Follow us:

Sounders FC

Daily coverage of Seattle Sounders FC, MLS and world soccer.

October 27, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Sigi Schmid on Sunday’s game, the CCL quarterfinals, playoff preparation and more

schmid chat.jpgPhoto credit: Bettina Hansen, The Seattle Times

Here are some final thoughts from Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid before Sunday’s road game against the Los Angeles Galaxy…

* * *

(On drawing Tigres in the CCL quarterfinals…) “Tigres. March. Long time. We’ll talk about them later. … You never know who you’re going to meet in that kind of competition. Obviously, you try and avoid a Mexican team if at all possible, but it is what it is, and if we want to win the competition, we have to win against a team like that and in games like that. We just have to take it as it comes. We have the second game at home, so that will be nice, and we know now who we play, which is nice. We know what the dates are so we can establish our preseason schedule.”

(Do you know the dates of the CCL first round?) “The first round is anywhere from the Tuesday to the Thursday, but we know what week it’s in and we know what week the second round’s in.”

(Will preparation in preseason for next year’s CCL quarterfinals be similar to how it was this year?) “We’ll talk about that. We’ll talk if that was the right way to do it. We’re already committed to the Tucson Cup, but they know that there was a possibility that we wanted to get an extra game in that period of time, so that works out anyway because in preseason you have enough to field two teams. Maybe one team plays one game and another team plays another game, so we’ll have to work that out in terms of playing some teams that play a Latin style.”

(What’s the attitude of the team going into the game at LA on Sunday?) “For us, the goal — as I’ve said — is to finish in second, so we’ll have an idea because we’ll know the Salt Lake score before as to what we need to do. But we know that if we win we’re definitely in second … and second place means obviously we get the second game at home in that first series. It’s also a point thing, where we want to win the Western Conference (in the playoffs), and if we can win the Western Conference and say, for example, that Kansas City gets knocked off in the East, then that point total gives a chance to maybe host (MLS Cup). So it’s important for a number of reasons. Probably the most important thing is just for our guys to stay in a rhythm. You don’t want to go, necessarily, two weeks without playing a game if you can avoid it. Especially when other teams are playing, so you want to make sure you stay in a regular rhythm.”

(Will the RSL score affect how you approach Sunday’s game at all?) “No.”

(Do you have a feeling about whether you’d rather play the first or second leg of the playoff series at home?) “Doesn’t matter. Whichever way the first series works out, we’re going to take it as it comes. And whichever way the second series is, we’re going to take it as it comes. We know we have one at home; we know we have one away. We know we want to win at home and we want to get something on the road. If we win at home and get something on the road, we advance. It doesn’t matter what order that comes in.”

(Is there something you want to accomplish in the LA game to prepare for playoffs?) “(We) just want to continue to do what we’re doing — concentrate on our possession when we have the ball, concentrate on our defending as a group, continue to defend well. I know we gave up a goal against Dallas, but we’re only giving up I think one goal in our last four or five games. We have to continue to work on that — that we have a good reaction in transition offensively and defensively.”

(What do you expect to see from the LA Galaxy?) “It’s a little bit hard. I heard that their play-in game is going to be Thursday, not Wednesday, so I guess [coach Bruce Arena] has a little more time now. Thursday through Sunday is a shorter turnaround than Sunday through Thursday, so we’re going to see more of his first team. I don’t know if he’s going to play guys who have a little bit of knocks. Is he going to play [Landon] Donovan? Is he going to play [David] Beckham? I really don’t know. He’s probably thinking the same thing. He wants his guys to stay in rhythm — he doesn’t want their last game to have been a week ago or ten days before they play. I think he’s going to be cautious as to who he plays, but I think you’re going to see a lot more of a first-choice lineup than what he put out against Metapan.”

(Is attention divided in any way in preparing for LA and RSL?) “You have to approach the playoffs like you approach the regular season — you approach it one game at a time. All of a sudden now to go, ‘Oh, we need to prepare 10 days for Salt Lake to make that happen.’ No. Every day we prepare to be a better team and to play well. Playing well and being a good team is what’s going to help us defeat Salt Lake. We have to aware of what we’re doing and take care of our game. Obviously, as a coaching staff, we’re already looking at Salt Lake; we’re already preparing ourselves, looking at old games and things like that, but that’s us. Right now, the players need to be focused on LA.”

(The playoffs have been somewhere on the mind of the team for 10 months now since the start of camp. Do you start to see anything different from the group around this time?) “Today the spirit was up — I thought maybe because of the rain and so forth. The movement of the ball was really good at practice. But it’s more workmanlike. They know we’re about to enter the second season, the real season, the business part of the season. We’ve got to get down to business and that starts after Sunday. But we’ve got one more business to take care of before we get to there.”

(How is Andy Rose?) “He won’t go on Sunday. We won’t take him to LA. We knew we took a chance playing him on Wednesday, because he had a little bit of a strain. But he’s feeling much better today. We just wanted to be cautious with him today and tomorrow, and he should back into training on Tuesday.”

(How do you think the group is doing physically?) “We’re OK — as well as we can be at this stage. Leo’s continuing to make progress and Patrick’s making progress. Again, we hope both of them will be able to enter into training at the beginning of next week, as well.”

(It was the season finale last year at The Home Depot Center where Mauro Rosales suffered that injury that kept him out of the playoffs. Does that come to mind at all?) “That was Chivas though, wasn’t it? Ben Zemanski. Never forget a face. It’s something that happens. When you play, there’s always the risk that something might happen. When you don’t play, something could happen at practice. You don’t know. You can’t go into the game with fear or anything like that. You just go out there to play. We’ve got to make sure we stay sharp, and that’s the important thing for us.”


No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.

The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►