Sounders Insider

Sounders first 11 v. 11 goal: Nate Jaqua (updated)

It may be the most trivial of trival quiz answers, but the Sounders practiced 11-on-11 for the first time today, and the first goal was scored by forward Nate Jaqua, finishing a nice cross from short range past Chris Eylander. (Here's my story from the Saturday paper.)

Jaqua ended with two goals during the work. Fredy Montero scored on a header. And Sebastien Le Toux scored on a breakaway which just might have drawn an offsides call in a game.

"It was good," coach Sigi Schmid said. "The guys, you could see that their raised their level a little bit in terms of their energy. Everybody loves to play when a game gets big. I thought some guys had some good moments. It's nice to be able to score goals: right away in the 11 v. 11, Nate scoring a couple of goals, Montero getting a goal, as well, Zakuani I thought had some good moments on the wing – he showed that wide left is definitely an option for him. Overall it was good."

Jaqua, acquired from Houston in the expansion draft, Montero and keeper Kasey Keller were all on the blue team, which won 3-1 and looked suspiciously like a No. 1 unit. But coach Sigi Schmid cautioned us afterward not to read anything into the player groupings.

"At this stage we were trying to mix it a little bit," he said. "We didn't want to say OK this is first team or second. It wasn't anywhere close to that, and obviously we still have some players missing at this stage and we're adding as we move forward. We're always going to keep our eyes and ears open, so we're probably looking at a couple of things here soon, as well. It was good. It was good because the guys worked hard these last three days."

With that duly noted, here's how I saw the blue lineup (with the disclaimer that this is unofficial, written in shivering hand on a cold day by a guy who doesn't yet know everyone on sight):

Keeper Kasey Keller; defenders Zach Scott, Taylor Graham, James Riley and Kevin Sakuda; midfielders Sanna Nyassi, Khano Smith, Brad Evans and Steven King; and forwards Nate Jaqua and Fredy Montero.

A couple of other quick camp notes:

Forward Jarrod Smith sat out today, nursing a hip flexor. Smith had wanted to play through the injury, but Schmid made it pretty plain that Smith's best chance of making this team is at 100 percent and his top priority now is getting healthy.

Forward Jason Cascio also missed today to take part in a tryout in Portland ... and Schmid made it sound like that's Cascio's immediate future is more likely there than here.

Schmid also implied heavily that a few new players will be brought in soon.

Finally, the scheduled training that had been planned for tomorrow has been canceled. Schmid said the team will meet again Monday for some baseline training tests then continue on through the week with one-a-day practices until they break this initial phase of camp next Saturday and then head for California where two-a-days and friendlies await.

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