It's pretty much impossible to preview a Sounders-LA series without mentioning the two coaches: Seattle's Sigi Schmid, who is the winningest coach in MLS history, and LA's Bruce Arena, who has the most postseason wins.
We asked each about the other this week.
"If it was him and I kicking the ball, it would make for an ugly game, especially since he was a goalkeeper – I’ll rub that in on Bruce," Schmid said. "We only played against each other once. When I was in college he was a goalkeeper for Cornell, and I played for UCLA, and we won, 1-0. But it was a game that under new concussion protocol, I would have never finished the game, because I got concussed early on in that game, and I cannot remember anything about that game. I wish I could. But, no, it’s our teams that are going to be playing against each other, and his teams are always well prepared, they always play with good energy and good quality, and it’s going to be a good series."
As it happens, Arena also claimed a little memory lapse -- at least briefly -- when asked about that game.
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"I’ll be honest with you, and I don’t want to take this away from Sigi: I don’t honestly remember Sigi playing in that game," he said. "I remember at the time UCLA had a bunch of talented Ethiopian players that we outstanding. We lost in the NCAA semifinals. I was the most valuable player in the tournament, so I wasn’t looking at Sigi… All kidding aside, UCLA had a great team. Sigi was an outstanding player as he is a coach. It was a lot of fun. They were two teams that were pretty similar, but I think at that time UCLA was certainly ahead of Cornell. Cornell was a group of pretty academic-oriented players with one except – myself, and maybe another player. UCLA had a great international flare, along wth some outstanding American players, and they went out and obviously went on to the final and I think lost that year to the final. It was a lot of fun. It was my first time that I probably crossed paths with Sigi, and I admire everything he’s done since."