Something closer to the full Sounders roster was back on hand today as the club trained at CenturyLink Field in advance of its Saturday match there against the Montreal Impact.
All players who had been away on international duty were back present and accounted for -- and apparently healthy, although not all were back on the pitch today.
Here’s some of what the club had to say:
Coach SIGI SCHMID
On his Internationals) We kept Dempsey inside. We just had Morris through the beginning of the warmup: very similar to what they would do on a regen day. Today was very similar to their regen day. Same thing with Oalex and Joevin. Torres is back as well, so he’s happy and healthy. Miller came in yesterday, so he trained. We expect them all to be available to us Saturday. We’ll see a little more tomorrow of how they all feel.
On reports of Joevin Jones injury) We’re just sort of checking that out. It’s minor if anything, but at this point in time I couldn’t give you a definite because I haven’t talked to the trainers.
On Jordan Morris’ disappointment at USA not making Olympics) It’s a hard loss, we’ll deal with that. We talked a little bit. I said, ‘Just go through practice today light, and we’ll talk a little bit more tomorrow. I think it’s important not to suffocate a young player. So you want to give a young player some room to grow and express themselves. For him right now I think it’s a situation where the pressure might be off a little bit, with the qualification series over, and now he can really focus and adjust into playing in MLS.
Homegrown rookie forward JORDAN MORRIS
On USA U-23s not qualifying for Olympics) It’s disappointing. I think to be one game away from going to the Olympics and coming up short, it’s pretty tough to swallow. It’s a dream that I’ve had since I was a little kid. Maybe there are older players who could go in the future, so I’m not 100 percent counting it out. It’s just frustrating to have that opportunity gone. … It’s a huge deal. That’s why it’s so disappointing. It’s something that you dream about and grow up watching, and you’re that close and come up short, it’s pretty tough. I think it’s going to be tough for a while to deal with that, but obviously I’ve got to move on and I’ve got a game this week.
On how he feels phusically) Pretty good. A little sore, but nothing too bad.
Forward CLINT DEMPSEY
On setting USA goals record in qualification matches) It’s always good to score goals. The most important thing from the game is that we won, got in a better situation now going into the last two games, and most importantly is making sure that we … put ourselves into position to qualify for the World Cup. That’s the kind of stuff that means the most to me.
On possible concern before Guatemala) We’ve been in those situations before where kind of must-win games. … During qualifying it’s a rollercoaster, a lot of ups and downs and situations where you’re going to be bested. You’re going to have your backs against the wall, and I thought our team showed a lot of character.
On if he’s ready for Saturday) I feel good. … I’ll be ready to go.
On Sounders’ addition of former US national team forward Herculez Gomez) He’s a goal-scorer. He’s shown over his career that he can get you goals. You just got to give him the service.
Sounders assistant and Hall of Fame nominee ANTE RAZOV
On Seattle’s young strikers) I think scoring goals is the most difficult part of our sport. That’s why we see the highest-paid players are the goal-scorers. And so that part has not happened for us. And with young players especially we have to unburden them. Sometimes strikers put more pressure on themselves. There’s been moments when I’ve thought I was standing on a shore break and I couldn’t kick it in the ocean. And there’s other times I felt I could close my eyes from anywhere and it would go in. Unfortunately we’re maybe on the first part. But I think once one goes in I think you’re going to see a team that’s going to really, really rise up to the occasion.
Razov was available at training today because he and Sounders sporting director Chris Henderson once again have been nominated for the soccer Hall of Fame. Here’s a news release from the club:
Seattle Sounders FC Sporting Director Chris Henderson and Assistant Coach Ante Razov have been named nominees for the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2016 elections, both included on the ballot in the Player category. Voting is taking place over the next three weeks for the Player, Veteran Player and Builder categories, with the results being announced shortly thereafter. Induction ceremony details for the Class of 2016 are being announced at a later date.
Both Henderson and Razov played for Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid at UCLA and joined MLS in its inaugural season in 1996. Voting began on Tuesday for the Player, Veteran Player and Builder categories. Of the 28-player ballot, Henderson is one of three that are in their final year of eligibility. If not elected this season, he becomes eligible next season on the Veteran Player ballot. Schmid and former Sounders FC goalkeeper Kasey Keller were elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame last year.
Henderson joined the Sounders FC Front Office in 2008, serving as Sporting Director since the club's MLS inception. As a player, Henderson represented the U.S. at the international level 79 times, winning championships in both MLS and the NCAA. Henderson played 11 seasons for five teams, and upon his retirement following the 2006 season he was the league record-holder in four categories, including career games played and started. At 19 years of age, he was the youngest player at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, in addition to representing the U.S. at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
An Everett native, Henderson was named the 1989 Gatorade National Player of the Year in soccer after his senior season at Cascade High School. He went on to play two seasons for Sigi Schmid at UCLA, where he led the Bruins to the 1990 National Championship.
Razov spent 14 years in MLS from 1996-2009, including seven with the Chicago Fire and four with Chivas USA, and he ranks fourth all-time in MLS scoring with 114 goals. The Southern California-native also ranks 18th in league history with 66 assists across 262 appearances, as well as fifth all-time with 11 goals and 10 assists in the postseason, where his 35 appearances are ninth in MLS Cup Playoffs action. Razov was capped 25 times by the U.S. Men's National Team, scoring six goals and helping the Stars and Stripes to the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup title. His first USMNT cap came in 1995 against Uruguay while still in college.
Razov played four years at UCLA from 1992-1995 for Schmid, finishing his collegiate career with 40 goals and 29 assists. He was the Bruins' leading scorer in 1993 and 1994 before finishing second in 1995. He joined Sounders FC as an Assistant Coach prior to the 2015 season.
In order to be eligible for election as a Player, an individual must be retired for at least three full calendar years, but for no more than 10 full calendar years, and have either: 1) Played in at least 20 full international games for the U.S.; if played prior to 1990, the game requirement is reduced to 10 games, or 2) Played at least five seasons in an American first-division professional league and named to a postseason league All-Star team at least once.
The voting pool includes all past and present full Men's and Women's National Team coaches, all active MLS and NWSL head coaches with a minimum of four years of experience as a head coach at the highest level in the United States, MLS and NWSL management representatives, the MLS and NWSL Commissioners, U.S. Soccer CEO/Secretary General, U.S. Soccer President, designated media members and all Hall of Famers.
Each voter can list up to 10 candidates per ballot. Any player appearing on at least 66.7 percent of ballots will earn election, while any player who does not appear on at least five percent of ballots will be removed from voting contention until they qualify for the Veteran ballot. Complete information about the election and eligibility procedures is available via the following link: http://sndrs.com/4ftx.
2016 NATIONAL SOCCER HALL OF FAME PLAYER BALLOT
Kate (Sobrero) Markgraf
* First year of eligibility
** Final year of eligibility; moves to Veteran ballot in 2017
The National Soccer Hall of Fame closed its Oneonta, NY facility in 2010. The election process is being administered by U.S. Soccer Federation staff under election and eligibility guidelines established by the Hall of Fame Board of Directors. Established in 1950, the National Soccer Hall of Fame is dedicated to the sport of soccer in America by celebrating its history, preserving its legacy, inspiring its youth and honoring its heroes for generations to come.