Sounders Insider

Tottenham praises Sounders and Seattle atmosphere

TottenhamHere's some of what Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino and goalkeeper Brad Freidel had to say today after the 3-3 draw with Sounders FC:

Pochettino(On the atmosphere in Seattle...) "It was unbelievable. I want to say thank you for the supporters. Yesterday and today they made the effort to come here to see us and I want to thank them." (On if they accomplished what they wanted to...) "Yes. I want to congratulate our players because the conditions to play were very difficult. It was warm, a different field (surface) and a very good team. It was a good performance because for us it was only one training moment." (On Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins...) "I think they did well. Dempsey is a very good player and Martins, too. It's difficult to compare now because of our lack of conditioning." (On Make-A-Wish player Xander Bailey...) "It was very important (to be a part of) and we give our support always for something like that." Friedel(On the atmosphere at CenturyLink Field and his thoughts on the game in general...) "It's outstanding. I was just speaking to a friend of mine-for a friendly, 55 and a half thousand, that's an amazing turnout. When we come on these tours, a lot of time, we don't know what to expect. One thing was for certain, when we came to Seattle, we knew we were going to expect a good atmosphere and playing against the best team in the MLS right now. It was a very tough game for us. This was our first one, our first 90 minutes of the entire preseason, so it was always going to be hard, but you want hard tests in preseason, and I think especially at times in the first half, Seattle showed us why they're top of the league right now." (On which Sounders players stood out and impressed him...) "To be honest, I thought all their attacking players that played in the first half were very good. I thought [Gonzalo] Pineda was good. I thought [Osvaldo] Alonso's passing was good; obviously he scored a very good goal. And then also the overlapping runs on the right hand side, our left hand side, of [DeAndre] Yedlin... in both halves really was very good. I don't know how many more games you guys have? 12 or 14, or something of that nature? So you guys are in full stride and full fitness, and I think you were also able to see some of our qualities today, so if that's what we can show in our very first outing, then I think we'll be pleased with our progress in preseason so far." (On his history with Sigi Schmid and other Sounders personnel, and reuniting with them...) "It was great. We had a coffee the other night and to be honest with you, I keep in touch with Sigi throughout the year. He comes over to London a couple of times a year and we always stay in touch. And Chris Henderson as well; he's a good friend of mine. If there's ever any help that I can give him with players and such, then I'm more than happy to help." (On whether he felt Tottenham Hotspur was ahead of where they expected to be for their first outing...) "Yeah, actually, I think so. We've been working extremely hard. Our preseason has been very demanding under the new boss, and I think that showed. If we weren't up to even 50 or 60 percent fitness, we could have really gotten blown away playing a fully fit, very good side like Seattle. I think we were all pleasantly surprised with the fitness levels of the team. It's not ideal, it must be said, to play on turf, you know [...] but listen, that's by the by. This was a great test for us today. We're going to go now to Toronto, being very happy with our stay here." (On what he takes away from today's match...) "Well, I think the first 90 minutes, which is always good. I didn't see any injuries in the changing room after, which is always very good. This was the first time that we were able to try to adapt to our new manager's philosophy of play, both offensively and defensively with competition, so that's always a positive step. Now we can go and watch the films of it and we can improve on what he'll want to improve for the next game. I think the entire stay in Seattle has been outstanding. The facilities of the Seattle Seahawks that they let us train at were outstanding, so we got a lot of good training in. And that's the most important thing for us, is to get fit for the Premier League season. Yes, we want to try and win every game we go out and play, but it's also very important that we get ourselves physically fit for our own kick-off."