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April 8, 2009 at 4:55 PM

Ljungberg improving, and more from today’s practice

I spoke briefly with Freddie Ljungberg today after practice. He had his left knee wrapped in ice and was headed back to the locker room for treatment, but he got through all of the session.

He said he felt better today on his knee than yesterday and keeps hoping the swelling will go down. The knee was taped up well during practice.

All but one player on the team practiced Wednesday at Starfire. Taylor Graham, Chris Eylander and Peter Vagenas (all dealing with longer term rehabs) took part in all of practice, including the “four-game drill,” in which there are four nets with four goalkeepers and everyone else is running around in the middle trying to score and defend.

FWD Jarrod Smith was the only one who didn’t practice, but he was running on a side field.

“We’ll see how it feels tomorrow morning,” coach Sigi Schmid said of Ljungberg’s knee. As for Fredy Montero, Schmid liked what he saw from him in the three-on-two session.

Seattle University Emerson DeOliveira practiced with the team Wednesday.

Quotes from Schmid after practice:

(On if Ljungberg is ready to play at midfield) “Should be. We have to see how he feels tomorrow. Today was the day to push. Yesterday he didn’t push in training and we just went easy on it. So today he pushed. Now we have to see how it reacts, if it swells up are not. And we’ll make those decisions tomorrow how we’re going to restructure it.”

(On how having everyone healthy, if they are, could make it harder to pick a lineup) “Yeah it makes it a little bit harder. Certainly when Vagenas comes back it makes it a little more difficult. But depth is a good thing to have. I’ve learned over all the years of coaching that eventually something happens that sort of solves the problem for you. Sometimes problems get solved that way. If everybody is healthy and everybody is available then we’ll make the decision as to what we think is the best group to put out there against Kansas City. And we know we have options that if we have to go to the bench as well. Overall, it’s a good place to be.”

(On if Vagenas and Taylor Graham will be ready to go) “No. I think Vagenas and Graham is it’s get through this week, debate a little bit, because we’re going to play a reserve game on Monday, can they get some minutes in that reserve game. But for them, they really got to get into that game. Jarrod Smith has to get into those kind of games before they come into the full team.”

(On Chris Eylander’s status) “Eylander is the same. His training was his first, or these last two days have been his first real days. He still has a little bit of soreness there (in his knee). So it’s better. It’s no worse today then it was yesterday, so that’s good. And he’s probably still a week or two weeks away from us saying ‘OK, he’s ready to fill the bench again’.”


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