Here’s tomorrow’s Sounders FC story on the core of the team remaining together.
I asked Gary Wright about putting a 96 percent season-ticket renewal rate in perspective with other sports here.
“I can’t but if you just stop and think that you have a percentage of people that are going to move away or who are going to be sick, and in these hard times with unemployment, that maybe they can’t do it and they want to do it, it’s incredible,” Wright said. “96 percent is incredible. If you hit 90 percent that’s a great number.”
Wright also said there are two teams the Sounders are talking to with regard to friendlies, and that the tarp over the upper deck at Qwest – the one has Pat Onstad’s likeness – will remain for now.
GM Adrian Hanauer said improvements to Starfire Stadium are planned but aren’t likely to be finished this year. He said there’s a possibility that in light of complaints from other coaches and the need to upgrade the facility for games, a turf more resembling Qwest Field could replace the surface there now.
Today and tomorrow are photo days for Sounders FC, players posed for media guide photos with official team photographer Corky Trewin.
Coach Sigi Schmid talked about these two days – today and tomorrow – at the VMAC.
The team is conducting fitness tests on players and then playing soccer inside the indoor facility.
“In the old days you could cheat these things, now you can’t cheat these things because they’ve got heart monitors on and so forth, so if you put up a superhuman effort just to show you could get through it and you’re mentally really tough, your heart monitor is blowing up so you know that he just went overboard on it today.”
Schmid was impressed with David Estrada’s fitness level, comparing it to what he’s seen from Landon Donovan.
Today the team did the “beep” test, a measure of aerobic and anaerobic fitness. “It’s more soccer running,” Schmid said. “Run 20 meters, come back 20 meters.”
Tomorrow is the sprint test with 10-meter and 30-meter sprints. There will also be a vertical jump measured.
MID Pete Vagenas has plantar fasciitis on a foot and is limited in practice. Nate Jaqua was limited too and might not go full until next week.