The Sounders trained today at Starfire, as the first month of the MLS season slides behind them with a win and loss and a draw in the books. Encouragingly taking part in the training were Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, Osvaldo Alonso and Chad Marshall.
Here's some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say:
On the players back at training: We’ve got to see how they come through the week, but it’s good to see Ozzie out there and Clint and Oba. Hopefully they’ll all be able to play this weekend.
On the plans for Marco Pappa's return from the Guatemala national team: He’s got the game today, and then we’ll see how he comes back.
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On the 1-1-1 start, currently good for seventh in the West: It’s way too early to look at that. What I always say is a point and a half a game is usually what gets you to the playoffs or very close. Right now we’re at 1.33. We win on Saturday and we’re at like 1.75. Early in the season like that it changes dramatically. I think when you’re about 10 games into the season is when you can start thinking about it.
On the addition of Houston and Kansas City to the Western Conference: Houston and Kansas City coming into our side of things makes the West even tougher at the end of the day. What’s important for us is we’re going intoa home game, we want to come out in a home game and we want to be aggressive and make sure that we win our games at home. We weren’t happy with our last performance at home. ... You’ll know more at the end of the season. It certainly makes the West a little bit tougher, but when you look at the point totals, I guess there are lower point totals in the East, but then there have been some East teams that have beaten some West teams as well. It will all sort itself out by the end of the year. But certainly when you look at it on paper, it means that there are going to be more difficult games, it’s going to be a tighter competition for those top six spots.
On MLS playing through international weekends: It is what it is. I think it really does come down to our fans at the end of the day. In Seattle, our fans are fantastic and so whether we would play a game on a Saturday night or a Wednesday night it’s not going to affect our attendance. SO from that standpoint that’s where the other clubs need to get to. I think financially there’s still a difference for a lot of clubs in our league whether they play on the weekend or midweek. Once we get to the point where that difference becomes less significant for more clubs -- I think there’s out team and Salt Lake and Kansas City and a few others that it probably really doesn’t affect. Once we get to that point, then we can start taking international weekends off probably and start making a little more sense out of it.