Seattle Sounders FC will face another MLS team for the first time Monday, meeting the L.A. Galaxy at the Home Depot Center training facility in Carson, Calif.
No Beckham, of course, but after a week of Sounders vs. Sounders, that's hardly the point.
"Right now for us, the important thing is that we maintain what we're trying to do from a fitness level and continue to build and progress in terms of our physical preparation," coach Sigi Schmid said through a Sounders media release. "Tactically, so we understand things, like the first game here was not as good as the games were later, because guys were over-dribbling, holding the ball, so had to stop and make those corrections. What we're really trying to get out of as we get into Monday's game with the Galaxy is be at a point where we want to see where we're at physically. And secondly, we want to see if we start understanding some of the concepts that we want to employ defensively and offensively."
The Sounders spent their first 10 days of training at the Seahawks facility in Renton, then spent last week in Southern California while emphasizing conditioning.
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Now comes a series of training games. After the opener against the Galaxy, the Sounders will play Shandong Luneng of China at Oxnard, Calif., on Tuesday; the Ventura County Fusion in Ventura, Calif., on Wednesday; and the San Jose Earthquakes at San Luis Obispo on Friday.
Schmid plans to use one starting 11 today, another on Tuesday and then a mix on Wednesday.
The Sounders will return briefly to the Northwest next week before traveling to Argentina for more training games Feb. 27 through March 5.