At a rainy Starfire Sports Stadium this morning, Sounders FC concluded training for its U.S. Open Cup semifinal match tomorrow night against Chivas USA.
No big news out of training, but here is some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say:
On previous results against Chivas USA: “It’s a different Chivas under Preki versus a Chivas under Martin Vasquez. We have played against Martin Vasquez’s team once and that’s the team we are preparing for. I thought we possessed the ball alright in the game down in L.A. We didn’t get a goal and neither did they. So it was just one of those things. Against Preki’s team, just like Preki’s teams in Toronto, they end up getting a little piece of you, they foul you, they break up the rhythm of the game to make it difficult to play. We have got to do better against that type of team. Chivas under Martin doesn’t play like that.” On the lineups for tomorrow and Saturday: “If we think a guy is ready, we are going to play him. We are looking at situations, ‘Oh, OK. This guy has done well at training. It’s pretty close between these two guys. So maybe this guy has got a knock or is a little bit fatigued so we are going to make a change there.’ But in general, we are going to try and play the guys who are ready and able and healthy and well and it’s going to be our best team that we put out there.” On Chivas' incentive to go for a trophy: “Yeah, I think they will do the same thing. ... This for them is big. It’s an opportunity for them to get a trophy. A trophy, they don’t have one. So this is a game that I think is very important. I think you can expect them pretty much bringing their starting lineup. I heard that (Osael) Romero, who got called into El Salvador, is not going in until after our game. So obviously they want to have all hands on deck. ... Certainly a team like them who, in their history, hasn’t won a trophy at this stage to be in the semifinal they are going to be a hungry team. It’s going to come from the front office on down, ‘This is a chance. We are in the semifinal. We are one game away from getting to the final. We are two games away from having the trophy.’ So they are going to be a hungry team.” On Sanna Nyassi called in to Gambia national team: “It’s great for him. It’s a good reward. And certainly how he has played late he deserves it. He’s got an opportunity to play in qualifying games for the Africa Nations Cup and those are important games for their countries. We are happy for him. We are missing him. We could use him here. He always plays well on this particular field, playing here at Starfire. For him, I think it’s a great reward and for him to put himself back into the picture there is good.”