The Sounders return to training this morning. Here's a little bit more of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say after the Thursday session:
On the three-day break: "It was good just to get away for a couple days, for the team as well. A little bit of a mental break as much as it is a physical break. I thought today their effort was good, they were happy to see each other. I'm sure their wives were happy to get them back out of the house now and get them off to work again. It was good. It was nice to be able to do that."
On the Thursday session: "We just wanted to go a little bit, let them play a little bit bigger so we went 8v8 and played a little bit. Tomorrow, we'll probably shorten it down, keep things in tighter spaces, then play a little bit on Saturday against [University of Washington]. It was what we wanted to do first day of practice."
On the season so far: "I'm happy where we are, especially considering...that we've played like 19 different starters...and it's our best start we've had. Based upon that, I'm happy where we're at. We're averaging two points a game, which is always a good place to be. The only team in the league that's really beyond everybody else at this stage is Kansas City, and that's fine. As far as I'm concerned, they can go 33-1 in the regular season-I'm okay with that-and the only time we'll meet them in the playoffs is if we both get to MLS Cup. I'm happy where we're at and we've got to continue to do that. When we get back into league play, then it's three games in that first week. We've got to get our points out of those games."
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Injury update: "Mauro [Rosales] went through full training today, as did [Adam] Johansson. They both participated in everything, so that was a positive. [Alvaro] Fernandez did a little more than we actually expected him to do today, so it's just him and Michael Tetteh and the guys who will be injured for a while-[Babayele] Sodade and [Josh] Ford. The rest of the group is getting there. ... It's hard to tell (about Alvaro Fernandez). We don't want to push it going into this week because we don't have a game this weekend, so we'll see about pushing it a little bit this week. [Trainers] felt pretty good, they put him through a good bike workout today, so we're hoping that by the beginning of next week he'll be able to participate in training."
On if Steve Zakuani will play in the training game Saturday or the reserve game Monday: "We're thinking about the reserve game possibly. We didn't want him play against L.A. because we wanted to use that for another three-day fitness cycle for him, so he went through that. If he feels up to it and he feels good and there's no set-backs or anything, the Chivas [reserve] game might be a good one for him to come on and to play a few minutes, and for us to evaluate again where he's at."