Here's some of what Sounders coach Sigi Schmid had to say today on the eve of his team's return to action at 7 p.m. Saturday against the Philadelphia Union:
On the quest for a shutout ... even with high offensive production: “We want to continue to do well offensively. Obviously with the talent that we have, we want those guys to continue to do well and produce. But on the same token, playing well defensively is something you want to do. It something you need as a championship team because there are going to be days when it goes dry for you up top, and you want to make sure you’re in the game. The longer we are in a game, our offense is going to come through. So it’s important from that standpoint.”
On recent defensive improvement: “Yeah, I think when you look at the last two games, it was a penalty kick against Chivas and the goal we took here (last week vs. Colorado) once we were up 3-0. When the game has been on the line, I think our defense has been pretty good, and I think we’ve concentrated on that and we’ve improved that part of it.”
On Osvaldo Alonso being subbed out late in the win over Colorado: “If we could get 10 minutes off his body, we figured we could get 10 minutes off his body in that particular game. He feels pretty good. He’s getting better every week. He could have gone and played the rest of the game, but we just figured, ‘Hey, if we could get him 10-12 minutes out…’ and Andy hadn’t had his injury after he played against Montreal, so getting him on for 10 minutes was good.”
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On the expanded Copa America coming to the U.S. in 2016: “I think it’s great. Obviously the U.S. was disappointed not getting a World Cup in our country for ’18 or ’22, and having the centennial for Copa America here in 2016 I think is fantastic. Obviously you don’t get the European teams, but you still get the (Leo) Messis of the world and the (Luis) Suarez’s and all those guys playing for those countries -- the (Radamel) Falcaos and people like that -- so it’s going to be a good tournament. In Europe, you always look forward for the Nations Cup in between the World Cups; and I think this is going to be an event that hopefully should be the biggest thing we’ve hosted since we hosted the World Cup in 1994.”
Finally, a few other notes:
Obafemi Martins’ goal in the 4-1 win over Colorado was honored Friday as MLS goal of the week. Martins also won the award the previous week. … Sounders FC has confirmed that Darren Sawatzky has not been retained as the club’s director of youth development. However, he will remain coach and general manager of the Pierce County-based Sounders U-23 PDL club. … Sounders U-23 has announced a time change for its friendly against Western Washington University. The game has been moved back half an hour to 7:30 p.m. Monday at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner. … The Seattle Reign’s Kim Little was named NWSL player of the month after scoring four goals in April.