The Sounders are off the pitch from their final training session before meeting FC Dallas at 6 p.m. Sunday at CenturyLink.
Afterward we got access to suspended coach Sigi Schmid, and top assistant Brian Schmetzer, who will fill in for Schmid on the bench tomorrow.
In general, Schmid said he expected a fine, but hoped not to be suspended. He said this is the third time suspended by MLS: Once with the Galaxy, once with the Crew, and now with the Sounders. He admitted he tends to see red around referee Ricardo Salazar, but said he doesn't think Salazar really has anything in for the Sounders.
"I probably went too far in my comments," he said. "Anytime you do something like that obviously you have to recognize and you’ve got to take the punishment that comes with it – which we’re willing to do. But hopefully at the same time it also manages a little closer look at certain facets of the game."
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Schmid said he appreciates that some fans have offered to contribute to his $2,000 fine, but that he would prefer they donate to charity.
"I appreciate that, and it’s great that the support of the fans is so good," he said. "I’d rather have them donate that money for charity, if they can do that on behalf of the Sounders. I’ll take care of it. I’m the one who did it. I want the fans to know that I appreciate their support and I appreciate their feeling in the game as well. But the one thing I want to make sure is they all understand, too, is as a coach and as a team, we don’t walk around trying to blame our results on the referee. Or trying to blame a bad result as, ‘Oh, the referee cost us this time.’ We know that’s part of the game, and we have to deal with it. Sometimes it’s in a positive light for us, sometimes it’s in a negative light; but either way it’s part of the game and we have to deal with it and we never blame the referee. We know that at the end of the day that we’re responsible for wins and losses."
He said he might take part in the March to the Match before tomorrow's game, and that he had hoped to watch the game in the south end with the Emerald City Supporters, but that league rules don't allow suspended coaches to sit in the stands.
"I’d like to sit in with the ECS and sit in there and be under a tifo or something like that and wave a flag," he said. "But they say I can’t sit in the grandstands; so I’m not allowed to do that or else I definitely be up there. … I’ve never been to the March to the Match, so I figured this might be a good occasion to get out there and see how it is because it always looks fantastic and exciting. And it’s fan-appreciation day, it’s our last regular-season home game, so from that standpoint, yeah, try to get a positive out of the day."
League rules also say he can't be in touch with Schmetzer by cell or otherwise during the game tomorrow, but he said he and Schmetzer are getting on the same page with pregame preparations, and Schmetzer said he and Sigi have similar coaching philosophies.
"I know what he wants, I know what he’s all about," Schmetzer said. "That’s just making sure nothing major goes wrong. … We’ve been here three and a half years. I know what he needs, I know what he wants. I’ve got a good feel for him. We’re both German – that’s a good starting point. I don’t foresee any issues."
Neither did Schmid: "Brian and me have worked together for four years," he said. "We’ve got a good relationship, a good understanding. Sometimes we have a hard time deciding whether great minds think alike or fools seldom differ – we don’t know which it is, at times. But I think our thought processes are very similar, and I’m very confident in his ability to get across the message to the team that he needs to get across to them."
Finally -- for now -- general manager Adrian Hanauer said the league had no real complaints with his postgame comments concerning Salazar.