The Sounders concluded training today for their game tomorrow night against D.C. United. After that, they're off for a couple of weeks, joining the world in watching the World Cup.
Players and coaches talked a lot about both of those topics this week -- granted, mostly because reporters asked about both.
I'll have more preview on the DC game later today. For now, here's some of what Sigi Schmid had to say on Sounders/World Cup:
On Blaise Nkufo playing in the World Cup: “Hoping that obviously he does well. We want to see him do well. We want to see Switzerland do well. A World Cup is a tremendous experience so you want to make it last as long as possible. Fingers will be crossed, want to make sure he doesn’t get injured so you want to make sure of that as well. But you hope he plays well because when a player is in good form, when he comes off a competition where his team has done well, it fills him with a lot of confidence and happiness and that carries over.”
(Schmid granted, however, that a Swiss run to the finals -- or even semis -- would likely delay Nkufo's Sounders debut beyond its current tentative/flexible date of July 16 at D.C.)
On his plans for World Cup break: “Hanging out, watching a lot of games. Make sure my DVR is working and see all that. As with all the players, I’m going to take some days away in this break period as well and do some things but probably there is always going to be one eye on the T.V. and watch games.”
On teams he is pulling for: “The United States and obviously being of German heritage I’ve got to pull for Germany. There are certain games you watch as a fan and there are certain games I watch as a soccer coach. When the U.S. plays, I’m more a fan, and when Germany plays, I’m also more of a fan. When the other teams play I’m more of a coach.”
Schmid and some Sounders also gave their predictions. I'll get back to you on that.