Sounders Insider

Schmid assesses Desert Diamond Cup so far, while Sounders take practice day

This is the only non-gameday the Sounders have remaining in their time in the desert: behind their first three Desert Diamond Cup matches, and ahead are the friendly with Veracruz on Friday and the DDC final on Saturday.

That leaves the Sounders to a training session, which will begin at 3 p.m. (PT). (Unlike yesterday there is no snow: It is sunny and afternoon temperatures will reach the mid-50s.)

I'll file from there later. For now, here's some of how coach Sigi Schmid assessed things at this pause in the action.

On going 3-0 in the Desert Diamond Cup round robin: “Obviously we’re pleased. Every time you play you want to win. Wins in preseason don’t matter much. It’s the real season that counts, but I’m pleased with the work of the reserve guys…Also we’ve got to make some decisions at the bottom end of our roster. I’m pleased with guys getting an opportunity to show they can either play with us or not. And I’m pleased with what happened in the last 30 minutes—I thought the quality of soccer was very good.”

On only giving up one goal in three games: “I think we’ve played well defensively. We gave away some chances, like the chance there at the end of the game that I thought the team should have done better with. I think the goalkeeping has been solid -- Marcus (Hahnemann) has been good, Josh Ford has been good, as well, as has Michael Gspurning. I think the defense has been steady. I think they’ve not exposed themselves. They’ve worked together, but they’ve also gotten good help from our outside midfielders, [who] have done a good job. Even that second group today -- Steve Zakuani helping out in the corner defensively, Mario Martinez covering when DeAndre Yedlin went forward. There was some good, responsible play from the outside players, as well.”

On the play of the reserve unit in the first 60 minutes of the Wednesday win over New York: “I think New York had more possession in the first half. Some of the possession was far away from our goal, so it wasn’t really possession that hurt us. It meant that they were out and we had opportunities to attack a little quicker. We didn’t do a good enough job early on when we won the ball, holding on to the ball. We need to do a little better with that, but outside of that I thought the guys caught the rhythm of the game. I thought they played a little better, I thought they put some pressure on New York. When you look at actual chances that were created, I think we were as dangerous as they were.”

On the play of the starting unit in the last 30 minutes of the Red Bulls game: “It was good. Obviously New York had their reserves in, but I thought we were very dominant in that period of time. I thought the passing sequences were very good. I thought the goal—not just the strike, but the whole sequence that led up to the goal—was very good.”