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June 22, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Sigi Schmid on Tuesday’s Open Cup game, Osvaldo Alonso’s improved health

Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid spoke briefly with reporters after Sunday’s practice. The team is gearing up for Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup fifth-round game at home against the San Jose Earthquakes, and the World Cup is always a talking point during interviews.

Here is a transcript:

*     *     *

(Any thoughts on the Germany-Ghana game?) “I thought the second half was hugely entertaining. It was a good game. It was good end-to-end stuff. I think the loss of (Jerome) Boateng for Germany hurt them. I think (Shkodran) Mustafi played a hand in that first goal they took and also kept the guy onside on the second goal, so it wasn’t a good game for him. Are they going to look maybe at Philipp Lahm maybe going back to outside back if Boateng is out for a while? That will be interesting. But Ghana was back against the wall when they were down 1-0, they fought back, put themselves back in the game. But Germany is always renown for their ability to fight back, and they’ve got (Miroslav) Klose. I thought I thought (Bastian) Schweinsteiger came off the bench and played really well.”

(What do you expect from San Jose on Tuesday?) “I expect them to come out with pretty much a first-team lineup. They’ve obviously been off. They played Sacramento earlier, so he gave his team some time off, I’m sure, and now they’ve been back in training. Guys who have had little knocks and pains, like an Alan Gordon, they should all be healthy. So I expect pretty much a first-team effort for them, because the league maybe hasn’t gone as well as they would have liked so far — where they’re at and their position — so the Open Cup becomes a source of pride. I think if a team’s not doing as well, they put a little more stock into that.”

(Did it help to have a game before this one to get into a rhythm again?) “It was good. We had our break and then we had a game to get back into our rhythm. This is now our second game for some of the guys, first game for some of the guys that we’re going to play on Tuesday night. It’s good. It’s good that we’re back into the rhythm of training.”

(Can that be an advantage over San Jose, which is playing its first game in a while?) “Yeah, I think always your first game back after a layoff is always a little bit rusty, a little missed timing and things like that. And for us it was good because we had the advantage of playing an opponent that was maybe not of the quality of some of the other opponents we could have drawn in that round, so that was a plus for us.”

(You had mentioned wanting to get Osvaldo Alonso some time off to get over some nagging injuries. How has he looked?) “He’s good. He feels really good. He’s been training really hard. We always keep track of numbers, and his training numbers are where they were in preseason, so that gives us a good indication that he’s fully back in terms of being able to train hard and all that stuff. Now it’s just a matter as we get back into the games, hopefully he can avoid any aches and pains. But he feels really good right now.”

(How much will Saturday’s MLS game impact lineup decisions?) “We’ve got Wednesday, Thursday, Friday before we play Saturday, so there are three full days. When guys have that amount of time, usually they recover OK. A bigger concern for us sometimes is just the field. Starfire Stadium is a great place to watch a game, it’s intimate and it’s exciting and all that stuff, but the surface isn’t in the best of shapes, so it’s really hard on them physically. There might be still a couple of guys that we’re going to hold off that field just because we don’t want things to happen, or it’s really hard on your body. We’ve got to allow our guys to recover after that, so Wednesday will be pretty light, Thursday is a travel day, but hopefully by the time we step on the field Saturday, they’ll be OK.”

| More in Practice notes, Sounders FC, U.S. Open Cup


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