The Sounders concluded their preparations for RSL today, and their return to action tomorrow will end a 10-day break in the schedule before the final stretch run to the playoffs.
After training today, we asked coach Sigi Schmid how the time off was used.
"Our preparation was more about ourselves and working on our game and being able to train and practice on the things that we felt we had to train on," he said. "It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, we’ve got 10 days now to prepare for Salt Lake, so let’s focus and put 10 days of preparation into Salt Lake.’ That wasn’t it. It was about the work on the things we needed to working on, getting things right that we felt we needed to get right for the last part of the season."
More from Schmid:
On the club's updated goal of finishing second in the West: Our goal was to finish at least second. Those were the goals we established with about 14 games to go. Certainly, if you can grab first, you try and grab first, but that opportunity slipped away. So what’s important now is to get us in the best playoff position we can.
On failing to beat either San Jose or RSL yet this season: I don’t care if we don’t beat them in the regular season as long as we beat them in the playoffs. There are times when we’ve beaten those team in the regular season and we didn’t win in the playoffs. So, it all works out. It’s tough to beat a quality team four times or five times, so from that standpoint maybe the odds reverse itself. For us, it’s important we know every game we’ve played against San Jose, we were in every game. So now we’ve just got to figure out the little bit to tip it and go our way. And we know in the two games we’ve played against Salt Lake we’ve been in the game all the time. So it’s just a matter of just making sure we tip the game in our direction. A win certainly helps the confidence, but it’s something for us where a win in the playoff is the most important.
On defender Patrick Ianni, who left practice early today: We just wanted to check something out so we’ll know more later. He seems all right.