Why did they do it that way?
“That’s something we’ve talked about at length as far as a better way to approach these games because the problem is where we’re located in Seattle you’re looking at a connection to try and get to Costa Rica, so you’re looking at eight hours of flying time, coach Sigi Schmid explained tonight on a conference call. "Probably two hours of connection time, so that’s ten hours. You’ve got to be at the airport two hours before that, that’s 12. So by the time you get from the airport to the hotel it ends up being a 13-14 hour travel day, so we’re looking at cutting the travel day in half. Each day the team would have a better chance of getting appropriate rest. What we’ll do is have a training session kind of like we did in Monterrey—we were in Dallas already so we stayed an extra day and flew the day before the game, so we’re going to see how this works and hopefully the team will have better rest as we enter the game.”
Here's more of what Schmid had to say:
On Leo Gonzalez returning to Costa Rica to face his former club…) “We’re trying to make sure he stays on the field and plays more minutes. […] He always looks forward to coming home. You can tell by the size of the luggage that he takes he’s definitely bringing presents for somebody and playing against his old club is special for him, as well. He’s excited about this and it’s important for us to have him on this trip.”
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On the goalkeeper situation…) “Obviously with Terry Boss being shut down for the rest of the season we had to put him on the disabled list with a concussion. Josh Ford has trained with us all year so we’re confident with what he can do. We wanted to add a third goal keeper rather than rely on the league for a league goalkeeper. So [Bryan] Meredith has been in the area during his time he’s been with Kitsap and when he was with us we felt he was good. […] So we’re confident we have two young goalkeepers backing up Kasey, so we’re really solid with keepers.”
On transitioning into Champions League play after home loss Saturday to RSL…) “Well, we’ll see once we play on Wednesday. We’ve talked about it a couple times what it was like when we lost in Houston. We’ve just got to get right back up on the bicycle and start riding again and show that it was just a hiccup and wasn’t anything long-term for us. This is a game where we decided to leave some players back at home to get rested in preparation for the D.C. United game, but we’re confident in the players we’ve got down here with us.”
On the team having more success than last season) “The players know what they’ve achieved so far. They know they’re achieving at a higher level than last year. The problem is when a team develops an ego a team gets a little bit greedy and so sometimes they look for more and more perfection. We’ve talked about how it’s going to happen sometimes. You’re going to take a loss, but better now than later. There’s always things we can build upon. We know we’re a good team. We know we’ve had good results. We know we’re in the hunt for three trophies still this year and we want to maintain that and see that finished.” On their success after shorts breaks between games) “I think it’s really two things. One is players get into a rhythm of playing and sometimes once you fall into that rhythm you sort of feel confidence going from match to match. Eventually it can wear you down, but when you’re in a cycle like that you can sort of maintain through it knowing there’s a break at the end of it. I think the other thing is that we just try and focus on the next game. We try not to talk about fatigue. We try not to talk about, ‘Oh jeez, this is our third game.’ I as a coach know what our schedule is like and how it compares to the other teams. I know there are teams that have similar schedules to ours; there are some teams that get extra days rest as we go into the same sort of run. At the same time the only thing we try and focus on is the next task at hand and the next game and I think that’s what has allowed our team through every game they play in, no matter how many days rest they have, and they can walk away winners.”
On the players left at home and what to expect from Herediano…) “I think Herediano is a team that’s a dangerous team right now. It’s a different team than the one that lost to Monterrey and a different team that lost to Comunicaciones. They had a coaching change. […] It’s a situation where the players are out now for Herediano to prove themselves to a new coach. They’re excited so they’re playing with a newfound enthusiasm, so they’re going to be a very dangerous team. We’ve got players with us. We left [Erik] Friberg behind, we left Brad Evans behind because we want them to work they’re injuries and we left Alonso behind, but we’re confident with the rest of the group we have.”
On if there will be any other roster changes by Thursday’s roster freeze…) “No, I think we’re pretty much set unless we pull off a trade or if something comes our way. […] I don’t know how some clubs do it where they waive players after the guaranteed contract date but I guess they have cap room to do that kind of stuff and we don’t. So, yeah, I think we’re pretty much set.”
On the differences in the games from MLS to the CONCACAF Champions League…) “The games are definitely different in Champions League. […] The fields are of a different quality, different condition, so that makes you play a little bit differently. I think in Champions League you’ve got to take some pride in keeping the ball. You’ve got to do a better job in keeping the ball than in MLS because it doesn’t come back as quickly once it turns over. You can’t get caught into the theatrics of the game. I think what happens in CONCACAF a little bit is there’s a little more, I don’t know if embellishment is the right word, but a little more dramatic flair in players falling down when they get hit or pushed or touched or blown on and sometimes the referees are quick to call that, sometimes they don’t, so you have to take into account the referees you have, what country they’re from, how they’re going to interpret the game a little bit. So those are all the little nuances you’ve got to look at and make sure you’re going to prepare your team for.”
On Jhon Kennedy Hurtado’s red card and how that affects him playing Wednesday…) “Jhon only played 30 minutes the other day so we expect him to be able to play 90 minutes on Wednesday because he won’t play on Saturday whereas if he would have played the whole 90 minutes on Saturday he’s a guy who might not have played in our game on Wednesday and now he’s certainly going to be on the field.”
On their strategy in CONCACAF play…) “Our goal all along going into CONCACAF was we wanted to win all our games at home. So far we’ve only had one home game and we won that one. We’ve got Herediano at home next week so we want to win that. The win in Monterrey was a bonus for us. If we can get ten points we’ve got a good chance of going through and getting first or second and if we can get 12 points even better. So we want to get at least a tie out here, preferably a win if we can. The sooner we can achieve our goal of advancing to the quarterfinals of CONCACAF then that allows us to focus a little more on our goal in MLS. […] Right now we’re trying to keep both goals in our sight but the game Saturday against D.C. is very important for league, the game against Herediano at home is also very important, and the game on Wednesday is like a bonus game so if we can get three points out of that it’s a huge bonus.”