The Sounders’ travel party from Honduras reunited with those lefts behind for a Friday training session at CenturyLink Field, where the Sounders will meet the Portland Timbers at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Here’s some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say about the trip, and the important game ahead:
On Portland starting Sounders’ ongoing slump in controversial U.S. Open Cup meeting) I don’t think Portland started it. I think somebody else started it, who will remain nameless. Obviously it’s been a difficult situation because of that Open Cup game with the injuries and people being gone – Gold Cup and everything else – it started the bad trend. But it’s time for that to go in the other direction, and this is the time.
On how great it would be turn the page here) We are going to turn the page. It’s not anything we are going to think about it being a great day: It’s going to be a great day. We’re going to turn the page. We’re going to get after them, and we’re going to play very well.
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On Clint Dempsey) Doing better. Don’t know (his status) at this stage.
On Osvaldo Alonso) Don’t know: same thing, doing better.
On Chad Barrett) Don’t know, doing better.
On Andreas Ivanschitz) He’s doing better too, but this weekend is probably early for him.
On Marco Pappa’s return vs. Olimpia) It was OK. Difficult game to play, obviously, in Honduras. But for him to get back out on the field was important. I had to play him in a little bit of a different role in that game. But it was good to get him back on the field.
On the traveling Sounders’ return to training) We got in late last night. It’s a long travel day. When you figure it out, you’re leaving the hotel at what’s the equivalent to us like 7:30-8 in the morning here, and you’re arriving at 8:30 at night. So it’s a 12-hour travel day. Somebody got off the plane and said ‘I’m glad I’m in Europe.’ The only thing we didn’t experience was the time change. But in terms of the hours of travel it’s very comparable.
On the takeoff and landing at Honduras’ notoriously dangerous airport) It was good. I was sitting on the right side of the plane – you don’t want to be sitting on the left side of the plane. So the guys on the left had a little bit of an eye-opening experience. The guys on the right, we saw blue sky. … On the left is little mountain and roads and houses. You’re thinking, like, ‘Is there an airport there, or are we landing in somebody’s back yard?’