(On signing goalkeeper Andrew Weber...) “He’s had experience with Montreal playing in the Champions League. He’s also had the experience of being a backup goalkeeper in here. He’s somebody Tommy [Dutra] knew from the USL days, as well, and I had known from a long time ago. So we felt that here’s a guy with experience, a goalkeeper who is being let go by San Jose because of their goalkeeping situation and we asked him if he would want to come in. We were sort of first in line. He came in here and as it turned out with [Josh] Ford’s injury, we certainly needed one more goalkeeper and getting a guy with some experience who has been around the block helps.”
(On who is the number two goalkeeper...) “That’s a battle. I think [Bryan] Meredith has done well. I think he’s fought hard and it’s pretty close. Andrew [Weber] has done well also, and he works very hard, so it’s basically nip and tuck between the two of them.”
(On the vocal leadership this season...) “It’s a whole group of guys. [Jeff] Parke is one of the guys, more leadership from [Osvaldo] Alonso, from [Brad] Evans, [Fredy] Montero, as well, [Mauro] Rosales. All those guys are involved in that aspect. [Jhon Kennedy Hurtado] certainly talks a lot more, directs more. We expect the same thing from Jeff. The more leaders we have on the field the better team we become.”
On the Champions League quarterfinal against Santos Laguna...) “This is huge. This is what people are turning on their TV on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons to watch the Champions League from Europe, and this is the same thing. This is from our area, our confederation. We wanted to put ourselves in the best situation from the standpoint of our rhythm of training and our rhythm of play by scheduling our hard games on the Wednesdays leading up into it. We got into that weekly rhythm of always having a hard game on Wednesdays. You can’t ever replicate a real match competition where points are at stake and jobs are won or lost or that sort of a thing. So short of replicating that, we had to make the best situation that we could create. Certainly all the Mexican teams have a little bit of an edge because they’re in the middle of their competition already. So it makes it a little more difficult for us, but it’s not impossible for us and this is a huge series. If we can get by this series, then this series winner plays the winner of LA and Toronto, and then you’re only one step away from the championship. It’s a really vital, crucial series, and we expect our fans to come out. We’d love to see the place sell out and see all our fans there because it would be tremendous support for our team.”
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(On how the Jaguares de Chiapas game prepared the team for Santos Laguna...) “The Chiapas game was good for us because certainly the way they play and their style of play is more similar to Santos than the teams in our league would play--the way they build out of the back, the way they open things up, the way the goalkeeper wants to play with his feet. All those were things that replicate what Santos is going to show us and bring. We can take that out of there, we realize that we can play well against that type of a team, and that we definitely have a chance in this competition. In the past, on the club side, American teams certainly haven’t been given a chance against Mexican teams, but last year with us going to Monterrey and winning, with Dallas going into Pumas and winning, I think the tables turned a little bit. It’s a very serious thing now whereas before they thought, ‘Maybe we’re going to win this hands down,’ they know it’s going to be a battle and we know we have a chance to win.”
(On how ready the team is...) “I think we’re about as ready as we can be, short of being able to be eight games into our season. We’re a team that is a team that always relies on possession and knocking the ball around, so sometimes our type of team takes a little longer to get in a rhythm. There’s other teams in our league that play slightly different style and it’s lot easier to get into that rhythm [...] For us, we’re a possession-oriented team, so it takes a little longer to get that rhythm, but I thought at times you saw some pretty good combinations against Chiapas. I thought our rhythm was fairly good and I think that’s reflective of us having tried to keep that group together as much as possible and getting them as much time together in preseason, where normally they might have had less time there as a group. We really put the emphasis on that. It’s in preparation for these games and the seriousness of the tournament.”