Editor's note: Wow, he transcribed the whole thing! Definitely worth reading.
Arlo White was on the April 11, 2011 episode of ExtraTime Radio (MP3). You can hear him 37 minutes in the podcast. I wasn’t planning on transcribing the whole 15 minutes, but I’m horrible at paraphrasing. So here’s a non-exact transcript. They ask some hard-hitting questions, like: What happens when Montero gets back? What’s up with Fernandez? And Alro shows a lot of love towards Rosales, and calls us bums.
(How’s the vibe in Seattle after the win? Has everybody calmed down a little bit?)
The team was 0-2-2, and the pressure was building, but they weren’t playing like an 0-2-2 team. We were playing well against HOU and SJE, but weren’t getting the points. It’s a huge relief to get the points, especially since our next opponents are on the road vs PHI and COL who have been playing well recently.
(Is there any worry about your good form is being done while Montero is out with the wrist injury? Will bring him back in the fold change the chemistry on the field?)
These are good problems for Sigi to have. Sigi has to find room for Mauro Rosales and Erik Friberg in this team, both of them playing very well indeed, whilst he brings Fredy Montero back. Rosales has been enthusiastic, energetic, and very skillful since he’s come in from the side. Friberg does the simple things well; keeps the ball moving on the right-hand side. It’s going to be interesting how Fredy slots back in, and who gets benched. I’m seeing this elevated style of play around the league, and it think it’s because the squads are stronger, and their deeper, hence the competition on the field.
(What’s your take on OBW? There were questions the first couple weeks if he was a viable option up top.)
What I liked from the performance on Saturday (vs CHI) was a clear definition of who did what. O'Brian White played
11-line (?) and led the line so well, we’ll talk about this terrific header later, but he was harassing the center backs, he was holding the ball up very well, he was allowing other players like Zakuani, Rosales, and Friberg to join the play, and he was stretching those CHI center backs all over the field. So his goal was a bonus for me with that performance. It gives Seattle the platform to play. Two goals in two games is starting to convince people that he’s a very viable option in the attack.
(Do you notice any change in the vibe on the team without NKufo?)
The players enjoyed playing with Blaise Nkufo because he played at the top level, and he was just an excellent player. I wouldn’t say you forgotten about him in this league. When you look at somebody like Rosales, we sat down for a production meeting with him, and you’re just immediately infected by his enthusiasm and impressed by his desire to be here, his desire to do well. He’s a conduit because he speaks Spanish and very good English. I don’t think it’s a case of forgetting Blaise NKufo, but he has gone. I think it’s a case of the players, the staff, and the fans as well, are just impressed with this new guy that’s come in.
(Is it that Blaise didn’t give you that vibe?)
Not necessarily, but he’s gone and that’s the fact. You can’t just sit around and bemoan the fact that he’s not here anymore. He, reading between the lines, wanted to perform in a different role than what the team needed. With Montero as DP in that hole behind the striker, OBW has come in to play the role that was perhaps designated for NKufo. So he decided to call it a day, he’s moved on, and the club has to move on as well. They can sit on their laurels and go, "Oh Blaise, what a fantastic player. We’re going to miss him." Or they can look forward, and actually take an influence from this guy who’s played at top level in Europe and South America as well. That’s what Rosales has provided. I think if you look at the quality on the field, there’s vibrancy about the team. They are swarming around opposition, winning the ball back, playing at a high tempo. Defensively a few lapses which will cause Sigi a few problems, and they’ll be looking to put that right, but you can’t deny the quality of play and the product they offer at the moment is very exciting to watch.
(Is what they got from Rosales right now what they thought they were going to get from Fernandez? What’s the situation with Alvaro? Is he the 12th or 13th guy coming off the bench? He’s not happy about it, by the way. He’s been vocal about it.)
No, and why would he be? Alvaro Fernandez is a professional footballer who wants to play every game, in particular on Saturday (vs CHI) against two of his former teammates on the Uruguayan national team, but he was on the bench. He started against NY and I thought he had a good 45 minutes there, and Sigi decided for the time being to go in a different direction. He’s a DP, and he would’ve expected to start at the start of the year. It’s not happening for him at the moment, but it’s a long season. Strength in depth is absolutely vital in a 34 game season. His only response is to try hard in training. Maybe play a few reserve games. He’ll have to get his head round because that’s not why he came to Seattle to do, obviously. He has to fight his way back into a team that is playing very well. Whether that’s an overnight thing, I don’t know. Whether he has to wait for injury, I’m not entirely sure. His response to this will be fascinating.
(Seattle has a lot of players that are interchangeable, but do you get feeling that Zakuani is so important to the way that Seattle attacks and when they get forward, that if something were to happen to him, you might be missing too much of the offense?)
Absolutely, but you can say the same with Agudelo at NY, or Beckerman at RSL. Steve Zakuani is an elite player, and if you take them out of the team for whatever reason, then your performance is going to suffer a little bit. Steve is developing so well, he learned so much from his stint in Everton during the offseason. He’s such a vital player. If you look at his body of work over the last couple of seasons goal-scoring-wise, you’d be amazed at how many goals he literally side-foot passes into the net. He’s so calm in those situations, so creative elsewhere, and his pace is a constant threat. Of course if Seattle were without him, we would miss him.
(Zakuani has shown leadership qualities. This is going to be a good year for him I think.)
There’s another player who’s stepping up to the plate as well. Brad Evans is coming back into the side after his horrible injury problems last season. He is a good player just in front of Osvaldo Alonso in the center of the field. He gets forward and makes dangerous runs into the box, put his first goal in against SJE. They’re built to attack, this Seattle team, at the moment. A lot is said about the crowds at Seattle, 36,000 average, which is great. But in order to keep those bums on those seats, Seattle has to win games, and has to play entertaining attractive football. And the signings so far 2011 are all playing that brand which will keep the crowd at that level.
(We’re going to have to translate "bum", because it means something very different over here.)
Oh yes, I know what you mean. Sorry about that. Rear-end.