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February 28, 2012 at 11:11 PM

Pictures and notes from Tuesday’s practice

02282012 warmup.jpgOn the eve of the Community Shield, the Sounders trained at CenturyLink Field again Tuesday. Kasey Keller was on hand to take in the action after returning from Hawaii, as was his broadcast partner Ross Fletcher. Parts of Wednesday’s 7 p.m. game against Mexico’s Jaguares — e.g. goals and highlights — will be shown during the team’s two-hour preseason special on KONG-TV 6/16. It’s similar to what’s been done in previous seasons. Call it a soft opening.

After practice, coach Sigi Schmid talked about the team’s priorities for Wednesday’s game against Jaguares de Chiapas:

“The most important thing for us right now is preparation for the game against Santos. It’s not going to be a situation where we try and get guys in for minutes in this game to try and make a decision on whether they’re going to make the roster or not. Our preparation is going to be to get cohesion amongst our first group, to play some guys that we think are pushing and are very close, and to put guys on the field that we think are very likely to be part of the 18-man squad that suits up for the game against Santos.”

With 32 players in camp, the Sounders are very close to what will be their opening-day roster and there probably aren’t too many more technical decisions to be made in that regard. You can figure that many of the unsigned guys still around have earned a contract.

Also of note, the team shouldn’t have any problem with being roster compliant by the March 1 deadline. The roster doesn’t have to be finalized by then, but you can’t be in excess of league limits (30 active players, $2.81 million salary cap).

Let’s get to some more pictures…

* * *

The goalkeepers get a good stretch in.

02282012 gk.jpg

Assistant coach Ezra Hendrickson was back after being out sick for a couple days. You following him on Twitter yet?

02282012 hendrickson.jpg

Here’s my horribly awful paparazzi-style shot of Keller. I had meant to get a better one, but forgot.

02282012 keller.jpg

Here’s a look at some 10v10 scrimmage work. The best goal of the day came from the Zach Scott (not pictured). Yes, you read that right. The veteran defender scored on a marvelous right-footed volley from a tight angle that drew a rousing cheer. I also thought Alvaro Fernandez looked pretty sharp.

02282012 scrimmage.jpg

Steve Zakuani (middle, in blue) is off the training regimen set for him and the beginning of camp and practicing without restriction these days. He went into a physical challenge with Osvaldo Alonso at one point during a scrimmage. It was a moment that caught my eye as Zakuani more than held his own in the clash.

02282012 zakuani.jpg

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