Here's what coach Sigi Schmid had to say on his progress and future role: "He’s getting more minutes. Obviously the reserve game was the first time we were able to push him over a period of time. I think his effectiveness probably went down after the 60-minute mark or so. I think he ended up playing about 75-73. It’s definitely coming around for Sammy. We have Nate (Jaqua), we have Sammy, (Pat) Noonan has played some minutes. Those are some different options we have that can play up front. The rest of the year you might even see (Lamar) Neagle go up top once in a while."
And here's the transcript of my Wednesday interview with Ochoa, including some stuff that didn't get into the story.
On getting 75 minutes in the Monday reserve game ... and scoring a goal) I felt good. It felt good to get a chance to play and play more than 25 minutes and get the victory here at home and get it going.
On his current fitness) I think I could have gone for more time, but Ezra decides and decided to take me out. But I feel good. I’m feeling good at practice and those 75 minutes I played, and getting ready for whatever time Sigi gives me.
On if he sort of views this as preseason for 2012) I think I could bring some stuff to the team in these last games. I know the season is about to be over. But the playoffs are coming up. And you never know, I could go in in the last 10 minutes and get a goal for the team. I’m still looking at trying to finish the year off with a partial good season and come back next year and get better and get that preseason in.
On what he's learning with Sounders that he didn't in Mexico) This is a team that’s different. They treat you different here. It’s more professionalism. … They take it more seriously. The training days, every day it’s 100 percent. I wasn’t used to that. It’s good getting those training sessions 100 percent, getting that extra pushes from the coaches. You don’t get that in Mexico. It’s been really good this time I’ve been here. Hopefully I can stay, and bring more to the team.