Here's some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say today after the Sounders completed their final training session before their knockout match against Colorado at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at CenturyLink Field:
On this being a true must-win game: This is a must-win game for sure. It’s like I said, during the season there’s not games like that until you get to a points where, OK, we’ve got to win to advance, we’ve got to win to move into the playoffs, whatever. Obviously Wednesday’s is a must-win for both teams.
On not looking forward to Portland in the semifinal round: We know who we play on Wednesday, and that’s Colorado. That’s all we’re focused on is Colorado. We’re not looking beyond that. … We talked about it and we wanted to make sure that’s not a reflection of what we’re thinking, because there is nothing beyond Colorado. Colorado, and then we think beyond that.
On Obafemi Martin's groin injury: Tried to train yesterday. Came through parts of training all right. Felt tigehter today so we decided just to keep him inside. He’s a very talented player, so if he wakes up and comes out of bed tomorrow and says, ‘Hey, it feels great,’ like it did on Monday where he felt he could go out and train, then that’s going to change things for us. If we had to decide today, he wouldn’t be playing. But we’ll have to see how he feels tomorrow.
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On Sounders' successes in loser-out matches: Our team has had a good mentality in those games. Certain the run in the Open Cup – for four years we went through a pretty successful run there – it’s just something you know that you’ve got to give everything you have. There is no tomorrow. You have to play with that whole passion and commitment, but you also have to play with thought and intelligence at the same time. And I think our team has brought each of those into games. Sometimes we’ve struggled more when we’ve gone into a two-game series. When it’s a one-off we seem to have done all right. Again, it’s a new season now with the playoffs, and we have to bring the right mentality. Colorado’s going to be prepared, they’re going to be ready; and we have to be ready for them.
On Colorado since its 5-1 win over Sounders on Oct. 5: Obviously the last result was a very positive result for them. It was not a good one for us, but you try and look beyond the result and look at are we getting chances, are we getting shots, and I think definitely the last two games when we played Colorado, we had shots on goal. We have to make use of those. And we certainly have to tighten up and not give up the goals that we gave up in our last game with them. How they played at the end of the season, their two-game series with Vancouver they gave up some goals. But on the same token they’re a team that’s come a long way from last year. They were a non-playoff team, and we’ve got to be prepared for a team that’s very hungry and motivated. ... Our focus not is on Colorado – a little bit of revenge for the last time we played them – and to make sure we come out alert right from the opening whistle.
On motivation from that 5-1 loss: It’s motivation because everybody knows what the scoreline is, and everybody was embarrassed that night. So I think guys are motivated from that. And the other thing you take away is being alert, because we gae up two goals in that game in the first 10-12 minutes of the game because we weren’t alert.