, it doesn’t matter. I feel confident no matter what team we play and to win a championship you’ve got to beat everyone along the way, so it doesn’t matter.”

(Is Mauro Rosales continuing to improve after his substitute appearance?) “Yeah. His substitute appearance went well and our decision was just not to push it. We felt it was better for him to get two solid days of training in prior to the Monterrey game — so he could have a solid day of training on Monday, a solid day of training on Tuesday. We thought that was going to be better to make sure that we can regain his fitness, build his fitness as we go into the playoffs, but he’s ready to go for Saturday.”

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