The vibe from Sounders training this morning is that the club is unlikely to take the pitch Friday at Colorado in that attack-oriented 3-5-2 that seemed to affective -- and scored -- for them in the closing quarter-hour at Philadelphia last week.
Coach Sigi Schmid was asked if that could become a basic formation, or something reserved only for come-from-behind emergencies:
"It depends," he said. "The reason that you have success sometimes when you do something is it’s unexpected and the opponent isn’t prepared for it. It’s a different thing if you say, ‘OK, we’re going to play a 3-5-2’ and the opponent has a chance to prepare for it, and they say ‘OK, what are the strengths and weaknesses? Do we have the wide players?’ A lot of teams that play 3-5-2 have wide players that are really defenders first and attackers second. So whether you want to call it a 5-3-2 or whatever. A lot depends. For us it was very successful this weekend because it allowed us to get a group of players on the field who would allow us to create something for us, it caught the opponent by surprise, and the people worked very hard in that formation for that period of time. But is it something that’s long term? That’s something you can’t say at this point."
The same question was asked of Fredy Montero, one of the late offensive subs and one who assisted the tying goal:
"I think for that game you really have to give a point to the coach because he put that strategy together," he said. "I’m not sure that’s one that we can use for 90 minutes, but at least we know we have it in the toolbox."
Below, a little more of what Schmid had to say today:
On today’s training) “We had what we call tournament day which is sort of like a little fun thing that everybody has to keep track of their own points. We just wanted to move the ball a little bit so we played a bit of one-touch and we played the tournament. It’s 5v5 and in 5v5 there’s not a lot of places to hide. You got to do the job on both ends of the field and I thought it was good. I thought our mentality today in training was good. I thought it was lively so it was good.”
On Sounders lineup) “It’s something that every week it’s going to be that sort of situation. You got to look at who’s playing well and obviously if you have enough depth and enough players are playing well you could even rest some people along the way because it does get a strain playing the amount of games you have to play so you can keep the troops sharp and energetic. How it’s going to look this weekend? Who is going to play? Right now I couldn’t tell you. I haven’t really made up my mind. Is there a possibility that there will be some changes in every part of the field? Yes, very possible.”
On the Friday match at Colorado) “For us in Colorado, that’s a team that is a quality team that has been disappointed with their last two results. Now they are coming home so they want to take revenge on somebody and we are the next target there in that regard. But we also feel that we can play well on the road. A lot depends on them. [Pablo] Mastroeni, is he going to be back or not back? Is [Conor] Casey going to be able to even play off the bench? Those are question marks for them but they are a good quality team that obviously wants to get back on the winning trail.”
On playing the MLS Cup holders on the road) “For us, our main concern is just to worry about us and continue to play good soccer, play better soccer. I think we have shown in the past our capabilities of being able to play all the top teams on a pretty equal footing and that’s something we want to do. We were a little bit disappointed in our game in Philadelphia. We are very pleased that we came back and got the point, got the equalizer because it showed a good attitude at the end of the game. But we are also displeased because we think we can play better than that. So now we got to go into Colorado and see if we can steal some points there and get some points there. And by steal I don’t mean that we are going to sit back and hope to score a goal and sit back but we do think we are a good road team. We want to bring our road record to .500 and we need one more win to do that.”