TUKWILA, Wash. — It has often been said that with all of the Seattle Sounders' talent – especially at forward – a big part of head coach Sigi Schmid's job will be figuring out how to keep everyone happy.
Incidents like Saturday's serve as an example of how hard that can be.
Obafemi Martins was pulled from the match against the LA Galaxy in the 82nd minute with the score tied at 1-1. While making his way to the sideline, Martins let his displeasure be known by yelling and gesturing. He then walked past Schmid on his way to the bench, with neither the coach nor player acknowledging each other.
But the two later talked about the incident and said there are no lingering ill feelings.
"It's an emotional game," Schmid said on Tuesday. "I'm emotional, the players are emotional, that's what you expect. Nobody is going to be happy when they come off the field."
Martins had just one shot in the game and was rendered mostly ineffective. He said his frustration was more with his performance.
"I just get angry with the fact that I didn't do much in the game," Martins said on Wednesday. "So I got angry that I got put out. But I'm not thinking of getting angry with the manager. I just get angry with myself that I've not been doing my best in the game. That's it."
Schmid said he was satisfied with that explanation and even seems to prefer that players target their ire at him.
"He acknowledged the player going in for him, which I think is very, very important," Schmid said. "I get really upset if they don't do that. But he acknowledged the player that went in for him. He was frustrated, he was upset at being subbed out, it wasn't where he was trying to show the world that he was upset with the coaches or something. It was just frustrated at coming out of the game because he's a competitor. That's the way you expect all of your players to be."
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Schmid said he didn’t want to turn the incident into what would have been a very public confrontation on the field.
“I've coached too long to do that,” Schmid said. “I understand. If I feel the player has a bad intention or there's something not good there, we deal with that. But I didn't think that was the case, and we spoke about it today."
In case there were any worries as to Martins’ overall state of mind, he reasserted his commitment to the team, noting that he’s playing through pain.
“I can't really do anything right now,” he said about lingering injuries. “If I feel pain, I'll keep playing. I have to get through the end of the season because we have important games right now. I hope it's going to get better, day by day when I train.”