The Sounders trained at the FC Dallas soccer facitity Saturday, going through final preparations for the second-leg of their MLS Western Conference semifinal series Sunday at Toyota Stadium.
Here is some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say:
On the team’s mindset: Our mindset has always been that we’ve been a good road team. We had the stretch in the middle of the season where we weren’t a good team whether it was home or away. But we’ve always been a good road team. I think you come in with the mentality that you want to win. If you don’t win, you get a tie, you’re OK. If you come in with the mentality to tie, then there are too many things that can go wrong. All of a sudden you slip up and all of a sudden the tie turns into a loss, and that’s not what we want. Our mentality is we want to come in and play.
On Dallas’ strength at home: Playing at home, especially in the summer months when the heat and the humidity is here, is a certain advantage to them. But I think the home fields are becoming more of an advantage in the league. I know teams still get up when they come to Seattle to play. It’s a big crowd, and sometimes that brings out the best game in the opponent. But I also think it’s become more a situation where the home field is an advantage because the crowd is boisterous, they put the fans who make the most noise in strategic positions around the stadiums. All that factors in.
On containing the Dallas attack: They’re good players, so we have to be aware of where they are on the field, we have to be aware of where they are when the ball turns over, and we have to eliminate the service whenever possible.
On if he will wake up Sunday thinking that it could be the last day of season: No. We’re prepared and we want to win the game, just as Dallas is going into the game to get the result. I try not to cloud myself with those negative thoughts. I’m sure Oscar does the same thing.
On updating the health of his questionable players: No.
On attacking the Dallas defense: When we have the ball we have to possess the ball. We have to push the tempo of the game a little bit. That’s important. I think we have some pretty gifted attackers, so if they’re on form, I think that can cause problems to any team. It’s a matter of the guys playing to the level that they’re playing to and make sure that we keep good possession.