The last-place Sounders returned to practice Monday after a day off to travel. Here are some quick notes:
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— Need an April Fool’s Day joke? Coach Sigi Schmid offered one: “Sorry, just kidding. That’s not really our record!”
— And here’s midfielder Steve Zakuani, though not a joke: “We’re happy it’s April now. We can kind of say that March is, hopefully, going to be the worst month of the season and we can build up from here.”
— Regarding some injuries, forward David Estrada is seeing a specialist after being poked in the eye in Saturday’s game. He looks unlikely to play Tuesday. Schmid didn’t have an update to give on Eddie Johnson and Obafemi Martins, but neither of the two forwards were spotted at practice once reporters were let in.
— And is Patrick Ianni getting close from the broken foot? “Getting closer; I don’t know if ‘close’ is an apt description yet,” said Schmid, who added he’s not even sure if April will be the month the defender returns.
— Midfielder Mario Martinez is indeed back with the group. He wasn’t able to return from the Honduran national team in time for practice last week.
— Schmid had mentioned the possibility of personnel changes after Saturday’s game. Does he still feel that way? “We’ll see,” the coach said. “We’ll look at it. You’ll see tomorrow whether we change things or not.”
— Here’s a transcript of our chat with goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, who will be starting for the suspended Michael Gspurning on Tuesday, in case you missed it. Here’s Schmid on the what Hahnemann provides the team: “Marcus is an experienced goalkeeper. He’s been in a lot of big games. He’s played a lot of big games. With the national teams, he’s been at World Cups — not necessarily playing in those games, but he’s been a part of it — so he knows what big occasions are. He knows the importance of them. He’s a quality goalkeeper. It’s the reason we signed him last year when the opportunity presented itself, so if we were faced with this kind of a situation or dilemma, that we had a goalkeeper we felt really good about. We feel very confident in Marcus.”
— Schmid was at his son’s wedding over the weekend, so he didn’t get back to Seattle until Monday morning.
— I’ll have more introspective stuff from Schmid and some players on the team’s rough start leading into Tuesday’s game.