Trash talk from Portland? Sounders respond to harsh comments
Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid said his coaching counterpart likes to "stir the pot."
Seattle Times staff reporter
Kansas City @ Sounders FC, 7 p.m., KONG
Latest from the Sounders FC blog
TUKWILA — Three days after the big Sounders FC-Timbers rivalry game, Portland coach John Spencer was asked to break down his upcoming opponent, Columbus.
"Thoughts on Seattle first," he said softly to reporters, his head tilted down.
Spencer then looked up, raised his voice a few notches and issued a 90-second rant Tuesday afternoon, blasting what he perceived to be excuses from Sounders FC and coach Sigi Schmid stemming from a 1-1 tie at Qwest Field. The fiery Scotsman took exception to suggestions that wet weather conditions benefitted the Timbers' style of play or that Seattle's injury woes contributed to the result.
Schmid, who claims his coaching counterpart likes to "stir the pot," wore mostly smiles on Wednesday while issuing his response.
"It obviously shows something too when on Tuesday the most important thing they're talking about is the Sounders game," said Schmid, who joked he'd be sending Spencer a dozen roses, but hinted they might come without petals.
"At the end of the day it's competition," Seattle's coach continued. "At the end of the day I am eagerly looking forward to our return game in Portland."
Schmid stood by his initial postgame comments about how the Timbers' focus on earning set pieces and how their direct playing style is more suited for the rain. He did take exception when Spencer made light of Seattle's injuries.
The Portland coach said three of the four ailing Sounders — presumably forward O'Brian White and midfielders Erik Friberg and Mauro Rosales — "wouldn't get in our team anyway."
Said Schmid: "I don't think he should be talking about our players. Either that or they should stop calling about (having interest in) our players."
Some Sounders FC players also responded to Spencer's jabs.
"It's been fueling the fire around here," said defender Jeff Parke. "It stirs up the rivalry a bit more."
Goalkeeper Kasey Keller hit back with a list of accomplishments: "Couple Open Cups, playoffs every year, comfortably the best attended team basically ever in MLS, I think we kind of speak for ourselves."
Home game moving?
The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News are reporting that the Philadelphia Union has finalized a July 23 friendly against popular Spanish club Real Madrid. Sounders FC was scheduled to play host to the Union that day. The Philadelphia papers are reporting that the Seattle game will be moved to Oct. 8.
Central Washington's football team had previously been scheduled to play its annual Battle in Seattle game against Western Oregon at Qwest Field on Oct. 8. The change will force the football game to be moved.
When asked about the potential change Wednesday, Sounders FC general manager Adrian Hanauer declined to talk about specifics but said the single-entity structure of MLS makes it so teams try to work together for the betterment of the league.
Hanauer also said the prospect of moving the date back wouldn't likely make the team's schedule more difficult and it could actually benefit the current injury-riddled roster.
• Sounders FC drew Panamanian club San Francisco FC in the preliminary round of the CONCACAF Champions League. Seattle plays on the road in the first leg of a home-and-home series between July 26-28 and hosts the second leg at Qwest Field between Aug. 2-4. Final dates and ticket information will be announced soon.
Should Sounders FC advance, it would enter Group D along with defending champion CF Monterrey of Mexico, Guatemalan club CD Comunicaciones and another play-in winner, which could be CS Herediano of Costa Rica.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or email@example.com
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.