The Sounders' long road trip has taken them to Texas, where they will meet FC Dallas on Sunday.
Once back in the States on Friday, coach Sigi Schmid took a conference call with local media, covering a wide range of topics. Some highlights below:
On if the team is where he wanted them to be at this point in the season) “We’re pretty much where I wanted to be or where I thought we’d be. If we hadn’t lost Michael [Gspurning] for that stretch of games I think we’d be in the hunt right now for the Supporters' Shield, which is where we wanted to be this year. I think that injury hurt us a little bit and we sort of couldn’t shake it for a while. Right now I think we’re playing good soccer. I think we’re playing effective soccer at the right times, as well. You want to play good soccer all the time, but sometimes it just doesn’t work that way and you still have to be effective. I think we found a pretty good mix of playing that, but I think we’re also playing good soccer. I think the goals we scored against Chivas were well taken goals, well executed goals. The goals against Caledonia—Sammy Ochoa’s goal after a ten or fifteen pass sequence. There’s times where we’ve done that part of it very well. I’m pleased, we can’t stop and turn around, pat ourselves on the back or else we’re going to lose pace and not go forward, but I’m pleased where we’re at.”
On Fredy Montero) “His form is very good. I’ve always said forwards are a little bit streaky, but he’s very confident right now. His movement off the ball is good, as well…Caskey supplied him with a good pass last night. There’s been good balls played in, but his movement off the ball has been very good.”
Never miss a local story.
On if Mario Martinez and Adam Johansson’s National Team call-ups will affect their availability Sunday) “Both of them don’t need to leave until after Sunday’s game. We spoke to both the federations about that and both of them were ok. In fact, Adam doesn’t have to be in Sweden until the fourth, but he’ll probably fly out of here on Monday because it makes no sense to go back to Seattle. We cleared it with Honduras that Mario could be in on Monday.”
On Eddie Johnson, Adam Johansson, and Mauro Rosales not playing Thursday…) “It was a matter of guys who had played a lot of minutes wanted to rest. Adam has still been coming off the hamstring [injury], so we really haven’t gone to pushing him in two games in a short period of time. He’s one of the newer guys to the league in terms of traveling, so we wanted to take that off his plate. I told Mauro he wouldn’t be playing in Trinidad, but he wanted to travel anyway and be part of the group. So we ended taking him along rather than leaving him at home, but we were prepared to leave him at home, as well. Eddie, he’s played a lot of minutes and logged a lot of miles for us, as well. This is his first full season back, and he’s had a little bit of a tight adductor, so our plan was not to play him on Thursday, as well.”
On FC Dallas' improved play) “The difference for them recently is David Ferreira. He’s obviously come back. It took him a few games to get back in the rhythm, but then his rhythm got better. With him, their team—everybody fits into places a little bit better, the structure seems to be a little better, and he’s obviously a player who has attacking abilities and passing abilities. They’ve also been missing Blas Perez. I’m sure Perez will be back against us. He came back in the last game—he came off the bench early. I’m sure he’ll start against us and he’s a guy who was also important for them at the beginning of the season. Having those two guys back makes a big difference. George John is back for them in the back, so that’s another player who helps them. And Brek Shea is back playing, as well.”
On the players that were playing in their first CONCACAF away match…) “I think they found the trip interesting. The grass is different. It’s not the kind of grass you’re going to play on in MLS or in a lot of stadiums…Being in Trinidad, the atmosphere and everything was different. I think they enjoyed that part of is, as well. That’s as tough a road trip as we can make inside of our confederation, so for them to have to go through that was a little bit more difficult than maybe even what they expected. I still think the benefit for them of just experiencing—seeing what it’s like, the refereeing on the road, what it’s like to be on the road in CONCACAF, what it’s like to see the different field surfaces, the field conditions, those are all plusses.”
On the traveling Sounders support in Trinidad…) “It was great. It was great. We invited them to our hotel after the game and…bought them a round for their support and their coming with us. It’s tremendous. When you see they have signs and banners so forth, and what some of the people go through—where they were staying, how they got to the game—it makes for interesting stories. It’s certainly appreciated. A lot of the guys went over there and individually shook everyone’s hand, asked their name, said hello and talked to them. I think that’s something special, too. I think that’s what special about our team. I think that’s special about our supporters. Certainly to have them there in good voice and unison was tremendous. It was a big plus.”
On the injury status of Andy Rose and David Estrada…) “Andy’s lungs have improved, so that situation has clarified itself. He still has pain because he’s got the cracked rib there. For him it’s just a matter of getting better. Each day he feels a little bit better, but he’s probably at about 70-80 percent right now, so for sure he won’t be joining us here [in Dallas]. David Estrada’s [MRI] showed that he was healing well and so they cleared him to start up training again. He played as a neutral yesterday, then played again today as a neutral, so he was feeling much better. He’ll continue to train, and hopefully in the next week or two weeks he’ll be back out there for us.”