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March 6, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Sigi Schmid on the new additions, the old turf and some injury updates

A lot of Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid‘s interview after Thursday practice centered on Clint Dempsey, but a few other topics came up. Here is a quick transcript of some of those questions:

*     *     *

(What can you tell us about the new additions?) “Obviously we’re happy about them. With Gonzo Pineda, he adds a lot of experience for us in midfield. He’s technically very clean. He sees the game really well. A good personality — fits in really well with the group — so we’re happy about him, Fabio — What is he? — the irrelevant pick? The last pick? He made our team and he made our team because of his effort and he’s just like a big sponge. He wants to learn all the time. Technically, again, he’s very clean. He’s a good player, loves to play the game. He’s enthusiastic and he’s got a good future. Michael Azira is a player who played last year at Charleston. He’s a midfielder who I think can play in Ozzie’s role if needed. He can also play more attacking, as well. Sometimes he’s the kind of player on the field you don’t notice and you have to watch and you see all the little things he does to knit a team together. But he’s strong on the tackle. He’s good with the ball. … All of them are really good for the group.”

(Are you going to name a starting goalkeeper?) “Yeah, we’ll name one. He’ll be in the starting lineup on Saturday.”

(But you’re not going to tell us?) “Not going to tell it to you guys, no. It’s my little secret. It’s the only secret I’ll keep.”

(Can we ask you again tomorrow?) “You can ask me again, but I’ll tell you the same thing.”

(How is Leo Gonzalez doing?) “Leo’s doing well. He’s getting better. I think he’s really, really close. … One of the things he has is he’s a very hard, driven defender, and we still want to see that — that final little piece of his game. But he’s right there.”

(And DeAndre Yedlin is OK?) “Yedlin’s fine.”

(What do you feel about the state of the FieldTurf here as it goes into Year 3?) “It’s not as good as it was last year. It’s not as good as it was in its first year. That’s just a natural thing. It’s something that once the blades lay down, they don’t want to stand up anymore. I think our grounds crew here does a great job, and I know they’re going to do a fantastic job trying to get them back up and so forth and make it a more playable surface in regards to how soccer is concerned. So they’re going to do all that they can, and that’s all we can ask for.”

| More in Practice notes, Sounders FC, Stop and chats

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