Here’s some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say this morning -- with emphasis on personnel updates -- after Sounders training:
On the 1-1 draw at San Jose: It’s always tougher watching it on TV, so I definitely would feel better being there, for sure. But I thought the first half we played very well. I thought our possession was really good. I thought the team showed good fight, good character. The second half I thought San Jose got a little more of the game early on. It was a difficult situation when you’re forced to make two subs that you don’t expect to make, with Torres and Evans going down. And so then you’re handcuffed in the second half a little bit as to what changes you can make. But after going down 1-0, again we showed determination and character to come back. A point down there was very important for us.
On watching from TV: The hardest thing when you go from playing to coaching, the hardest thing is you’ve lost control. As a player you have control over something, some aspect out there. Then as a coach you’ve lost control over all that. And then you kind of get yourself into a mindset and a rhythm of coaching. Then when you’re watching on TV when you’re used to sitting on the sidelines, then you’ve lost even more control.
On in-game injuries to Brad Evans and Roman Torres: We’ll know more as we move forward. I think they were doing an MRI this morning on Torres. And with Evans, he came in this morning feeling pretty good, but there’s a little bit of a protocol that they’ve got to go through.
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On debut of Andreas Ivanschitz: I thought it was good. Obviously people could see that he’s got good service on set pieces, and that helped us equalize that game. I think he’s one of those guys like Pappa: a left-footed player who’s comfortable on either side of the pitch. I think Andreas is a little more comfortable on the left side, just because I think he’s played more there. But I think he came in and did well. There’s a lot of things on TV you can’t see that we talked about as coaches this morning: Where was his positioning, how was his defending, things like that, so I can’t really comment on those things.
On Ivanschitz service on set pieces: We’re definitely more dangerous when he’s on the ball for set pieces. He gave a great ball to Neagle that Neagle should have scored on. He found Chad’s head on another one, and obviously he found Zach’s head on the other one. It definitely helps.
On concussion protocol: The protocol kicks in when you’re symptom free, and they do something with you physically – I thing 10 minutes on the bike, 10 minutes jogging – and if you’re symptom free again, then they go to the next stage, and then if you’re symptom free then you go see the nurologist and take a test. And then he clears you and then you ramp up again. So you can go through the protocol in four days. But if symptoms come back, then you always fall back to the beginning.
On how Evans was tested at the time of his injury: There’s a whole checklist that the trainers go through, and (head trainer Chris) Cornish when through that with him. He did all the things correctly. He answered all the questions they ask you like spell your name backwards – I don’t know what they ask you, but all these things – and he did all right on that. And at halftime he wanted to go back in, but I think there was a question or two that he didn’t get right, and their feeling was, let’s take him out now.
On if he will travel and coach at Vancouver on Saturday: I’ll be in Vancouver – whether they want me or not. season: I think the guys know the urgency of it.
On urgency at the end of the season: I’ve said to the guys all along, we’ve got to get our battle down, our effort down, and then the soccer will follow. And like I said, I thought our effort was pretty good in the first half. We need to continue to fight and battle – that’s just the nature of our position, where we are in the league. But as you can see, hard times befall teams at different parts in the season. So we still need to get points on the road, so getting the point at San Jose was important: even more important because we took two points away from them. And we’ve to get something when we go up there to Vancouver. And then we still have Kansas City on the road and Houston on the road. So we’ve got to get something on the road games, and we’ve got to win the home games.
On the Whitecaps: A good team. A lot of speed. They’re a team that they don’t mind you having possession of the ball, they don’t mind you begin in their end of the field. It just opens up for them opportunities to counter. They’ve been able to play a group I think pretty consistently together. I know (Pedro) Morales was out a little bit, and (Mauro) Rosales has missed a little bit as well. But as a general rule you know that (Pedro) Manneh is going to be out there, (Octavio) Rivero’s been out there pretty much all the time, either Morales or Rosales is going to be there. And then they’ve got different choices they can make on the flanks. They’re a team that because of their speed and their ability, they want to get behind you because of their directness. They’re a team that’s always dangerous.
On the combination of DPs Obafemi Martins, Clint Dempsey and Nelson Valdez: It was good. We talked on Friday. I asked Nelson can he play wide left for us because we still feel more comfortable in a 4-4-2 at this moment. And he said yeah. He said to me as well, ‘I can play here all the time if that’s what you want me to do, I just need a game or two to get used to it.’ He’s such a good competitor and team player. It’s unfortunate that early in the game Marvel Wynn steps right on his ankle on the same spot (that he’s been injured on) so he gets those two contusions. He does so many things for us – not just offensively, but then he come up where he heads the ball and then blocks the shot through effort. And as he plays with Oba and Clint, the understanding grows. They had a couple of interchanges between them. He understands that Oba and Clint have a unique relationship, so we’ve got to get them close together. Oba scores a great goal. Clint coming back after a tough week in practice, he’s not somebody that we planned on playing 90 minutes. Obviously with the sustitutions we had to make, he really held it out for the team, so all three of those guys contributed in a huge manner to our (point).