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May 14, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Sigi Schmid on the Sounders’ 5-0 loss, defensive struggles and more

The Sounders were back in practice Wednesday for the first time since Sunday’s blowout loss against the New England Revolution. Coach Sigi Schmid met with reporters afterward, and here is a transcript of some of what he had to say:

*     *     *

(On getting over the 5-0 loss…) “It’s the only choice we have. Obviously it was one of those (games). I think their first two shots were goals, or maybe two of their first three shots — I think Nguyen put one over the top before the first goal. But offensively we did enough in the first 20 minutes to score a couple goals, didn’t score, and then they came and countered us, got a goal, got another goal, and then exposed us. We gave up a bad goal. The third goal was a bad goal and you chalk it up as one of those days. We have to learn from it, take your lessons, take your lumps, and move forward.”

(On if the team takes motivation from a result like that…) “I think everyone who’s competitive, it eats at you. You want to get out on the field. We wanted to have some guys train a little less today, but they wanted to keep playing because you want to get on the field and you want to put it behind you. For me, it’s the same. You want to get on to the next game. Saturday’s can’t come soon enough.”

(On having to bounce back without the USMNT guys…) “We just have to know which team we are. Are we the team that played the first 10 games or are we the team that played the 11th game? I think we’re the team that played the first 10 games. I still have a lot of faith in the group and they have faith in themselves. We’re going to be missing some players, so is San Jose, and it’s an opportunity for some other players to step in and show their quality. They should be excited.”

(On the team having a lot of options for replacements…) “There are options, and as the week goes on, we’ll make those decisions and we’ll see how people play. Obviously everybody should — for a bad analogy — smell the blood in the water. … Certainly the guys know they’re in competition for a chance to get on the field. They should be at their best this week.”

(On not being able to replace what Dempsey does…) “It’s like what I’ve always said: every system is really reflective of the players within that system. If you take the diamond system that Salt Lake plays, if you take Morales out of there, it’s a different team. Obviously Clint is a very important part of our team, so it changes a little bit how we play. But I still think we have guys on the field who are good passers of the ball, guys who can still create things, and it changes maybe a little bit how we play, but that means other people have to step up in certain areas. We maybe have to be a little better on our flank play overall, but it’s something we can compensate for.”

(On if the margin of the loss matters…) “I’d rather never lose, but unfortunately it’s part of it, and if you lose, you’d rather lose 1-0 or 2-1 and have it be tight. It is what it is. We have to accept the reality of it and move on.”

(On this being the first home game in front off full stadium capacity…) “It’s good. We want a big crowd because I think our record is pretty good when we play in front of those crowds. I think we did a good job in our last three home games of rewarding our home fans with three victories, and we certainly want to keep our streak going at home. We’re excited about the big crowd and we’re excited about being at home.”

(On if there are any health updates…) “Remick did the first part of training, so we’ll see how he responds tomorrow. There’s a good chance he’ll be all-in. Leo’s healthy again, as well. So with the exception of Parsemain and Lowe, everybody should be available.”

(On subbing DeAndre Yedlin out of Sunday game [Ed note: Schmid had said after the game it was “because he was playing poorly.”]…) “I could’ve chosen some other people at that point in time. It was just a situation that I chose DeAndre because we wanted to get Leo on the field and we thought Evans could slide over to the other side. DeAndre really hadn’t been off the field all year, so I just decided to do it that way — no secret, coded, Dick Tracy message or anything like that.”

(On if he’s confident in his defensive personnel…) “Yeah, I’m confident in the personnel we have defensively. Defending is everybody, it’s all 11 players, and it’s our reaction to the ball, our transition from offense to defense. Is it quick enough? It is appropriate? Are we coming back into the right spaces? All of those are things that we looked at, and at the end of the day, you have to make plays on the defensive end. So for us, it’s a situation of we’ve got to make better decisions. Obviously if people don’t make better decisions soon, then we have to look at different options. I’m still happy with the defenders we have.”

(On how he thinks Stefan Frei has played in goal…) “I think Stefan’s played all right. I think he’ll be the first to admit a couple of the goals we could’ve done better on. I really don’t think there was a lot he could do on a couple of them. The one goal is like, ‘Well … he could’ve had a better angle to block that shot far post,’ but then he gives up the near post. You want to make sure you don’t give up the near post. I think the third goal, the one that sort of Bunbury hit and Djimi Traore left his feet, and then the rebound came in and hit Stefan in the foot and went in. I think that was not a good goal. He’ll be the first to admit that. But at the end of the day, I don’t care if we would’ve had whomever in goal at the time. We could’ve had Gigi Buffon and I don’t think it would’ve made a difference on the game overall.”

(On if leading the league in points and goals allowed is sustainable…) “It is right now. Over the long term, we certainly want to clean up the defensive side of it. I thought we were really improving on the defensive side of it in the three games prior. This game just caught us. It was a situation where maybe fatigue caught up with us a little bit, as well, third game in eight days, flying across country. When you look at the amount of distance we covered in the game, it was definitely a lot less than we covered on Wednesday in the Dallas game. There are those things to look at, as well. But over the long term, defensively we have to be able to play to zero, but we’ll find our way there.”

(On the opportunity for depth players to shine…) “It’s an opportunity. It’s a great opportunity for those guys. It’s a great time for them to make their case. It’s also good for us to see which role is this guy more comfortable in? Maybe a player plays in a slightly different role than he’s been playing in. So we get to evaluate that. Again, you get to sort of see which combinations work, as well. Sometimes that helps you late in the game when you’re making subs and you realize, ‘Hey, these two guys seem to work well together. Maybe if I get them on at the same time toward the end of the game, they can make something happen.'”

(On how Josh Ford’s loan with the OC Blues went…) “It went well for Josh. He played well in the game. They won the game on the road, and he had a shutout. We’ve been looking for opportunities for him to be able to get some games. Hopefully it’ll be a situation that we can do again, so he can continue to get some 90-minute games.”

| More in Sounders FC, Stop and chats

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