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March 8, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Getting ready for the rematch (Friday notes)


The Sounders returned to practice Friday. Here are some notes…

*     *     *

— First off, perhaps the most eagle-eyed readers might notice the soccer balls are different in the picture. Nike soccer balls are used in the CONCACAF Champions League, so those were in use (not the usual adidas soccer balls for MLS play).

— There are a few non-contract guys still in camp: goalkeeper Doug Herrick (who has returned from national team duty with Guam), defender Ashani Fairclough, midfielders Philip Lund and Stephen Okai, and forward Travis Bowen. I didn’t see supplemental draft pick Will Bates out there. I was told he might’ve been working out inside (remember he’s coming back from knee surgery), but I didn’t get that confirmed. For what it’s worth, and I’m not sure how much that is, Fairclough, Lund and Bowen are all included in the team’s media guide. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple signed with only 27 Sounders under contract.

— Regarding some injuries, Steve Zakuani and David Estrada, who each have been recovering from minor ankle injuries, participated in warmups and a lot of the early drills. They were held out at the very end. “Now it’s, ‘How do they feel after going through what they did today?'” coach Sigi Schmid said, “and we’ll see what they’re going to be able to do on Sunday.”

— Defender Adam Johansson was full-in in practice for the first time since suffering the knee sprain in preseason. Seems like he could be in play for Tuesday, but like the previous two, the staff will see how the right back recovers from a full training session.

— Defender Patrick Ianni (foot fracture) is out of the protective boot, but he’s yet to rejoin training with the team. DP midfielder Shalrie Joseph (calf strain) apparently worked out inside.

— Starters had a very light day, a regeneration session as they call it, but I caught up with defender Djimi Traore afterward. I will have more from that in the next day or so.

— The reserves had a pretty intense session with a small-sided scrimmage and some finishing work at the end. Eriq Zavaleta, in particular, did some extra finishing work and maybe could see more time at forward than center back coming up. I caught up with DeAndre Yedlin after that group was done for the day. Again, more from that to come.

— Issues previously covered today: Schmid’s thoughts on the Tigres goal and CCL tickets sales. Issues to come: Addressing the offense, looking back at the first leg and what has to change going into Tuesday’s second leg.

— On a side note, I asked defender Zach Scott if he had Gonzaga pride going to the school’s top-ranked men’s basketball team. “No,” he said. “I owe them way too much money to be proud.”

— Lastly, did you see a Sounders FC clock on the NBC television show “Go On” the other day? A reader passed along that photo.


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