Sounders coach Sigi Schmid's return to training today gave us our first chance to get his reaction on a variety of topics, including MLS' expansion into Atlanta for 2017, and the possibility that he could be coaching at game at NYCFC's inaugural home of Yankee Stadium as early as next season:
"Wow," he said. "I’ll be thinking of Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth and all those guys. I’ve actually never been to Yankee Stadium, so that will be a fun experience – old or new – I’ve never been to Yankee Stadium. My old assistant coach Ralph Perez is a huge Yankees fan, so he’ll probably show up for the game just for that reason.
"Obviously the league knows better as to what they’re trying to do. I think Atlanta, for them, is an important market. Strong ownership is very important to our league as it is to any league, but just getting into that marketplace – it’s a good TV market – I think those are all positives for our league.
"The thing with New York FC and how soon can they figure out their field situation or build their own stadium, obviously it’s going to benefit them. It’s never ideal. When I was coaching at UCLA we had to play on a baseball field to have our night games, so I know how difficult it is to lay out a field. The field’s going to be a little smaller; it’s also going to play smaller as a result of that, so it will lend itself to a little bit of a different game possibly there. But again, you’re in New York City, and their fan base and how the atmosphere is, that will all be things that will get determined."