November 4, 2013 at 2:32 PM
The Sounders returned to practice Monday following a 2-1 home defeat in the first leg of their Western Conference semifinal series with rival Portland.
Here are some quick personnel notes from coach Sigi Schmid:
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— It sounds like defender Zach Scott suffered a cracked rib against the Timbers, which eventually led to him being subbed out early. “He’s a pretty tough character,” Schmid said, “so we’ll see how it goes for him. He feels he’ll be able to go.” A sentiment that shouldn’t surprise anyone.
— Elsewhere, forward Obafemi Martins (groin) and defender DeAndre Yedlin (ankle) were able to train on a limited basis Monday. Martins will be evaluated throughout the week and no firm update was given on his potential availability. Schmid had said Saturday that they hope the DP will be able to contribute. Here is the coach on Yedlin: “He said he feels pretty good. We’ll see how he feels in the next few days, but we feel confident he’ll be there.”
— Another player ailing is defender Leo Gonzalez, who looked to give everything he had left in the tank to stop a late breakaway by Portland’s Ryan Johnson. Gonzalez has been playing through pain, and he’s another that looks questionable. “He gave a lot of himself in playing those two games in a tight timeline for him,” Schmid said. “It cost him a little bit, so we’ll see how he is. But he’s another one who’s a pretty tough character.”
— Michael Gspurning is eligible again to play in goal after serving a suspension for his crazy red card, but Schmid wasn’t tipping his hand as to whether Gspurning or Marcus Hahnemann will start Thursday. It’s been a “We’ll see” situation for a month and counting.
October 12, 2013 at 11:53 AM
Reporters met with Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid one last time Saturday before the team heads down to Portland. Here are a few notes:
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— Schmid was asked once again if he’s made a decision on a starting goalkeeper. “We’re still looking at that,” he said. “We’re still deciding.”
— Asked if Portland would get any strategic advantage by knowing, Schmid said, “It’s just an internal choice for us in terms of what we think is best for us in this particular game.”
— In some other injury updates, Obafemi Martins (groin) has been deemed day to day. Leo Gonzalez (hip/groin) has been able to practice this week, which is a good sign. Schmid said both would be game-time decisions.
— Clint Dempsey (hamstring) was also mentioned in Schmid’s injury update. The coach said the DP got through practice OK, and it sounds like his role will also be determined Sunday. I’m guessing that’s between being a starter or reserve, while the decisions on Martins and Gonzalez seemed more about availability. That’s how I read it, at least.
— The Sounders’ recent defensive struggles have coincided, in part, with Gonzalez’ absence, and Schmid was asked how important the veteran left-back is to the team. “I think Leo is an important part to our team and defensively he’s what I call a competitor,” the coach said. “It’s difficult to play against Leo. He’s very resourceful in how he defends. He’s faster than you think he is, so he deals well with guys with speed, because somehow he always seems to find just enough speed to be able to hold him at bay. And I think his passing this year has been improved coming out of the back, so he’s an important part to our team.”
— In a potentially concerning update, Shalrie Joseph‘s calf issue, something that has bothered him all year, has come back, according to Schmid. The midfielder apparently hasn’t even made that much progress this past week, and it seems hard to imagine him having an impact the rest of the season.
— Lastly, it certainly seems like a fast start is even more of a priority for the Sounders on Sunday. “We just have to do better in the first 15 minutes of the game,” Schmid said. “I don’t think that’s a big secret. I think anybody who’s watched us over the last couple games understands that, so we have to do better.”
September 11, 2013 at 1:18 PM
Here are a few notes from Sounders FC practice heading into Friday’s home game against Real Salt Lake:
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— Given that the U.S. men’s national team clinched a berth in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on Tuesday, Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid was asked how his team might be affected by call-ups for the next round of qualifying Oct. 11 and Oct. 15. “There is an MLS season going on and teams are competing for playoff spots and so forth,” Schmid said. “I think Jurgen (Klinsmann) is a smart-enough coach; he’ll understand that and take that into consideration.”
— I asked if he’s talked to Klinsmann about it since the two have a close relationship, and Schmid said he hasn’t and that he doesn’t think he needs to.
— Regarding an update on Eddie Johnson, who looked to take a blow to the head in the 2-0 win against Mexico and had to be subbed out of the game, Schmid said the forward is fine. Johnson and Clint Dempsey are traveling back to Seattle today, on the same flight as sporting director Chris Henderson, in fact. “They both say they feel pretty good,” Schmid said, “but we’ll see how they feel tomorrow and we’ll make those decisions tomorrow.”
— Asked if Johnson will need to undergo any concussion protocol, Schmid wasn’t sure but said Sounders trainer Randy Noteboom has been in contact with the USMNT trainer. Schmid added: “I don’t think they classified it as a concussion. I think they said it’s right now more of a sore neck. I don’t know, but Eddie said he felt fine.”
