Here are some quick notes from Sounders FC practice Monday as the team returned to work following a 2-0 road loss at Real Salt Lake…
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— First off, Eddie Johnson, Brad Evans and Mario Martinez have been given a break upon their returns from national team duty. “I wanted to give them some time off because all the other guys had time off,” said coach Sigi Schmid in reference to a break during the international window. “I think they needed some time off, as well, so I had already told them before the Salt Lake game, ‘Come in, play the Salt Lake game, then after Salt Lake, we’ll give you some time off.’”
— The question with Martinez, of course, is, “Will he be coming back?” The Honduran midfielder’s loan from Real Espana ends in a week. Schmid said the team is still in negotiations to bring him back, but a lot more than that is involved. “We’re clear on what we want to do,” the coach added. “It’s just a matter of whether it’s going to work out financially. It’s a league that has a salary cap, so that’s something we have to consider when we do any of these negotiations.”
— Lamar Neagle wasn’t active in practice after picking up a knock about 10 minutes into Saturday’s game. Schmid noted the Federal Way native tweaked his hip flexor in a duel with Ned Grabavoy. “We don’t think it’s extreme,” Schmid said. “He tried to play through it in the first half, tried to come out in the second half and we pulled him out early, so he wasn’t really sharp.”
— Neagle gave this update when I asked if he had taken a knock: “A little bit. A little one. I was able to go, but I felt like Mario could come on and do better than I could. It was a just a little nagging thing, but I’ll be fine.” He reiterated that he thinks he’ll be able to play the next game, July 3 vs. D.C. United.
— Elsewhere, DeAndre Yedlin put in another full 90 for the U.S. U-20s at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. The U.S. tied France, 1-1, and will have a chance to move on with a win in a group-stage finale against Ghana on Thursday. Look for a Yedlin story in Tuesday’s paper.
— There are a few trialists in camp that I’ll keep working on identifying. One definitely looks to be Roberto Chen, a 19-year-old Panamanian defender (as reports have suggested). Chen has played for San Francisco FC, which lost to the Sounders in the CONCACAF Champions League play-in round a couple years ago.
— Here is Schmid for the plan this week with the next game 10 days away: “It gives us some practice time, because the last time we decided to give the players some time off. Now we have some practice time, so hopefully our rhythm will be a little bit sharper.”
— Lastly, here’s an updated look at the fan voting for the MLS All-Star Game. Voting is open here until noon on July 2…