After their win over Vancouver on Saturday, the Sounders flew down to the Dallas area, where they trained yesterday. Today, they're going on to Guatemala City for final preparations before their game at Comunicaciones tomorrow night.
On Wednesday, they'll go directly to Providence, R.I., where they will train at Brown University on Thursday. Friday, it's on to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., for training before their Saturday game there against the New England Revolution.
By the time it's done, it will be a 9,000-mile trip, and last week in Vancouver I asked coach Sigi Schmid about the personnel logistics:
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"The whole group that’s here will go to Dallas," he said. "And then some guys will join us in Dallas, because we’re chartering from Dallas down there, so we’re probably going to take a bigger group with the injuries that we’ve had and based upon the recovery of people, and also based on some of those players to recover need to train with the group, rather than training with a small group of three or four. So what we wanted to do is bring some of those guys along so that even if they’re not ready until New England, they’re at least training with the group on the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday leading up to that."
After the win in Vancouver, Schmid talked a little more about juggling bodies on this three-game trip:
"There was certain talk on the bench: 'Well, let’s take this guy out and rest him, let’s rest right guy.’ My feeling was, let’s get tonight’s win and then we’ll start worring about Tuesday in about 10 minutes. And we’ll see what happens down there. Obviously we’ve got some tired bodies, so we’ll hoping a couple of the guys who are back in Seattle injured – like Eric Friberg and maybe Roger Levesque – will be able to go by the time we get to Guatemala. Obvously Fucito we held out tonight – he’s very close to being 100 percent again. So, having those guys available gives us a little more choice. But the guys are going to have to suck it up for Tuesday because we want to get a result in Guatemala to advance."
Here's more on the trip from the club:
The players and staff will spend nine consecutive nights on the road, covering some 9,000 miles en route to Guatemala Cityfor the September 27 Champions league match versus Comunicaciones and then on to New England for the next MLS game on October 1. Similar to (the earlier) trip to Costa Rica, the Rave Green will split their trip to Central America into two segments by first traveling and training in the Dallas area before flying on to Guatemala. At 2,476 miles New England is the farthest MLS destination from Seattle. After playing Comunicaciones, Sounders FC will move on to Providence, Rhode Island to prepare for the Revolution.
The longest trip in Champions League was 3,685 miles to Panama City for a preliminary round game in July.
Altogether the Rave Green will fly and drive an estimated 50,582 miles during the league season alone.