The Sounders went through training this morning at Starfire, preparing for their regular-season finale Sunday against Real Salt Lake.
And pretty much all of the Sounders trained, including Nelson Valdez, Oniel Fisher and Marco Pappa, although coach Sigi Schmid said their availability for Sunday will depend on how they feel after training and through the week.
Meanwhile, the honors kept rolling in for Schmid, recently inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame, and this week named Pac-12 Conference coach of the century.
“ A century’s a long time,” Schmid said. “It makes me feel really old. It’s a great honor. I was really pleased that nine of the first 11 are UCLA guys, and there are probably a lot of guys that got left out. … No arguments. Obviously a lot of good players are listed on that list, and it’s just a reflection that we’ve had a lot of good players at UCLA who came through. I want to congratulate those guys who got honored as well.”
More from Schmid:
On tonight’s CONCACAF Champions League matches, which will determine the Sounders’ quarterfinal opponent: “It is what it is, and we’ll play whoever it is at the end of the day. I don’t see the Galaxy necessarily sending a first team down there to play. We’ll see what kind of result they get. … But they could be looking at it too, and say ‘OK, if we lose this is who we might play. Maybe that’s not the team we want to play. It’s in their hands a little bit – their hands and Tigres hands a little bit in terms of those two results tonight.”
On this long Sounders’ season: It’s been a big rollercoaster ride. We did well. We churned away and we brought ourselves to the top of th hill. In the summer we went downhill fast. And now we’re coming up to that second climb and we’re churning to put ourselves at the top of the hill again. Now it’s a matter of when we get to the top of the hill, staying there again.
On the high playoff stakes riding on this RSL match: The team should be excited about it because we want to be in the playoffs. We’ve already seen a team that had their (playoff) streak broken in RSL. They’re not going to come in here and not play well. There going to come in here and prove some things because they know Coach is looking at who he’s going to keep, who he’s not going to keep, so they’re going to be motivated. But for us, it’s also got to be the motivation. I don’t think we had our best game in Houston. It’s also about playing good soccer.