— And how about an update on Brad Evans? The midfielder sprained his calf against the Columbus Crew and there had been a thought that he could be ready for Friday. “We’ll see,” Schmid said. “It’s still sort of a day-to-day thing. Again, he did more today, but we’re trying to be careful with him. If he can play Friday, we can certainly use him. We’d love to have him out there, but we don’t want to do anything to jeopardize the next game by pushing him out too early on Friday. So we’re trying to balance those two.”
— And how about Shalrie Joseph and the sprained knee? “It’s going a little bit slow right now,” Schmid said. “He’s making progress, he’s starting to run on the treadmill, but it’s still a little bit away.”
— On another topic, I asked GM Adrian Hanauer if there is a decision whether or not they’ll replace the FieldTurf at CenturyLink Field in the offseason. Hanauer said there isn’t one. The turf was last replaced after the 2011 season and was in bad shape after three years.
September 3, 2013 at 1:03 AM
Posted above is the raw video from Monday’s interview with Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid. Here are some highlights:
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— First off, the big news leaguewide was Columbus firing its head coach, Robert Warzycha, following Saturday’s loss to the 10-man Sounders. Warzycha was a longtime assistant with the Crew, including under Schmid from 2006-08, and he took over as head coach after Schmid left for Seattle. “It’s a tough one,” Schmid said of the firing. “Obviously Robert was my assistant coach and you’re always sad when you see a head coach fired, and I want to wish him well. I know Brian Bliss, as well. I know (Mike) Lapper. I know the whole situation there a little bit from the standpoint that a lot of people there were there when I was there. But it’s a new owner. It depends on what direction he wants to go in. I know Robert was in the last year of his contract, but hopefully Robert will end up some place. He’s a good coach. He’s a quality person.”
— In some injury news, Schmid said there isn’t a timeline of Brad Evans‘ return from a calf strain. The coach added that it is believed to be more serious than previous editions of the same injury — e.g. the midfielder missed two games due to the calf in March — “but he’s generally recovered from them fairly quickly, so we’ll see how he comes back from this one.”
— Regarding options up front with Eddie Johnson and Clint Dempsey away with the U.S. national team, Schmid said: “Certainly we hope that (Obafemi Martins) is ready to go again. He felt pretty good today, so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow after the training today. But he felt pretty good — did some extra running at the end, as well. (Lamar) Neagle has played up front for us also. He’s an option. There is (Eriq) Zavaleta. (David) Estrada is available, as well. So there are different options that we have.”
August 28, 2013 at 4:43 PM
I wasn’t able to attend Wednesday’s practice — I was covering the Mariners game — but here is video of coach Sigi Schmid‘s group interview.
A couple notes (full transcript after the jump):
— Schmid said the team would be shorthanded coming back from Columbus, an indication of call-ups for World Cup qualifying that could include Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans.
— Obafemi Martins will undergo an MRI on his ankle, which hasn’t been improving as quickly as the team would like. Schmid said he did show improvement Wednesday. They don’t want to rush him back due to upcoming absences mentioned in the previous note.
— Asked about Pa Modou Kah‘s trash talk at the expense of Dempsey, Schmid said: “Who’s Kah?” When the reporter explained, Schmid said: “Oh, OK. Did he play anywhere? Has he played in any leagues? … That’s my only comment.”
August 24, 2013 at 12:10 PM
The Sounders just wrapped up practice Saturday, their last work before taking the field against rival Portland in front of 67,000 fans Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
Here are a few updates:
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— Obafemi Martins will be a game-time decision, according to coach Sigi Schmid. The forward suffered a sprained ankle two weeks ago against Toronto FC and missed last week’s game in Houston. He showed up a day late to practice this week and it’s uncertain if his availability will be affected by that. We’ll see Sunday.
— The rest of the team’s health is pretty good. Schmid said Osvaldo Alonso, Djimi Traore and Eddie Johnson are all fine after either being limited this week or having taken a knock in practice.
— So what does Schmid think of the possibility of maybe seeing all three DPs and national team players on the field together? “That’d be great,” he said. “Right now I’m not counting my chickens before they hatch here, but it would be great. Obviously with national team call-ups and things like that, and injuries, we haven’t had a chance to put them all on the field at the same time together, so you’re only going to know how it’s going to work, what system is best for all of them, once we get them on the field together.”
— Portland is dealing with some personnel issues, as well, with a suspension to Diego Chara and injuries to a few others, but Schmid said preparation doesn’t change as the Timbers style of play likely won’t be affected. Schmid said he expects Will Johnson back from the shoulder injury for the visitors.
August 20, 2013 at 7:56 PM
The Sounders returned to practice Tuesday following a road loss over the weekend in Houston. Defense was a clear emphasis after allowing three goals to the Dynamo. Here are a few other notes…
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— It’s Portland Week, so a few Sounders were asked to describe the Timbers in one word. Coach Sigi Schmid said he couldn’t share the word he was first thinking of, then opted safely for “rival”. Michael Gspurning chose the same. Brad Evans picked “egotistical”.
