The Sounders are off the training pitch for another day. They’ll take tomorrow off before return Wednesday to preparations for their Saturday match at Colorado.
We spent some time with both coach Sigi Schmid and goalkeeper Stefan Frei, and both covered some interesting topics.
Schmid said he didn’t have any particular difficulties coaching with crutches the sidelines Saturday. He said he was happy with Oalex Anderson’s start and Nelson Valdez coming off the bench, and -- of course -- Jordan Morris getting into the scoring column. He said Cristian Roldan came off the pitch early last week as a protective measure so he should be available for the Rapids this weekend.
More from Schmid:
On Chad Marshall’s two goals in two games: He’s always been a centerback who is dangerous and can score goals, and I think the goal for him should be four or five goals. That’s what we’ve want to achieve with him. He’s got two, so he’s got a couple more to go. If he wants to make it more than four or five, I’ll be happy.
On S2 after five games: They’re learning each other. They’re playing a lot of young players, so they’re getting better. It was only (defender Nouhou Tolo’s) second game with them. Mark (O’Ojong), the other Cameroonian is playing much better than he played earlier. Victor (Mansaray) is starting to adjust to playing as a center forward, so all those things are helping. (Andy) Craven is still looking for his form. But people forget he missed a lot of preseason because of injury as well – he missed from July on, and so basically he’s played one month after missing about seven. I always feel when you miss three or more months it takes you half that time to find your game. So I still think he’s maybe two more months from finding his game. But we’ve got to continue to play him to find the game. But guys are continuing to come along. (Michael) Nelson is off injury, so it was good to see him out there as well.
On Frei’s point that the Sounders might have played better in their 0-3 start than in their 2-0-1 run since: This last game I think we created chances. We certainly got behind their defense and we had some good looks and we had shots. Would you say the overall soccer was as good as it was in some other games? No. The soccer in some other games was better. But sometimes people don’t care about that, they care about the results, and you’ve got to find the right balance between the possession and the soccer and holding onto it, and also being direct and getting behind them at the appropriate moments. It’s a pendulum thing. Maybe we were way over here this game, and maybe we swung way over here. We wanted Clint to play higher, and maybe he played too high in this last game. You’ve got to find that middle ground. It’s still a work in progress.
Here’s Frei making that point: “We always maintained that the three losses, we played decent soccer in those games. We’re in all the games. In fact you could even argue that in the losses we played a little bit better than in the wins, and the tie. But that’s the nature of this league. Sometimes games aren’t going to be pretty, but you have to fight through it and sometimes grind out a result, and that’s what we did.”
More from Frei:
On Colorado’s game in snow last weekend: I’m from Switzerland, so I’ve had my fair share of playing on mud fields that turn into icicle fields. Not much fun. I’m well-seasoned when it comes to that. But hopefully it’s going to be good weather. I know their grounds are usually pretty nice. Hopefully it will make for a good football match.
On Marshall’s goal-scoring: It’s about time because we see it in training all the time. He scores on me left and right, and in the games he just takes a snoozer out there. It’s good to finally see him score some goals. But obviously you want the strikers to get going and build a rhythm, but sometimes someone else has to step up. He’s very clinical in his finishing, and he’s showing it in Houston with a simple tap in and now we know he’s Air Marshall as well. He’s a well-rounded player in the back as well as in front.
On rotating left backs Joevin Jones and Dylan Remick: Joevin is extremely fast. Dylan’s not slow either. I’d say maybe Joevin’s a bit more attack-minded than Dylan, and Dylan’s a bit more conservative. But the one thing that they have in common is they’re both good players, and it makes for competition, which is going to raise both of their games, which is ultimately going to help the team. So it’s fantastic, it’s exactly what you want on the team.