This training report just arrived from the club:
Seattle Sounders FC held its final two training sessions at Grande Sports World on Sunday and Monday mornings. The team will travel to Tucson, Ariz., on Tuesday morning for the first training game of the preseason against the Portland Timbers.
Before taking Sunday afternoon off for the Super Bowl, Sounders FC held an intense morning session. The team split into two groups for a 7v8 scrimmage and crossing and finishing drills. The 7v8 scrimmage emphasized both sides of the ball as the attacking team tried to score and the defensive team attempted to recover the ball and maintain possession to midfield. Perhaps the top highlight of the training camp so far came on the final shot of the session as goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann struck an overhead bicycle kick from 15-yards out, clipping the underside of the crossbar for a goal. The final training session at Grande Sports World on Monday morning featured an 11v11 possession game followed by a series of 7v7 games on a short field. Head Coach Sigi Schmid ended the session with an 11v11 walk-through to prepare for tomorrow’s training game.
A pair of defenders joined Sounders FC training over the weekend. MLS veteran Shavar Thomas has been in full training the past two days. Djimi Traore, a 32-year-old center back who won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool in 2005 and most recently played for Marseille of France, has also been in full training with the team. Tuesday’s match against the Portland Timbers will feature two 45-minute periods followed by one 30-minute period. The game will be played at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz., and will be streamed live on MLSsoccer.com and SoundersFC.com beginning at 9:30 a.m. PT.
Sounders FC will return to Seattle following the match and will take Wednesday and Thursday off before returning to training at Starfire on Friday. Sounders FC Training Camp Participants Goalkeepers: Josh Ford, Michael Gspurning, Marcus Hahnemann, Doug Herrick-Defenders: Marc Burch, Andrew Duran, Leo Gonzalez, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni#, Adam Johansson*, Dylan Remick+, Zach Scott, Shavar Thomas-, Mason Trafford-, Djimi Traore-, DeAndre Yedlin, Eriq Zavaleta+Midfielders: Osvaldo Alonso, Servando Carrasco, Alex Caskey, Guy Essame-, David Estrada, Brad Evans*, Ashani Fairclough-, Phillip Lund-, Mario Martinez*, Lamar Neagle, Kevin Olali+, Mauro Rosales, Andy Rose, Christian Tiffert, Steve Zakuani. Forwards: Travis Bowen-, Eddie Johnson*, Lebogang Moloto+, Sammy Ochoa, Jennings Rex+, Babayele Sodade. *Away with National Team#Stayed in Seattle to Rehab Injury+2013 SuperDraft or Supplemental Draft Pick-Invitees
(On how much does it benefit to play a team that isn’t the Sounders…) “It’s always good. It always motivates you a little bit. It’s good to kick somebody different than kicking yourselves. You get tired of playing each other so it’s a good culmination to the week. The guys will be a little antsy to get home, I’m sure that’s always the case, so again I think a lot of guys know that this is a big opportunity for them so they have to take full advantage of it, and a lot of guys know it’s a chance for them to work on their sharpness, their game and their fitness.”
(On Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans being with the US national team …) “I think it’s great. Obviously it’s great for the Seattle club to have two players on the roster for a World Cup qualifier. I don’t think that’s happened before so that’s a unique step. It shows that in the case of Brad, we’ve helped Brad grow continue to grow and develop as a player, and we’ve certainly helped Eddie get back into the fold. But it’s a tribute to them, it’s their work. It’s Eddies work that he’s done, it’s the work that Brad has done that has put them in that position, but it’s good, and I’m sure everyone is looking forward to that game.” Throw-insTuesday’s match will be played ta Kino Sports Complex, North Field #5. Tickets are general admission and available at FCTucson.ticketsocket.com.