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April 18, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Thursday notes: Sounders practice with a full squad for the first time this season

Seattle Sounders FC LogoHere are some quick notes from Sounders FC practice Thursday…

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— Believe it or not, the Sounders practiced with a full group out at Starfire. All 29 players under contract plus a few others (e.g. Doug Herrick, Will Bates) participated to some degree. “It was great,” said coach Sigi Schmid. “I think it’s the first time (we’ve had everyone out there). … That was a good feeling. Some of the things we worked on today were good. The timing was off a little bit, obviously, because the people are a little bit different, but it was enjoyable.”

— So how much were some of the limited guys able to do? “Everybody pretty much did everything,” Schmid said. “We held (Obafemi Martins) for a little bit, just wanted to make sure he was OK, but then we put him in the 11v11 at the end and had him go full out in the goals-in-tight (drills). Now it’s just a matter of how people respond tomorrow.”

— Schmid noted that forward Eddie Johnson, who is coming back from a hamstring injury, was one of the guys who came in to work during the off day Wednesday. Brad Evans, the coach added, “feels fine at this stage” in regards to a calf strain, and defender Patrick Ianni is “very close” to being back from the broken foot. It is worth noting that David Estrada was listed as out in this week’s injury report (available in the post below) as he recovers from an eye injury.

— I chatted with Ianni about the recovery in a previous post, as well.

— I asked Schmid if there is any thought toward holding guys out another game, even if they could have some role Saturday in Colorado, knowing there’s a bye week coming up and guys could get extra rest. “No,” he said. “We held Brad out last week because we wanted to make sure that we didn’t throw him back into it. At this stage right now, it shouldn’t affect anybody per se, but that’s still something we have to talk about. We have to see how guys recover from today and see what their numbers look like.” Those numbers presumably being the data collected by fitness coach Dave Tenney.


— And what about Josue Martinez, a Costa Rican trialist who played for Seattle in Monday’s reserve game and remains in camp? “We liked him when he played at Saprissa,” Schmid said. “He played against us with Saprissa when we were in the Champions League. And Philadelphia had him, New York had him, and they let him go, so we felt this was a good opportunity to look at him. We also had two reserve games — one we just played and we have one coming up on Tuesday — so we felt we could give him a good look and then make a decision and that point.”

— I also asked if there were any standouts from Monday’s reserve game in Los Angeles, a 1-1 road tie against the Galaxy. Schmid got a rundown from assistant coach Ezra Hendrickson, who manages the reserves and said, “Obviously it was good to get a goal from (Eriq) Zavaleta. We played him up front, and we’ve been going back and forth in terms of defense and forward, but right now I think it’s probably more forward for him. There was some good moments in the game. Burch had to play a little bit of midfield and in the back and showed that he was able to handle both, so that was good.”

— Lastly, the Sounders announced today that a reserve game May 12 at 4 p.m. against Orlando City SC will be played at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma. The game was originally scheduled for Starfire but will be used as a test of the target to see if Tacoma would be a good place for a Seattle affiliate in USL PRO (the third-tier of American soccer). Here is a link to the news release and here’s an interview with GM Adrian Hanauer on the subject from Sounder at Heart.


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