Sounders Insider

Dempsey homecoming, Martins iffy, Zakuani trains

Here's some of what coach Sigi Schmid and designated player Clint Dempsey had to say after Sounders training Wednesday:

Coach Sigi Schmid (On Clint Dempsey's integration into the team...) "It's fine. It's just his third practice or so, and obviously we've got some guys missing and guys injured, but it's a matter of him just getting into the training rhythm. He came in yesterday and worked with Dave Tenney, as well, so just getting into fitness because he's still a little bit in preseason mode." (On his media tour in New York on Monday...) "We were in Toronto, anyway, it made sense. We had the off day. We talked it over with Clint, figured he could get back on Monday night, get something in on Tuesday, and we were all comfortable with the situation. We felt that the timing of it was ideal, rather than trying to fit it in when we got back east to Columbus or something like that. It was the appropriate time to do it." (On getting the media appearances out of the way...) "You try and get some of the things out of the way. He wants to get to playing, he wants to concentrate on that. It's part of what the game is all about. It's part of what his signing is all about. I think it's a good advert for the league. We all have to be good soldiers in that respect." (On if he has had a chance to speak at length with Dempsey...) "We talked a little bit at the time when he signed. We sat down and we talked a little bit in my office. We've had occasional chats. We just had that yesterday when he was in because I was in, as well. We'll talk more as the week goes on, but I don't want to add any other things right now. He had a enough to do with his family and to find a house and everything else." (On the status of Obafemi Martins...) "Coming along. He was on the bike today. We didn't expect him to be necessarily on the bike today. We'll see how he responds from that. Sort of a day-to-day thing." (On if Houston will be too soon for Martins to play...) "Don't know yet." (On the play of Mauro Rosales of late...) "I think when our offensive players have success, the team follows because it means we're scoring goals. Obviously if you can get goals from our wide players-and we've always been a team, whether it was [Steve] Zakuani before he got hurt, whether it was the one year with Flaco Fernandez, we've always gotten goals from wide positions. I think that's something that historically all the teams I've coached have done that. Getting goals from Mauro right now, getting goals from [Lamar] Neagle or him being involved in goals playing from the wide position, all those are important for us to have offensive success. And when we have offensive success, we have success as a team." (On Rosales' ability to create in space...) "Every player craves space. It's a game that's all about time and space, so what you're trying to create for yourself is time and space. If you create space you create time and if you create time it means you've created space. It's an equation that works out for players and allows them to make good decisions. A good player will use his time and space, and Mauro is a good player. A player who's not as talented, if you give him time and space and he'll show you he's not so good." (On the status of Steve Zakuani...) "He trained full today, I just didn't have him in the offense-against-defense sequence, because I wanted him to work a little harder. He was full-in today, and we'll see how he feels. Today was his first full training, so we'll see how he feels tomorrow." (On the potential to win the Supporter's Shield...) "We just want to accumulate as many points as possible. Our first goal is to get ourselves into the playoffs. Our second goal is to get ourselves into the playoffs in the best position possible, which means the more points we have, the better seeding we have. All of those things become important. It's not like we're going in there and talking every day about, 'Okay we want to get the Supporter's Shied.' I think right now we're just talking about getting to the playoffs and accumulating as many points as we can." (On Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans being called into the U.S. National Team for the friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina...) "They both started today, so obviously he felt they were important to bring in. In Brad's situation, it's probably from Jurgen [Klinsmann]'s standpoint maybe the one opportunity to see if Brad can defend at right back against European top-level players away from home, rather than against CONCACAF opposition. With Eddie, he told me he felt he needed someone to go with [Jozy] Altidore up top, needed some speed...We could be upset about it or we could be proud about it, so I'm going to choose to be proud." Clint Dempsey - Sounders FC Midfielder (On the media tour...) "No. Never ever experienced that. It's good for the league and good for the team. Any type of attention gets our team name out there a little bit more and hopefully have more fans." (On enjoying the experience...) "Just kind of comes along with the territory. Naturally playing football, that's what I want to do." (On going back to Texas...) "I'm from Nacogdoches and it's like two hours to get to Houston. But yeah, I'll probably be getting like 40 tickets. Yeah, it'll be great to see my family. It's been three or four years since I've have gotten the opportunity to play a game in Houston." (On if playing for the U.S. National Team was the last time Clint played at Houston...) "Yes." (On what it feels like to play at Houston...) "It's good. I mean anytime you can play in front of family, it's always nice. Anytime you get to see them after the game, it's great. Texas is where it all began for me. It gave me the opportunity to play club ball and to accomplish my dreams, so I owe a lot to where I'm from." (On the reception of going back to Texas...) "It'll probably be mixed. I'm sure some people will be happy to see me and some people will be looking forward to booing me, just like Toronto. So that's what comes along with that I think is fun. That's what part of the game and what everyone has to deal with. If I was a Houston Dynamo fan, I would want the same thing; I would want my team to win. But I'm with the Seattle Sounders and I am going to do everything I can to help this team accomplish our goal to win the MLS Cup." (On getting comfortable playing for the Sounders...) "Yeah, it hasn't been much. Like you said, I've only played in a game for sixty minutes, I've only been in maybe three or four training sessions. But yeah, my sharpness is getting there, my fitness is getting there, and I'll be looking to impact games more." (On if he is the type of guy who initiates getting to know the players...) "Just with any team, through traveling, and through being on a bus, whether being in the locker room or eating lunch or this and that, you just happen to talk to everybody. I think it's like going to school, either you do make friends or you don't make friends." (On if being on two road games gives him a chance to mingle with the guys...) "I don't know if that necessarily makes a difference or not. I think it's good to get with the group as soon as possible and try to get any games, whether it's away or at home. I don't think that really plays too big of a part of it. I think what really makes a difference is what you do on the training field and what you do in games. Not traveling or whether its home, to me personally." (On the changes to MLS since he last played here...) "Yeah. I mean, look at the game against Portland that we're playing in. There's 68,000. Of course it's different. There are more fans coming out to games, the quality is better here, more franchises popping up, more soccer specific stadiums. So yeah, the game is getting better. I look forward to being part of the continued growth of the game here." (On missing Mexican food back when in England...) "Yeah it'll be good. I haven't gotten the opportunity. I haven't really been in Seattle that many days. So I haven't really gotten the chance to go around too much. But yeah, I look forward to trying the local restaurants and looking to do some of the stuff outdoors like fishing, or going hiking, or that kind of stuff. But so far, it's been good the places that I've eaten and I'm enjoying the city." (On not playing with the National Team for Wednesday's friendly...) "Yeah it's good to be with the club team. I need to get acclimated as soon as possible, I need to make sure that we get the right results that we make playoffs and that we get a chance to win the MLS Cup. It's good to be here and try to help this team to do that and also for me to get that fitness and that sharpness." (On Rave Green...) "Its good. It's good."

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