Here's Sounders reaction to their 6-2 win over Columbus today, which pulled them to within three points of Los Angeles in the Supporters Shield race:
Sigi Schmid - Sounders FC Head Coach(On his strategy for lineup changes with the team playing eight games in August...) "Just to stay fresh; keep our team right. Lamar obviously didn't play in Monterey. Fernandez played a lot of hard minutes down in Monterey, helped us, scored a great goal down there. We wanted to come back with Rosales, who also didn't play in Monterey. So it's just a matter of squad rotation and staying fresh."
(On the depth of the squad...) "It definitely speaks well for the depth of our squad. I felt that all along, if we're healthy - and obviously we're missing a couple of key pieces that aren't healthy, but the majority now are healthy - and I felt all along that we could go 16 or 17 deep without changing our ability to play."
(On Mike Fucito...) "It was good to see Mike get a goal. He made a good run. He was quicker to the ball, finished it well. He was also the guy who was standing right there to tap it in when Josh Gardner scored the own-goal. I thought he had some good moments. He's doing a better job staying in the middle of the field and when he's there he's dangerous."
(On adjusting for the absence of Crew defender Julius James...) "Not all that much. We knew they were going to have to replace Julius James and we wanted to make them play out of the middle a little bit more and force the ball there. I think that Rich Balchan is a good rookie who is coming off of having been out for awhile with an injury and it's maybe took him a little bit of time to get used to the rhythm of the game."
(On the Crew's Jeff Cunningham scoring his 134th career MLS goal...) As the penalty got called, I was sort of surprised because I saw some of their players grab the ball ahead of Jeff [Cunningham], and I'm like going 'I can't believe they're not going to give them the goal here today or give the try.' And I felt for Kasey, because I wanted Kasey to save it because you don't want to be the guy who gets that scored against. But Jeff's had a great career in this league and he's scored a lot of goals. It's great to see him get that behind him."
(On the defense's efforts today...) "I think the defense overall has done well in terms of their ability and their willingness to sacrifice their bodies. We've blocked a lot of shots, which is something we did really well when we had a good run last year. We did a good job of getting our body in front of shots. And today we did a good job of that as well. We want to eliminate the goals we take on set pieces, because they all count the same, but I think as a team we defended much better. The second half was a little harder for us, because they went into a 3-5-2 and I was a little stubborn; I didn't entirely switch to match them. I wanted to see a little bit of how the guys would adjust to it themselves. Early on, we did alright with it and then we needed to adjust a little bit more, but that's something we'll talk about tomorrow."
(On the victory...) "We haven't had a game like this where we get off to a good start in a while. It's usually the other way around, where we kind of have to dig ourselves out of a hole. So it was nice. We were kind of connecting at the beginning and just throughout the whole game we were all kind of on the same page offensively and defensively for the most part, except kind of toward the end."
Mauro Rosales - Sounders FC Midfielder(On what a game like this feels like...) "I think we were over-concentrated about this game because we knew they were a tough team. I think we did our jobs. We played very focused. We love playing at home and nobody can take the points from our home."
(On Sounders FC recent performances...) "I think one of the reasons is because Coach (Sigi Schmid) made some substitutions in a few games and they're trying to keep all the guys fresh. He gives minutes to everybody and every guy coming onto the field is trying to do his best. I think this is one of the reasons for all the points."
(On different scoring options...) "We have many options. That's why we scored this many goals. Today was six and we had about 15 more chances or something like that. When we have the chances, it's something that we have to do - try to score as many goals as we can. I think we are working very hard and we are having a good time."