I spoke with the Sounders FC midfielder on Monday at halftime of the first exhibition game.
Vagenas, whom Seattle chose in the expansion draft from the L.A. Galaxy last November, has been injury prone and has yet to play or practice with Sounders FC because of arthroscopic knee surgery.
Vagenas is a guy Sigi Schmid would like to have on the team, based on how Schmid has talked about the veteran. The two were together in L.A. for several years.
Photo courtesy of Sounders FC Web site.
Vagenas (it’s pronounced “vye-yay-nuss”) started by saying his rehabilitation is coming along.
“It’s good and bad timing. Obviously you don’t want to miss any part of preseason, but if it’s going to happen, it might as well happen now. It’s something I was trying to avoid through the offseason and actually had surgery set for Feb. 5 but I didn’t really want to put it off any longer, so we went in a week early and took care of it. Just itching to get back now.”
Me: How long do you think it will be before you get back?
Vagenas: “They told me four to six weeks, so we’re hoping right around that time. Another 2 1/2 weeks probably til I start training, and then we’ll go from there.”
Me: How much are you missing by not being able to participate, seeing as you’re on a new team?
Vagenas: “I’m missing a lot, there’s no doubt about it. Preseason’s a big part of it, obviousluy it being a new group. So there’s no underestimating how much I am missing or any importance of what’s going on right now. But that being said, I’m no good out there if I’m not 100 percent healthy.”
Me: Are you impressed with what you’ve seen from the team?
Vagenas: “Yeah. I haven’t obviously gotten a chance to see much, but yeah, so far so good. Again, there’s going to be some growing pains, and that’s to be expected. So I don’t think, necessarily, that results are so important at this stage of the game. It’s more so everyone getting an understanding of what you can and can’t do, so we can hopefully put on a good performance when it counts.”
Me: You came out and ate lunch with the team after practice last week, why was it important for you to do that?
Vagenas: “I’m not used to this time being at home… so I’ve been crawling the walls a little bit. But again, I gotta do what’s right for my knee and get that 100 percent, and the rest I’ll sort out on the way, I guess.”