"There is No Playbook."

By SoundersNerd August 29, 2009

In the post game press conference, Coach Sigi Schmid is somber and too the point:

“They dominated the first half. In the second half, we had a few chances not to win, but to steal it... It wasn't one of our top-ten games.”

The first question is about Freddie Ljungberg's yellow card, his fifth one, keeping him out of the next match. I haven't been keeping track closely, but I believe of the five yellows, at least two are for dissent, and today's was for “unsporting behavior”—aka dissent-lite.

“There was some perceived pushing of our players into the boards...” Schmid says, trailing on to somehow explain today's card. I want to ask if he’ll coach him to shut up with the ref, but it's my first press conference and I don't want to come across as an ass.

Schmid continues, “There was nothing in the first half that I was pleased with, except for Keller's save. We didn't play well. Ianni played okay."

Then he rattles off a “Not so Good” list:

Passing. Trapping. Control. Shooting.


Nate Jaqua gives chase, photo by Jack Hunter.

Then there are some questions about this Wednesday's Open Cup Final against DC. The questions are softball, weak. (“Will we play this one differently than a regular game?”)

One reporter asks if the Sounders will "open up the play book,” to which Schmid says he has no idea what the reporter is talking about: “There is no playbook.”

I want to add, "Dude, this is soccer, not football."

I feel like Sigi wants to shake the guys and say: “Look. We don't have a lot of depth, and the skill we have is lacking. There's only so much I can do as a coach, and I'm about zapped. There's no magic formula, I can't cast a spell or teach them Wushu like Shaolin Soccer. We are going to play a game. Maybe we'll play well, maybe we won't. It's out of my control.”

From there we're herded into the locker room. It reeks of cologne. I stand out as the hippie for my raggedy shorts. It's not even Seattle casual. A can of Red Bull sits on top of Fredy Montero's locker. Funny, I think, he doesn't play like he drinks Red Bull.

The reporters huddle around Kasey Keller. It's telling that although he had only one save, he made “Man of the Match.”

Keller is extremely nice and laid back. He reminds me of a guy on my Tuesday team. He echoes Sigi's thoughts: “We were lucky not to be down two, three in the first half …We're not in form to make the playoffs, something we need to turn around immediately. The last three, four home games have been very disappointing."

From there it digresses to silly questions again, like how it feels to play in the Open Cup Final.
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