Sigi Schmid says Sounders FC as good as anybody
Seattle puts its six-game unbeaten streak on line Wednesday night at D.C. United.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Sounders FC @ D.C. United, 4:30 p.m., KONG
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Confidence never wavered.
Even after starting the season with back-to-back shutout losses, Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid ardently believed his team was one of the best in MLS.
"But after two games we had zero points so we really couldn't say much," he said Tuesday in a teleconference.
Seattle hasn't lost in the six games since those early woes, and during an unbeaten streak that's tied for the longest in the league, Schmid was able to open up before Wednesday's 4:30 p.m. road game against D.C. United.
"I think we're as good as anybody else in this league," he said. "I've always felt that and I've always believed in the team that we put out there."
Such self-assurance comes from winning, so Sounders FC should be bursting with it heading into RFK Stadium. Not only is Seattle coming off a dominant 3-0 win against Toronto FC last week, but it has won all three games against D.C. United on the road, including two league matches and the U.S. Open Cup final in 2009.
"Obviously it has been a good stadium for us; we want to maintain that," Schmid said.
"Winning in a place gives you confidence to go back and win again."
Sounders FC might have to dip into its depth this week with two road games in the span of four days, but Schmid said he's more likely to rest some starters Saturday at Columbus. No matter the lineup, the expectations will be the same in each match: three points.
While some teams around the league are content to conservatively play for the tie away from home, that isn't a strategy shared by Seattle.
"I know on the last road trip I said, 'Well if we can get a win and a tie (in two games), I'll be happy,' but we go into each game trying to get a win," said Schmid. "Our approach is the same as it's been."
White injury unique
According to Schmid, doctors are closer to determining what caused the blood clot in Sounders FC forward O'Brian White's left leg last week, an issue that required surgery. Understanding what triggered the injury is the first step toward building a recovery plan. Any attempts to gauge when White could return remain premature, Schmid said.
"It's something that people haven't seen a lot of," said Schmid of the injury. "What O'Brian is going through is something that in consultation with other teams in our league, with other doctors, everyone is like, 'I've never seen this.' Everyone keeps answering that way so we're sort of going through it for the first time and we're becoming the standard-bearer for other teams."
• Sounders FC midfielder Brad Evans was named to the MLS Team of the Week on the league website for his two-goal effort Saturday against Toronto. Designated player Alvaro Fernandez earned honorable mention.
• At 3-0-2, April was Seattle's best month as an MLS franchise. The team's previous best was 3-1-1 in July 2010.
• White's injury has ended the experiment of playing Roger Levesque as a defender. The former USL Sounder is now needed to fill out depth at forward behind Nate Jaqua.
• Midfielder Mauro Rosales (hamstring) will be a game-time decision.
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