— Another indication it’s Portland Week? This quote from Schmid: “If you’ve got to motivate them for this game, then they need to play for a different club.”
— That intensity shouldn’t show up too much in practice, though: “Hopefully they’ll save that for Sunday, (where) they won’t kick each other but they’ll kick the opponent.”
— There was one curious absence in Obafemi Martins. The forward, who is recovering from a sprained ankle, was expected back Tuesday after an excused absence for a family-related matter over the weekend. The latest update is Martins should be back Wednesday. Said Schmid: “He was supposed to be here today. He’s missed practice today. … It’s one missed practice. He’ll be fine and we’ll move on.”
August 16, 2013 at 2:52 PM
The Sounders held one last practice before Saturday’s road game against the Houston Dynamo. The heat and humidity down here are ridiculous, and temperatures could reach 95 degrees (though, it should be cooler by an 8 p.m. local time kickoff).
Here are some final updates from coach Sigi Schmid:
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(How much will this heat and humidity factor in the game?) “It’s different. Obviously they’re a team that’s used to playing in this and we’re a team that doesn’t normally play in this. But it’s better to play at 8 o’ clock than to play at three in the afternoon.”
(What do you make of the Dynamo?) “They’re a dangerous team. They’re always good at set pieces because of Brad Davis. Up front, Will Bruin has been a handful. Barnes has played well. When Boniek Garcia and Davis are both on the field, that’s something that concerns you. There’s a lot of energy from Clark. Moffat has that good shot from distance. There are a lot of things. They’re a team that always figures out how to stay in a game and be in a game to try and win a game.”
August 15, 2013 at 12:08 PM
I’m actually heading out to Houston this afternoon, so I’ll have to offer just a few quick notes from Thursday’s practice before my flight.
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— New signing Clint Dempsey could be in line for an expanded role in his return to his home state for Saturday’s 6 p.m. road game against the Dynamo. “I think he’s ready to start,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “It’s tough in the heat, in the humidity, but he’s sort of used to that. He grew up in Texas. It’s just a question of how many minutes. I think he’s a smart enough player. He knows how to manage his minutes.”
— Forward Obafemi Martins wasn’t able to practice due to the sprained ankle, but Schmid hadn’t completely ruled him out yet by the time he spoke with reporters. “I’m actually on my way to talk to him now and see how he is,” Schmid said. “There’s a chance that he travels, we’ll see. We’d rather not push him if the ankle is bothering him now. If it needs another few days, we might do that and hopefully he’ll be 100-percent healthy the week after.”
— Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning got through the week of practice and looks to be in line to reclaim his starting job.
— Here was Schmid’s assessment of the Sounders involvement in the USMNT’s 4-3 comeback win against Bosnia-Herzegovina: “I thought it was good. I thought (Brad) Evans did well, did what he had to do. I know the U.S. was a little disappointed in the first half obviously with the result. Eddie (Johnson) started the goal scoring. It was a good ball from (Michael) Bradley, a good touch from (Jozy) Altidore, but someone has to be there to fnish it. Again, like I said yesterday, I think we can be proud of the fact that obviously (U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann) felt it was important enough to have two of our players there.”
August 7, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Here are a few notes from Sounders FC practice Wednesday:
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— This was, of course, Clint Dempsey‘s first day in action. I posted a Q&A with him earlier, and it was pretty clear throughout practice that he’s a special player, even while still recovering from illness. Said coach Sigi Schmid: “It’s just like when we got Mauro Rosales and he tried out for us in Florida, within half an hour of the first practice we said, ‘OK, this guy can play.’ And it’s the same thing with Clint: You can tell he can play. You could tell he was a little fatigued. There were maybe a few more runs he would have made, or he would have done this or that … but you can obviously tell his quality by his touches and so forth.”
— What did DeAndre Yedlin think of the new guy? “He finishes everything,” the young defender said of Dempsey. “There was a drill, and Sigi was telling us to get in for rebounds. I was (Dempsey’s) partner and I didn’t go in for rebounds because it was going to go in anyway. There was no point in even going in for it. He finishes everything. It’s amazing. I’ve never really seen anything like it.”
— More on Dempsey later, and he’s still in line for a debut Saturday in Toronto, but there was some good news on the injury front. Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, who has missed three games with a sprained forearm, looks ready to come back, as he practiced the past two days in full. Indications are Marcus Hahnemann remains ready to go as needed, as well. Said Schmid: “We think we’re going to have the full complement of goalkeepers to pick from for this weekend.”
— The only guys still limited due to injury appear to be Steve Zakuani (sports hernia surgery), Alex Caskey (ankle surgery), Philip Lund (plantar faciitis) and Josh Ford (knee surgery). Not too bad, compared to past weeks.
— There are two non-roster guys still around as the transfer window is set to close Thursday: invitee Blair Gavin and academy product Henry Wingo. GM Adrian Hanauer noted Monday that no moves was imminent, and the deadline isn’t relevant to Gavin and Wingo. Teams can still sign free agents and make trades up until a roster freeze on Sept. 13.
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