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September 16, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Notes from Friday’s practice (injuries, D.C. United, Meredith)

Seattle Sounders FC Logo.jpgSounders FC returned from Costa Rica on Thursday with just one day to prepare for Saturday’s 6 p.m. league game against D.C. United at CenturyLink Field. Here’s a roundup of notes from Friday’s practice…

— There was a lot of talk about the dangerous D.C. United team coming in. Despite the injury to Chris Pontius, the visitors are loaded with attacking weapons. Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said attacking midfielder Dwayne De Rosario was of particular concern.

— I asked Schmid about the complicated scenario that could see the Sounders clinch a playoff berth this weekend. The coach then attempted to go over the necessary steps and didn’t disappoint. “We have to win, somebody has to lose, somebody else has to lose … and somebody has to have lunch at Denny’s. All those things are including in there,” he joked, before answering more seriously. “It’s there when it’s there. We just want to keep getting points and continue to hold on to what we have right now, which is second place. We want to maintain that and be there if there are any slip-ups on the Galaxy’s part that we can take advantage of it.”

— It’s been clarified that midfielders Steve Zakuani (leg) and Mike Seamon (ankle), and goalkeeper Terry Boss (concussion) are all on the disabled list and will miss the remainder of the season. Thursday’s roster freeze officially closed the book on Zakuani’s return for this year. It was originally thought that O’Brian White (leg) was also on the DL, but he is not. He hasn’t been at practice since undergoing his surgery at the end of August, however, and is very doubtful to play anyway.

— Sounders FC will set a new league attendance record this weekend, something the team has been on pace for all season. “That’s a great compliment to the front office and to everybody involved in the Sounders organization,” said Schmid. “Again, it’s just a reflection of the loyalty of our fans and their continued commitment to our team. Hopefully we’ve brought them an awful lot of enjoyment by being able to come out and watch us. Every time we step out on the field we recognize them and we realize how important they are to us being successful as a team.”

— When it comes to the backup goalkeeper to Kasey Keller, Schmid said rookie Josh Ford will assume that role Saturday. I’ll have more notes on the GK situation after the jump.

— Before signing Bryan Meredith as the team’s third goalkeeper, Schmid said the team explored options in the USL and NASL before concluding that the 22-year-old rookie made the most sense due to his familiarity with the team. Not to mention he’s quite talented and had a great year with the Kitsap Pumas.

— Schmid was asked an intriguing question about whether, for development sake, Meredith had an advantage over Ford by getting games. Schmid’s response was also intriguing. “That’s something that you can tell over time and that’s something that we’ve discussed internally,” he said. “We have our feelings on that. It’s not something that I’m really going to say right now. There are certainly different ways. The thing I will say is as a soccer coach, in all my years of coaching I’ve always felt that development is most optimum when you play at the highest level you can possibly play at. Games are important. Training in and of itself is a great addition to games, but can’t replace games at the end of the day. If you can combine both quality training and games at a good level, then that’s the ideal preparation.”

— Sounders FC didn’t make any 11th-hour moves before the MLS roster freeze, which wasn’t a big surprise. Said Schmid: “We’re always looking and listening and observing and watching, so there are things that we were thinking about doing and that we were close to doing. Obviously we might’ve done something if Boss’ injury hadn’t happened, because that forced our hand in one direction. We had an option for one player. We didn’t know if we could necessarily make two work under the cap. We would’ve had to do some other jumping around and there were no trade offers that made sense for us.”


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