Sounders coach Sigi Schmid took advantage of his last pregame media session of the week to provide a little pushback to LA Galaxy Landon Donovan's comments about the Sounders failures to win tophies other than the U.S. Open Cup.
Asked about the homefield playoff advantage that comes with the Supporters Shield, Schmid U-turned the answer this way:
We're looking at tomorrow's game in and of itself. Tomorrow's game is for the Shield, and after that it's playoffs. I think Landon was a little bit critical of us, saying that we don't win trophies, they win trophies, we only win the U.S. Open Cup. I think the Open Cup is a trophy. I'm sorry the Galaxy hasn't won a lot of them. But on the same token we realize our shortcomings. I was at the Galaxy,and the Galaxy didn't win a league trophy for a while. They won the Supporters Shield I think in '98, but from '96 until we won the MLS championship in 2002 we didn't win an MLS championship. We're in our sixth year, so hopefully that sixth year is the charm.
A bit more from Schmid:
On his team's health: We're OK. Rose is still a little bit, but he's getting better every day. No issues. ... (Rose) seemed like a knee bruise of some sort.
On the team's mood: The mood of the team is good. Guys what to get on with it and get on with practice. It's an early game tomorrow so we didn't want to do too much today: keep it light.
On keys to the game: It comes down to which team finishes its chances. I didn't think we gave the Galaxy a lot of chances in the first 50-60 minutes of the (Sunday) game, but they got two chances and finished them. And we had some chances: We didn't finish them early, and then we finished out chances. I think always in all my years of playing against (LA coach Bruce Arena) his teams like to get forward, our teams like to get forward, usually it comes down to who finishes chances.
On any possible surprises this late in the season: No surprises. It's who plays well and who can make the key plays at the key moments. At this stage of the season there's no secrets, there's nothing out there that teams aren't aware of about each other. It's a matter of execution.
On if he's happy Omar Gonzalez can't play: As happy as with him on the field. People always think, 'Oh, now you have an opportunity.' And usually the guy who comes in has a great game. It doesn't matter that way. We'd be happy if Omar was on the field. We just hope the referee in this game as well is a guy who's going to call the game. Geiger is an experienced referee, so it should be fun. They're a team that likes to break up counters by committing early fouls, so hopefully he'll recognize those tactical fouls. I think in the last game, we fouled a little bit as well. But teams foul, but it's a matter of understanding the mood of the game and what the foul does at that particular moment."
Meaning for MLS soccer: It's great. It's fantastic. It's the first time ever that the Supporters Shield has been on the line between the two teams that are contesting it in the last game. So what do I know or Bruce know? We didn't like the two-game stretch at the beginning of the year, but obviously the schedule-makers got it right and we had it wrong. But still hopefully next year they won't do this.