Here's our Wednesday training update, provided by the good folks at Sounders FC:
The following players participated: Osvaldo Alonso, Nicola Andelic*, Evan Brown, Ryan Caugherty*, Jeff Clark*, Ben Dragavon, Brad Evans, Chris Eylander, Taylor Graham, Patrick Ianni, Danny Jackson, Nate Jaqua, Jared Karkas*, Kasey Keller, Stephen King, Quavas Kirk*, Sebastien Le Toux, Roger Levesque, Fredy Montero, Sanna Nyassi, Leighton O'Brien, Vini Oliviera*, Ryan Pore*, James Riley, Zach Scott, Kyle Schmid*, Khano Smith, Nathan Sturgis, Tyson Wahl, Adam West, Steve Zakuani.
*players who did not practice with team first week in Renton
The following players were not present: Mandou Bojang (will rejoin team in Seattle on Feb. 18), Michael Fucito (hamstring), Peter Vagenas (recovering from arthroscopic surgery – is inactive, but expected to be at practice tomorrow to watch), Freddie Ljungberg (rehabbing in Sweden), and Jarrod Smith (hip flexor, rehabbing in Seattle).
The third day of training was at Santa Paul East, 10 a.m.; wind gusts and sun with temperatures in the mid-70s. There was one on-field practice. Players had weight training at 4 p.m. at Oxnard College.
The day featured three teams of 11-v-11 – three touch max rule - with Kasey Keller and Chris Eylander in goal. Patrick Ianni played in his first on-field scrimmage. Jeff Clark and Steve Zakuani each scored for their respective teams. The first came on a Stephen King cross that hit Ryan Pore, who made the quick pass to Clark. He went wide left past Keller. Zakuani's goal came just before the end of practice on a breakaway, upper left past Eylander.
Fredy Montero banged knees late in practice, but was able to finish. Jared Karkas pulled up prior to the final game with a hamstring.
Majority Owner Joe Roth watched from the sidelines.
COACH SIGI SCHMID SAID...
On the third day in California: "Field was a little bumpy today, and the wind. Guys were a little sore and stiff from yesterday. It wasn't brilliant soccer. But like I said, what I was looking for, 'I want to see if their ideas are right; if their intentions are right.' They're trying to do the right things. It's also that they got to know what they want to do to play. They need to know what they want to do before they get the ball, and not be afraid of the ball. They need to go out there and play, make decisions. If you make the wrong decision, okay, go on to the next play. My philosophy as a coach is if I have a player who doesn't make decisions, I can't play for him. You have to make decisions regardless of if it's right or wrong. If he's making the right decision that's a technical breakdown, and maybe he's making the right decision, but his timing is wrong."
On Jared Karkas and Fredy Montero injuries today… "Karkas is a hamstring, and Montero banged knees, so he's OK."
On Patrick Ianni working his way back into action: "His touch is still a little bit rough because he really didn't train or touch the ball that month of December trying to recover from that injury he had. So for him, it's getting his touch back. Good guys always take a little bit longer to get their touch back."
On Brad Evans playing center mid: "He's one of the guys who I think has been the most consistent in training day in and day out, in terms of his effort has been good, and in terms of his decision making has been good. If you play well, you're going to play. It doesn't matter who is around."
On Montero, Nate Jaqua and Sebastien Le Toux combination: "Trying to put them together because I thought early on they were the three that showed the most. So we're trying to figure out those three can play together. Right now, we're not trying to build the team, and say this is where we we're going to put Freddie (Ljungberg), so let's build all the other pieces around it. We don't know how long we're going to miss Freddie, per se. We hope it's only a game or two. But on the same token, we have to put our best team out there in game one, so we have to take these guys that we have right now, and try and put them into the best possible formation for them to be successful. So right now, I'm not thinking about where does Freddie fit in, or where does Peter Vagenas fit in, or how does any of that work. These are the guys I have right now, what's the best grouping of these guys that we can put on the field."
On when Ljungberg will return: "I'm going to talk to Simon, who has been working with him in Sweden. We're going to talk at the end of this week. We talked at the end of last week as well. So this is a big week for him when he's going to step up to running and so forth. We'll see where he's at running wise, and flexibility, and then exactly when it makes sense for him to Seattle, where he can start touching the ball a little bit."