April 27, 2009 6:50 PM
Posted by Jose Romero
On who is going to play in the Open Cup play-in match vs. Rea Salt Lake)
"It's going to be a mix. It's going to be a mix of players. Obviously, we're looking at some guys took some knocks. We want to make sure that guys are ready who are playing tomorrow. So it'll be a mix of some guys who played on Saturday and some guys who didn't start. But I can't tell you."
(On if players who have not seen MLS league action will have their first opportunity)
"You want to win the game. You got 24 players on your roster. You got 24 professionals, and they all should be able to play. So I'm confident that they can step out on play. And the thing that you always want from a team is you want a team to be able to, or an individual player, let me say it that way, an individual player to be able to say 'I deserve to play because of what I'm doing.' Not 'I deserve to play because the other guy is not playing well', or 'I deserve to play because he had a bad game.' It's got to be 'I deserve to play because I'm playing well.' And that's where it's at. So guys have a chance to make that statement, 'Hey, look at me, I'm playing well. I deserve another go.' And for some it'll be that first opportunity, and for others it will be a repeated opportunity."
(On the importance of the Open Cup and playing midweek)
"The Open Cup is important. Obviously in the history of the Sounders it's been an important tournament as well, and when you look at the franchise when it was in USL and so forth. It's such a old tournament that I played in it, so it's been around for a while. It's important. Any time you're in a competition you want to win that competition. But it doesn't have its own portion of the schedule, so it fits in midweek games. Just if this was a midweek league game, we'd have to look at shifting our lineup a little bit, seeing who's healthy who's not healthy. And that's what we got to look at early on here."
(On Real Salt Lake's lineup in Open Cup match)
"There's probably as much mystery with theirs. I'm sure there are some guys who didn't travel for them, who normally play for them. And they're probably doing the same. They're evaluating to see who is banged up, who isn't banged up, who's fitness wise is good and could go another game. So it really becomes the same."
(On possibility of going to penalty kicks for first time)
"PKs is like rolling the dice when you go to penalty kicks. So it's not something that you want to go to. But you have an idea. It's more than just the ability to hit a penalty kick. It's who is going to do well in practice. A lot of guys can score at practice, and some guys can't score when it comes time for a game. So it's who's on the field. It's who does well under pressure. Generally, I don't let it effect my substitutions until very late. Maybe if you're into second overtime, you haven't used all of your subs, then maybe you're saying 'let's put this guy in, he might be a little better in penalty kicks than the other guy.' But in general, you got to play the game, and you got to coach to the game."
(On environment at Starfire Stadium vs. Qwest Field)
"It's going to be a different environment, but we still expect it to be sold out. And we like the feeling of when you walk into the stadiums, whether we're playing at Qwest or playing here, that it's sold out. So as a result it creates a good atmosphere. So obviously it makes sense to play the game here for a number of reasons, and this is where we're playing. But it's going to be a good atmosphere. It's going to be fun. It's going to be unique for the fans. They're a little closer to the action. I think sometimes that's good because when you're sitting up in Qwest, and you're sitting up a little higher, you really don't sometimes appreciate the pace of the game. And when you're down and a lot closer to field level, you see the intensity. You see that it is a contact sport. You see that there is more pace and intensity to it."
(On the field at Starfire compared to Qwest Field)
"It's obviously an older turf, so it lays down a little bit more. It's a little bit harder. You get more of a bounce on it. And it's smaller, which is the biggest thing. People don't realize when you take away four or five yards of width, well you really multiply that by 110 yards. And all of a sudden five yards times 110 is 550 less square yards, and that ends up being a big difference. So it makes it a little smaller. It means it's going to be more of a bang-bang type of game. It's going to be a little more contained upon finding your options quickly. It's going to be a little more duels, a little more physical in that regard."