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August 30, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Schmid: Obafemi Martins, Shalrie Joseph didn’t travel to Columbus due to injury

schmid mugSounders FC coach Sigi Schmid spoke with local reporters on a conference call Friday and covered a number of topics from the Crew marketing Clint Dempsey’s arrival to approach a sellout, injury updates on Obafemi Martins and Shalrie Joseph, avoiding hangover games, a solution to conflicts with the USMNT and more.

Here is a full transcript:

*     *     *

(What do you make of the Crew using Clint Dempsey in marketing this week to sell tickets? Is that good for the league? Ideally, would it be better for teams to pitch their own players and product?) “No, I think it’s good for the league. I don’t think it’s anything unusual from anything in the past. The first years of the league you had guys like Carlos Valderrama and Jorge Campos and Roberto Donadoni and players of that caliber selling the league. Recently, obviously you’ve had a David Beckham doing that. Robbie Keane certainly sells some tickets for L.A.; there are people that want to see him play. Clint is part of that group along with Landon Donovan and some others, so I think whatever sells tickets and gets people into the stands to see our game and to see our sport and our guys, I think once they come there’s a chance they’ll come back again, so it’s a good thing.”

(Any updates on the availability of Shalrie Joseph and Obafemi Martins?) “Yeah, Shalrie and Obafemi both are not with us, so they’re not going to be able to play tomorrow.”

(What were the takeaways from Martins’ MRI this week?) “Just a regular sprained ankle. Nothing beyond that. But it was swollen, it was still bothersome to him, and we felt that it was important that we make sure he’s right for those games when we don’t have the national team players, when we lose Eddie, Clint and Brad. So I made the decision to leave him at home to make sure that he’s right for Wednesday.”

(What is your scouting report of the Crew?) “I think Columbus is a team that this is an important game for them. They’re disappointed in their result last week, I’m sure. They’re a little bit harder to figure out this week because with Higuain out, how are they going to change? Are they going to go a 4-4-2? Are they going to play another forward next to Arrieta? Are they going to stay in sort of the same 4-5-1 formation that they’ve played? Those things are all up in the air a little bit. Certainly Oduro’s speed always poses a problem. Arrieta is a good goal-poacher and has been that for them. Defensively, Chad Marshall is a solid player and he’s also very effective on set pieces.”

(Do you know when Joseph and Martins will be back?) “Shalrie has an MCL sprain, so I don’t know how long he’ll be. Our hope is that Oba will be ready to go on Wednesday.”

(Is there anything you can do to avoid a hangover game or do you mainly have to hope it just doesn’t happen?) “The ideal thing is you hope it doesn’t happen, but it’s just emotionally guys have to get into it. Addressing the issue is probably the best thing so that there’s an awareness of it. When you’re aware of something, it’s easier for you to tackle it and address it. Sometimes it takes that first kick or the first shock in a game or something to happen that get juices flowing again, but hopefully our character is strong enough that it’s not going to take that, that we’ll be able to be prepared and ready to go. I think our team physically is recovered and emotionally we need to make sure we’re ready.”

(When it comes to all these missed games due to international duty, is there are solution is trying to fit all the MLS and USMNT games into one year?) “The solution is what they do in the leagues in Europe: obviously they don’t play on the weekend of those games. It’s only really in the CONCACAF region that some leagues continue to play. If you’re looking at European leagues, the Bundesliga is not going to play games when the German national team is playing, and neither is England. From that standpoint, missing players doesn’t become an issue. For us, they would’ve missed one game, but because of the rescheduled game with Chivas due to Champions League, when the league did that for us, now it turns out that they’re going to miss two games. It was originally down to one. But until the league gets into a situation that they feel midweek games can draw, our situation is that the clubs in the league don’t draw as well for midweek games, and as a result of that clubs try to avoid those, so once we get to a point where midweek games draw as well as weekend games, then you can schedule more midweek games and you can open up the weekends of international fixture dates. Either that or a bigger TV contract and a new TV contract that allows you to open up those fixture dates, as well.”

(Any thoughts on Pa Modou Kah avoiding punishment in the league’s announcement of supplemental discipline this week?) “I know Kah is missing the game tonight. I don’t know if the league has bypassed any other action or if they just haven’t announced it or where it stands. Maybe they felt it wasn’t that bad. I don’t know. That’s up to the league and the disciplinary committee.”

| More in Sounders FC, Stop and chats

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