The Sounders put together this video down in Tucson in support of Robbie Rogers, who announced on his blog Friday that he is gay.
Other positives messages have come from Kasey Keller, Marc Burch, Brad Evans and Michael Gspurning on Twitter, and support has truly been worldwide. Here is some reaction from ESPN.com, SI.com and FOX Sports. Plus, don’t miss this interview with Andy Iro, a good friend and former teammate of Rogers’, from The Columbus Dispatch.
In another Sounders-related note, midfielder Mario Martinez has finally joined the team after dealing with personal matters following time with the Honduran national team.
Lastly, some team-provided quotes from coach Sigi Schmid after the jump…
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Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid
(On Saturday’s match against Real Salt Lake…) “We want to continue to play well, continue to run out some of our guys. It’s going to be a mix. Probably the majority of the starting team will play the first half and then we will play our reserves in the second. I imagine Salt Lake with throw their starters out there for like 60 minutes. It will be a tough game for us in the second half because we will have a lot of young guys playing against some experienced guys. It’s going to be a good test for them.”
(On having played on Wednesday…) “We obviously expect to continue to improve. I thought the practice today was good. I thought the movement of the ball was good. Hopefully that will get better and better. But what we have got to do too is get rhythm down for our guys who are starting, try to get them enough minutes in preparation because we have a game March 2 and we have a game against Tigres right after that.”
(On Mario Martinez joining training camp…) “Mario is a skillful player. He can do certain things. You put him into a possession game at the start like we were playing eight against two and he just doesn’t get caught with the ball. […] He adds a dimension to our team just like the goal he scored last year against Salt Lake. He gives us another quality player and somebody that adds a different dimension and he is obviously a very confident player right now.”
(On Mario Martinez playing tomorrow…) “Yes, he will get some time. He just got in today. We will see how he feels tomorrow. He really hasn’t been with the group at all so we are probably not going to put him with the first team, probably let him play more in the second half with the reserves. Hopefully he will help that group out a little bit by keeping possession. He’s a guy who is going to be in our starting lineup or playing a lot of minutes.”
(On today’s training session…) “Today what we were trying to do was just continue our ball movement, make sure we make good passes. And in the 11v11 we were just looking for a little bit of possession and timing of playing balls in behind. I was pleased with a couple balls that found Eddie [Johnson] a couple times through. There were a couple times where Steve [Zakuani] got down the flank. There were times where David Estrada came through in the middle and combined again outside. So I thought it was good at times.”
(On a change in philosophy this season…) “When you play David [Estrada] up front there is obviously a little bit more movement so it changes a little bit so we don’t have that hold-up play that we got with Fredy [Montero]. But we also have more movement so it puts the opposition in a little bit of an uncomfortable situation. It’s like you gain something, you lose something. It’s not an absolute. In certain games we would rather have the hold-up play and in certain games we would rather have the movement.”