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February 1, 2011 at 8:51 PM

A look at Kerry Baptiste, and other Day 3 notes from Arizona

baptiste.jpgPhoto credit: Seattle Sounders FC

Here’s the 29-year-old Kerry Baptiste in training with Sounders FC down in Arizona. The Trinidad and Tobago forward is out of contract, having last played for Joe Public FC.

According to an article on the league website, Seattle GM Adrian Hanauer said the cap-constrained club would likely have to release someone before being able to sign Baptiste. Certainly something to keep an eye on.

Below is the team’s report on Day 3 of training from Casa Grande, Arizona:

* * *

Seattle Sounders FC Preseason Training – Grande Sports World

Tuesday, February 1, 2011: Recap Day 3

Day three of Sounders FC preseason training in Casa Grande brought the first two-a-day practices of the new year. The morning session began at 10 a.m. with the sun shining bright and the wind blowing strong. The field players started with fitness work and passing drills while the goalkeepers worked with the ball at their feet. Long passing accuracy and ball control was the focus for field players while the four goalkeepers competed in a passing game where they tried to hit a target located outside the 18-yard box.

Coach Sigi Schmid then split the group into four teams for two different 12-minute games. In one game, two big goals were brought in to shrink the field to half-size and cones marked narrow sidelines. The 7 v 7 matchup restricted each player to two touches when on the ball. In the second game, each team consisted of eight players with four small goals, one on each sideline, with the intent to constantly change the point of attack. The two-touch rule was enforced in that game as well to force the players to focus on spacing and quick ball movement.

Steve Zakuani had the highlight of the day when his right-footed strike from 15 yards sailed past a diving keeper and into the top corner of the net. O’Brian White continued to score as he fought off defenders and slotted a ball into the side netting. Supplemental Draft pick Josh Ford impressed as he made several difficult saves in the 7 v 7 game.

The team trained again at 4 p.m. They did fitness work with the ball to warm-up followed by several passing games. Schmid then split the group into two teams for a goal-scoring exercise. With big goals at either end of one half of the field, players went one-on-one against each other with a keeper in each net. A goal earned a point for their team and the team with the least points at the end of each session had to do 15 push-ups. The exercise progressed into two offensive players versus one defensive player and ended with a full-out two versus two game, where both teams had to defend and try to score. Servando Carrasco scored a remarkable goal while falling down in the box but it was Fredy Montero who ended the session when he beat his defender with a step-over move and slid the ball into the side netting with his left foot.

Sounders FC will train tomorrow morning and then take the afternoon off.

Injury Update

Defender Taylor Graham and forward Pat Noonan did work on the side field for the duration of both training sessions.

Quotes from Head Coach Sigi Schmid

(On the morning training session…) “We wanted to ease down a little bit today but we played different things in terms of we wanted to see them strike some long balls, that was the intent in the warm-up, and then we wanted to play with the goals really tight in tight spaces so they would have to play quicker and move the ball and react quicker to each other. Sometimes a big game is easier, sometimes a smaller game requires not 20, 30 yard runs but two or three yard runs and we saw that and we were pleased. The other game was changing the point of attack and that seemed to go well from my conversation with Brian [Schmetzer]. So we were happy. We accomplished what we wanted to do today.”

(On watching Vancouver v Salt Lake…) “I don’t know if it is so much scouting as much as it is basically we are soccer junkies so we end up watching soccer games when they are there. We were talking about it, me and Tommy [Dutra] were talking about it, and we said, ‘You know, once we are retired and we know they are coming to Arizona or to Bradenton, Florida, we would probably take a vacation, go down there and watch just like people watch Spring training. For us, that’s the most exciting part. But obviously, we are going to play Salt Lake next week so it gives us a little bit of a look at them and Vancouver, everybody looks at each other to sort of get a head start on what each team has.”

Players Present in Casa Grande

Goalkeepers (4): Terry Boss, Josh Ford, Kasey Keller, Bryan Meredith.

Defenders (12): Corey Attaway, Leone Cruz, Danny Earls, Leo Gonzalez, Taylor Graham, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke, James Riley, Zach Scott, Michael Tetteh, Tyson Wahl.

Midfielders (12): Osvaldo Alonso, Servando Carrasco, David Estrada, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez, Erik Friberg, Mike Fucito, Roger Levesque, Lamar Neagle, Jonathan Prieto, Michael Seamon, Steve Zakuani.

Forwards (7): Seedy Bah, Kerry Baptiste, Miguel Montano, Fredy Montero, Blaise Nkufo, Pat Noonan, O’Brian White.


Several members of the Sounders FC coaching staff stayed at the fields well after training ended to watch the Vancouver Whitecaps FC v Real Salt Lake exhibition game. Vancouver won 2-1 after three 45-minute periods…Sounders FC supporters were field side for both the morning and afternoon sessions


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