Despite just getting back to Seattle after taking the trip down I-5 and back for Sunday’s loss in Portland, the Sounders are right back at it with a US Open Cup match in Los Angeles against the Galaxy on Wednesday. Players didn’t get a day off, and were right back on the practice pitch at Starfire Sports in Tukwila on Monday afternoon.
Head coach Sigi Schmid said that his players managed to get through that match and Monday’s training relatively unscathed in terms of injury, but that the team would "look at rotating a little bit" for Wednesday’s match. He expects Los Angeles to do the same, though they will have gotten a couple extra days of rest. Both teams have another quick turnaround for the weekend; the Sounders head straight to Kansas City for next Sunday’s match with Sporting KC.
Even though some look at the Open Cup as a lesser event than other trophies, Schmid and his squad have no such ideas. "Every time we step onto the field we want to win the game." He did admit that "all teams look at the Open Cup" with rotation in mind, because the jam-packed schedule dictates it. Schmid doesn’t think his players will have a problem either: "we need to continue to build our confidence and then continue to win games, no matter what competition we’re in."
As for his team coming off their big loss to their rivals down south, Schmid is optimistic and choosing to focus on building on the positives that the Sounders had. "There are a lot of good attacking moments. There were a number of good looks, but we got exposed on the counter, and there are times where we need to be more physical in our duels." He stressed that if certain chances had gone their way, like Morris’ early chance, Valdez’s headers, and Gleeson’s huge save on Roldan’s shot, things could have been much different.
Schmid didn’t let his team off the hook though—he aired a few "frustrations" about the Portland match, other than the lack of goals. His second frustration was about "the timing of the goals, taking a goal right before halftime and taking a goal right after halftime." Similarly, Portland’s third goal was frustrating to Schmid because "a guy can’t be dribbling the ball 80 yards up the field, that can’t happen."
As for any hint to whether it was still Sounders’ plan to bring in reinforcements during the open transfer window? Schmid simply said: "I believe it is...I hope it is...I think it is."