The Sounders trained at Starfire this morning, this without another league match until June 22, coach Sigi Schmid covered a wide range of topics afterward:
(On attending U.S. National Team practice yesterday...) "It was good. I was just out there to watch training and see some friends and all that. Obviously I've known Jurgen [Klinsmann], and Andy Hertzog played for me, and Martin [Vasquez] was my assistant, and Ivan Pierra was my trainer, and Jesse [Bignami] was my equipment guy with the under-20's, so there's a lot of people I know. It was good to see all those people and say hello to them." (On USMNT players he's coached...) "I've coached a few of the players. It was good when as an under-20 team our two goalkeepers were Timmy Howard and Nick Rimando. It was good goalkeeping and a lot of laughs with Rimando, for sure." (On the success Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson have had with the USMNT...) "It's great. It's great for them. Eddie because he was away from the National Team for years, and for him to be able to get back and score some key goals in the last qualifying round and continue to be a member of the squad is important. Hopefully the minutes will come along again. For Evans to, as a versatile player and maybe a little bit of a utility man, to push himself in there to right now be able to get on the field at right back and score such a huge goal as he scored in Jamaica is fantastic." (On Seattle hosting a World Cup qualifier...) "It's fantastic for the city of Seattle. I think the Northwest deserves World Cup qualifiers because the support that the Sounder fans have given to Sounders and the support that Portland's fans have given them is phenomenal. We haven't really had any World Cup qualifiers, so now we're getting World Cup qualifiers, we're getting a Gold Cup game, as well, later on in the Northwest area. It's just a tribute to the fans, it's a reward for the fans. I think the turnout is going to great tomorrow night. It helps us, it continues to expose soccer. It's great that we have a couple players on the team that are making an impact. That just makes it a little more of a nicer event." (On if he will be at the match...) "Yeah I'll be there. I actually get to watch it from up above without any responsibility, which is a great feeling." (On the importance of Saturday's win with so few games in June...) "It was really important. You want to go into a break feeling good about yourselves and go in with a positive feeling. Getting the win was really important from that regard. It makes the break time go faster, you're looking forward to the next game. We still have games in hand on people, so that's important. I've said [we want to be at] a point and a half a game-we're over that now, so we want to continue to climb and improve on our average. We can watch the other teams play this upcoming weekend, see what happens and falls out those set of games. It's just a good way to go into a break." (On the injured players' health status for the next game...) "Don't really know-we have to see. We have to see how many minutes guys are getting with the National Team because they're playing a number of games. For them to play a game on the 18th and come back and play again against Salt Lake-same thing with Mario Martinez, how many minutes is he going to get? We have to evaluate that. Ozzie [Alonso] is making progress. He was able to jog a little bit today, which was a positive step, so we'll see how he progresses. Guys are going to get some days off to heal some wounds and get a little bit of time away mentally and physically, which is an important aspect. We'll have a better idea come next Monday." (On players stepping up to fill in for missing players...) "Very pleased. That's obviously what you need, and you need guys when their opportunity comes to them, they take full advantage of it. I think Servando Carrasco has done a great job this year, especially because last year was a real trying year for him in that he was getting less playing time than, say, Andy Rose. He's stepped up and has been solid in the games that he's played. For Andy Rose, this year has been a trying year because his playing time was down, then he steps up and scores a goal and is involved in our winning goal with an assist, as well. Those are key moments and when you have those guys contributing off the bench makes the first team guys push a little harder, as well." (On six Seattle players being included on the MLS All-Star ballot...) "If you're doing well, people are looking at why you're doing well, who's playing well, who's having an impact, who's helping the team perform. When you're not doing well, they're doing the opposite. They're saying, 'Who's hurting the team? Who's making the team not perform?' If you're doing well, having guys nominated in that regard and then playing well is always an honor to your team. Anytime guys get selected, I think the guys will tell you themselves it's an individual honor, for sure, but it's really a reflection of the team."
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