Coming off a thrilling win against CD Olimipia in the CONCACAF Champions League match, the Seattle Sounders’ Thursday practice was a bit later than usual and had a lighthearted feeling to it.
In that match, Seattle trailed for almost the entire game until a late equalizer from Erik Frieberg and a penalty from Brad Evans gave the Sounders a 2-1 win.
Head coach Sigi Schmid noted his team was a little tired coming into today after a late game, but they were happy with how the game ended up.
“I thought we were the better team over the 90 minutes,” he said.
With that in the rearview mirror, attention shifted to Saturday’s match against Real Salt Lake.
“It’s going to be a brawl,” Schmid said. “It’s going to be a match that is hotly contested from the standpoint that they see us ahead of them in the standings. They are a team that’s becoming desperate for points, but we also need our points. It will definitely have a playoff feel.”
Seattle will roll into Utah with some momentum. In their last MLS match, the Sounders carved up Orlando City for four goals that featured a brace from Obafemi Martins in his return from a hamstring injury.
Goalkeeper Stefan Frei said the positive result against CD Olimpia has helped boost confidence on the squad.
“We feel good,” he said. “We feel strong. I think we are slowly coming back from those injuries and getting healthy again.”
But that doesn’t mean Frei thinks it will be cakewalk against the Utah-based side.
“I think everybody knows Salt Lake is a tough team to play, and that altitude doesn’t help,” he said.
Schmid is more focused on getting his own team ready, rather than worrying what Real Salt Lake is doing.
“Our motivation has to come from us,” he said. “Our motivation shouldn’t come from the opponents.”
– Jeffrey Giuliani, staff writer