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May 1, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Thursday notes: Sounders more likely to lose three to USMNT’s pre-World Cup camp

Here are a few notes from Sounders FC’s practice Thursday, a couple of days ahead of the team’s home game against the Philadelphia Union:

*     *     *

— First off, U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has announced all 30 players on the federation’s preliminary World Cup roster will be invited into training camp in a couple of weeks. It was previously believed about 25-28 would be called in, but it certainly makes it more likely the Sounders will lose three players: Clint Dempsey (a lock), Brad Evans (very much expected) and DeAndre Yedlin (likely on that fringe).

— Here was coach Sigi Schmid‘s reaction to the camp being extended to 30 players and how it might affect the Sounders: “Ultimately, that’s Jurgen’s call. I mean for sure Dempsey’s someone who’s been in that group all the time, Evans has been in that group, Yedlin has been in that group lately, so those are the three guys from our team (in the mix). … He’s bringing them in and it’s probably going to be a final decision and cut-down, so I think it’s going to be a very intense month of May for maybe not all of the 30 players, but definitely 20 of the 30.”

— And does Schmid think defender Chad Marshall is playing at that level? “I think Marshall is a good enough center back in comparison to the center backs with the national team that he deserves consideration. Unfortunately, the train is pretty far away from the station at this point, and do you really want to change and drop him onto that train at that stage? That’s really Jurgen’s decision, so it’s little bit about does he want to alter the group at this stage? Does he want to bring in a new presence to the group at this stage? I think that probably hurts Chad as much as anything. But from a standpoint of quality, I think he certainly has a right to be in the discussion.”

— In some injury updates, Schmid said Evans has been training without limitation as he completes his recovery from a calf injury, and from a health and fitness standpoint, the team captain is ready to return to the starting lineup. Not that this is an easy lineup to crack at this point.

— Elsewhere, Leo Gonzalez continues to work his way back from a hamstring injury. “We kept him away from the team stuff after the warmup,” Schmid explained. “He felt he could’ve gotten into that team stuff. I think Saturday might still be a little bit early for Leo, but I think Wednesday is definitely a possibility.”

— There is no reason to rush Gonzalez back with Dylan Remick having filled in well this season as a backup. Schmid said he is happy with both options and hopes, at a minimum, at least one remains healthy at all times. Here is the coach on Remick’s development: “To be very honest, it’s gone as I thought it would go. I had a lot of faith in him. I told him at the end of last year that I had a lot of confidence in him. I felt he could make a step forward this year and get in games, and when he’s got into the games, I thought he’s responded really well. I think he’s improving all the time and listening to what we’re asking him to do and he’s learning, so that part of it has been good.”

— The Sounders do have a run of three games in nine days coming up, so we could see a little bit of squad rotation. Certainly some of the attacking positions and perhaps center back (opposite Marshall) could be options. Schmid said the decisions will be handled on a game-by-game basis, but they have some changes in mind, particularly as it relates to guys being able to recover on three days’ rest. “You’re going to play three games and maybe you have three guys for two positions,” the coach added, “so maybe you’re saying in your mind, ‘OK, can we get each guy two starts here?'”

— Schmid was asked if being in first-place affects lineup decisions in any way, in particular a case like Gonzalez’ and not necessarily needing to rush him back. Here was the coach’s answer: “No, because you always want to get points. At some point, you’re going to hit a streak where you’re not going to win all the games you want to win and you’re going to hit a bad streak. That’s just the way it works out over a season’s time period. So right now, we’re on a good roll. We want to maximize the points we’re going to get and every game we still want to put the best team on the field. Sometimes the best team means that we have to rest some guys because they’re tired or they’re injured, but as a whole we try to put the best team on the field.”

— Lastly, Schmid was asked if it’s any extra challenge playing a team on a seven-game winless streak that it going to come in hungry (maybe desperate) for points: “We have to make sure we come out at the beginning of the game and that we’re sharp, that we get our crowd behind us right at the start and that we continue to make them feel as if, ‘Well, today’s not the day.’ Obviously (Union coach John Hackworth) is going to have them motivated, John is going to get them up and they’re going to maybe be happy to be on the road and maybe snag some points here.”

— Here is the full interview with Schmid:

| More in Practice notes, Sounders FC


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