Here are some quick notes from Sounders FC’s return to practice Monday after the Charleston trip. The light session was held indoors due to the rainy conditions and the light regimen planned after the travel and games Saturday:
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— First off, midfielder Alex Caskey was not around. Coach Sigi Schmid intimated there will be an announcement forthcoming on his departure from the team, but the move apparently isn’t finalized. More generally, Schmid said earlier in the interview: “We’re working on finalizing a few things, but right as of today, we don’t have anything to announce. But in the next couple days, there will be some announcements, I’m sure.”
— Defenders DeAndre Yedlin (ankle) and Chad Marshall (undisclosed) were held out of drills, but Schmid said they both should be fine for the season opener. Others not training due to injury were forward/midfielder Tristan Bowen and trialist Gonzalo Pineda.
— Left back Leo Gonzalez was deemed to be at 85-percent health after getting 60 minutes against Coastal Carolina. “I think he’s definitely close,” Schmid said.
— So is there competition at the spot with Dylan Remick having earned a team-high three assists in preseason? “I think there’s competition at that spot, but I think Leo’s our left back,” Schmid said. “You don’t lose it because of injury, because Leo’s proven himself to be a very competent left full-back for us and does a great job defending for us, but we also know there’s enough competition that we need Leo at 100 percent. Remick’s done well enough in preseason where he’s (made a statement) that, ‘If Leo’s not 100 percent or close to it, I’m ready, prepared and able to play.”
— Unsigned players still with the team are draft pick Fabio Pereira, and trialists Pineda, John Arroyo, Cam Weaver and Kevin Parsemain. Michael Azira wasn’t around but Schmid said he was given an extra day in Charleston “so he could take care of some things” and would be back this afternoon. Certainly looks like some signings could be coming.
— Asked about how Yedlin’s makeup has kept him grounded amid his early success, Schmid had an interesting comparison: “It’s like in the old days with Alexi Lalas. A lot of people looked at Alexi Lalas’ long hair and thought he was this major radical guy, and he really wasn’t. Sometimes people look at DeAndre’s hair and his style and the way he likes to dress and so forth and think he’s like this flamboyant guy, but when he comes to practice, he comes to practice; he works hard and he’s got his feet on the ground.”
— So with the season opener nearing, does Schmid have an idea of his starting lineup? “I’ve got an idea in my mind, but a lot depends of how we get through this week of training, injuries, and fitness and so forth.” Don’t expect too much more than that, even if preseason has given some indications.
— Schmid had an interesting bit about team spirit today. “The D.C. game was good in the sense that we were down twice in the game and we came back,” he said, “and when you come back, I think that shows spirit, as well. It’s a great stat to say, ‘Hey, when you’re leading, you generally win the game,’ but it’s a stat about spirit when you start talking about when you get behind in a game and you find a way to get a result out of it.” Last year the Sounders were 2-12-1 when conceding the first goal.