The Sounders' 30-game regular-season MLS schedule was released today (see posts below).
This morning I got a chance to discuss a few aspects of it with general manager Adrian Hanauer and coach Sigi Schmid.
A few highlights:
Hanauer overview: "It's never perfect. It is front-loaded. We take some rough road trips at the end of the year. But it is what it is. We just need to focus our energy on taking care of business, getting points wherever we can and hope that we're in the playoffs at the end."
Hanauer on the early cluster of home games and late road trips: "For sure playing in a facility that has an NFL team and other events plays into the overall scheduling. As do international windows that are opening up now for international competitions, the all-star game and various other things within mls that affect the scheduling."
Hanauer on the three friendlies included in the season-ticket package yet to be named: "We think we're getting close to adding in pieces of the three friendlies. But it's interesting: Those international games tend to be a moving target."
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Schmid overview: "It is what it is. I've always felt as a coach you control what you can control and don't worry about what you can't control."
Schmid on the two games against Columbus, his former team: "They might circle that one more than me. For me, it's three points whether we beat Columbus or three points whether we Chivas. And the three points against Chivas are probably more important because it's three points inside of conference and those become six-point games. For me we always focus on the conference. It's important that we do that and it's important to do well at home. If you can have a winning percentage at home, that's going to help your opportunity to get to the playoffs."
Schmid on the extra travel West Coast teams endure: "It is what it is. I went through it in LA. It makes it a bit tougher when you're going coast to coast on consecutive weekends. That definitely makes it a little bit harder, and it's harder because you lose training days. But it's a reality of our league and its something that our players, between taking care of themselves with nutrition and psychologically. Psychologically I don't want to make a big thing of it because if you talk about it as a problem it becomes a problem."