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August 23, 2012 at 12:08 AM

Coach Sigi Schmid on injuries, Sunday’s reserve game, trialists and more

Seattle Sounders FC Logo.jpgA group interview with Sigi Schmid after Wednesday’s practice covered a number of topics. Here are some highlights of our chat with the Sounders FC coach:

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On the team’s injuries — All-Star midfielder Osvaldo Alonso took a hard knock during the training session but turned out to be OK. Here’s a link to an earlier update on Andy Rose. Elsewhere, goalkeeper Andrew Weber’s adductor issue, which kept him out of a few games earlier this year, has been coming back a little bit. “We thought it was getting better again and then it acted up a little bit,” Schmid said. “Then today he was out training. It’s sort of been an up-and-down type of thing.” Lastly, midfielder Cordell Cato was out sick last weekend, which is why he didn’t make the squad for Sunday’s MLS Reserve League game.

On how Steve Zakuani looked in Sunday’s reserve game — Zakuani passed along Schmid’s opinion on his own performance Sunday (good bad first half, bad good second half) and the coach reiterated that position. Make no mistake, Zakuani is going to be judged on performance now that the injury isn’t a concern. “In the situation he’s in right now, where maybe he’s a guy that’s coming off the bench, you’ve got to be able to jump in and get involved in the game very quickly,” Schmid said. “If you need 45 minutes before you become involved in the game, it becomes difficult.” Schmid also made it seem like loan options for Zakuani — however real they were or seriously they were considered — are drying up, especially as USL teams approach the end of their seasons. But there are more reserve games to come.

On the arrival of Dawyne Smith — The forward/midfielder was acquired in early June in the waiver draft, but only recently joined the team. He had been playing for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the USL Pro and was a part of Seattle’s invitational combine in Las Vegas over the offseason. “We had seen him, sort of liked him,” Schmid said. “He had the opportunity to play a little bit in USL. It seemed Pittsburgh was basically eliminated from the playoffs, so now we have a chance to look at him and we can make a decision here.” As a reminder, Smith’s MLS rights are controlled by the Sounders, but he’s not under contract.

On trialist Moises Orozco — Schmid said they’ve known about the former U.S. U-20 player for a while. The 20-year-old also played for Mexican club Tigres and had been on a long trial with Toronto FC. “He’s from southern California, so it’s not a big trip for him and wanted to take a look at him for a couple of weeks,” the coach said. Since he’s a former youth national, Orozco would likely have to go through a weighted lottery if he signed with MLS. There has to be interest first, from the Sounders or another league team.

On if they could make room on the roster to make a signing with 30 guys under contract — Schmid said they could make it work. Andrew Duran, who recently suffered an ACL tear, will likely go on the season-ending injury list, which would open up a roster spot.

On Fredy Montero’s season — With eight goals through 24 games, the forward is on pace for 11.33 this season, which is exactly his average through three seasons. He’s got four goals in the last five games (three scores came off the bench). “Eventually, we said he’d find his goals,” Schmid said. “He’s found his goals lately. … What’s nice about it is we’ve got two of them right now that are scoring goals. I think we still need to get some more goals from other places — whether they’re off set pieces, whether they’re from our wide players, our midfielders. We need to get them involved, as well. But overall, I’ve been very happy with the front two.”


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