Here are some highlights from the Sounders' final meeting with the media before the start of the season tomorrow:
SIGI SCHMIDOn starting lineup: “We are looking at different things. Patrick Ianni is a possibility at that position [right back]. Zach Scott has played outside back for us as well. So that’s a couple options that are there for us. It won’t be James Riley and Brad Evans is our third option.”
On Pete Vagenas: “He was feeling under the weather yesterday. We wanted to see how he felt today. I think he is still a little bit under the weather. I think there is a little bit of a flu bug going around as well. Steve Zakuani felt a little under the weather as well today.”On how to prepare for an expansion team: “Carefully. Obviously they are a team that hasn’t played a game. There is no history there for us to look at. From that standpoint, we have to look at the individual players. What are the skill sets of those individual players? What do they bring to the team? And try to extrapolate upon that and see how that’s going to fit together.”On Sounders FC in season two: “Obviously we are a known entity and Qwest Field is a known entity. So people know a little bit more what to expect when they come in here. They know it is going to be raucous. It’s going to be loud. It’s going to be rocking. From our team, they will know that we are a team that is going to want to go forward and that’s going to try to combine, keep the ball on the ground and move the ball. So they are aware of those things. It’s a little bit easier for teams to prepare for us. Even if a team is ready for you and prepared for you if you execute well, you are always going to be successful.”
FREDDIE LJUNGBERG On preparing for Phillly) “It’s hard to say. It’s a new team and that was what other teams faced when we started last season. It’s difficult to know what you will get. Mostly I think they are going to be pumped up. They are going to run a lot and work extremely hard. This is the first game they have ever played in MLS as a team. Seba [Sebastien Le Toux] is a great guy and it’s going to be fun to play against him. I spoke to him shortly after he got drafted away from here but he seems to be in a good mood and I’m mostly looking forward to playing against him.”
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On Union preparing for Sounders) “You never know. If you look at last season, a lot of the teams just sunk back and had everybody defending because they knew we were quite good at home and they just tried to hit us on the counter attack. That’s probably what I would expect but, at the same time, you never know. Maybe they think we will expect that and they are going to go for it in the beginning to shock us a bit. We will see.”
On finishing: “I think there is improvement that is needed. Unfortunately the Colorado [Rapids] game got canceled but we played a game here internally and we did two teams and had a 3-3 game where we scored goals. So that was very important to get the goal scoring there and keep it going.”
On communication on the field) “I think we are trying to develop our game a bit more this season, trying to play a bit more of a complex game. I think last season we played quite simple because we didn’t know each other very well. But there will be times this season when the leaders who are in charge of how we are going to play will tell other people that we are doing something wrong because we are trying to implement something new, not new but it’s certain plays that we want to have as our foundation to stand on and then it is very important that certain plays are run at the right time, at the right place. If that doesn’t work out, you need to talk about it on the pitch. That’s part of everyone getting better and it’s important that everybody works to get better.”
On continuing momentum from first season) “We need to develop our game. Certain things maybe you have seen in training. We pressurize maybe harder. The whole team has to come. If one doesn’t come, we are all screwed. Smalls things like that we have worked really hard on and hopefully when we get that right, we will be a much better team.”