Sounders Insider

Sounders turn attention back to CONCACAF

One day after their important league win at Dallas, Sounders FC turned its attention back to CONCACAF Champions League and their Tuesday game at defending champion Monterrey.

Coach SIGI SCHMID:On the challenge of playing Monterrey on Tuesday night in the second round of the Champions League group stage…) “Obviously Monterrey is a quality team. We knew that from last year. They’ve basically maintained. Eighty percent of their team is still there. They’ve added a very good player in Delgado. They lost their last game against Chivas, 2-1, but obviously they had a great game in the CCL. It’s going to be a difficult game, a difficult opponent in a difficult place to play.”

(On the benefit of having played in Monterrey last year…) “The main thing in all of the CONCACAF tournament last year, the CCL, we know what to expect now when we’re going in there. Our young players now, with the exception of certain guys like [Servando] Carrasco and [Josh] Ford who haven’t been there before, everybody else knows what it’s going to be like. They know what the field conditions are going to be like, they know what the hotel’s going to be like. And so that’s a big plus. They also have an idea of the style of play a little bit better than last year because you can talk about it, but until you get out there and experience it they’re not quite sure how it’s different or how they need to respond differently as a team.”

On the promise shown in that 3-2 loss at Monterrey…) “It was a case of Monterrey was at home and didn’t start all their starters; they started quite a few. And it was a case of we played a lot of our reserves and the guys did well, got a couple of good goals. Then we had a bad period of time where we needed a little bit of organization and experience, and hopefully we’ll have that organization and experience this year.”

On the defensive performance versus FC Dallas…) “They had a lot of shots. We blocked a lot of shots, so not that many shots got on goal. I think Kasey had to come up with two big saves. We sort of got into a defensive mindset when we were up 1-nothing and even when we went up a man advantage it was hard to get the team out of that defensive mindset. What I’ve learned over my years in coaching is that when you as a coach try to force them out of that mindset when they’re in that in the middle of a game, sometimes you mess them up more than anything. So even though it looked ugly I was confident we could defend through it, although we needed to do a better job of holding onto the ball. We needed to take advantage of the man advantage for us, and that’s something we’ll talk about, and hopefully we’ll do better the next time. But I’m pleased with the courage we showed on defense and the effort we put in.”

On what how the personnel will be rotated…) “For us it’s important that we balance off our work and our rest because we have two big games coming up when we come back: Columbus at home because we want to keep pushing the point total, and then we’ve got the Open Cup semifinal. Winning in Monterrey is going to be a tough task, no matter what squad we send out there, but we feel we’ve got a good mix of players, where we can send out some players with experience who maybe haven’t played as many minutes as the other guys.”