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October 20, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Coach Sigi Schmid talks about his suspension, referee Ricardo Salazar and more

schmid mug.jpgSounders FC coach Sigi Schmid was in seemingly good spirit the day after he was suspended a game and fined $2,000 for comments directed at referee Ricardo Salazar during and after Wednesday’s 0-0 tie.

As media members huddled around him, he first put his hands in the air, then turned around and put them behind his back and joked, “Am I under arrest?”

He then went on to talk about the suspension, Salazar and more. Here is the transcript:

* * *

(Any thoughts on assistant coach Brian Schmetzer being in charge of Sunday’s game?) “No issues. Brian and me have worked together now for four years. We have a good relationship, a good understanding. Sometimes we have trouble deciphering whether great minds think alike or fools seldom differ — we all know which it is at times — but I think our thought processes are pretty similar and I’m very confident in his ability to get across the message to the team that he needs to get across to them.”

(Did the punishment surprise you?) “I was hoping it would just be a fine, that it wouldn’t include a suspension, but obviously they decided to include a suspension. I probably went too far in my comments. Anytime you do something like that obviously you have to recognize that you have to take the punishment that comes with it, which we’re willing to do, but hopefully at the same time also it manages a little closer look at certain facets of the game.”

(Fans have offered to pay your fine…) “I appreciate that and it’s great that the support of the fans is so good. I’d rather have them donate that money to charity. They can do that and I think that’d be great. On behalf of the Sounders, I’ll take care of it. I’m the one who did it. I want our fans to know that I appreciate their support with that and I appreciate the feelings in the game, as well. The one thing I want to make sure they all understand, too, is that as a coach and as a team, we don’t walk around trying to blame our results on the referee or try to blame a bad result and say, ‘Oh, the referee cost us this time.’ We know that’s part of the game and we have to deal with it. Sometimes it’s in a positive light for us. Sometimes it’s in a negative light. But either way, it’s part of the game and we have to deal with it, and we never blame the referee. We know that we’re responsible at the end of the day for Wednesday.”

(Did we hear you’ll be marching to the match?) “Possibly. Possibly. I’d like to sit in with the ECS and sit in there and be underneath a tifo or something like that or wave a flag, but they say I can’t sit in the grandstands, so I’m not allowed to do that or else I would definitely be up there. I don’t think I can do the Frankie Hejduk, when he was suspended for me in Columbus, and chug a beer on the back of a truck with the fans outside before the game. I probably wouldn’t even be able to chug a beer anymore — I don’t know. But no, it’d be great. I’ve never been to the March to the Match, so I figured this might be a good occasion to be able to get out there and see how that is, because it always looks fantastic and exciting. It’s Fan Appreciation Day, it’s our last regular-season home game, so from that standpoint trying to get a positive out of the day.”

(Are their restrictions on your communication with Brian during the game?) “Technically yes. (laughs) … I just thought it was interesting when we played San Jose and Frank Yallop was suspended, all their coaches happened to be wearing earpieces, which I thought was interesting. No, we’re not supposed to be in communication with each other. Again, like I said, we’ve talked, we’ve gone over the game plan, we’ll do the same preparation we do now, we’ll talk before the game and I feel confident in what he’s going to say to the team and how he views the game.”

(What are the rules?) “I have to sit in a private area. I can’t sit in the press box, I can’t sit in the grandstands and I can’t go into the locker room until after the game.”

(Is this your first suspension?) “No, I was suspended once in Columbus — once with each franchise. Once in LA, once in Columbus, so I try to keep it to one per franchise. The Columbus one was interesting because I had a terrible box they put me in, where I couldn’t see a part of the field. I had to stand up to see part of the field, but it was the only thing available because we were playing the Galaxy that night and I think Crew Stadium was sold out. So we were able to get a win I think that night and in LA, I think, as well.”

(It certainly feels personal with the Sounders when it comes to Ricardo Salazar. Do you sense at all that it’s personal with him against you?) “No, I’m not going to say that. I certainly have to admit at times when I see his name as the referee, it’s sort of like a red flag goes up in front of me, and I have to get over that. I have to be able to put that aside. But I don’t think any referee in this league would go into a game harboring ill will or ill feelings toward a team.”

(How tough is it going to be not being down there?) “It’s always tough not being down on the field. I’ve been down on the field so often over the years that it’s a place to let your emotions come out and everything else. Being up in the press box, being that far away, I’m probably not going to be a lot of fun to sit with. I apologize to all the people in advance that might be sitting near me.”

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