As the Sounders head to their second of three matches in the span of a week on Wednesday in Los Angeles, head coach Sigi Schmid said that some players will be rested—some won’t even be traveling to LA. He said that "there will be some guys who will go to LA and some guys who will stay here and go to Kansas City."
But Schmid does expect Bruce Arena to field a weakened lineup as well—just as they did in their 1-0 win over the Portland Timbers in the round of 16. The Galaxy also have a full two extra days of rest before Wednesday, but they also have less rest heading into their weekend league match. Schmid said that this makes it more difficult for his own planning: "The other challenge that exists with these games is that you don’t know what kind of lineup they’re gonna put out there so you’re guessing a little bit."
Despite the headache that the fixture congestion produces, Schmid left no doubt as to how important he sees this match and the Open Cup. "Every time we step onto the field we want to win, and we’re going to put a group on the field that can win." This notion had a bit of a caveat, though, as Schmid also said that his "priority is MLS and getting points in MLS." He said that he isn’t ignoring the Open Cup, but that he’ll be "erring on the side of caution and having a stronger team for the MLS game."
Either way, the Sounders are looking at Wednesday’s quarterfinal as a way to clean their mental slate after Sunday’s demoralizing loss. "We’ve gotta focus on what’s next," Schmid said, "so it’s a good thing that we have a quick turnaround and we’re playing again so we can get ourselves geared up and focused on the next game."