Seattle Sounders FC capped nine days of training in Southern California with a 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy on Friday.
However before returning to the Northwest, coach Sigi Schmid said the time away was well spent.
“I thought we were able to really tank up on our fitness levels,” he said. “We haven’t had any notable injuries: There’s some sore muscles and some guys are a little tight so we did some things out of precaution, but the team is at a good place physically right now. We get a couple of days off, which I know the guys are looking forward to, and then we get back at it on Monday (in Tukwila) and then we can really start talking about our shape and how we play.”
The Sounder left California with a 1-1 record, as the friendly against the Galaxy followed a 5-0 win against UCLA on Wednesday.
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Seattle’s lone goal against the Galaxy came from Marco Pappa in the 27th minute. That brought Seattle even after a score by LA’s Baggio Husidic in the 18th minute. Nacho Magnato produced the game-winner in the 54th minute.
“I thought it was all right from the standpoint that we played UCLA on Wednesday night, and within 36 hours to ask the guys to come back and play another 45 is a little bit of a task,” Schmid said. “But it was good from the standpoint of our fitness, and I thought it was good that we battled back from being down 1-0 and scored one. (LA) had some good chances: a few too many chances for my liking. The guys understand that, but we also had some chances we could have taken better advantage of.”
As they had on Wednesday, the Sounders played one unit in the first half, and another in the second. This time the starters were goalkeeper Stefan Frei; defenders Tyrone Mears, Brad Evans, Chad Marshall, and a guest player; midfielders Pappa, Micheal Azira, Gonzalo Pineda and Lamar Neagle; and forwards Chad Barrett and Obafemi Martins.
Among the group that came on in the second half, Schmid singled out midfielder Cristian Roldan, Seattle’s top pick in the recent SuperDraft.
“After about 15 minutes I thought he had a really good game,” Schmid said. “And considering how much work he’s put in I was really pleased and happy with his performance.”