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April 10, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Schmid on Tuesday’s reserve game: “It’s Portland. What more do you have to say?”

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Cascadia rivalry action takes to the MLS Reserve League on Tuesday night, when Sounders FC hosts Portland at 7 p.m. at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. Parking is $5 (free with a Starfire membership).

When asked what fans can expect, Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said: “It’s Portland. What more do you have to say?”

“I don’t care if it’s first team or reserve team, there’s always a tremendous desire to win,” Schmid continued. “The rivalry exists even on the reserve team level, so (fans) are going to come. It’s also an opportunity for them to see Eddie Johnson get some minutes. It’s an opportunity for them to see Cordell Cato, who we think can get 45 minutes, as well, in the second half for Eddie. I think (Cato’s ankle injury) is behind him a little bit now; he’s an exciting player to watch. It’s an opportunity for people to see (Alex) Caskey, to see why we’ve been high on him, because of what he did in the reserve game in Vancouver. They’ll get an opportunity to see him play, see an Andy Rose play, see a lot of the guys play that they haven’t seen play yet — Andrew Duran.

“So there’s a lot of guys that are going to be out there that our fans really haven’t been exposed to yet. To see them in a competitive rivalry game like Portland is great for us as coaches because we get to assess them in a pretty intense situation that lets you know who’s going to rise to the occasion when the games are tough.”

So will Schmid be there to observe or to coach?

“I’m definitely there to observe,” he said. “The Vancouver game in Vancouver was the first reserve game I’ve missed. I always want to see the reserve games. We’ve got two in L.A. after this and I’m flying down for both of them. It’s always important for me to watch them play. I let (assistant coach Ezra Hendrickson) coach it. I have to admit that I do go down right before halftime and give him what some of my thoughts are. I don’t interfere in the pregame talk; I don’t interfere in the halftime talk. I let him take care of that. I will, obviously, talk to guys individually after the match.”

So who picks the lineup?

“We go over the lineup together — all the coaching staff, just like the first-team lineup,” Schmid said. “We talk about it; we go over it together. (Hendrickson) doesn’t have veto power unfortunately on that lineup because I still retain my veto power, even when it’s the reserve team. He sort of sets the first lineup, and then we talk about it, and then we see about making any changes. Sometimes I want to see something that makes it difficult for him sometimes, because it’s maybe contrary to what you’d want to do if you were just going out to win the game. But I’ll want to see a certain guy in a certain position or something like that. That will happen in tomorrow’s game: I want to see a guy play a certain position. That means somebody’s not going to play who might’ve played.”

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Here’s a good video preview from SoundersFC.com:

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