Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid talked about his team and its season and more in a live chat with readers Monday. Here are some highlights.
Q: I know, we have three Designated Players, but what are the odds we add a DP-level talent during this transfer window?
Schmid: We’re evaluating that situation right now. There are a couple of different options that we might be able to use or take advantage of, but that’s an ongoing process and hopefully in the next 2-3 weeks we’ll have an idea of how that will develop. But we’re always searching for DP-type talent.
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Q: Is there anyone on the roster who is poised to have a breakout second half of the season?
Schmid: More so than having a breakout second half, it’s maybe building upon what they did in the first half. Certainly Lamar Neagle is someone who fits in that category. Can he continue to build on what he did in first half? Then that becomes a breakout season for him.
DeAndre Yedlin continuing to improve and maybe getting more offensive stats as an attacking fullback would be a breakout year. David Estrada seems to be finding his form after numerous ups and downs in the first half. It’s very possible he could have a big second half and get goals for us, as well.
Q: It seems like this te
am is dangerous when they are on, but can also completely check out at times (L.A. Galaxy and Real Salt Lake games come to mind). How do you hope to eliminate those stretches of awful play?
Schmid: That’s a concern for us, as well. We were extremely disappointed in those two games. Part of it is trying to get our best team on the field, which we haven’t had a chance to do all season. When we get our best team on the field and 3-4 games together, hopefully we can eliminate those ups and downs.
Q: Sigi, what’s the toughest or most challenging part of coaching pros in the MLS?
Schmid: The most challenging aspect but also maybe the most intriguing part of coaching pros is dealing with all the different types of personalities. Definitely at the professional level you have strong personalities within a team and a group. You have egos that all want to succeed and be successful … Being able to merge those personalities, push them at the right times, talk to them at the right times, handle them differently and the same is one of unique challenges but also one of the things that makes it interesting and makes it fun.
Q: What’s your biggest frustration with MLS currently (i.e. scheduling, quality of the referees, playoff format, rules/regulations, etc.)?
Schmid: I think MLS continues to evolve, improve. There are obviously some frustrations. We’d like to see the schedule get out sooner. I’d like to see better balance. Sometimes you play all games vs. a team in the first half of the season and don’t see them in the second half. The refereeing is something that, believe it or not, is slowly improving. We made a conscious decision to go with a lot of young referees, and while we might be paying the price in the short term, it will pay off in the long haul 2-3 years down the line.