Newly acquired Sounders DP Christian Tiffert trained with his new team this morning at Starfire Sports Complex.
"It’s always different when you come on with a new team and so forth, trying to get used to your surroundings and what’s up," coach Sigi Schmid said. "But he was fine. I asked him if he wanted to go through the whole training today, since he just flew in yesterday. He said no he felt pretty good. So we talked at each segment of training: How do you feel now? I want to keep going. So he went through all the training and did the shooting at the end as well. So, it was good."
Tiffert admitted to feeling a bit jet-lagged after this travel from Germany yesterday, however he went through the entire training session and afterward met with reporters, speaking in good English. He said he believes MLS is a good spot for him professionally and the USA will be a good adventure for his family.
His thoughts on Seattle: I was here five weeks ago. I was really impressed. You cannot see many games in Germany because of the difference in the time. But it was nice: the stadium, many people there. I liked it very much.
On first Sounders training today: I feel a little bit tired because yesterday I fly from Germany and Seattle. I feel the difference between the time. But it was good.
On becoming a Sounder: I never expected that it could be a deal to come to USA, but I’m happy about it. Really happy. … I had options, but I like the life. For my family it’s very good. I have two kids. My wife and I and the kids want to do an adventure. I hope I can bring Seattle more success. I hope so.
On Sigi Schmid and the Sounders' German connection: It is a help. I say my English is “school English.” Ten years ago. But I can learn, no problem. I can understand much things and I learn.
On bringing leadership as a newcomer: It depends on what are you doing on the field. What kind of action you have, not if you speak too much. I can do it – no problem – but what are you doing on the field. Are you an action or only a speaker. I hope I can do much action.
On MLS as a good fit: Of course. I play 13 years in Germany and a (professional). It was good for me. I have a good career. And now I can have a good career in the USA. I hope that I can bring Seattle more success.
On his style of play: In Germany you say “a No. 8.” Not too much defensive, but I can do it, you know; and then I can switch to No. 10/No. 8. But I play also in Germany right or left side. It’s no problem.
On his fitness: I don’t know. The season starts in Germany this weekend. I don’t know what’s the name in English. In Germany you say “schnelligkeit.”* There was no practice games, but I have five weeks preparation. Because in Germany you work hard and it’s warm. I think I’m fit.
*(I believe that's the word ... which Schmid defined as explosiveness and quickness.)On the Sounders' style: I see one game – only one game, five weeks ago, against Kansas, a draw I think: 1-1. I see the game. I was impressed. Many people say I don’t know some things about playing in the MLS, but I was impressed.
I'll have more from the interview soon. And also more from Schmid and general manager Adrian Hanauer, who each said the club had hoped to add Tiffert without losing Alvaro Fernandez. However, MLS rules -- specifically the limit of three DPs with no exception for loaning one away -- prevented that.