The Sounders returned to training Tuesday at Starfire, a couple of days from their 2-1 loss to Vancouver and a long -- and longer-seeming -- 11 days until their next chance to get points: Montreal’s April 2 visit to CentutryLink Field.
Below is some of what coach Sigi Schmid and defender Chad Marshall had to say Tuesday:
On the two PKs awarded to the Whitecaps: The first one I think there’s no contact. … But I can understand from a referee’s perspective he sees it a little bit differently, depending on the angle that you have, etc. I can see that. There’s also some other calls in the game I can’t understand: When Valdez turns the corner on (Kendall) Waston it’s not even a card – and if he clears the corner he’s in on goal. Marshall, I think he put the referee into a position where the referee was able to make a decision like that: Is it a PK, is it not a PK? I think if you watch all the games this weekend you could probably see 10 slide tackles that are very similar, and maybe 50 percent of them get called as fouls, and 50 percent are ‘No he got the ball play on.’ But when you put the referee in a position where he can make that choice, obviously it’s not the best place to be.
On the club’s plans for forward Herculez Gomez: I think there will be (a decision) in the next day or so.
On having this early bye week: You’d rather play. I’d rather play right now because when you’re where we are right now you want to get back out there. We want to show our fans what we think of them and what we think of their support by coming out with a performance and a win. So you want to be out there, but the schedule is the way it is, so we’re going to try and use this. It’s a little bit of a break for some of the guys. We’ve been going a little bit longer than some of the other teams, because we also had Champions League. So we can adjust some things as we go.
On training plans for the week: It’s a little bit of a smaller group today. We wanted to play a little bit more so those guys will get some game-time in. Tomorrow we’ll probably break it down a little bit more into functional work: make sure we’re working on our crossing, our finishing, having the midfielders work on opening the game up, building out of the back. It will be a little more functional this week.
On Jordan Morris misses: You’ve got to get back up on the horse. A goal-scorer can’t remember when he misses; he only remembers when he scores. So we’ve got to make sure his memory stays selective. He knows how to put the ball into the net, and it will just be a matter of time.
On the PK on him: I go to ground there. I think without the contact initiated by him that I get to the ball. I think that hip throws me off and I don’t get there. I haven’t seen the replay there. I probably need to be smarter and stay on my feet and not let the ref have to make that decision.
On if it was a foul: The thing to me is what causes all the contact to begin with. But like I said I should probably just keep my feet there.
On the general play of the defense: I think we’re playing well. There have been kind of fluky randon goals. Obviously you want to eliminate those. For the most part we’re happy with the way we’re playing, it’s just like Sigi said: If we didn’t have bad luck we wouldn’t have any luck right now. We’ve just got to stay positive. It’s a long season, and we’ll try to turn things around.
On the PK call on Joevin Jones: To be honest I haven’t seen any replays of the game. Just frustrated and trying to put it behind me and move on.
On any consolation if the disciplinary committee rules embelishment: No. It’s a wins and losses kind of sport. Hopefully it helps crack down on the future and guys are less willing to do something like that, But it doesn’t make defenders feel any better about the game.
The Sounders -- and much of MLS -- are off the week because of an international competition window that have taken more than a half-dozen players from the Sounders’ first-team and S2 rosters.
Seattle Sounders FC today announced that six additional players have been called into international duty during the club's bye week. Defender Joevin Jones has been called into Trinidad & Tobago, while forward Oalex Anderson joins S2 forward Myron Samuel with St. Vincent & the Grenadines for 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in the CONCACAF region. Additionally, defender Román Torres is set to join Panama and serve as team captain, but will not play due to a knee injury suffered last season. It was also announced Sunday that goalkeeper Tyler Miller joined the U.S. U-23 National Team for training camp in advance of the team's home-and-away playoff against Colombia, which will determine the final berth in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Additionally, forward Victor Mansaray is away with the U.S. U-20 National Team for the 2016 Dallas Cup taking place from March 20-26.
Since making his international debut in 2010, Jones, 24, has been a consistent presence for the Soca Warriors, logging 37 career appearances. In 2012, Jones helped his country earn qualification to its first CONCACAF Gold Cup in six years after finishing second in the Caribbean Cup. He recorded his first career international goal in the Group Stage of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup against Guatemala.
Anderson, 20, has 20 caps for the St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Team since his debut in February of 2014, scoring 10 international goals. He found the net against the U.S. Men's National Team for an opening strike five minutes into the match in a FIFA World Cup Qualifier in November at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, but the Vincy Heat lost the contest 6-1. He joins the Vincy Heat with countryman Myron Samuel, who signed a contract extension with Sounders FC 2 on March 18.
Trinidad & Tobago and the SVG squad face off in a pair of Group Stage matches of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying. The first match takes place in Kingstown, St. Vincent at Arnos Vale Stadium on Friday, March 25 a return fixture at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on Tuesday, on March 29. The Soca Warriors are currently tied with the U.S. National Team atop Group C with four points, while the Vincy Heat currently sit last with zero points through two matches.
Torres, 30, has 82 career caps and eight career goals for the Panamanian National Team. He joins Los Canaleros as team captain, but will not play due to a left ACL tear suffered on September 12 against the San Jose Earthquakes. Panama is currently tied for second in Group B of the CONCACAF Group Stage of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying with three points, and faces Haiti in a pair of fixtures on March 25 and 29.
U.S. Soccer announced Sunday that Sounders FC goalkeeper Tyler Miller has been called into the U.S. U-23 National Team camp in advance of the 2016 Olympic Qualifying Playoff against Colombia. Miller joins Seattle forward Jordan Morris on Head Coach Andi Herzog's roster, with the first leg of the home-and-away playoff taking place on Friday, March 25 at Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez in Barranquilla, Colombia, at 2:00 p.m. PT live on FS1. The return leg is being played on March 29 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas at 6:30 p.m. PT, with the decisive match broadcast live on ESPN2 following the USMNT's World Cup Qualifying match against Guatemala at 4:00 p.m. PT. Miller replaces SC Freiburg goalkeeper Zack Steffen on the roster due to injury.
Seattle forward Victor Mansaray is also away with the youth USMNT ranks after being called in the U.S. U-20 squad for the 2016 Dallas Cup taking place from March 20-26. Head Coach Tab Ramos' 22-man roster competes in Group A of the Gordon Jago Super Group, with the club defeating CF Monterrey Rayados of Mexico 1-0 on Sunday before taking on Fullham FC of England today and finishing group play against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim of Germany on March 23.
It was also announced Sunday that Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey was called into Jurgen Klinsmann's 26-man roster for a pair of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches against Guatemala. The first match is set to take place at Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City on Friday, March 25 (7:00 p.m. PT / beIN Sport, NBC Universo) before the two sides face off at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus on Tuesday, March 29 (4:00 p.m. PT / ESPN2, UniMas, Univision Deportes Network).
Following a 2-1 loss Saturday to Vancouver, Sounders FC (0-3-0, 0 points) goes into a bye weekend before returning to MLS play on Saturday, April 2 against the Montreal Impact on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field (7:00 p.m. PT / Q13 FOX, Univision-Seattle, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM).