I wasn’t able to attend Wednesday’s practice — I was covering the Mariners game — but here is video of coach Sigi Schmid‘s group interview.
A couple notes (full transcript after the jump):
— Schmid said the team would be shorthanded coming back from Columbus, an indication of call-ups for World Cup qualifying that could include Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans.
— Obafemi Martins will undergo an MRI on his ankle, which hasn’t been improving as quickly as the team would like. Schmid said he did show improvement Wednesday. They don’t want to rush him back due to upcoming absences mentioned in the previous note.
— Asked about Pa Modou Kah‘s trash talk at the expense of Dempsey, Schmid said: “Who’s Kah?” When the reporter explained, Schmid said: “Oh, OK. Did he play anywhere? Has he played in any leagues? … That’s my only comment.”
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(On the team responding after such an emotional victory…) “We have to forget about it and move on. I think that coach Wooden said that sometimes after a big game you have a down game that follows it. So it’s important for us to recover emotionally as well as physically because those derby games with Portland and Vancouver are really emotional games. Again, we want to continue to climb the latter. We know that getting three points on the road here can be very important for us. We know that their top player [Federico] Higuain is not going to be able to be involved in this particular game, so we have to take advantage of that if we can.”
(On how important getting three points on the road would be…) “Well three points at home and three points on the road are very important. We want to get more home points than we’ve gotten in years past and we’re moving towards that goal. Now it’s a matter of us getting at least as many road points as we’ve gotten in the past. We need to up the ante there and we need to win some games there on the road. Especially because when we come home we’re going to be missing some players. It’s an important game, but we try to approach every game with the same attitude and the same idea of trying to win the game.”
(On Michael Gspurning’s performance last Sunday…) “Well it was great for him to play a real match, but it was also good for our team to play a good match defensively. I thought that we were much better, and one of the things that we talked to him about was how in the Houston game our midfield really didn’t recover all that greatly, and in the Portland game that changed. I think that we had something like 27 more recoveries than we had in the Houston game. So it showed that our midfield as a whole was working harder to close things down, we were winning the ball back sooner, and when you do that that leads to offense. We knew, and we talked about this after Houston, that at the end of the day that giving up three goals on the road is not going to win us a championship. We just have to tighten up things defensively. Michael (Gspurning) had some good saves, obviously he had a good save against Ryan Johnson, but we obviously played better defense.”
(On Obafemi Martin’s health…) “We’ll see. I thought that his movement was better today in practice. This afternoon we’re going to MRI the ankle just to make sure, but I think that overall he’s coming along not maybe as fast as we would have liked, but definitely I thought that there was some improvement today.”
(On if Obafemi Martin’s is able to use his foot…) “Yeah we just tried to keep him off of it over the weekend. So today, he played in the possession game and hit balls with his left foot. So that was much improved and much better.”
(On if there is less pressure to bring him back because of all the talent…) “Well we need him to get healthy. Like I said we’re going to have some guys missing after the Columbus game so we’re going to have to get him healthy. We have to be smart about it, and we can’t throw him into a game too early because he can reinjure himself. When we’re missing those other guys having Obafemi (Martins) is going to be extremely important for us.”
(On trash talking…) “You try not to give an opponent bulletin board material. There’s some trash talking on the field that was going on. Sometimes you hear it, sometimes you don’t. Sometimes it’s quietly done, sometimes it’s done maybe a little more vocally or a little more of the bodies, when the arms start flailing. You can tell what’s going on. At the end of the day, boys will be boys. There are going to try and get under each other’s skin a little bit. Sometimes it helps you defend better if you feel that can throw somebody off of their game, if somebody gets affected by it. So for players, that’s a tactic they like to use.”
(On the fans…) “I mean it’s fantastic. They buried all of themselves in that whole section, I think it was the biggest ever, in terms of the amount of sections that it took up. Our fans are amazing you know? It’s something that’s going to be shown around the world. [Brad] Evans claims that it was a shadow, but I still think that it’s a cheesy mustache. But he said that it was a shadow under there. So we’ll argue about that all season.”
(On the feeling of going back to Crew Stadium…) “I always have a good feeling there. Obviously I had three years there and it culminated with an MLS Cup. So there’s a lot of happy memories there. There are still a lot of people who work in that organization that I know. From the assistant coaching side, even on the office side that are friends that are definitely there. I think the fans, I always feel comfortable with the fan’s reception has always been very good and very positive. Obviously, when the game starts, I know they are behind The Crew and they are against us. Anything I do then is up for some heavy booing. But before the game, they are always very, very good about it and what we were able to achieve in my years at Columbus.”
(On USMNT right back Brad Evans not playing right back for club and if DeAndre Yedlin has a chance at being called up…) “No because it’s happened at other places. People end up sometimes playing a different position for the National Team than they’d end up playing for their club team. I know it’s an issue that’s we’ve talked about, Jurgen [Klinsmann] has talked about. I know that Brad has talked about it as well. So I think everybody is pretty clear on the situation. Deandre [Yedlin] is a player that is on their radar. But again is 2014 too early? Too quick? That’s something that we’ve talked about before.”
(On putting themselves in a position to play in the playoffs…) “It’s always more rewarding to see yourself amongst the top 5. We still have games in hand, but you got to get the points in those games in hand and that’s what’s important there. A lot of the numbers that I look at sometimes is the points-per-game. If we can keep our points-per-game average where it’s at, then we’ll be okay and we’ll get to where we want to go. But there’s still a lot of tough games and tough opponents coming up. We still got salt lake at home. We are looking forward to that. Obviously, Chivas [FC] is in Chicago before then. But we still have LA, we still have matches there. A couple of matches there. We still have a match in Vancouver and we still have Portland. One at home and one away. There’s a lot of games to look forward to. But we want to continue to get the points and we want to stay in that grouping now.”