In just the past few days, Portland added designated player Kris Boyd, Vancouver traded for Sebastien Le Toux, and Los Angeles re-signed Edson Buddle. (Blog posts below.)
So, Sigi Schmid was asked if the Western Conference is getting just that much tougher:
"I think the West certainly got tougher," he said. "I think the teams in the West and especially the teams in the Northwest they’re going to be aggressive and they want to be successful. They’ve got good solid fan bases that want to see their team be successful. Vancouver is working hard to enhance their team and improve their team, and Portland obviously is doing the same. So from that standpoint I think you see what they’re doing and the pieces that they’re adding. … There’s a lot of teams that continue to do that (he singles out Chicago and Kansas City), but I think in particular the Northwest is very competive with each other, and they’ve got good fan bases, and those teams are being aggressive as far as how they approach their new signings.
Schmid also was asked if Le Toux's move from Philadelphia was a surprise, and specifically if the Union offered him to the Sounders:
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"He wasn’t offered to us. It was a little bit of a surprise. But then again, you never know what a club’s thinking. They’ve got their plan, and they’re trying to follow their plan. But he wasn’t somebody that Philly called us about."