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April 25, 2012 at 11:57 PM

A stop and chat with Sammy Ochoa

ochoa mug 2012.jpgForward Sammy Ochoa hasn’t had much of an impact to start the 2012 season, but that could stand to change soon. He’s fitter, he’s working harder and he scored a couple goals in Monday’s MLS Reserve Game at Chivas USA, leading the Sounders to a 4-3 win. Reporters got a chance to catch up with Ochoa after Wednesday’s practice and here is the transcript of that conversation:

* * *

(How was it going back home to Southern California for Monday’s reserve game?) “Good. After we lost against L.A., we had to get back there and try to get the win against Chivas — and we did.”

(And your brother, Armando, was on the bench for your guys?) “Yeah, he was there for L.A. and Chivas. But he didn’t play. It was nice seeing him there, but it would’ve been nice to play with him.”

(How did that come about?) “Ezra asked me if I knew any players (that could play). I said, ‘Well, my brother’s available,’ so that’s why he was there.”

(Any rooting section of friends or family?) “No. It’s because it was on a Monday and a lot of people work on Monday, so it was just my brothers and a couple of friends. My parents had to work, so they couldn’t go.”

(How’d it feel to get on the score sheet with a couple goals?) “It felt pretty good. Getting that first goal is always the hardest goal to get. I think after the first goal the rest will come. I got two so hopefully I can keep scoring.”

(Do you think that might help you see more time in the rotation?) “Yeah, I think so. Scoring goals helps you out a lot as a forward. I just have to keep playing the way I’m playing and hopefully score a couple more goals.”

(How do you feel the first part of the season has gone?) “I felt we’ve been doing good, but we haven’t been scoring a lot. Our forwards haven’t been scoring a lot — just David has the four goals. As forwards, we’re the ones who’ve got to step up and score. Getting those two goals helps me out a lot; it helps out the team, too. Hopefully we keep scoring goals in the next game.”

(Have you been frustrated or disappointed you haven’t seen more time?) “You always want to be out there playing and being with the starting 11, but you’ve got to keep working. (Coach Sigi Schmid) is the one that decides who plays and he’s the one who decides who’s doing better at practice. You’ve just got to keep working and hopefully I get more chances.”

(How’s your fitness?) “I feel a lot better. Playing those 90-minute games helps you a lot. It’s not the same — practicing and playing full games. You’ve got to get game fit, so keeping playing those games and those friendlies we have helps me out a lot. I think I’m getting along and being there with the team. I’ve got to keep working.”

(Is that what you went and checked after practice — your data off the GPS tracking?) “Yeah, I’ve got to check that — see (how I did in) the warm-up, the 5v5 and in between. It just gives you how much you work during practice. It’s good, but sometimes you see the low numbers and you’re like, ‘Oh, I wasn’t working,’ so the next day you’ve got to come and work harder.”

(You had a busier preseason than most with the birth of your second child. Did that make it harder to build fitness?) “Yeah, a little bit. You don’t get the same rest as you do (normally), because the baby doesn’t let you sleep at night. Now as soon as he gets older, you get more sleep. (laughs) … I think it’s a lot better when they’re older because you get that rest you need. Then there are the trips and you get to sleep in, so I take advantage of that.”

(Was it tough not to feel passed over when you saw the preseason trade for Eddie Johnson and the early season run of David Estrada?) “When I saw the trade, and saw Mike (Fucito) leave, it was hard for everybody. Eddie’s a good player and he’s helping out the team a lot. Estrada is doing great. It’s good competition for everybody. Yeah, you’re mad because you’re not playing, but the team’s winning. It’s working, so you’ve got to keep working, and hopefully you get your chance and do the best you can when you do.”

(Do you think the upcoming busy stretch will provide you more opportunities?) “Yeah, we have a lot of games, so hopefully I get my playing time. But you’ve just keep working during the week, and Sigi decides who plays.”

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