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April 24, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Sounders FC practice

Nothing much to report. Brad Evans got into a playful wrestling match with head athletic trainer Randy Noteboom that featured a takedown. Coach Sigi Schmid bent a nice free kick into the goal, then talked to reporters.

First question: Schmid oh Kasey Keller’s return:

“Having Kasey return to the team is certainly important for us. On the field, off the field, he’s an experienced player. He provides a lot of leadership for us. You just look back there and you see a very calming presence in goal. I’ve always felt that presence is the most important things goalkeepers give a team. And when you have that strong presence in the back it just makes everybody feel better that’s playing in front of you.”

Schmid on being an NASL guy growing up in California, with Sounders vs. Earthquakes rivalry renewal from those days:

“At the time the {Los Angeles] Aztecs were around. I had some friends that played with them, with the old L.A. Aztecs. As a youth coach, I used to take my team to watch their games and so forth. I never played in that level because it ended up becoming a personal decision in some things what I was doing in terms of school, and coaching, and marriage, and all kinds of complicated things like that. The pay wasn’t really good and only two Americans played. So when you went into a locker room and a coach said ‘I got to put a dang American on the field’, that didn’t fill you with a lot of confidence. And I thought ‘I don’t know if I want to do that, maybe I want to move onto other aspects of my life. But having seen the Sounders play, Dean Wurzberger is a good friend of mine who is at the University of Washington, he played with the Sounders up here during that time, we knew each other. I had a lot of friends who played with the Aztecs. I was one of the first coaches at that time, in my youth team, I actually had two of my youth players go straight from high school into the pros, which was sort of unheard of at that time. But I had two players, Paul Jones and Todd Saldana, who went straight from high school into the pros, one with the Aztecs, one with the Earthquakes in fact. So yeah, I definitely know what was going on in those days. And I knew a few of the Earthquakes players as well.”

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