Practice was at the Microsoft campus in Redmond today, a thank you to a major sponsor from the team.
A few hundred people ringed the small FieldTurf pitch. But this was no easy practice. There was a pretty good scrimmage that was very competitive, and Freddie Ljungberg and Sebastien Le Toux took some hard kicked balls to the private area. The crowd groaned.
Ljungberg has a tender ankle that doesn’t appear to be serious, but he didn’t finish practice. Kasey Keller made an incredible save of a PK by Sanna Nyassi, and the team did some PKs for the enjoyment of the fans.
Ljungberg was injured in the Houston game on July 11. His removal was labeled just a precaution.
Patrick Ianni wasn’t practicing because of toe pain. “We just felt going on the turf today was not what we wanted him to do because we’re going on grass this weekend. So we decided to hold him off.”
Tyrone Marshall was back after his participation in the Gold Cup. Schmid said he missed hearing Marshall’s constant talking during practice.
Marshall said he’s glad that team didn’t lose a beat while he was away. He said he enjoyed the time with Jamaica but can’t wait to get going Saturday. “I’m happy that I’m back now,” he said.
I asked Schmid if he has a lineup for Saturday vs. Chelsea. “Yeah we have a lineup,” he said. “but we’re going to try to get everybody into the game at some point. It’s a great opportunity, but we also have an important game next Tuesday (Houston, US Open Cup semis) that we don’t want to lose sight of. But we also represent ourselves well…Some guys will play a little more than others.”
When practice ended after about 80 minutes, the team applauded the fans, who returned the love, and Schmid grabbed a microphone to thank them audibly. Here’s Steve Zakuani and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado taking a water break.
Just an FYI…for season ticket holders, use your “Friendly A” ticket for this game. “Friendly B” is for Barcelona and C for the MLS Cup.