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June 23, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Sigi Schmid on Yedlin’s World Cup debut, colluding for a mutually beneficial result

Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid has been providing World Cup analysis throughout the tournament, and he was asked about a bunch of World Cup topics after practice Monday, including DeAndre Yedlin‘s inclusion in the Portugal game.

Here are some highlights:

*     *     *

(What was it like seeing DeAndre Yedlin get into the game?) “It was fantastic. He came on and impacted the game, obviously. He was very much involved in the U.S.’s go-ahead goal and made a good run, made a good decision to cut it back. For them, their defender got a foot on it, but it still bounced through. Hey you’re 20 years old, you’re at a World Cup, you get into your first game and you’re involved in a go-ahead goal. I don’t know if life gets much better.”

(What are your thoughts ahead of the intriguing USA-Germany game?) “Intriguing? In what way? (laughs) … Right now those guys are sitting having a Warsteiner pils together, Jogi and Jurgen. They’re trying to figure out this thing: ‘Well, we’ll work on our possession in our half of the field and you work on your possession on your half of the field and we’ll see what happens at the end.’ (laughs)

“There is still positioning, who you play as the first-place team versus the second-place team. For the U.S., to finish first obviously they have to win; a tie keeps them in second. There is that at stake. It gives you a different draw. … I think if Brazil wins their group, finishing second in the group means you avoid Brazil until the finals, so there might be a benefit to finishing second. But then, of course, you might run into Belgium instead of running into Algeria or Russia or Korea, so it changes your (path). That’s something you can’t predict. I think with the U.S., we just want to get on to the next round. It was unfortunate that we took that late goal.”

(Wait, what beer was that?) “Warsteiner. I think they’re the sponsor of the German national team; that’s why I threw them out there. It’s either them or Bitburger. It’ll be one of those two.”

(Do you remember watching the famous 1982 game between Germany and Austria, where they obviously played to the result that benefited both team?) “Yeah, I remember watching it and sitting there, and it was pretty disgusting, to be very honest. You could see what was going on. It was pretty disgusting for the fans, and obviously FIFA is going to have a really close eye on it. I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t a call or two being made from FIFA to the federations and saying, ‘Hey, look, this can’t happen.’ On the same token, on the other hand you look at it and you’re saying, ‘OK, you’re in the World Cup. What’s the objective? It’s to advance to the next round.’ So you’re going to tell a team that they have to try and win the game at the risk of losing the objective of advancing to the next round when a tie advances them both? That’s their goal from the start. That’s what they’re trying to achieve. Obviously the other teams are going to be unhappy about that, but that’s also reality. You’re trying to advance. You’re trying to take care of your team. You’re not worried about the other team.”

(Are you a little torn between who you’ll be rooting for in the USA-Germany game?) “No. I’m rooting for the U.S. I’m never torn on that. I’ve grown up here, I’m a U.S. citizen, and this is where I’ve earned my living as a soccer coach. … When Germany plays anybody else, I’m very German and I’m definitely behind them all the way. But I sometimes lose patience for people who have lived here a long time and are still rooting for their home country first. I understand that, and I was born in Germany and have all my relatives there. They’re going to be rooting for Germany first and they’re going to give me a hard time. But I just think this is the country that my family committed to and that I’ve committed to, so I’m going to support this country.”

(What did you make of Yedlin playing as more of a midfielder and an attacking presence on the right?) “I think Jurgen put him in there because he wanted his speed and Portugal was so bad on the left-hand side, defensively. They had lost their starting left back. Their reserve left back goes off injured. Now they’re playing a converted midfielder out there, so they’ve really got a third-string left back. Meireles, who was playing in midfield, was terrible, so he was taken off, so there was a lot of space and opportunity to attack. I think he was looking more at the tandem, and he was looking also that Fabian Johnson was getting forward so much. DeAndre coming in there, rather than say a Diskerud or a midfielder coming in there, DeAndre could also give cover defensive cover when Johnson got forward. That’s what I thought his thinking was. I don’t know for sure — I’m not in his head — but I think that’s the reason. I don’t think he thought DeAndre’s going to be a better midfielder there than Brad Davis would be or Mix Diskerud would be. I think he brought him on as, ‘OK, here’s a guy who can give me some speed, get our there a little bit on that side, but also in case Johnson gets caught up and can’t get back, I’ve got some cover.'”

(What was your reaction when you first saw Yedlin was coming in?) “I was going like, ‘Hey, this is unbelievable but fantastic!’ It was really a reaction of, ‘Wow!’ I wasn’t sure if he was going to get time in the World Cup, but Jurgen stepped up and put him in there. His subs have panned out. With the exception of Omar Gonzalez, all his other subs have panned out really well.”

| More in Sounders FC, Stop and chats, World Cup


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