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May 5, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Sounders FC’s Djimi Traore: ‘We know we can score any time.’

Sounders FC defender Djimi Traore spoke with reporters for a few minutes after Monday’s practice. The interview came moments before the big center-back went inside to watch his former team, Liverpool, play a big Premier League game.

The chat covered an array of topics, and here is a transcript:

*     *     *

(Are we going to see more attacking runs from you after the one we saw Saturday?) “Nooo. (laughs) … I saw the opportunity to go forward, you know? I think we were like 1-0 down and I tried to bring something.”

(Did you think you might’ve earned a PK?) “No, but when you go forward like that, you need to win something. Normally in training when I do it, I try to win something and make something positive.”

(Did it feel like a throwback to earlier in your career?) “Yeah, it’s a reason why all the players were making fun, especially DeAndre. Even at halftime you could see we have a great atmosphere in the dressing room because we were 1-0 down … and players were still making jokes. I think that’s the kind of thing you can see as a difference between last year and this season — the bonding between the players and things like that. I think we’re doing very well this year.”

(Do you think it says something about the team how the players made the decision to have Alonso take the PK and then rallying around the miss?) “Yes. The thing is Ozzie is not like a young player or rookie coming to step in to take the PK. It’s someone very important for the team. … It’s not like the World Cup final or something like that. It was a great opportunity for him to score, unfortunately he missed, but you can see the response of the team. At halftime we said we’d do it for him, which shows the character of the team.”

(What was it like seeing your CB partner Chad Marshall get some glory?) “He deserves it. From the beginning of the season, he’s worked hard for the team. I think that goal makes people see him more, but his performances since the beginning of the season have been very solid. I’m so pleased for him because he’s very (good) when he’s up front. The last two games before he had two assists. He scored, so it’s good for us and good for the rest of the season.”

(The defense hasn’t kept a clean sheet in a while. How have you felt about the performance in the back?) “For us, to be honest, the most important thing is to win the game. Of course, when you’re a defender, you don’t like to concede goals, and the past few goals we’ve conceded has sometimes been like silly mistakes. … The thing is we know we can score any time; that’s the reason we try to defend well. When you’re defender, even when you’re 1-0 down, we always try not to concede one more goal because we know we can score goals.”

(As an old left back, what would you think of playing there if asked when Leo and Dylan hurt?) “I can do it. If the coach needs my help at that position, I can do it. To be honest, we have a lot of good players on the bench, as well. Brad can play that position. Zach Scott did it last year and did very well. We have a lot of options.”

(That was a rare time to see Brad as your left back. How do you think he did?) “I know his strengths. Brad can play anywhere on the team; he can play anywhere on the pitch. Even center back, he can play. I’m not sure about goalkeeper (laughs) … but the rest, he can do it. That’s one of his main strengths: he can play anywhere and he will do the job and do it well. For him, it was like big things, because he was back. It was the first time he started since his injury, and he showed like his character, he showed he’s the captain of the team, and he did well.”

(Is it easier to come back on short rest after a win?) “It’s easier when you win. … It’s easier to come and play. You feel more relaxed. But for us, it’s a big game. We know Dallas when we played there, it was tough for us. We won 3-2, but it was a tough game. It’s a little bit of revenge for them, and for us, we want to stay at the top of the table. We know what we need to do and try to keep doing to do that job.”

| More in Sounders FC, Stop and chats

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