Sounders FC’s head coach Sigi Schmid was also a part of the team’s end-of-the-year news conference Tuesday, and the first question he was asked was to review the season — particularly what he was satisfied and/or dissatisfied with.
Like GM Adrian Hanauer in the previous post, Schmid’s answer was quite thorough:
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“Obviously we always set our goals at a very high level, so we’re always a little bit dissatisfied when we don’t achieve those very lofty goals. But those goals are also within our reach.
“In terms of things I was happy with, I was happy with the fact that I thought defensively as a whole we were a tougher to play against — with maybe one exception there in that one game — but I thought we improved defensively. We were good that way. It was major concern going into the season how we were going to replace an icon like Kasey Keller, and I think we made a tremendous choice in Michael Gspurning. I think he was fantastic not only on the field, but in the locker room and off the field. He was a really good addition for us. So that’s something I think we came up well with.
“Offensively, I think we had five less goals than we had last year, so our offensive production stayed pretty comparable to where we were last year. We had less production in terms of goals from our flank players, but a little bit of that had to do with injuries and guys not being in form as they were in the year before, where Fernandez had gotten us goals, and Steve Zakuani had gotten us goals the year before that.
“But overall when I look at it, I say to myself, too, we’re a team that in the playoffs this year went 2-1-1. We won two games, we lost one, we tied one — so we had a positive record. Last year in the playoffs we were 1-1. Unfortunately the one loss in both years was by a big goal-margin, and that’s something we have to eliminate.
“Every year — and no offense to the Cascadia Cup, because I know it’s very important to our fans, and it’s important to our team — but you really play for three big trophies each year, and that’s MLS Cup, that’s U.S. Open Cup and you also play for the CONCACAF Champions tournament. So in our four years of existence, we’ve been in 11 of those tournaments, we’ve won three trophies, and we’ve lost in the final in one, as well. There’s no other team in the league that’s won three trophies in that same amount of time. Is the MLS Cup more important? Yes, to a certain extent, and that’s the trophy we would want. So maybe L.A., if they win again on (Saturday), having two MLS Cups in that period of time makes them a little more productive than us.
“But overall I’ve been really pleased with what we’ve done over the four years. Our record is the second-best record over that time. We have the second-best goal production over that period of time, behind in L.A. in both. Obviously there’s still another level for us to get to, but I think we’re within view of the summit. This is going to be a difficult offseason with the cap constraints, and with what we have to look at, and possible changes that always come in the offseason, but it’s one that I think we’ll get through, and we’ll make decisions that we think are best for the team, and we’ll put a very competitive team on the field again next year.”