I forgot to take a picture of the practice scene this morning (the pouring rain probably had something to do with it). The starters from Saturday’s game did work inside, while the reserves and guys working back from injury trained outside.
Here are some notes from the day:
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— From the action outside, I actually thought Michael Tetteh looked very active and sharp. He appears to be getting over the hamstring very well. Christian Sivebaek struggled a bit with his finishing and was visibly upset with himself a couple times.
— Brad Evans (calf) appeared to be a full participant and coach Sigi Schmid said he should be ready to go Wednesday against Columbus. Our columnist Steve Kelley talked to the midfielder in Vancouver and said as much in his Sunday column. Evans has missed the past two games.
— Those a bit further behind are defender Leo Gonzalez, who Schmid described as day-to-day as he works back from the quad injury, and goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, who is just starting to ramp up his work load. Schmid ruled Gspurning out Wednesday and it sounds like next week might be more realistic for his return.
— One of the keys this week, Schmid said, will be focusing on defensive duties, which is something he feels the Sounders forgot about early in Saturday’s game.
— Schmid reiterated that he never lost faith in Fredy Montero during his early scoring woes and felt the forward’s performance against Vancouver was one of his best passing games. While always frustrating, Schmid said Montero has learned to deal with those cold streaks better having gone through a couple before.
— David Estrada started on the bench against the Whitecaps. That was a first for the forward/midfielder, who was the only Sounder to start the first nine games of the season. His versatility will help get him on the field, even if not as a starter, Schmid said. “The minutes are there for him because there’s still a ton of games — we’ve got midweeks games and the open cup coming up,” the coach added.
— Generally the team trains at CenturyLink Field two days before a home game, but the team was at Starfire on Monday to play on grass. Schmid wasn’t excited about being in turf three-straight work days (Friday and Saturday were at BC Place).
— Lastly, when asked about Alvaro Fernandez‘ role in the attacking four that includes Montero, Mauro Rosales and Eddie Johnson, Schmid described El Flaco as the best defender of the group. “He probably needs to take a little more defensive responsibility sometimes in terms of just his positional play and maybe join our attack a little bit later than the other three do,” the coach said.