The Sounders were hardly done with their 3-1 win over Dallas tonight before they were being asked to look ahead to A) their CONCACAF Champions League group-stage finale against Marathon on Wednesday, B) their MLS regular-season finale next Sunday at Los Angeles, and C) their opening playoff pairing with Real Salt Lake.
Here's some of what they had to say:
Coach BRIAN SCHMETZEROn personnel issues in the two games this week: Sigi and I will talk about that, probably a little bit later after we leave the (press conference). We have training (Monday), and we'll start contemplating that. Even before LA we have Marathon to deal with as well, so we have a couple of things to talk about with the staff.
On avoiding the play-in between the fourth and fifth seeds: “It’s massive. It’s massive. It’s just an extra game on an already busy schedule. I think we must play more games than most teams in this league. We’ve had a couple injuries and we’re trying to get back at it, and Wednesday games we’re used to it. It certainly would have put a lot more mileage and a little bit more pressure to get us to where we want to be.”
Never miss a local story.
On Sounders potential: “I think this team is good enough that if we play up to our potential and we worry about ourselves that we have a chance to beat anybody in this league.”
Midfielder BRAD EVANSOn this team being more prepared for the playoffs than previous years: "I think we are hungry more than anything. We can compete with anybody, and we have shown that throughout the year. For us I think that we are confident, but we aren't overconfident. I think we are playing with our backs against the wall and a chip on our shoulder. We are not overconfident, but I know the players we have, and I am confident with what we can do."
On losing Cascadia Cup result fueling that hunger: "Obviously that is important to everybody top to bottom, especially the fans. If we can't give them that then we need to give them something else."
Midfielder MAURO ROSALES"It was a very difficult game too, because they had to win today to get into the playoffs, and we did an excellent job. We need to keep playing like this, and then go into the playoffs at our best level."
On a difference between the 2nd and 3rd seed: "There is a difference, because if we pass the conference round then we want to be the highest seed to host the final round, but we have to beat the conference teams first. We are in a good spot, and we just need to keep going."
On this team being more prepared than previous years: "Yeah everybody is tired, but we need to play with 5 percent extra because it is playoff time. The concentration and work need to be there during the week, and then we can do a better job in the playoffs."
Forward FREDY MONTEROOn if the team is ready for the playoffs: “Yeah, definitely. I think we are prepared for what we are going to have. The playoffs are going to be difficult. We’ve been waiting this whole year and we just want to start playing in the playoffs and see what we can do.” On a playoff rematch with Salt Lake: “It’s the playoffs. You never know what’s going to happen, but our mentality is going to be the same. At home, try to attack and score goals. You can see the last game that’s what we tried to do.” On this year’s team compared to previous years’ teams: “Three years before we were new in this league. We didn’t know anything about the playoffs, so now we have three times gone to the playoffs and we couldn’t advance. This year, we are focused on what we need to do—run and battle every single ball and hopefully that’s going to be enough for us to advance.”