After three days off, Seattle Sounders FC returned to training on a sunny Sunday afternoon.Their top accomplishment might have been getting that first practice out of their system.
“The first day back is always a little sluggish at times, but that’s just normal,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “Guys haven’t done anything. A couple of guys got away for two, three days. A couple of guys just relaxed at home. Usually that first day back is not the sharpest one. (Monday) will be better.”
More from Schmid:
On the time off: It allows us to sort of catch our breath a little bit. We’ve got a heavy stretch coming up, so from here on in there’s really no breaks. There might be a day or two here or there, but it allows us to sit back, take a deep breath, watch everybody play this weekend and then get after it again.
On extra time off for Clint Dempsey: I’ve given him some additional days off here. Clint and I had spoken about it. We establish here’s a place where we can give you five or six days. … We’re trying to incorporate that and keep our team going at the same time. We gave Clint a break right after the World Cup, and I think we need to give him a little break here. I gave DeAndre an extra day as well right here also.
On club fitness: Fitness is always an important thing. Fitness is important, our mental approach is an important thing as well. Sometimes you get through it mentally as much as you get through it physically, so you’ve got to be physically and mentally ready.
On the busy home stretch: I think it depends where you are health-wise. It think having Rose back into the mix is a big thing for us. Micheal Azira is starting to play sharp for us again, which is also a big thing. Having those options that are there make things a little bit easier as you go into it. Having Remick maybe being able to be back in the mix during this stretch also helps us. The more options we have makes the stretch a little bit easier.
On using depth down the stretch: It depends. You’ve got to just feel for it. It’s easy to sit here right now and say, ‘This is what my lineup will be against Dallas after we play these next three games; this is what my lineup would look like when we come back home against Chivas.’ But when you actually get into the stretch, you see how people react. Some people maybe take a knock and some people don’t put away the stress as well, certain games somebody ends up working a lot harder than you expected them to have to work, sometimes the game is a little bit easier than you expect. You’ve always making adjustments. The lineups you put down, you better put them down in pencil because there’s a lot of erasure for changes that you make.