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January 24, 2015 at 1:50 PM

Notes from the practice field: Tyler Miller weighs options, Tyrone Mears shakes off the rust

Reports emerged last week indicating that goalkeeper Tyler Miller, Seattle’s second-round draft pick, had accepted a fourth-division contract to play in Germany. Given that the Sounders traded away the rights to Homegrown Player Sean Okoli to New England for the pick, it appeared Seattle had lost its gamble to convince the young ‘keeper to come to MLS.

But general manager Garth Lagerwey said after the team’s first practice session of the year Saturday at Starfire that nothing has been decided and that he’d been in touch with the player’s agent as recently as Friday night.

“We’ve offered Tyler a contract,” Lagerwey said. “It’s not clear to me what Tyler is going to do with that. But he has an offer in Germany and has an offer from us. I hope to know today on that. That’s out of our control.”

And even if the second-team All-American out of Northwestern elected to go for it overseas, Lagerwey said, the move was more about building depth for the future, anyway.

“I’d really like to have Tyler come back, but if he doesn’t, that’s OK, too,” Lagerwey said. “… He is an asset for the organization. How am I going to make the club better? Acquire assets, stockpile assets over time and having a winning plan where success is inevitable. Whether Tyler comes back today or in six months or in two years, we want to make the goalkeeping, from top to bottom, better.”

– Mears back in action

New right back Tyrone Mears relished the opportunity to get back in a competitive training session Saturday. Prior to signing with Seattle in late December, the former English Premier League player had been out of contract since the close of the 2013-2014 League Championship season with Bolton Wanderers.

“You need it as an athlete,” Mears said. “It’s what you’re brought up with, even through school. It’s about competing, winning, getting your place – all that competition. It’s what you need. It’s been difficult for me over the last six months, but it’s made me hungrier.”

Mears also shined more light on his Sounders recruitment, saying he’d spoken to forward Clint Dempsey about a potential move and that he’d also been on trail with EPL club Everton last fall.

– Sounders 2 specifics still being ironed out

S2, Seattle’s new minor league team, is set to begin in its inaugural USL-Pro season this spring. But as far as rules on player movement, how often players can go back and forth between the USL-Pro and MLS rosters, the team is still waiting on specifics.

“We have some idea on that, but some of that is coming to come out of the CBA, as well,” Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. “… We know there’s going to be some flexibility and some movement, but we’re going to use S2 to continue to develop our young players, players outside the 18, players last year, like (Aaron) Kovar and (Sean) Okoli, would have probably gotten plenty of minutes with S2.”

– Martins, Kovar to report late; Scott still recovering from surgery

Forward Obafemi Martins and midfielder Aaron Kovar — the latter of whom has been training with Sheffield Wednesday over in England — were two of the notable absences from the practice field on Saturday morning. Schmid said both would report in time for Monday’s training session.

Defender Zach Scott, meanwhile, has already undergone offseason surgery on his injured foot, Schmid confirmed.

“Zach’s still making progress, but he couldn’t play this weekend,” Schmid said.

| More in MLS, Practice notes, Sounders FC


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