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Here are some highlights from the team report:
— Sounders FC and the Chicago Fire played to 119 minutes of scoreless soccer in a training game Saturday, but rookie midfielder Servando Carrasco gave Seattle a last-gasp 1-0 win with a goal a few ticks before the final whistle. Midfielder Miguel Montano swung in the cross to collect his team-leading third assist of preseason, and Roger Levesque and Zach Scott also played a part in the build-up.
— Seattle is now 4-2-2 in preseason and has exhausted the training-game portion of the schedule. Remaining exhibitions against Portland, Vancouver and Colorado will each be more game-like, with strict rules on time, bookings and substitutions.
— That’s four shutouts now for Sounders FC, which has outscored opponents 15-10. Though against MLS competition Seattle is 3-2-2, with three shutouts and a goal differential of 8-10. It’s probably not a big deal, yet, but none of the DPs or Steve Zakuani have scored a non-PK goal in the eight preseason games so far.
— Out with injuries were: forward Nate Jaqua, midfielder Erik Friberg, forward O’Brian White, midfielder Michael Seamon and defender Danny Earls. The unnamed trialist got some time as well.
— Sounders FC returns to Seattle on Sunday and will begin preparations for the Cascadia Summit on Wednesday. The three-day tournament starts Friday at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.
— Sigi Schmid started what appeared to be a first-team lineup, though he downplayed calling them the starters. Be sure to check out the coach’s quotes after the jump:
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(On the training game…) “It was good. It was good that we played to zero. There were a couple of moments that were close but that’s always going to be the case. It was nice to get the late goal even though we played 120 minutes. What I was happy about was I thought some of the soccer that we played, again I know I sound like a broken record when we play good soccer and didn’t score, but sometimes it’s situations like Fredy Montero’s chance where he did what we were asking him to do, he laid the ball off, sprinted to get into the box, let him roll the ball back and his fitness now maybe lets him down a little bit and he jelly legs it and doesn’t score. So that will be something that by the time the season starts he should be able to finish that. Blaise had a good chance that he mis-trapped. We had some other chances around the box, a header at the back post, so there were good things. What I was happy about was we did a good job of spreading the field, we did a good job of possessing the ball and our passing at times was very good.
(On the starting unit…) “I wouldn’t call them the starting 11 yet, that’s a thing that we are looking at. This group based upon their performance in the second half of last season deserved the first opportunity and I had to give it a go. But obviously there’s some guys like Erik Friberg, who was injured today, Patrick Ianni and guys like that who are on the verge of cracking into that group as well. Is Fucito a guy who cracks into that group? Is it some other people? O’Brian White, who was injured today, does he crack into that group? Jaqua when he is healthy does he crack into that group? So I think there are a number of options that still await us and what we are trying to do is find the right mix and make it go. This group did alright today but now the next time they step on the field they have got to do better because they’ve got to bang goals.”
(On the team’s defense…) “Defensively we did well. The first 10 or 15 minutes Chicago gave us a little bit of trouble until we sorted out the midfield and once we sorted out the midfield I think we were OK and we were defensively good. I thought both Kennedy and Parke came up with some good individual plays but probably the play of the game defensively was Terry Boss’ save in the second half. People say, ‘How are you guys if Keller gets hurt?’ I feel we are in very capable hands if Boss is healthy. I think he’s a very good goalkeeper.”
(On the training camp in Florida…) “It was good. We were able to make progress in terms of our fitness continued to grow. We pushed those guys 70 minutes today, the majority of the guys. So the fitness has continued to grow and soccer-wise we were able to work on some of the things we wanted to work on and now we have got to continue on that process.”