The Sounders concluded bye-week training today in Tukwila and now will enjoy three days off before returning Tuesday to begin work for the April 2 home match with Montreal.
Here’s some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say:
On what was accomplished: We accomplished what we wanted to do in terms of giving the guys a little bit of work on Tuesday through Friday. We’re giving them time off now – allow them to regenerate a little bit, not only physically but mentally. Just get away. We know what lays ahead.
On working with eight players away on international duty: It’s a little bit difficult, but you try and do things that are specific maybe to the guys that are here. We really wanted to be active with our ball movement, get stuff in front of goal, so we did some crossing, with our finishing we got some of that done as well, and we really just put an emphasis on ball movement. Missing a lot of guys with international duty, a couple of guys I gave a couple more days to as well.
On Roman Torres joining Panama national team even though he can’t play due to knee injury: They had requested him. He’s great in our locker room as well, and I know he’s their captain, and he’s important to their mentality as well, and they’re playing some important games. So it’s a situation of we talked, and where would he be at in terms of his rehab. There was really good communication between our trainer and the trainers for the Panamanian team, so he’s going to be able to continue to work on what he was working on here. We’re confident about that. We agreed to the days. We shaved some days off at the beginning, so he was still here Monday-Tuesday, so he basically joined the team a little bit later. We thought it was a good situation for everybody.
On the Guatemala-USA World Cup qualifier tonight: Guatemala and all the countries – El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras – they’re all difficult to play at just because of everything else that you’re dealing with: not just the soccer on the pitch but the grasses are a little bit different, the fields are a little bit different, just the accommodations are a little bit different. Things can happen that you don’t expect off the field in preparation for the game. But when you look at the on-the-field stuff, Guatemala is a team that we should beat, provided we can deal with all the mental obstacles that are there for us. But on the field I think it’s a team that we should beat and have success against and pick up three points tonight.