And if it seems like it was a short off-season to you, well, there was almost no off-season at all for coach Sigi Schmid.
"I don’t know sometimes if you ever really leave it that much behind because you’re always doing something around it," he said in a phone call this week. "I don’t think I went more than two or three days when I didn’t do something that was related to the Sounders. But at this point I’m anxious to get going. I’m anxious to get out on the practice field and get things together and see what the new guys look like and see what improvements we have from the returning guys – see how good the off-season programs for them have been for them to get better at certain areas – and get this thing going again."
Here's what Schmid says he has in mind for the Sounders' opening week:
"The first week is for everybody to just basically get back into the rhythm. … There are a lot of teams that come in and right away they test the first day and they get into double-days in the first few days. I’m not a coach that believes in that. I like my team to come in and we’ve got a week where we can play some soccer and we’re going to get some of our testing done in the middle of the week – on the Wednesday and Thursday – but the main thing is to get everybody back into the rhythm of getting out there and knocking the ball around. Because no matter how much work you’ve done in the off-season it’s different from playing six-against-six and the energy comes in again and the adrenaline. All that makes a difference: So just one-a-day training sessions, give us a week – five, six days – just to get us back into the rhythm of training."