TUKWILA, Wash. — Portland defender Pa Modou Kah had quite a bit to say after Sunday's 1-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders, mainly pointed at new signing Clint Dempsey.
But at practice on Wednesday, Seattle wouldn't rise to the bait. The closest any of the rave green contingent came to returning volley on the trash talk came from head coach Sigi Schmid.
“Who is Kah?” Schmid said when asked about the comments. “Has he played anyone? Has he played in any leagues? That’s my only comment.”
If there was one Sounders player who had reason to be upset with Kah following Sunday’s game, though, it was Eddie Johnson.
Although Johnson scored the winning goal, he had absorbed a hard tackle from Kah and was later kneed in the head by the defender. But they still exchanged shirts after the game, and a couple days later Johnson was mostly complimentary of his opponent.
“Those games are always intense,” Johnson told reporters on Wednesday. “For me, he’s a defender. His job is to frustrate guys like myself, guys like Clint, guys like Lamar Neagle, guys who have been scoring goals here. Their job is to do whatever they have to do to frustrate us. It’s part of the game.
“Up until the little incident, he was pretty fair with me. He was battling, fighting hard and stuff. It’s a football match. The most important thing is that we all got out of the game healthy. He came up to me and asked if I wanted to exchange jerseys and I said yeah. At the end of the day, it’s about respect. For me, he really made us work, he had a good game and I respect that.”
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Even when told about Kah’s postgame comments, which were critical of Dempsey, Johnson was still happy to move on.
“I don’t go back and read what other players are talking about,” he said. “The important thing for me is to go back and watch to see how I played and see what I could have done better in that specific moment or that chance. All the other stuff, I leave that for everyone else to comment on.”