The Sounders began soccer training today with a spirited game of softball. Kasey Keller delivered the game-winning three-run home run.
"I just felt it was time to have some fun," coach Sigi Schmid said. "I used to do it all the time when I was coaching the Galaxy. We’d just take a day, we’d go down to the beach and have a beach training day and have lunch, or I took them go-cart racing before and that was a blast. We used to go an do paintball all the time in Columbus. I think it’s good. We work hard enough, we work every day, and the guys put in the effort so now they can play a little bit and have fun at the end of it."
Taylor Graham has hit a couple of over-the-fence homers ... one-handed. Osvaldo Alonso looked really good. Steve Zakuani and Leo Gonzalez, well, less so.
"It’s always interesting when you put a bat into a foreigner’s hands, or a glove -- or two gloves, like in Leo’s case -- and he still can’t catch it.
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"It was amazing seeing Taylor put two over our Black Monster – it’s not green – so hit them into the high trees there. That was pretty impressive. Fredy at first base was pretty good with one hand there. Ozzie through he was Ozzie Visquel, the new shortstop. ... (One weak Zakuani throw) was not the most velocity I’ve ever seen on a throw. The form was kind of questionable."
Schmid didn't play, so I asked him in the best sport from his playing days -- other than soccer.
"Probably track and field," he said. :I actually long-jumped. Hard to believe I could get this body in the air and actually jump. For a while I had our freshman school record and stuff like that. I played a little basketball for fun. I did pitch in baseball Little League. I was on the All-Star team, I don’t know how far we had gotten. We had gotten out of our initial group and moved on. I was a relief pitcher. I threw what I thought was a forkball. It was just a big slow fat change-up. The guy hit a home run, game over, seventh inning, that was it."