Coming off the team's worst loss of the young MLS season, Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid was in a pretty positive mood on Monday after the team's first training session since Saturday's loss to the Colorado Rapids: "I think we've been in every game that we've played so far, and even though we lost the first three games I wasn't that disappointed in [the team]." Schmid said both he and the players know there were a number of things they could have done better, but he finds no reason to panic just yet. "It's never as bad as you think, once you watch it on videotape. It's never as good as you think, once you watch it on videotape. So obviously the team felt they could have gotten more out of the game."
Countering the idea that the squad is starving for some depth, Schmid said he doesn't think that depth is an issue for the Sounders, despite the loss of a couple of likely starters. "There have been different people who have stepped up," he said, including Jordan Morris. The coach said the rookie "is obviously playing with more confidence. That's an important aspect."
Herculez Gomez also made his first Sounders start on Saturday, and Schmid seemed mostly pleased with what he saw from the veteran forward. "I thought Herculez did alright, he brings leadership onto the field. He was a little unlucky with the header that he had. But, you know, for his first start I thought he was OK."
Defensive frailties seemed to be at the front of Schmid's mind; he admitted that even though Colorado bested the Sounders on set pieces, his team could have done better. "Obviously Colorado is a pretty tall team. Gashi served the ball well when Jermaine Jones got free, we need to do better on that." Schmid attributed some of the defensive issues to a lack of consistency in the back, though the back four against Colorado has played together a number of times this season. "We still need to do a better job in terms of tightening down at the wrong time, making sure we're coordinated defensively."
Clint Dempsey and Nelson Valdez were both seen in full training with their teammates on Monday, and Schmid said that both players did extra fitness work at the end of the session. The pair will be evaluated later this week to see if they're able to play Saturday. Andreas Ivanschitz, who came off in the second half against Colorado, did not train. Schmid said the Austrian's injury was a thigh strain, and the team would have a better idea of the severity by Wednesday.
Roman Torres, according to Schmid, is "coming along fine." He said, despite Torres' ability to train outside and do some light work with coaches, it will be his surgeon that makes the final call. "What people don't understand sometimes is that you can do things, even if the things done in surgery aren't completely healed. That's where the surgeon's gonna make the final decision."
Despite the setback against Colorado and the Sounders' current position near the bottom of the standings, Schmid stressed that there is nothing to worry about for the team just yet. He recognized that the season is long and the team has plenty of chances to claw their way back up the standings. "The important thing is for us not to panic at this stage, we've gotten 7 points in our last 4 games. If we can continue to get 7 points every 4 games from here on out, we'll be in the playoffs. We've got two games at home, and at the end of this home stand we want to have 13 points."