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Here are the highlights from the Sounders FC practice report:
— It’s still cold down in Arizona. While it’s up in the 40s here, it’s still in the 30s in the desert.
— On the injury side, Taylor Graham continued to nurse a calf strain on the side. Pat Noonan, who hasn’t done much with the group so far, participated in the morning session. Blaise Nkufo (calf), Terry Boss (illness) and Kerry Baptiste (undisclosed) were all limited to some degree.
— Invitee midfielder Jonathan Prieto, who played at UC Irvine last year, impressed in some scrimmage drills. David Estrada and Fredy Montero also stood out, while rookie goalkeeper Bryan Meredith made a pair of tough saves.
— Sounders FC will practice in the morning Friday before playing Vancouver in a 3 p.m. training game. There will be a running blog of the match on the team website.
— Team provided quotes from coach Sigi Schmid after the jump…
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(On the morning training session…) “The object was today we played one game with big goals and one where you were defending two small goals but had a little more to do with changing the point of attack. The other game was keeping it tight. So everything had a little bit of a theme. But the main thing we wanted to work at the end of the day was 32.5 minutes of work. It’s good when you can get that work in. By the way, I have got to say hello from beautiful, warm, sunny Arizona. That’s why I got a wool hat on.”
(On Jonathan Prieto and other individual performances…) “Definitely you pay attention. There were some guys that stepped up. Prieto had a good game. I thought [David] Estrada was very effective when he played here. Some other guys were a little less effective but over the course of time it all evens out. You don’t get too high on one performance. You don’t get too low on one performance either. It was competitive, which is something that we are looking for, and some guys are showing they are adjusting. A guy like Prieto or [Corey] Attaway or [Leone] Cruz or [Servando] Carrasco all those new guys it’s how quickly are they starting to adapt to the speed of play. Today was a good day for Jonathan.”
(On goalkeeper conditioning…) “The goalkeepers aren’t exempt. They do their own work which is different because goalkeeping work requires a different type of conditioning. It’s not like they are going to run around the field all that often. So it’s reactions, it’s intensive and then it’s a little bit of nothing. Tommy [Dutra] does a good job with them and we always talk before practice. He knows exactly how much time he has with them so he puts in what he wants to work on on those particular days. He will get a session where he is going to have them for the whole afternoon and be able to work with them as well. Their conditioning is unique and special to them but they are doing the same thing we’re doing.”