Sounders coach Sigi Schmid was asked about an unusually wide-ranging number of topics today, after his club finished training at Starfire Sports Complex, beginning preparations for the NBC-televised Cascadia Cup match Saturday at Portland.
Here's some of what he had to say:
On the injury status of Mauro Rosales and Christian Tiffert...) "They're all right. Christian had an MRI, it turned out there's nothing serious there. Today we just wanted to go easy with him. I think he should be full-on in on Thursday. Mauro we just wanted to build up today and tomorrow a little bit, and he should be full-in on Thursday, as well."
On the injury status of David Estrada...) "He was training in full. We'll see how this week goes for him. Full training today, tomorrow is an off-day-just an optional for some of the guys-and then we'll see how he does on Thursday."
On the Seattle-Portland rivalry...) "Rivalries are always fun. It's always fun. I think it's good for the sport. It's good for the sport in this country, it's good for the sport in the northwest. I think these are games that as the soccer fans in our country become aware-and as they have become more aware-of the rivalry, it's something they want to tune in and watch because the games are full of pageantry and atmosphere, from what's happening in the stands to what's happening on the field. From that standpoint, it's a good advertisement for the sport."
On if anything will be done before the upcoming roster freeze...) "We're looking at a bunch of things right now. We'll see what happens. Sometimes those things happen for you, sometimes they don't. We'll know by Friday."
On if they will participate in the Marcus Tracy lottery...) "I haven't made a decision on that yet. Still some time to go. Marcus was a very talented player when he came out of Wake Forest and has not had a lot of success overseas. Sometimes that's the way it works, but he's also had some injury issues. We have to do our due diligence and then we'll see. I'm sure all the other teams are doing the same."
On Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson's recent success together up front...) "It's just because they've had time together. They've had time together and time for our team to also understand how they work off of each other and how they can play. I think Eddie is a player that can stretch the opponent's defense. I think Fredy Montero has filled different roles for us at different times this season-playing as a lone striker, he's stretched the defense, as well, he's dropped underneath. I think he's really, when you look at his game, he's added a great deal of versatility to his game. As a result, as they get to understand each other and our players understood them better, they've become a very dangerous combo. I think what happens is, if an opponent concentrates on one then the other one gets some space and gets to do his thing. When the opponent concentrates on the other one, all of a sudden it works the other way. Chivas concentrated on Eddie Johnson down in LA, and Montero had three. They concentrated on Montero up here, and all of a sudden Eddie had two. It's good to have two players like that because it allows you to then spread the other team's defense."
On the Portland game being on NBC...) "We try not to worry about it that way. The game means a lot for us because Cascadia Cup is important to us and also right now we're six points behind San Jose and we want to put ourselves in a position that if they slip then we can close that gap. So it's important for us for the points and because of the Cascadia Cup."
On the loss at Portland earlier this season...) "It was definitely not something we were happy about. I didn't think we played particularly well. We gave up some goals that we thought we could have done much better with. We probably lost our composure a little bit towards the end of the game, as well. But those are all things we've come through. It's given us a chance to improve upon and grow and become better."