Thanks for your patience this afternoon as a previously scheduled appointment had me away from the computer for a while. Here are some notes from Friday’s practice at Starfire. The teams takes off for Florida tomorrow.
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— The players no longer in camp are Ever Alvarado (as previously believed based on this report), Jason Banton (as previously believed based on his tweets), Tim Pontius (supplemental draft pick), Wes Feighner (supplemental draft pick) and Andrew Vanzie (trialist).
— Non-roster players still around are MLS SuperDraft picks Andrew Duran and Babayele Sodade, trialist Andrew Weber (in the running to be the backup goalkeeper), trialist Andy Rose (acquired on supplemental draft day trade), trialist Alex Caskey (2011 draft pick was out Friday with a concussion), Honduran trialist Harlinton Gutierres.
— Seattle native Chris Blais has joined camp as a non-roster player. The goalkeeper was taken by San Jose in the second round of the MLS SuperDraft in January, one pick ahead of Sodade. Blais was released from Earthquakes camp and afterward indicated on Twitter (it’s since been deleted) that S.J. had opted to go in the direction signing a homegrown goalkeeper instead of him. With Josh Ford nursing an injury, Blais is the fourth healthy goalkeeper in camp and might be one to keep an eye on.
— The team is hopeful it will have a better grasp on Ford’s knee injury by early next week. No word on if surgery might be necessary, but after having issues for this long, dating back to last season, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case — that’s just speculation.
— Dealing with the knock suffered in Monday’s training game, forward Mike Fucito didn’t make it outside with the team. We’re told he did some work on his own indoors.
— Second-year midfielder/defender Michael Tetteh was back out there after missing the Arizona trip with a hamstring injury.
— Swedish defender Adam Johansson had his first practice in town. He joined camp in Arizona.
— Reporters got the chance to talk to GM Adrian Hanauer after practice and he said it’s very likely that Mauro Rosales will be a designated player for the upcoming season.
— Midfielder Steve Zakuani appeared to practice in full and continues to look better and better.
— David Estrada has drawn some praise from coach Sigi Schmid recently and it appears the UCLA product has settled in at forward instead of bouncing around the field. Schmid said Estrada has shown well up top and provides cover with O’Brian White out for a while and Zakuani recovering.
— More pictures after the jump…
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Asked to list off a camp surprise or two, Schmid mentioned several, including Osvaldo Alonso (center), who seemingly never ceases to impress.
Marc Burch (No. 8) had a couple quality goals in some goals-in-tight action. The guy behind him, Lamar Neagle, is also pushing for a starting spot.
The quality of my photography strikes again, but here’s a blurry glance at Harlinton Gutierres on the left. Assistant coach Brian Schmetzer looks on.
Fredy Montero has been “working much harder” this preseason, according to Schmid.
Michael Gspurning has some competition behind him on the depth chart.
Michael Tetteh has shrugged off the hamstring injury that kept him from making the Arizona trip and was swinging in crosses from the left.