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March 31, 2013 at 12:14 PM

A fuming coach Sigi Schmid talks about a ‘disease’ that’s ‘infecting’ the Sounders

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Here is more from Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid following what was an embarrassing road loss Saturday to Real Salt Lake, which prompted a 15-minute team meeting in the visiting locker room at Rio Tinto Stadium following the defeat:

*     *     *

Comments on the game

“Just not pleased. I’m not pleased with myself — I have to start with myself — because obviously we didn’t play well at the beginning of the game. I have some feeling about individual players, I’ll keep those to myself right now, but I’m not pleased.”

“You have to work. At the end of the day, you have to work. You have to run with people on one-twos, you have to follow people, you have to anticipate, you have to close people down, you have to get tight to people, you have to win duels, and if you don’t want to do any of that, then it becomes a difficult game to play.”

“I thought the second half was better. I thought we competed better, and we scored a goal. It was a little bit of a fortunate one, but we scored a goal and we had some chances. But then we ran out of steam again and we ran out of ideas at that point, as well. It’s combination of different things right now, but it’s a very disappointing evening.”

“(Michael Gspurning) was all right. He did what he needed to do, but it wasn’t enough from us. You write things up, for example, on set pieces. We got beat on the one corner, and we wrote up on the (board) who we wanted to go out on the short corner. And for some reason in the game, different people go out there. At halftime, we blasted them for it. It’s like why are we putting this down on paper if you’re not going to follow it? Then it’s just like, ‘Let’s just invent it ourselves.’ Players have to take hold of the game themselves and make decisions, and if you make a decisions — “OK, I’m doing this for this reason because this is a better situation now,” or, “This is a better way for us to deal with this situation,” — I’ve got no problems with that, because that’s what the game is all about. But when you’re making independent decisions and they’re not good ones, then it’s a problem.”

On moving forward

“Maybe some is changing personnel. Some of the stuff going forward is continuing to improve how we play. I thought we made a step forward in the San Jose game. We played with decent effort and intensity and vigor and we were involved, and today we’re standing there. There was one play in the second half where you got two guys raising their hands for a ball out of bounds, and the ball is in bounds by two yards. It’s because they want to stop playing. Those were two guys who compete and fight very hard for us, but it’s a disease right now that’s infecting all of us, and we’ve got to take a major antibiotic.”

“It’s going to be a tough game (against Santos Laguna) because it comes up Tuesday, and we spent a lot of energy today trying to chase this game. There are a lot of guys who have to play that next game who did put in a good effort, so it’s going to be really taxing on them. We’ll see how it gets put together at the end of the day. We’ll see how (Obafemi Martins) is because he went into the game with a little bit of an injury and he gutted it out for us, which shows me that he’s got some character and wants to be battle for the team. But we’ll have to evaluate some things.”

“I think there’s got to be a lot of soul-searching done in that locker room and with us as a staff, as well.”

On this “disease” infecting the team

“We’re picking and choosing at times when to play. And we have moments in the game where three or four guys are involved and some other guys aren’t involved. Then some other guys get involved and some of others guys aren’t involved. We have yet to get where 11 guys are involved for 90 minutes all the times.”

“A lot of that is attitude, but it’s training. We have to get it out of them. It’s a little bit of leadership when the game is going on. It’s anticipating what’s going to happen. It’s reading the game. You can’t stand there when a player hits a one-two and let him run past you, and then hold up your hand and hope it’s offsides — especially when everybody does it. When a guy runs on a one-two, you get a little bit of a bump in. If you can’t get a bump in, then obviously something is wrong.”

On Obafemi Martins

“We tested him before the game. There was a thing that he said bothers him, but he thinks he can play through it. So we’ll do further tests when we get back to Seattle and see what it is, but it’s something that bothered him last week when he played for Nigeria and has lingered on.”

“Not quite sure what it is yet.”

“(His first start) was OK. He can play better than he did because he wasn’t fully 100 percent. I know he had the good chance on Rimando in the first half, and I think a 100-percent Oba buries that.”

On other personnel issues

“(Eddie Johnson) got stepped on. He’s got a bad toe and he got stepped on right on that toe and felt he couldn’t really run after that.

“(Shalrie Joseph) wasn’t ready.”

On fielding a strong lineup with Tuesday’s CCL game coming up

“Guys should be able to play two games in a week. If they can’t play two games a week then maybe there is something wrong with what we are doing fitness-wise or what they are doing fitness-wise.”

On if the attack-minded players are doing enough on defense

“The team plays defense together and there wasn’t enough team defense overall.”

On if he was surprised the Sounders offense didn’t do more early

“Not the way we were playing. Like I said, we were lucky we weren’t down early off in the game because we weren’t playing well and they were playing well. We weren’t running with people. At the end of the day, you have got to keep the ball. And in order to keep the ball, you have got to get the ball. So if you don’t go and get the ball, you’re not going to be able to keep the ball.”

“The effort was better in the second half, but by then it was too late.”

On if spirit is becoming an issue

“It’s not spirit. It’s concentration.”

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