Celtic manager Neil Lennon said he'll go with younger players against the Sounders tomorrow after using more of his regulars in the 3-1 loss Friday in Toronto.
"We’ll have a younger team because of the schedule we’ve had on the tour," he said today after his club worked out for about two hours at the VMAC in Renton. "Predominantly, the first team played against Manchester United. So we brought a big enough squad to cover the four games in the 10 days. So some of the younger guys who have not played yet will certainly get a run. But we’ve got some quality coming through. We want to develop our own players, obviously, and it will be a good experience for them to go and play."
One of those young guys is goalkeeper Dominic Cervi, the only American on the Celtic roster and a former University of Tulsa teammate of Sounders No. 2 keeper Terry Boss, who also is expected to start tomorrow.
"Dominic will play tomorrow definitely," Lennon said. "He played against Philadelphia on Tuesday night, did very well. He’s coming into the very heart of his game. He’s still young at the professional game. He’s only been at Celtic for a year and a half. … He’s improving all the time. He’s 6-foot-5, 6-foot-6, so he’s quite an impressive physical athlete. Other than that, he’s got a very good temperament and work ethic as well."
Cervi also seemed like a very nice guy, and he said he is pleased with his decision to bypass MLS and head overseas.
"It’s working out pretty well so far for me," he said. "Last year was a good learning experience. I didn’t really play as much as I would have hoped, but just getting the experience, and being in the top flight in Scotland. It’s been a good experience.
I asked him about the culture shock of moving from Oklahoma to Scotland.
"The hardest thing was probably learning to drive on the wrong side of the road," he said. "But I picked that up in a couple of days, so it wasn’t that bad."
What he says is bad is starting this U.S. tour with losses to Philadelphia and Manchester United.
"You don’t just fly all this way to come lose," he said. "Who wants to do that? Yeah, we’re upset that we haven’t won, but at the same time it’s preseason and you’ve got to learn from something. You probably learn more from losing than winning. If there is a silver lining to losing, I guess that’s it."