Sigi Schmid says Sounders 'cherish' Mario Martinez, takes blame for misunderstanding

Photo courtesy of SoundersFC.com

Sounders coach Sigi Schmid makes it clear that the team sees Mario Martinez as part of the future moving forward.

Given a chance to talk Mario Martinez, Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid says any misunderstandings have now been cleared up. The longtime coach even took a fair share of the blame in not more clearly communicating with Martinez, who expressed frustrations over not playing in a probably ill-advised tweet following the Sounders' 3-1 win over FC Dallas.

"We had a good conversation," Schmid told reporters on Tuesday. "I think he understands. He knows exactly what our feelings are about him as a player, about how we cherish him as a player because he’s a player with great abilities and his future is not only this year with this team but his future is next year as well."

Martinez's comments to reporters suggested that he was not entirely sure why he hadn't been playing and he even seemed to think that Sounders coaches may be holding his multiple call-ups to the Honduran national team against him. Schmid clarified that it was his lack of training that was the problem, not that he was repeatedly being called up. The fact that Schmid doesn't speak Spanish fluently appears to have been a big part of the miscommunication.

"I know he talked to you guys before he talked to me," Schmid said. "It’s a situation of just clarity. He’s been and out so much with the national team, he hasn’t had that many days of training with us and the training he has been with us is four or five days and then he’s gone. It takes time to establish yourself.

"But because he’s been gone so much, probably the communication from me wasn’t as good as it could have been. Sometimes with the language barrier, I just grab somebody and I can talk to them for a few minutes, but with Mario I have to grab him and someone else so that we can talk for a few minutes and we can understand each other. We had a good conversation yesterday."

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