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May 4, 2012 at 1:12 AM

Thursday notes: Goalkeeper position in flux, Fernandez and Ianni primed for return

05042012 training.JPGSorry for the late update. Wedding planning duties had me preoccupied for part of the evening. Here are some notes from Thursday’s practice at a rainy Starfire:

* * *

— The big news of the day was covered in an earlier post, as Michael Gspurning had an MRI. It certainly sounds like Bryan Meredith could be in line to make his first MLS start.

— Guys that trained in full: goalkeeper Andrew Weber (got medical clearance Wednesday after suffering a high ankle sprain last month), midfielder Alvaro Fernandez (missed the past three games with a quad strain) and defender Patrick Ianni (missed the past two games with back spasms). Coach Sigi Schmid said Weber could be available on the bench Saturday and is “pretty confident (Fernandez and Ianni) should both be ready to go” against Philadelphia.

— Schmid said the team knew it would have to make a lot of changes going into Saturday’s game with a very quick turnaround. Personally, I wouldn’t expect to get many tips as to how the lineup might look before they’re announced on game day. The coach is confident in his options but wants to keep the Union guessing.

“Going into this game we’ll be difficult (to scout) because it makes it a little uncertain for them as to what lineup are we going to come with,” Schmid said. “Is Fernandez ready to come back? Is (Mauro) Rosales ready to play another game? Where’s (Brad) Evans at? (Fredy) Montero, (Eddie) Johnson, all those guys are guys they have to think about. We’re not going to make it easy on them by giving them any answers right now.”

— With the offense heating up, Schmid is looking forward to greater things to come: “Once they get on the field together — meaning Montero, Eddie, Rosales, and Flaco all together — and get some games under their belt, and get to really know each other, it can be a very dangerous combination because everybody is a little bit different.”

Jeff Parke was asked about a few subject, including Bryan Meredith‘s potentially increased role over the weekend. Something that stood out were his thoughts on L.A. fielding a less-than-full-strength lineup in Wednesday’s game.

“It doesn’t matter to me,” Parke said. “Obviously you want to see how you compete against and mark yourself against their best squad, but that’s them. You punish teams that want to do that and want to come in here and play certain players. I thought we did that. It could’ve been more. We probably could’ve put five on them, four or five on them, if their goalie doesn’t come up big three or four times there. It’s good to send a (message) and let them know, ‘If you’re going to bring your second squad or whatever, or not bring all your guys, it’s not a game you can do that for. You shouldn’t be taking us lightly.’ I think we proved last night that we’re a team that’s up at the top and teams shouldn’t be doing that when they come into our stadium.”


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