Still hopping from a four-goal win over the weekend, the Sounders were back on the practice field Wednesday after a couple days off. Here are some notes:
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— First, some quick injury news. Defender Patrick Ianni was out sick. Midfielder Steve Zakuani (groin) warmed up with the team but then went inside; coach Sigi Schmid said Zakuani is still having some pain after playing 55 minutes in Sunday’s reserve game. Midfielder Mauro Rosales is still a concern with a sprained shoulder suffered in the San Jose game and was held out of contact drills. A couple guys were also off to the side at the very end of the day, like Brad Evans, Djimi Traore, Leo Gonzalez and Ashani Fairclough, an indication their issues are less severe.
— Forward Obafemi Martins appeared to train without restrictions, and Schmid said the DP is feeling “much, much better” when it comes to his knee injury. The main issues now? “He still needs some time — playing and so forth, getting used to our guys, and just training again on a regular basis,” the coach added.
— Goalkeeper Josh Ford did indeed undergo knee surgery (the team website mentioned as much on Saturday). Schmid said it was partially related to knee issues he’s had in the past, but not entirely. The team’s No. 3 is expected to make a full recovery after several months of rehabilitation.
— Rookie Will Bates was back with the group. He played a 90-minute game on loan for Phoenix FC of the USL PRO over the weekend. “Whenever we can, we’re going to try and send guys out to get a game here and there if we don’t feel they’re going to get a game with us,” said Schmid, noting the team has a lot of healthy forwards right now.
— Schmid didn’t seem too bothered with the reserve game loss Sunday, noting it was much more important for Orlando City SC and that the Sounders fielded a lot of academy kids and players coming back from injury. Some of the staff was also at the U-23′s Open Cup game Tuesday, which is how they kept an eye on DeAndre Yedlin last year.
— We should be hearing about Open Cup third-round pairings later this afternoon, so look out for that. The U.S. men’s national team roster for friendlies and World Cup qualifiers is scheduled to come out tomorrow.
— Lastly, some skill from the always young Alan Hinton…