Here are some notes from Wednesday’s practice, which featured some 11v11 action for the first time in preseason.
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— Here’s what the lineups looked like, with ‘halftime’ changes in parentheses:
Orange: GK Michael Gspurning (Marcus Hahnemann), D Zach Scott, D Patrick Ianni, D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, D Leo Gonzalez (Marc Burch), M Mauro Rosales (Christian Tiffert), M Osvaldo Alonso (Servando Carrasco), M Andy Rose, M Steve Zakuani (Alex Caskey), F David Estrada, F Babayele Sodade
Yellow: GK Josh Ford (Doug Herrick), D DeAndre Yedlin (Isaiah Schafer), D Cody Ellison, D Eriq Zavaleta, D Justin Davis, M Philip Lund (Marvin Angulo), M Ross LaBauex, M Guy Essame, M Jonas Rasmussen (Manuel Asprilla), F Jose Cuevas, F Travis Bowen (David Opoku)
— I’d be lying if I said I was confident I caught all the goals, SoundersFC.com has a report posted, but I believe David Estrada had two and Babayele Sodade had one.
— As a note, there are no mystery trialists (so far). All the non-contract guys in training the past few days have been identified by the club.
— Regarding those who didn’t play, coach Sigi Schmid mentioned afterward that Sammy Ochoa was sick. Rookie defender Dylan Remick was there but was under the supervision of a trainer (presumably due to a minor injury). Defender Andrew Duran, as reported earlier, hasn’t been fully cleared coming back from ACL surgery.
— Cordell Cato has not been in camp, as we know, and his future sounds uncertain. GM Adrian Hanauer said last they talked Cato was in Trinidad, and while the team wants him around, all parties haven’t been able to come to an understanding yet. Cato is giving some of his side of the story on Twitter, and he doesn’t seem happy.
— Invitee Blair Gavin, formerly of the New England Revolution, has not reported to camp despite being on the preseason roster. Whispers are that he might have been involved in a car accident recently, but that’s not confirmed.
— In a non-practice-related note, midfielder Osvaldo Alonso said he still has not heard from FIFA regarding any possible USMNT eligibility. I’ll try to write more on him in a separate post.
— After the jump are some quotes from Schmid…
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(What’d you think of the 11v11?) “It was good. Anytime you can play 11v11, it’s good. You could see the difference, obviously, between the trialists and our players, which is also a good thing. That’s what you should see. But it was good for us to see some guys — how they’re playing, how they’re doing. I think for the guys, they always enjoy playing, so it was good. It was obviously a nice day for Steve Zakuani; he had some good moments, I thought, in the game. I thought David Estrada had some good moments, as well. Baba got pushed into service with Sammy Ochoa being sick, and he did well. Rosales, the midfield, Andy Rose … overall I thought it was a good performance from a lot of people.”
(Can you talk about how to put the teams together, returning guys vs. new guys almost?) “Yeah, we just wanted to play the returning guys against the new guys who are in and our draft choices and just see what came out of it, see who would step up. Also, sometimes it’s good for people to see that there is a difference, because they’ve been playing against each other. Again, it’ll be a little more mixed tomorrow, but it gets us a good look at the trialists this way.”
(What’d you think of the DeAndre Yedlin vs. Steve Zakuani matchup?) “It was a good lesson. It’s something that I wanted. Steve’s a good-enough player; he’s embarrassed a few guys. Early on in the game, Steve ended up getting behind DeAndre, just missed scoring a goal, and got behind him another time. But there were a couple of times where DeAndre stood him up fairly well. It’s just a learning curve type of thing. It’s sort of a reminder that, ‘I still have things to do. I still have things to improve upon.’ … It’s like you’re a senior in high school and you go to college and you think you had it all figured out, and you find out that, no, you don’t have it figured out yet. And then you’re a senior in college, and you say, ‘Oh, I’ve got it figured out now,’ and you enter the real world and you realize you don’t have it figured out yet. DeAndre had it figured out now on the college level, and he’s a good player, he’s going to figure it out on the pro level, but he knows he doesn’t have it all figured out yet and he still needs to work on it. But he’s definitely going to be a very good pro.”
(And how about Eriq Zavaleta continuing to play as a center back?) “Zavaleta had good moments and bad moments. Again, his passing out of the back is very, very good. He got matched up with Baba and he held his own there in terms of body- and size-wise. On the header, Ellison was on Baba on the header. I think he did all right, especially considering that he hasn’t played defense day in and day out in a long time. A lot of times when I experiment with players in different positions, I don’t give them a lot of instruction. I throw them back there and I see how much of it is there. If there’s nothing there, if you’re starting and they only have 10 percent and you’re trying to add 90 percent, you’re not going to make it. So just throwing him back there, and he hasn’t played there in a long time, he’s got 70-75 percent of what you need back there, and the other 25 percent we can definitely teach.”