Here are some notes from Wednesday’s practice…
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— First off, your newest Sounder Djimi Traore, who was signed Saturday, returned to training with the team. He had been in Paris getting a visa, which has been approved along with with international transfer clearance, meaning the veteran defender is on the active roster and eligible for Saturday’s opener. I’ll have more from Traore later, but he said he’s ready to go if needed. Coach Sigi Schmid indicated it could be a couple weeks before he’s ready to start.
— There was a potential concern as midfielder Mario Martinez walked into practice with a limp and wearing tennis shoes. He was on a stationary bike for a bit and didn’t participate in training. Schmid said Martinez bump knees with a player yesterday and the team doesn’t think it’s anything serious beyond some soreness. They’ll see how he feels tomorrow.
— Forward Babayele Sodade was not as training, which wasn’t a surprise after his goodbye tweet Tuesday. What was a surprise was Schmid’s answer when I asked if Sodade was still with the team: “Sodade is still with our team, yeah,” the coach answered without further elaboration.
— Schmid confirmed that Jennings Rex‘s trial is over and Kevin Durr has returned to the Air Force Academy.
— Defender Andrew Duran has returned to full training. He had been limited in preseason following the ACL surgery, but he told me doctors recently gave him the all-clear.
— Guys off to the side were Martinez (see above), Traore (a light day after getting back from Paris last night), Will Bates (recovering from the knee injury) and Adam Johansson (still getting back from a knee strain).
— I asked Schmid if the team’s public pursuit of Obafemi Martins is something the team talks about. “It’s not something I talk to the guys about,” the coach said. “(The players) might be talking amongst themselves about it, for all I know, but it’s not something that we focus on. If it gets done, it gets done. Don’t know exactly where it is in that process — that’s something that is out of my hands right now — and hopefully we’ll have some resolution. That’s the most important thing.”