Sorry I'm late with this today ... but I grew up in New Orleans, so I was a little distracted.
In any case, the Sounders report their first 11-v-11 scrimmage since shifting to Arizona.
Here are the key points:
After a scoreless first half, the squad made primarily of reserves and trialists exploded for three goals to come away with a 3-0 win.
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In the 60-minute game, Sanna Nyassi got things started in the second half with a 36th minute goal. Jacob Lousky followed with a goal in the 46th minute and Jarrod Smith added another in the 48th for the final 3-0 score, although the score doesn’t tell the whole story, as the losing side dominated play for most of the first half.
Orange lineup: Chris Eylander (Derby Carillo 31), Leo Gonzalez (Zach Scott 31), Jamel Wallace, Taylor Graham, Eric Winblad, Jacob Lousky, Nathan Sturgis, Stephen King, Lamar Neagle (Sanna Nyassi 31), Mike Fucito, Jarrod Smith.
Blue lineup: Kasey Keller (Chris Eylander 31), Tyson Wahl, Tyrone Marshall, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Josh Gardner, Osvaldo Alonso (Peter Vagenas 31), Brad Evans, David Estrada, Roger Levesque, Fredy Montero.
Those who weren’t in the game were doing conditioning drills on a side field. Freddie Ljungberg continued to nurse a troublesome groin while Terry Boss sat out with an ankle injury and Eddie Johnson was out with back spasms. Nate Jaqua also remained sidelined with his inflamed lower-abdomen and Steve Zakuani participated in non-contact drills while he continues to gain fitness after off-season shoulder surgery.
Jaqua is scheduled to return to Seattle tonight to get a steroid shot in his pubic synthesis to relieve inflammation. He has an expected recovery time of 2-3 weeks. Meanwhile Johnson is scheduled to return to Austin tonight, but is expected to rejoin the team in March for a further trial.
And a few Sigi Schmid quotes:
On initial reaction to today’s first 11v11) “It was good for us because obviously we’re looking at players. We mixed and matched the teams a little bit and took some guys out that we want some extra fitness work for. It was good because it gave us an opportunity to look at the guys like Josh Gardner and Jacob Lousky and Eric Winblad and the young players, David Estrada and (Jamel) Wallace. In another intersquad scrimmage there were a couple of good goals scored by the orange team, who made a nice comeback in the second half. They were pretty much dominated by the blue team in the first half, but in the second half the orange scored a goal that was a little fortunate and then ended up scoring two good goals. So it was a nice competitive exercise and good for fitness.”
On if the team met expectations following the first scrimmage) “You always expect more, but for this early I thought it was pretty sharp, pretty quick. You expect their touch to be off a little, their timing off a little bit because of the fitness work we’ve done, but overall I was pleased.”
On who played well today) “Taylor Graham is staying healthy and is playing very well. The big qualities he brings to the game is his organizational ability. He’s played very well. We looked at Patrick Ianni a little bit at right back today because we’re going to have to do something in game one because James Riley is ineligible to play that game, so we need to see what we’re going to do at right back and we’ll look at a couple of options that way. I thought Tyrone Marshall had a couple of good game saving tackles in the back there for his team. In midfield I thought (Osvaldo) Alonso had a good first half in spreading the ball around pretty well. I thought (David) Estrada had some good moments. He was unlucky he didn’t get the one goal. Sometimes which all young players do he tries to do too much sometimes, but we’ll work on that. Overall I was pleased. There were others as well who played well. It’s not like those are the only guys I thought played well.”
On upcoming training schedule) “Beginning (Monday) again is another fitness push. Today was the first day getting back into it, fitness push. We have always tried to build like three days and then drop off again. Tomorrow is going to be a double session. It’s going to be good fitness work. We’re going to push hard. Tuesday the same, finishing with some weight training on Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday we’ll ease down a little bit and then play a game on Thursday.”