Here's some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say after the team's training session today at Starfire:
On Adam Johansson and Mario Martinez leaving for national team duty...) "Adam leaves after the game on Sunday. With Mario, we're still talking [to] their federation because their players are gathering Monday. We think he has a good chance of starting for Honduras so we're evaluating, 'Is he going to start for us, not start for us on Sunday?' We're going to make that decision shortly, but if we don't see him starting for us we might let him go a day early to assure himself of getting that start or getting that playing time with the Honduran team."
On the importance of players getting international experience...) "It's very important. It's a different level and anytime you can get exposure on that level it helps you as a player, but it also helps your confidence. Those are just the experiences and the more experiences you can get like that, the better you become. As a player, the more, not only confident, but relaxed you are as you go into games because you feel that, 'Hey I belong here, I know what to do, I can make an impact.'"
On balancing national team duties with club team duties...) "Every situation is different. You expect national team players to be playing and starting for you. Mario's situation is unique because he came to us midseason, had to go back to the national team a couple times, so it's been harder for him to establish that day-to-day with us. Right now, what we have to do is make sure that he and Adam and everybody is prepared for the playoffs with us. That assures that to the best of our abilities. I think when the national and a club team have good communication, you can work together. Adam's team is gathering, as well, on the Monday, but because he's going to be starting for us and he's played a lot of minutes for us, we asked them if he could come in a day later, which they said OK to. That's what we felt was the best situation. For him, it's different for the national team-is he necessarily going to start there or is he going to be a sub there? It's good for him to get the minutes in with us before he goes. Every situation is different."
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On the upcoming GM vote by fans...) "It's unique and it's special. I like Adrian [Hanauer] as a boss, so hopefully because he stuck with me it doesn't hurt him in the votes that he gets. I think it's a unique situation. I guess my campaign speech will be very simply, 'We've done what no other expansion team has done and made the playoffs four years in a row, and hopefully to play amongst the top three-four teams in MLS. I think that's something that's pretty good to maintain that over that time.'"
On working with the Sounders FC front office...) "It's a good situation here. A lot of what Chris [Henderson] does and what Adrian is able to do, those were all things that in Columbus-even though GM wasn't my title-and LA from the team side I had to do all those things. I was the one that had to spend all those hours on the phone with agents and make sure that the cap balanced out. All of that made for very long days. Having those days not be as long allows me to devote more time to looking at the upcoming opponent, at looking at players that we're looking at bringing in to our squad. It frees up a lot of my time, but that only works if there's a good working relationship and there's trust amongst those people. That's something that is excellent here between Adrian, Chris, and myself. I'm not worried, and I know that they're looking for and I know what they're looking for, and the communication is very open."
On the injury status of Osvaldo Alonso...) "We just wanted to take it easy so we just had him do half of what the other guys did. He played every other game. He was full-in and when he played there were no restrictions. We just wanted to lighten the work load on him today and tomorrow is an off-day. He should be full-in on Friday."
On the injury status of Pat Ianni...) "He seemed to be all right. He was running around everywhere based on what I saw."
On Michael Tetteh returning to the team after loan...) "He's back... (The loan) went OK. He started in that last game for them, had a little bit of a problem because he got red carded in the game earlier and the league suspended him for two games, so that cost him a couple games. But it was good for him to stay there and fight through and obviously he started in that last game, so that was good."