On the Erik Friberg signing: Particularly when you make midseason signings you want basic stuff like ideally they speak English or (are familiar with the culture). Erik is much more than that, he’s actually played on our team. He’s a guy who’s excited to be here and will be I think an important guy in our locker room as well as on the field, where he can play all four midfield positions and really gives us something that really makes our team better.
On signing another midfielder after the recent signing of Thomas: We felt like we wanted some more numbers at that position. We had guys during this stretch of games really get run down, that we had to play over and over and over again at midfield. Obviously we’ve had some injuries there, and we have some older players at that spot. We have a mix of old – guys like Pineda – and younger guys, and we felt like we needed a little bit more experience.
… We didn’t want to lock him into one position or another, because we did have guys that we thought had played well at those spots – Pappa, Pineda, Alonso, at times Rose, Roldan – different guys. So to have a guy that’s flexible like Friberg that really helps us now. Thomas is a little more specialized – probably his best position as a young guy is as a left winger. So we brought in a specialist, who is probably specifically attacking, and we brought in a generalist like Friberg who can play a lot of positions. We thought the group as a whole was going to be better. (busy recently, busy again in august) We need bodies in the engine room. Those are the guys who do all of the running, in our system. We’re going to need a lot of guys to handing that stretch in August. … It’s a league-wide call tomorrow. They’re going to walk us through. I don’t know if it’s what they think it will look like. I don’t know if it’s been agreed with the union. That’s the stuff that we’ll learn tomorrow.
On possible changes to MLS roster and salary rules: We have a phone call tomorrow and they’re going to tell us all about the new rule. I don’t know, but hopefully I’ll find out. It’s been hinted to us there might be some new options out there. We’re going to look at it in terms of how we think our team is going to play when we have our entire team together. If it makes sense to add a player in that context, we will. If we think it’s going to be disruptive, we won’t. I know there’s a lot of anxiety right now along the short-term results around the team. But if you have eight-figures of money off the field -- $10 million of spending off the field, out of 12 or 13 (million) – it’s tough. It’s tough, and you’ve got to take your lumps sometimes. And you also in my job have to take the long-view. You have to be patient, and you have to evaluate everything in terms of what does our team look like. And our team – when it was together – was in first place: on top of the entire league. And so we’ve had some negative results when we haven’t had our entire team. We’ve had a pretty perfect storm of missing all of our DPs at the same time, of having key injuries, by the way, because on top of that now Pappa’s gone, and Evans is gone. We have to show character now. We have to show character to fight through adversity. But this whole situation is a means of growing. … If we can learn how to score goals now without Clint and Oba, that’s going to make us a better team. And if we can learn how to possess the ball better and defend better as a group when we don’t have the full fire power, because that’s what we have to do to win games – that’s going to make us stronger as a group. And the whole exercise in July is going to be how do we get ourselves to a point where in August when we get our players back that we’ll be in the best chance to win the MLS Cup and to advance out of Champions League. As we’ve said from Day One: Those are our goals. It’s not the games that we win or lose in June or July.